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In the wake of the let him die episode of the last Republican debate, in which the audience took it upon themselves to go where even Ron Paul himself would not, advocating for the death of someone who was sick if they had no insurance that would pay for their treatment, the story of Ron Paul's 2008 campaign chairman has been getting increased attention. Deservedly so, for it is a similar case, and even by itself perhaps accounts for Paul's own moment of hesitation on the matter:
Back in 2008, Kent Snyder — Paul's former campaign chairman — died of complications from pneumonia. Like the man in Blitzer's example, the 49-year-old Snyder was relatively young and seemingly healthy* when the illness struck. He was also uninsured. When he died on June 26, 2008, two weeks after Paul withdrew his first bid for the presidency, his hospital costs amounted to $400,000. The bill was handed to Snyder's surviving mother, who was incapable of paying. Friends launched a website to solicit donations.

According to the Wall Street Journal's 2008 story on his death, Snyder was more than just a strategic ally: He was the only reason Paul thought he ever had a shot at the presidency in the first place.

Kent Snyder raised over $19 million for Ron Paul, but could not afford insurance for himself because of a preexisting condition. After his death, efforts by friends to assist with the medical bills (Ron Paul's suggested solution in response to the debate question, you may recall) raised about $35,000 in donations, less than 10 percent of what was needed.


Paul is himself a doctor, as he reminds us from time to time. I can only presume, or at least hope, that it was either that oath or Paul's firsthand experience with the death of an uninsured friend that led him to at least hedge, on live television, when asked if the uninsured should die. I like to think that I saw a bit of shock in his expression, when the audience lustily cheered for exactly that, but it may only have been wishful thinking on my part.

What is more certain is that whatever Paul's experiences, it did not change his opinions very much, and I think that is noteworthy. When Wolf Blitzer asked him if the uninsured should die, Paul hedged, but he still maintained that medical care was the responsibility of the sick, and not the rest of society. He stated, explicitly, that such individuals should look to their communities and churches for help, even with firsthand experience at what an effort to raise $400,000 for even the most well connected of people actually looks like, in practice.

I think most people know how such efforts go, in fact. For a long time, a solitary glass jar sat on the counter of our local convenience store, seeking donations towards the medical expenses of a much-loved longtime resident whose own unexpected tragedy had left an impossible financial burden. Barbecues, church socials, yard sales, bake sales or whatever else can be cobbled together; a town of any size will have something like that every weekend, if you follow the flyers or the signs, all dedicated towards raising just a few hundred dollars here and there to put a dent in the hundreds of thousands needed. Cancer, heart disease, or an accident; a husband, a mother, a child, a best friend. You cannot live in America without seeing it. So does it work? Do churches contribute a hundred thousand, here and there? When was the last bake sale you attended that raised $50,000? The last yard sale? Just how much change can fit in a glass jar on a countertop, once you count it all up?

Why are there all these Americans around us who cannot pay those bills, no matter how many bake sales they attend, no matter how many times the collection plate is passed around at their church?


To his credit, Paul did not say a sick person should be left to die, if they showed up at the hospital unable to pay. That was left to the audience. I am sure the audience, too, had seen the same jars on the same countertops time and time again, but on them it made no impact. I am sure a good portion of them attended church on Sunday, and perhaps heard a plea for a sick member of the congregation that had stopped attending church suddenly, and there may have been talk about transplants or rehabilitation or family, and perhaps they gave $10 and felt a sense of satisfaction in it, and a clean conscience.

We are not socialists, here in America. We are not like all the first world countries in Europe or Asia that believe caring for citizens in need is the duty of a government and its people, and not just a whim to be met sporadically according to our moods. We are religious, and our religion dictates that we will help only who we want, when we want, and the others can either die or be reduced to lifelong poverty. That will still grand us a clean conscience, it seems: We can show up for church on Sunday, then go to a political debate during the week and shout for the poor and the sick die already, rather than pay a penny to save them.

That is what I find so cold in Ron Paul, and in the other freedom-lovers that share the stage with him, and especially in those members of America that they so feverishly wish to cater to. They can see that their solution does not work: The evidence is in every town, every day, but it still does not matter to them. They will poke their fingers out at you, and lecture on how churches or friends or neighbors will take care of it all; if you note that churches and friends and neighbors have never, ever been able to take care of it all, they will scoff, and mutter something about freedom; if you press them on what freedom means in such a context you will, eventually, come back around to the darkest response, which is let them die.

