Friday, February 12, 2010

Jon Stewart Makes Republicans look Foolish on Health Care

This is brilliant. The RNC held their annual meeting in Hawaii, where the state health care program mandates employees that work over 20 hours a week must provide health care. Nearly everyone is covered. Even Rush Limbaugh admitted he got the best care available anywhere in the world. When John Oliver talks to attendees of the RNC annual meeting and makes them aware that Hawaii offers universal care, they seem to be flabbergasted. This piece of satire makes fools the Republicans and their position on health care.
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Chris said...

Great article Bruce. hahahaha

Bruce Fealk said...

Now, do you see the absurdity of your position, Chris?

vomamike said...

Bruce - I believe the cliche is: Don't confuse me with facts - my mind is made up!!

Jay-Ney said...

Finally Chris makes sense. I agree with you Chris. We need free health care for everyone or this country will go under. And it will be the republicans fault. Paybacks are a bitch,right Bruce and vomamike?

Anonymous said...

Stewart is brilliant, and that was a funny piece, but it says absolutely nothing about the current health care debate. Hawaii can't pay for their health care system. See the links below.

The Rush Limbaugh issue is a trope. Nobody is attacking the efficacy of our health care system. We have the best health care in the world, just ask that Canadian government minister who just came down here for treatment.

The question is how to pay for it. There is no way the government can increase coverage by 30 million people and not spend more money doing it.

What evidence can you point to that government can do this?

Hawaii Links:,2933,439607,00.html

Bruce Fealk said...

Silverfiddle, the Hawaiian system is 40 years old, so obviously it hasn't been a problem until the economic downturn that started last year.

Since they are apparently still using private companies, one way to solve the budget shortfall is to make it a totally government run program with lower overhead, 1-2% versus 20-30% for private plans that pay their executives huge salaries an bonuses and does nothing to provide care to customers.

We do have the best technology and treatments, but we DO NOT have the best health care system.

Stewart's story does speak to the foolishness of the Republican position when they hold a conference in a state that has had universal coverage for decades and they can't tell the "reporter" John Oliver why they shouldn't have the system they have had for 40 years. It sounds to me like Hawaiians are pretty happy with their system, even to the point that I bet they'd support a tax increase to pay for it, if it comes to that.

Bruce Fealk said...

One more thing, Silverfiddle, you are correct, we can't cover 30 million more people without it costing more. You might want to contact the John Boehner, he seems to think that we can cover 3 million more people, but it won't cost a dime.

You guys need to get your talking points coordinated.

vomamike said...

Does anyone remember the hair shampoo commercial of a few decades ago wherein the pretty model says her brand X may cost a little more but she is worth it? Well, universal health care may cost a little more, but we are worth it. We wouldn't be having this debate if it wasn't for the greedy,inefficient, price gouging, death panel selectiveness of the 'for profit' insurance industry. You can't defend them on the alter of some insane economic policy of 'laissez faire capitalism'. You have to have it government run, because government is the only entity that doesn't have to make a profit from the enterprise. I reject the notion that only business can "do it better". Let private enterprise make my lawn mowers and computers, but let government run my social services like health care.

Anonymous said...

First off, I don't use talking points. Boehner and Limbaugh can take care of themselves. I speak for me.

The story about them ending free care for children was from 2008. Maybe you need to check your talking points.

The average government bureaucrat makes 25% more than the current health care paper pushers in the private sector. You still haven't explained how government can do it cheaper.

The free market lowers prices everywhere it is tried. You need to get beyond your talking points and explain how this government-run nirvana will work.

Bruce Fealk said...

Silverfiddle, your point about the market doing everything at less cost is NOT true.

Take the private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. The contractors make several times what a soldier makes.

Medicare does health care cheaper than the private market because they don't have to make a profit and they don't have to pay outrageous salaries to executives and bonuses on top of the salaries.

Medicare's overhead is about 2% and private health insurance is 20-30%, so your entire theory is flawed.

Anonymous said...

The contractor/military overseas is a false comparison in a distorted market.

Anyway, what is the total cost per troop? Hasn't it been estimated at over 100K/per?

