What’s Your Message to Bart Gordon?

Bart Gordon voted against the Health Care Reform bill the passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last night.  Personally, I think we need health care reform and that all people should have access to good health care without going personally bankrupt.  Of course, naysayers believe it will bankrupt the country.

According to the Daily News Journal, Rep. Gordon said he voted no because it the measure didn’t adequately reduce health care costs.

“I firmly believe that any responsible health care bill must do two things: improve access to health care for small businesses and the uninsured, and reduce health care spending,” he stated in a press release. “This bill does one but not the other, it falls short of sufficiently cutting health care spending.”

What do you say to Rep. Bart Gordon and his vote?


18 Responses

  1. Bart Gordon realized 2 things:

    1 – No way he gets re-elected if he votes for this thing.
    2 – Change for the sake of change does not neccessarily mean an improvement.

    They can call this bill “Healthcare Reform,” but it has absolutely nothing to do with Healthcare. It was merely a way to change the payor from your employer to the government. Costs will still go up and you’ll still pay more (higher taxes) with crappier healthcare (compare Nashville General hospital to Baptist or StoneCrest if you don’t believe me).

    I think all of us realize that health insurance premiums going up at a rate of 14% a year is unsustainable and the costs needs to be addressed. But the profit MARGINS of health insurance companies have not increased dramatically every year (typically 6%, and actually only 2% last year). Premiums go up each year because costs go up each year.

    The question is HOW do you adress these costs? There are different answers from different people, but the fact remains that simply changing the payor of healthcare will not reduce costs. And besides, since when is government bureaucracy considered “efficient?”

  2. With the government program, small business owners will be required to carry health care for their employees or be fined. How many small businesses will go out of business, thus causing the unemployement to rise? Despite what many people think, the majority of working people do not work for major corporations, but small business owners.

    It seems the advocates for the government run health care system have not thought past the argument of “everyone deserving health care”. It will bankrupt this country.

    • Someone has to pay for the healthcare of those small business employees.

      If the employee has to do it by themselves and can afford insurance, they are thrown to the individual insurance market. I’ve been there and dealt with half a page of riders excluding common ailments like seasonal allergies and Asthma. By the way, most folks who are healthy or have gold plated insurance through large employers don’t realize how costly common Asthma/Allergy meds are: Singulair $125, Astelin: $105, Generic Allegra: $37, Ventolin: $40. All excluded in our case and most needed monthly. A hospital stay due to Asthma: $4500, excluded.

      If an employee cannot afford this, then the tax payer pays if they are on TennCare or other insured patients have to pay if they just use the ER.

      Even larger small employers (up to 50 employees) that do offer health insurance must still go through medical underwriting. Something that large employers do not. That means if, for instance, you work at an employer with many older workers or younger female workers of child bearing age, that you will pay very high premiums ($800 at my last job, with no vision or dental and excludes some hospitals, including Stonecrest and Southern Hills).

      A solution is not going to be easy and will probably take multiple tries. I’m not unconditionally in favor of a public plan (I need to see cost/benefits first), but I won’t dismiss it offhandedly either. Medicare is already the largest insurer in the nation and, by and large, does a credible job.

      Also, it doesn’t have to bankrupt the country. Canada is not bankrupt. Neither is the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Germany,…

  3. What I would say is Bart,we need castastrophic coverage.We need wellness and preventive medical programs.We need to speed up the process of when prescriptions can go to generic.We need limits on all (except criminally negligent) malpractice lawsuits.We need to pay absolutely nothing for anyone under the age of forty who smokes and develops cancer.Instead,just give them their final pack of cigarettes and trade out the tar and nicotine for arsenic.If someone wants to kill themself,let the smokers do it more quickly.
    We need not think that a small business MUST provide or pay a large portion of health care for employees.These employers should concern themselves more with paying a decent,living wage and retain their employees insteading of being in a constant flux or training and retraining at the companies and customers expense.To force health care expenses on small business owners with no deduction for the coverage is to give the country an unemployment rate equal to California’s.