It is cold, and dark, and miserable, and mean, and tribal, and cruel.

It never ceases to amaze me, the emotions that we will wrap up in a flag and call patriotic if it suits us. A large swath of America is made up of very cruel people, people who value their own self-indulgence over the welfare of their neighbors, and they seem uniformly to be the most pompous in their exhortations of both patriotism and godliness. They are here to defend the nation from monsters who would parcel out a modicum of support to all citizens, and not just ones they personally know of or approve of: If they help their fellow man, they want to see the person grovel for it a bit, and helping an anonymous soul is deemed not just a pointless exercise but an insult to their very freedom.

Let them die does not make a very good slogan for a bumper sticker, and so even true believers tend to shade it a bit. But even in the boldest, cruelest state, it will be applauded.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bravo (19+ / 0-)

    Not only is the substance and rhetoric in this post razor sharp and spot-on, but it's great politics:  creating a bumper-sticker meme that will finally define what the Republican brand of guvmint really means.  

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:06:05 PM PDT

  •  I hope that comes back to haunt them. (13+ / 0-)

    It's practically a ready-made campaign commercial against tea-party candidates.  And not much to excuse it, especially after all that "We can't allow people to die even if they're vegetative" business with Terri Schaivo.

    I can already hear: "They were probably just democrats disrupting the debate to make tea partiers look bad!"

    •  They'll have Schaivo come back. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Judge Moonbox

      Schaivo will be on a tv ad proclaiming that she actually wanted to live and blame Dems for killing her.  It will, of course, be a computer generated image but the Tpubs will site is a talking point, anyway, and many will believe it.  Most no longer know who she was.

      "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

      by rainmanjr on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:16:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ron Paul did let him die. (39+ / 0-)

    No matter what he said for the cameras.  Remember; one of the reasons Kent Snyder didn't have health coverage is that Ron Paul's campaign didn't offer it to its workers.

    The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

    "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

    by Punditus Maximus on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:10:18 PM PDT

    •  it's an epidemic... ? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KJG52, jm214, trueblueliberal

      the romans are invading?

      have you never joined a lynch mob? they start out so teeny tiny, almost microbial. then: ka-pow! it's wildfire.

      stop it when it's teeny tiny.
      if you can.

      Addington's perpwalk is the trailhead of accountability for this wound to our national psyche. 48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

      by greenbird on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:24:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  couldn't buy on his own (6+ / 0-)

      because he had a preexisting condition.  Some friend.

      "The only person sure of himself is the man who wishes to leave things as they are, and he dreams of an impossibility" -George M. Wrong.

      by statsone on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:28:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since it was a blood disorder (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare

        Even with a group plan, he may have been denied. The insurance companies have this fun game they play: sure, we'll cover you, but if so-n-so is on the plan, it'll cost you an extra million a year.

        They don't come right out and say "fire this guy," but they make it pretty clear that not firing him is going to add a pretty penny to everyone's premiums.

      •  Not a reason (0+ / 0-)

        An existing condition does not mean insurance is not available to you!!! Almost all states have plans for exisiting conditions, at least they did until Obamacare. I have kept my insurance on minimum wage jobs and with existing conditions in the family.  I currently pay privately for an existing condition in the family.  Yes, it is always a major portion of income, but it's all about priorities.  Lots of uninsured CHOOSE to be that way, it's fact.  They'd rather live someplace better or drive a newer car, or just not work so much.  I've seen my co-workers not take the insurance because it cost them $30 a week, I took it, I was responsible.  Many people are making that choice and now I will have to pay for THEM?!

        •  Wrong on so many levels. (0+ / 0-)

          Would you like to present some evidence to your assertion that "lots of uninsured CHOOSE [sic] to be that way"? It is not a fact merely by virtue of you saying it is. Until you prove this, you are making s&*t up that is hurtful and marks you as a conservative, if not necessarily a Republican.
          And yes, you do have to pay for those that are uninsured, just like you always have when you pay taxes that have kept ERs open. The difference is that if we had universal health care, you wouldn't have to pay as much. Or are you in favor of shutting down ERs as well? How very Randian of you . . .