More importantly, here in the States, the military has outsourced to contractors all kind of duties because......... It's Cheaper!

So why is medicare racking up trillions in debt? Along with social security and medicaid it is responsible for over 50% of our debt. This can't continue without us turning into Argentina.

Bruce Fealk said...

Silverfiddle, prove it's cheaper. Just because you say it's so, doesn't make it so.

Social Security do need more funding, no doubt. As our population ages, that is a natural occurrence. It is still cheaper than private insurance and letting senior citizens go to the poor house. Expanding Medicare to all would actually reduce the deficit.

Anonymous said...

You asked for it Bruce. This one's a no-brainer...

GAO discussed the Department of Defense's (DOD) goal to save billions of dollars by outsourcing work to the private sector..."


BTW, the DoD was the ONLY department to take real cuts during the Clinton years (not a knock on Clinton, he was a pretty good prez).

Point is, they are much better because of it. I was there. We were forced to cut the fat and throw out the dead wood. Every government department needs such a housecleaning.

Just go Google "DoD Outsourcing" and you will be inundated with how DoD has achieved cost savings by privatizing everything from infrastructure, to base security (the Ft Hood hero was a civilian policewoman), to housing.

vomamike said...

Silverfiddle - Most of our government agencies deal heavily with private contractors. It is the nature of the beast. NASA doesn't build those shuttle or rockets, private companies do. And no agency is more heavily laden with 'outsourcing" then the DOD. They don't build the planes, bullets and missiles our military uses, but contracts for them.

So your lauding them for doing so is somewhat misleading. But I wanted to check my own sources about the value of outsourcing. I eventually ending up at the GAO web site. They are still chastising the DOD for waste, fraud & abuse in their contracts with businesses. Cost overruns - double billing - failing to meet standards - competitive bidding - and enforcing those contracts are some of the comments.

i also recall reading some time ago, about a program where an agency or some part of one, had to show that they could do it better and cheaper, the mission of their department. While I couldn't find that particular story again, I recall that in most cases, the government workers did the job cheaper and better than the contractor.

I'm not saying that in all cases, a government entity can do the job better - nor can you say that in all cases a private contractor can.

When I was in the Army, KP duty was a must. Every GI hated it. Under the all volunteer Army, contracting the duties there is logical and no doubt efficient. Except that i have read horror stories in Iraq of foul water - water shortage - lousy food - showers that electrocute our servicemen - so to give outsourcing a blank check without critical oversight - is just plain stupid.

Anonymous said...

"so to give outsourcing a blank check without critical oversight - is just plain stupid."

Of course it is. That was never my point. You asked me to "prove it" and I did.

You have faith in a government that is carrying over $50 trillion in unfunded liabilities. What ever happened to skepticism?

vomamike said...

Silverfiddle - skepticism is important no doubt. But I get a sense that the only skepticism I see is about government doing their job AND NOT business. Like they get a free pass just because they are "private enterprise". We have been so use to the fox guarding the hen house for so long, we no longer believe government is capable of doing anything. It doesn't seem to matter that there has been a concerted effort by Republicans to sabotage our government agencies these past few decades so that it looks like government can't do the job. With the right people running those agencies - with the right attitude about responsible government - it will serve us well. Whether it is the EPA or FEMA, to cite just a couple - the principle of serving the public good was why they were created. Their mission hasn't changed - only the corrupting influence of the wrong people running them. Correct that, and we have what we the people want. I think Obama is trying to do just that. No thanks to the Republican Senator who has put a hold on what 80 of his appointments?

Without going into the blame game of what so much of that past debt came from - we should not lose sight of the need to "prime the pump" of commerce. I think Obama is on the right track. Probably you don't. We will never know if we don't give him a chance to prove it. I'm sure that at the end of 4 years in office, if there isn't solid evidence of a turn around - he will be a one term President. But you seem to be ignoring the concerted effort by the Right in sabotaging ALL his efforts to correct things. Using a baseball methaphor - he was elected manager of the team, now give him four years to make USA a contender. Is that so hard to understand?