  4. TheRand,

    I’m not a smoker but… I am fat. I drive race cars in my spare time. I rock climb, lift weights, and other things that could be considered dangerous.

    Why should we let the smokers die due to their choice? I mean, if I develop heart disease, should you give me my last hamburger ala cyanide and let me chow down to save the government some money?
    if I break both legs and arms in a race car accident, should you toss me in the river and let me drown?

    If I fall from the face of a mountain, should you let me lie and rot on the hot rocks? It was, after all, my choice to climb that mountain.

    We all die, some sooner than others, some by choice and some not, others by bad decisions or well-meaning ones, others not. Why is it that anyone should be treated in life and in death with different grades of healthcare dependent on their choices in life?

    We all die, remember that. It could be you, tomorrow, because you stepped off a curb too early and made dear friends with the face of a city bus. Don’t worry though, even though your decision to move was premature and negligent: the ambulance will still show. They will still try and save your life. That’s what they should do.

    We need healthcare, for everyone, regardless. It should be the same care, with no discriminations based upon past choices. No one human being is any less than any other.

    Some are more burdens than others on the system, but others are not burdensome at all. It all comes out in the wash.

    Also, look at the healthcare system in France, doctors are given incentive’s to get their patients on a healthy lifestyle: stop smoking, eat right, etc. The government pays them additional for the number of patients they convert, and keep converted.

    It has it’s flaws, but it’s better than our reactionary system.

  5. I think the final answer is a little between D and The Rand.

    As a compassionate soceity, we cannot let people rot on the sidewalks even if it is by their own hand. On the other hand, you cannot seriously look at the healthcare systems in Britain and France and say you would prefer that.

    People talk about how people in Europe are HEALTHIER than americans, and that is typically true. However, that is more because of their lifestyle choices and not their healthcare system. They tend to walk more, and don’t eat food that is as unhealthy as ours. My opinion? I’d rather die at 85 from eating yummy food than live to 95 eating spinich.

    The other problem people don’t understand when looking at our healthcare system is that we finance the rest of the world’s healthcare. Because of our capitalistic soceity, drugs can be profitably developed here in the US, and those drugs go on to benefit other countries. We effectively subsidize socialist healthcare systems. If our health care system were changed tomorrow to mirror Europe, one of two things would happen: 1 – You would see an end to research for cancer, HIV, diabetes and everything else, or 2 – That research and the jobs that go along with it will move to a friendlier economy overseas.

    We take for granted that we are the sole world power, but there’s no guarantees on that. Not long ago Rome ruled the earth, then England, and now us. The USSR tried, but their economic system was unsustainable. The healthcare debate creates so much passion because this looks like it could be the tipping point for the US to go one way or another (depending on your political views, you could say the right way or the wrong way).

  6. I think it’s only fair that the rest of us should have what our federally elected officials have.


    • Our public officials are not going to use the same health care system the general public would be made to use. They are much higher on the pay scale than that. They don’t have to follow the same rules as we do now, why would a government run health care system be any different?

  7. Kathy, I don’t understand the article you posted. The article seems to indicate someone at the rally had a medical emergency and was treated by first responders (in this case the OAP) and then was taken away to the hospital. Nowhere does it say these services were provided to this person for free. Do you know whether or not they or their insurance was billed?

    Another point to consider – If you call 911 and an ambulance is sent to your home to take you to the hospital, the ambulance is run by the county but it is NOT free.

    As far as yours and Angie’s points on congress falling under the same system as us, I completely agree. It is sickening to think there are constantly exceptions for our elected officials (I’m pretty sure the texting while driving law recently passed included exmptions for members of the state legislature, right? If it’s dangerous to text while driving under normal circumstances, wouldn’t it be MORE dangerous to text while driving during a crisis situation (which is the only reason I can think they would have excluded the legislature)?