    •  The guy wasn't a campaign worker, was he? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trueblueliberal

      My understanding is that campaign chair isn't a salaried staff position.

      The Rent Is Too Damn High Party feels that if you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you. --Jimmy McMillan

      by Rich in PA on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:34:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I suspect that depends on the campaign (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rich in PA

        There certainly is no law that prohibits a non-profit from offering health insurance. It could be that for a small group, the costs would still be too high for Snyder, especially with a pre-existing condition. (The insurance company would have to offer an employee a policy, it would not have to be affordable.)

        One of the scenarios that this raises is Reagan's (fictitious) Cadillac driving welfare queen. Even given there are some cheats on welfare, the majority are not. Even if there are some irresponsible 30 year olds who go for the freedom to be consumers of technology and the good life, instead of health insurance, the majority are up against odds that keep them from buying health insurance.

        I would also suggest the 30 year old could have been raised by parents who did not teach responsibility. No one in the village was able or tried to reach him. Should he have chosen better parents?

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 08:10:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  To someone so important, (8+ / 0-)

      He couldn't even pay for a doctors appt and medicine? And a death and all of that 400,000 bill may have been averted.

      For a friend?
      Ron Paul's net worth:$4.9 Million

      So much for "helping others". That's just for po' folks.

      Fuddle Duddle--- Pierre Trudeau.... Canadian politics at......A Creative Revolution

      by pale cold on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:39:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ? for R Paul: Why didn't you help your friend? (9+ / 0-)

        If Dr. Paul's solution is for friends, family, and the community to help, ask him "Why didn't you use some of your wealth to help out Snyder? You could certainly afford it. "

        If we had real reporters anymore, they'd ask him this question, and follow it up with "Was he not close enough to you to help? He wasn't a member of your community? Did you not care enough about him?."

        Too bad our press has become useless.

      •  Besides.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        trueblueliberal

        ...he probably could have bargained them down considerably on that total. Couldn't even bother to do that, I see.

        I dance to Tom Paine's bones.

        by sagesource on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:52:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't get this part (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hopeful Skeptic, vidanto, tb mare
        The bill was handed to Snyder's surviving mother, who was incapable of paying.

        You just can't hand a bill that a deceased person owes to a family member. They are not liable for the debt. The hospital would be an unsecured creditor and would get any money left from his estate after the secured creditors are paid.

        I work in the loan dept of a bank and deal with this issue all the time. That part of the story makes no sense. Is the law different with hospital bills? Is it assumed the family has incurred the debt? That is crazy.

        "I couldn't reach Karl Rove; I can never draw the pentagram quite right." - Stephen Colbert

        by AZ RedWingsFan on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 10:14:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Except (0+ / 0-)

          That would make sense.

          15 years old and a proud progressive and Phillies phan.

          by vidanto on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:55:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  They will send the bill to anyone on the (0+ / 0-)

          "facesheet"- and simply hope they get paid.  Also, on admission, he, and perhaps his mother may have had to sign a financial responsibility form.

          That said, as horrible as it is to have huge health care bills, the hospitals also need to get paid in order to pay their staff.  the current solution is that his $400K bill was actually paid by everyone who went to that hospital who did have insurance.  Cost-shifting is the name of the game, and the only alrernative to universal health care.

          As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

          by BPARTR on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:52:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Further, how much did Paul donate? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trueblueliberal

      I'll bet it wasn't much.  It would be great if we knew and could publish that.

      "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

      by rainmanjr on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:17:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That moment of self-awareness might have been (7+ / 0-)

    conscience or it might have been realization his chances of winning a general election dropped by quite a bit.

    "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities." -- Winston Churchill

    by cjenk415 on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:11:13 PM PDT

  •  It's not "Live Free or Die!" (14+ / 0-)

    It's "Let Them Die!" -- Tea Party 2012

    the "Hang 'Em High" and "Let Them Die" Party.

  •  This is why we need national health insurance (13+ / 0-)

    Why should I pay for the medical bills of Ron Paul's campaign manager?  Under the new law, if it survives, the insurance company cannot reject a person for a preexisting condition, and Ron Paul's campaign manager, who obviously had the bucks, would be required to by insurance,  This is a necessity if we are not going to have single payer, but these dimwit psuedo Christians wouldn't understand that.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:14:20 PM PDT

    •  In fairness to both, (7+ / 0-)

      Xtianism and libertarianism, though both are represented in the modern Republican Party, are not the same thing.  

      In fairness to all the rest of us, both Xtianism and libertarianism are bullshit.  

      Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

      by Big River Bandido on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:17:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Funny thing (6+ / 0-)

        Sunday's gospel for us Roman Catholics is about the farmer who hired some men to work in his fields for a set amount.  He hired more workers as the day continued on so that the last hired, who had worked only a few hours, still got the going rate for a days work.  The original hires complained that they were cheated.  The boss pointed out that they agreed to a price and they should not tell him what to do with his money.  I won't go into all of the interpretations'of the passage but I could not help but think of the current climate of envy and bitterness towards others we have here in America. It is an immature, self centered view of the world where even if we are getting what we need we can't stand for someone else to get something in an easier way.  

        And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

        by tobendaro on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:00:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This dovetails nicely with the notion (0+ / 0-)

          that the current descendents of immigrants cannot stand the current immigrants.

          Or as Stephen Colbert said- "My ancestors didn't come 2,000 miles across the ocean to be overwhelmed by immigrants."

          As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

          by BPARTR on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 07:56:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I can't recall who said it, but... (7+ / 0-)

      there's a great quote out there to the effect that folks tend to invent a system of morality that justifies what they really want to go ahead and do anyway. That's the only possible explanation for nominally "Christian" people competing with each other to throw the poor and uninsured to the wolves.

  •  Republican Death Trip (5+ / 0-)

    says it all.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:15:13 PM PDT

  •  As a lifelong Liberal/Progressive (23+ / 0-)

    who has lived in Europe and who served in the USAF, honorably and who now has VA medical care,  I am utterly and completely ashamed of our country in several ways (proud in some) but I am especially ashamed of the sad situation with healthcare (US health insurance is disgusting in its exploitation of Americans and in the very poor outcomes for so many), with the lacxk of universal health care.  What the fuck is society/civilization for, if not to lift up all?  How can a person live with herself if she feels that a person who does not have expensive and restrictive health insurance when they become deathly ill, they should die!  My god, I cannot wrap my mind around that way of thinking.  Over my lifetime there are more and more Americans who feel this way.  We are regressing, folks, seriously regressing.  And it isn't going to end well.

    I am so ashamed.

    Thank you, Hunter

  •  The crowds cheered for Jesus to die too (22+ / 0-)

    Many of these people today who call themselves Christians are still cheering for Jesus to die according to Matt 25.

    Hypocrisy, like stupidity, is eternal.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:16:53 PM PDT

  •  I blogged about this incident (7+ / 0-)

    ...along with the audience cheering Perry's record of executing people in Tell me now, which deity do the Dominionists really worship?  The answer is both crazy and scary.

    "The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead." ~ Paul Krugman.

    by Neon Vincent on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:17:03 PM PDT

  •  Ooh. (17+ / 0-)
    Kent Snyder raised over $19 million for Ron Paul, but could not afford insurance for himself because of a preexisting condition. After his death, efforts by friends to assist with the medical bills (Ron Paul's suggested solution in response to the debate question, you may recall) raised about $35,000 in donations, less than 10 percent of what was needed.

    So.  How much of that 35 grand did Paul contribute to?

    How much of that 35 grand did Paul help to raise?

    This is problem with ffing hypocrites.  They create this hateful atmosphere with this 'pull yourself up by your boot straps' mess and then when the cover is pulled back on them?

    They hardly practice what they preach.

    Hell.  Since Paul IS A DOCTOR, why didn't he just treat the man himself?

    That fits in with his libertarian philosophy.

    Jerks all.

    "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

    by smoothnmellow on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:17:07 PM PDT

    •  Debate question for Ron Paul: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, bwren, trueblueliberal, vidanto

      "The ACA, or as TeaOPers prefer..."Obamacare", your colleague Mr. Snyder would have been mandated to possess insurance. Insurance that would be guaranteed to cover his pre-existing condition. In other words, under the Affordable Care Act your friend would more than likely be alive today and his widow and his family would not be racked with a crippling debt that the local goodwill you previously spoke if obviously didn't come close to covering. The question to you Mr. Paul is, isn't that a more favorable outcome for an American family to strive for than the outcome that actually played out for Mr. Snyder under the current, freemarket motivated industry and rules?