  8. So D,you think that the responsible should pay for the irresponsible?I watch in stunned amusement when I see KFC or Burger King workers on their breaks outside their establishments sucking on their Marlboro’s.We are also becoming a nation or diabetics because Junior would rather eat a bag of Cheerios and drink a liter Pepsi while playing Playstation III than to exercise.
    Perhaps those of us who know how to drive,live a healthy lifestyle,bring children in the world who know both of their parents,and live within our means should be given a ‘responsibility rebate’ on our Federal taxes every year.Would you go along with that?

  9. Okay, with that argument let me ask you this.

    I don’t want children. Ever. I’d just assume get a vasectomy than have kids. Why should I (under the system you propose) have to PAY for you and your wife to have a child? or three? Those are a lot of hospital visits. Why should anyone else have to help you if they don’t want kids too?

    What makes having a kid and the doctors and hospital visits that ensue a more just reason for receiving care of any form than someone who gets cancer, or heart disease? Both groups of people made choices which led to consequences.

    Why should the “responsible” bear the cost of a mother who wants 8 kids but not the cost of a diabetic, or a smoker?

    Your mentality is where we came from. Not where we should go to. Drawing lines in the sand to segregate people for whatever purpose is selfish and very narrow minded. It’s a historical trait of the south. I should know, I freaking grew up here.

    Ever heard the term “Southern Hospitality”? I’m sure you have. Guess what? It only applies while you’ve still got some money left in your pocket.

    Look, put it to you this way. One day you will get old and sick, hopefully that’s many years away. You won’t be able to work, and the system will take care of you regardless of how much you’ve paid in or how far your dollar has gone. Nothing will be asked of you. No bills will come to you. That’s the way it should be, for everyone.

    The idea is that everyone takes care of everyone else, and everyone pays in at one time or another. We need better education to make our people healthier, not a policy of attrition.

  10. Oh and one other point I’d like to make.

    I’m Pro-Choice, a woman has the right to choose if the life inside her is one she’s willing to bear into the world – regardless of the term. I have many reasons for this viewpoint of which aren’t really relevant to this topic at hand…

    My main point is, I find it hilarious how so many clucking heads walk around screaming “PRO-LIFE!”, but when it comes to the healthcare debate they’d just assume kill off (or let die) all the unhealthy and sick people that got there by bad or negligent choices if it saves them a buck. Incredulous.

    If a day ever comes that you see pro-lifers having to bear the cost of the birth of an unwanted child directly, absolving all the mothers who didn’t want them of the financial burden, is the same day you’re going to see a lot of “pro-lifers” start clucking “PRO-CHOICE!” instead.

    • I think you’ve got that last one backwards. It’s the Pro-Choicers who would let the elderly and infirm die because “its their time” while killing the unborn innocent children who never have a choice. Who’s protecting them?

      • Well, I don’t mean for this to turn into an abortion argument, but why the hell not:

        Your argument is flawed on two parts:

        1. I’ve never been for that stance, in fact I am a pro-choice person and my argument is we should do all we can for everyone living, regardless of their decisions. It’s an ideal shared by many people I know. I’m not sure what warped reality you come from where “its their time” was ever a valid reason for a third party letting someone die, but this sort of Glen Beck/Ann Coulter meatspin is pretty common south of the mason-dickson.

        2. A child has no opinion, and cannot make a rational decision until about the age of 5. The fact that they have no choice is irrelevant since until they are physically born they are not a life. I’m assuming we’re going to start fishing miscarriages from the toilet and holding funeral services next? It’s the MOTHERS decision to have the child.

        Many pro-lifers confuse us pro-choicers with wanting to kill fetuses. That’s not the case at all and is more rhetoric from the “you’re either with us or a terrist” George Bush Era. I support a woman’s right to choose, although in any situation where I am involved I would much prefer the woman bear the child and give it up for adoption versus an abortion – I still support her right to choose.

        The PRO-LIFE camp supports the notion that Women DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE. Now, doesn’t that sound like circa 1950 to you?

        In any case, you make abortion illegal and it won’t stop abortions; it will just go underground again, turn into something done by shady doctors with no credentials and you’ll end up with dead women from botched procedures. This is the way it was, and this is why it’s legal today.