  •  I've seen little about this in the press (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZappoDave, ozsea1, KJG52, vidanto

    I have read little-to-nothing in printed news sources about this.  In addition, it gets a passing remark from Rush and Beck...both making some kind of lame excuse that those people shouting were "plants".  Network news programs and CNN and Fox News have skimmed over it...but, it's a dead issue right now with them...or so it seems.

    I doubt that there would be ANY republican candidate..including even the most rabid teapartier...that would say they agree with "letting him die" and would say that the audience at that debate event was out of line.

    We here know what it was...but, alas, it's just one more issue being swept under the rug where we're going to find the teapartiers/repubs in denial.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:18:03 PM PDT

    •  It'll be lost to the MSM because of Solyndra. (0+ / 0-)

      Tpub heartlessness is nothing compared to the scandal of Obama's loan to Solyndra.  That will get weeks of play unless we launch a military campaign against Syria.  Therefore, look for those bombs and no-fly zones to get going anytime now.  

      "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

      by rainmanjr on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:34:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "It is cold, and dark, and (5+ / 0-)

    miserable..." and they don't care because capitalism is the source of their morality. "Greed is good" has replaced "Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you"

    Unapologetically pro-citizen. Not anti-corporation just very pro-citizen.

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:21:10 PM PDT

  •  This is what America has become. (16+ / 0-)

    I toyed with substituting "we" for "America".  It didn't work, because I believe that most of the folks who come to DKos believe in our collective responsibility.  Maybe not, though.  I'm not trying to speak for anyone else other than myself.

    It dismays me, though, that the kind of behavior that Blitzer's question evoked is considered acceptable.

    It dismays me that Blitzer would even feel moved to ask the question in the first place.  Or that he would have to.

    How do we, as a nation, get past this?  Can we?  Or are there reallythat many who don't even want to?

    I can not bring myself to believe that the shouters that caused even Ron Paul to pause a moment represent the mainstream of American thinking.

    It scares the fuck out of me that I might be wrong.

    Tea Party manifesto: We're resigned to our collective fate because we don't want no stinkin' collective future with the likes of you

    by Richard Cranium on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:21:29 PM PDT

  •  Hunter (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, bwren, antboy, rainmanjr, Debby, vidanto

    I really enjoy your righteous rants - they usually have me on the floor laughing. But you also crank out such brilliant stuff like this.

    Thanks.

  •  May I say something? (13+ / 0-)

    The idea of paying out of pocket in the U.S. healthcare system is insane.

    I've been through two bouts of colon cancer. . . face value of the claims were over 1.5 million dollars.  I tried to estimate, and the closest I could come was it cost my and my wife's (secondary payer) insurance company about $800K.  I paid $30K out of pocket for deductibles, copays, etc.

    My wife just had an acute appendicitis and the hospital bill (w/o the surgeon) for an admission through the emergency room and a one night stay was $79K.  The insurance company will pay about half that since the hospital was in my wife's network.

    My friend lives in Paris.  Illegally.  No health insurance.  He had a mild heart attack two years ago.  Admitted to the hospital, three stents put in.  Three day stay.  He was required to pay for his care on discharge.  Keep in mind that there was no subsidy since he is not covered by the French health care system.  He paid 6,500 euros (about $8K at the time) for his care.

    Now my something:  the healthcare system in the U.S. is wired to require private insurance.  The profit (skim) motive is so ingrained in our system that costs are required to increase beyond all reason so that the cost of medical care requires that the built in 25% non care costs (profit for insurers) are permanently ingrained.

    And my final something:  fuck you Ron Paul and your cheering Republican buddies.  Your idea of personal responsibility is a wet dream.

    the fact that you're right is nothing more than interesting

    by Egg on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:22:32 PM PDT

  •  Look, it was good enough for Kirk. (0+ / 0-)

    http://youtu.be/...

    Ah, but he wasn't talking about the uninsured.  He was talking about someone who was suffering the aftereffects of an environmental disaster.

    Well, you know, I guess there's a similarity.

    In public education, the depth of the ravine between management and labor is rivaled only by its width.

    by algebrateacher on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:24:10 PM PDT

  •  It's a tax on decency (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, Shockwave, rainmanjr, Debby, vidanto

    If, as Ron Paul suggests, the poor, the sick and the orphaned should depend on the charity of churches, that would mean that we as a society decide to tax the good among us.  Those who are selfish, and mean and greedy, would pay nothing; while those who care for others, would pay it all.

    What would Jesus do, I wonder?  Oh, that's right - He already told us.

    Another reason Republicans spit in God's eye whenever money is at stake.

    •  And what about poor people who are not believers? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave

      "Since when did obeying corporate power become patriotic." Going the Distance

      by Going the Distance on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:39:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure I'm catching your point (0+ / 0-)

        It's the Republicans who are wealthy, who most want to fire teachers, eliminate social security, and lay off workers who seem to claim God's on their side.  

        I think I'm missing your point.

        Everyone is free to believe or not to believe.  But when you claim to know what God's will is, as Bachmann and Perry do, but you ignore the poor, you just took a whole lot of white-out to the Bible you claim as your guide.

  •  cold dark miserable mean cruel - but not tribal (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    J M F, Shockwave, Debby, vidanto

    "It is cold, and dark, and miserable, and mean, and tribal, and cruel."

    Most tribes do NOT let the members die.  
    I understand the authors point... but I question whether these people even understand tribalism.  They seem to be the ultimate egocentrists -- the understand nothing beyond their own personal existence.

    Both pathetic and dangerous

    •  Tribes do not let *their members* die (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vidanto

      but they have no such compassion for the members of "that other" tribe over the hill. They may even go out of their way to make war against those "not-people" and drive them away, or kill them.

      It's all a matter of defining who's "a member of the tribe". Clearly, Kent Snyder was not a member of Ron Paul's "tribe", at least not from Paul's point of view.

      That's why we have to either get beyond tribalism altogether, or define everyone on earth as a member of one big human "tribe". Fat chance on either one IMHO.

      If it's
      Not your body
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      AND it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 08:28:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  what happened to the balance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZappoDave

    of the bill?

    If it wasn't paid, was it due to Ron Paul running for office?  if so, then a political contribution.

    "The only person sure of himself is the man who wishes to leave things as they are, and he dreams of an impossibility" -George M. Wrong.

    by statsone on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:26:59 PM PDT

  •  Why is it that vociferously "Christian" folks... (10+ / 0-)

    seem to be the first to throw poor people to the wolves, to howl about 'socialism undercutting America as a Christian nation'? Because I distinctly recall from my altar-boy days that Christ actually said that we really are, you know, our brothers' keeper. And all those parables about true compassion rather than the Pharisees' pious posturing?

    Apparently, Conservative Christians are reading a different Bible than the one I have.

  •  If K. Snyder owed $400,000 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA, DamselleFly, Debby

    in medical bills from a two-week hospital stay, doesn't that suggest he was receiving treatment? Also, why would his mother be responsible for his unpaid debts when he died?

    I admit I have not followed this too closely.  These are two questions that jumped out when I read the diary.  

    I am 100% in favor of socialized medicine/Medicare for All. I have decent insurance but have known people who may have died prematurely from cancer and other diseases as they stayed on Medicaid waiting lists to see specialists.  

    One woman did not know she had cancer until she finally saw the specialist.  I say maybe the delay killed her because I can't be sure she would have lived longer with treatment.  The answer to that question is actually irrelevant because she should have had the care regardless of the ultimate outcome.

    My own mother had wonderful health insurance, regular check ups, healthy no- smoker etc, and was diagnosed with cancer; even with speedy treatment without any insurance  limits she died within nine months.

    Anyway, I've never gone without health insurance nor did my children, now grown.  I cannot imagine the fear of not being able to seek care for myself or my family.  

    It's totally immoral that profit is even part of the equation or that those who profit are part of the discussion.

    Peace.

    •  Correction: I see now that the two-week (0+ / 0-)

      reference was not about Mr. Snyder's hospital stay.

    •  The problem in this case, as I understand it... (5+ / 0-)

      ...is that Snyder, like most uninsured people, didn't take action early enough because he couldn't or wouldn't pay for that early action.  By the time he got to an acute state that hospitals are willing/obliged to treat now and attempt to collect on later, as opposed to the more stringent prepayment conditions for nonacute care, he turned out to be beyond help.  That's the irony here, of course: we're likely spending more unrecouped money on the acute care of the uninsured than it would cost to insure them and treat most of their complaints before they get to the acute-care phase.