  11. Well, I guess I’ll jump back in here :)

    D, when did Glenn Beck say old people should die because “it’s their time?” Honestly I believe he said the exact opposite. That’s part of the main reason we conservatives have opposed the current healthcare bill, because the lack of funding would force seniors to give up healthcare at a certain point.

    In regards to your statement about a child not being able to make a rational decision until five, I have two thoughts. 1 – Do you have kids? My two year old son can tell me yes and no to what foods he wants at a given time. Sometimes he wants a banana, sometimes he does not. 2 – using your logic, sould parents be able to choose to kill their children under age five???

    I don’t understand what George Bush and terrorist have to do with the arguments. I am pro-life, but I also hear the argument that you cannot force a woman to carry a child she doesn’t want. As a Christian, my faith is more important than whether abortion is legal or illegal. I would much rather help a woman decide to carry her child than force her to legally carry her child. I have only once had the opportunity to talk to a woman who had an abortion and I personally told her if she would encounter the same situation again and carry the child to birth, I would find a home for the baby and cover the costs. I’m not a rich person, but I believe I could help her. We need to take the pro-life out of politics and into people’s hearts.

    And if any law is to be made for or against abortion, it really should be made at a state level, not a federal level.

  12. MichaelinLV,

    Every conservative I’ve ever spoken to about the healthcare bill has all hidden behind facades of this and that as their reason for not supporting the bill; among them and the one that’s got the most airtime:
    Bill to push end-of-life options upon seniors: http://urbanlegends.about.com/b/2009/07/27/health-care-bill-page-425-the-truth.htm

    Now, your little claim of how seniors will not have any healthcare options in the future is one that I haven’t been able to validate. For reference, here’s a link to the PDF of the current house bill in circulation: http://waysandmeans.house.gov/media/pdf/111/AAHCA09001xml.pdf Feel free to point out the page number that supports your claim and I’ll gladly eat my Redwing 608 boots.

    They’re stout boots, too.

    Like I was saying, every conservative against the bill all hides behind a facade of something politically “correct” for their camp, but with careful observation what I’ve come to find is that it’s really about money. Specifically, your money. Much like TheRand spoke about up there with his “responsibility rebate”… Nobody here against the bill is really against the notion of government medical care, as someone else put it so plainly…

    “They don’t actually object to government medical care. They just don’t want to pay their share. They’d be perfectly happy to have socialized medicine as long as you told them that everyone else in the country would pay but they wouldn’t have to.

    Conservatives are spongers of the highest order. They want everyone else to pay for the roads they drive on, the schools their children go to, the fire departments that respond to fires at their house. They see no reason why they should have to pay money to receive these benefits — they should get them all for free!

    As I’ve said before, these are the people that you only go out to dinner with once because they vanish when the check arrives and come back after it’s paid, smirking at you because they were able to “save” money by making you pay their share.”

    Cited from a comment at: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_11/020840.php

    Your second paragraph:
    1 – I grew up raising my little sister. I gave her baths, taught her right from wrong, got her out of trouble endless times; cleaned her shit up and comforted her while mom was away working 16 hours a day. No, I don’t have kids but I think I come as close to qualifying as I can. Your six year old son can give you a yes/no answer to a question that’s easily quantifiable to him, no surprise there and I would certianly hope he could by that age. Next time, try asking him if he wants to live or die. Then ask him again in an hour or later. Is his answer the same and was he confused by your question? You lose points if he’s already lost a pet or something dear to him in death, as most kids his age haven’t yet. My point is, the choice of life and death is not something a child has the capability or exposure to rationalize. It’s not a decision they can reliably make.

    2 – First, let me define clearly the difference between a child and a fetus.
    A child: outside of the womb
    A fetus: inside of the womb.
    Parents CAN CHOOSE to KILL their Children. If they so desire, the tools are often at hand. A simple bath tub and some water, butcher knife, pillow; all of these sufficient to do the job. Parents who seek out these steps need to be quick on their feet because the little buggers are quick on their feet.

    What you confuse here is the word CHOICE. I am for the CHOICE – I may not agree with the circumstances in all cases, but I support the CHOICE women have when it comes to abortion. If you want to compare apples and apples: if we were to remove a woman’s right to choose for abortion, an equivalent for killing a child would mean we would have to lock them up in a straight jacket in a rubber room to prevent them from doing so – that would be the equivalent choice removal.

    No, I don’t see the fact that a parent can kill their child to be something grand and wonderful, but the alternative (if you want to take away their CHOICE to do so as well) is the robbing of each and every law-abiding parent of the right to wipe their own ass and feed themselves as they lie in a rubber room, all to prevent them from killing their kids. Seems a little extreme doesn’t it? Hope it makes sense.

    You missed the reference to george bush and terrorists, The reference was regarding that era being one of either the ally or the enemy, with no gray area and anyone who made the choice to step back and review the situation instantly became an unpatriotic parasite.

    I personally believe in the right to choice, this is my entire argument. I believe people should have the freedom to choose, period. My personal belief is that if a woman is encouraged to have the child and then decide on adoption (not guilted using religious ‘you’re going to helllll!’ bullshit, like my sister was) then there is great chance the woman will choose to keep the child even after the birth, there’s a strong biological drive there. There are many programs out there to help even the poor raise just one more.

    I think this conversation has run it’s course and I’ve really said all I can at this point, any more is just beating a dead horse.

  13. D,I am pro choice,but I think you misunderstood some of my earlier comments.The mentality that put us where we are is the entitlement mentality.Most older people have paid into social security,medicare,and perhaps company pensions and therefore are ENTITLED to what they receive.
    I agree with you about an individuals choice to bring or not bring children into the world.When you bring them into the world,they should be a mother and fathers responsibility,not the responsibility or the state or federal government.I do not look for Rutherford County to lower any of the property taxes I pay because I do not have children.I realize the importance of good school systems with excellent teachers and administrators.
    Southern hospitality went out the window when all the people north of the mason dixon line left the cities which their political philosphies had turned into ghost towns.Cities where you can not sell a house (Detroit,Pittsburg,etc) and moved here.
    I have to pay for peoples children everytime I buy groceries,clothes,gasoline,or any consumer item in this state at close to a 10% rate.Can I call Gov. Bredesen and say “Hey Phil,I do not have any children so I do not want to pay for public schools,public school lunches,etc.etc”.So yes we are paying whether we like it or not.
    When a person pays a reasonable rate for government services,defense of our nation and out borders(yeah right!) it is ok with me.
    Let us all just see what this taxing the rich develops into.The rich will be anyone making $35K or so a year.The rich did not get rich by being stupid.The Bushes and Kennedy’s of the world have untaxable, untouchable wealth such as blind trusts,municipal bond interest,tax advantaged limited partnerships, and annuities.They are the untouchables and most of us are way down in the Caste system.

  14. D,
    I think that is one of the more dramatic misunderstandings of conservatism than I have seen in awhile. I really don’t know any conservatives that are spongers, but I’m sure there are a few out there and unfortunately it sounds like you’ve run into a couple of them. If that is true, I would question whether they are really conservative in the first place.

    From a conservative standpoint, there is no facade. It is absolutely an objection to [inefficient and monopolist] government medical care. MichaelinLV put it best earlier, that the current bill is not about health care, but about changing the payer from your employer to the government. If you want to see near unanimous support for healthcare reform, simply take the government takeover off the table and deal with true healthcare reform.

    I’m pro-life, but I found the whole discussion about abortion in the bill to be a distraction from the primary issue with the bill, which is the government takeover. No amount of abortion legislation in that bill will make it a good bill.

    D, abortion aside, you appear to be in favor of choice and having the right to choose. That’s a good thing. Why then are you in favor of a plan that eliminates healthcare choice through a government monopoly? When the government runs out of money (if they haven’t already) and restricts the care you can get, what are your choices?

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