      The Rent Is Too Damn High Party feels that if you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you. --Jimmy McMillan

      by Rich in PA on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:37:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now I understand. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bwren

        because he couldn't or wouldn't go for treatment earlier he was beyond help when he finally received medical care.  That is tragic.

        I do know that many people will not go to the doctor, even with insurance, due to the out-of-pockets.

        Thanks for answering my first question.  What about Q2:  why would Mr. Snyder's mother be responsible for his unpaid debts?

    •  One of my kids works in the restaurant industry (6+ / 0-)

      and even many top chefs don't get insurance from the restaurant owners.  Right now he has coverage, but for many years he did not.

      I lived in fear that he might have an accident or get sick.  I felt that if he were in a situation where hospitalization or treatments were not available to him unless someone else would pay, I would be forced into giving up my home to do that.  

      I often wonder how often a parent has given up a home or remortgaged a home to pay for health care costs for grown children.

      I fall down, I get up, I keep dancing.

      by DamselleFly on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:45:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Scary stuff (0+ / 0-)

        It probably happens quite often. How could the parent do anything else?  I know I would give up any material thing to preserve my grown children's lives.

        For that matter, I probably should give up many material things to help strangers preserve or improve their lives.

        More self-reflection is in order, methinks.

      •  I know how that feels (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DamselleFly

        My son and his wife were in the US doing post graduate work and because teaching assistants are part time, had no health insurance.  That's not something that we in Canada are used to and we were happy when they finished and returned to Canada.

  •  Excellent, well-written discussion, Hunter (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwren, DamselleFly, KJG52, Debby, vidanto

    Thank you for this.  I was so deeply disgusted by that incident that I left the room.  Couldn't watch any more.

    SOMEONE, someone, should make that into a TV ad, I don't care what Debbie Wassermann says.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:31:43 PM PDT

  •  Let them die, and please pass the soylent green. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave

    * shudder *

    "There's nothing in the dark that's not there when the lights are on" ~ Rod Serling

    by jwinIL14 on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:32:49 PM PDT

  •  One again, I am floored by the power (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZappoDave, bwren, vcmvo2, vidanto

    Of your writing.

    Thank you, Hunter.

    You connect the dots with clarity that is unmatched.

    -
    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:34:05 PM PDT

  •  This post was written beautifully (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, vidanto

    It is full of truth and feeling.  

    Thank you!

    "Since when did obeying corporate power become patriotic." Going the Distance

    by Going the Distance on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:35:53 PM PDT

  •  Of course they have to die (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, trueblueliberal

    or freedom isn't free, and Liberty isn't freedom to live! from sea to shining sea!! to the support of our troops!!! Lawd have mercy!! And above all!!! Let them DIE!!

    I suggest a spiritual now ... maybe "I'm Gonna Let Them Die" sung to the tune of "I'm Gonna Let It Shine".

  •  Ron Paul prolly figures (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    r2did2, trueblueliberal, vidanto

    the guy lived a good, but short life ... bundling dollars by the shitload for Ron Paul, and his usefulness expired when he had the misfortune to fall ill. What's not to understand?

    Let Them Die -- Republicans 2012

  •  The question I wish that Wolf had asked (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vidanto

    The hypothetical of a healthy person who chooses not to purchase health insurance obviously deserves what they get. What of the healthy person who cannot afford to purchase health insurance. For good measure, characterize the person as hard working and not having all sorts of "luxuries" such as a cell phone, Internet access, cable TV or children.

    For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

    by ivorykeyer on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:39:54 PM PDT

  •  I often wonder about Ron Paul (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, trueblueliberal, vidanto

    Why is this outdated, 20th century antique running for prez anyway?  I mean, if he actually won, he'd be 80 something before his first term ended.  Yeah, yeah...he's a doctor and all that, but remember Raygun?  He had to have staff do all his brainwork (and Nancy, of course) about the start of his second term.  

    I think he's just one more egotist loving to hear himself speak and getting all the attention.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:41:15 PM PDT

  •  Nothing scared me more... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52

    Even though each time one of the canidates opened their mouths...I reacted to them like finger nails on a chalk board... when those people clapped...a very cold shiver went down my back..

    It's not the differing of opinions or ideas that scares me...It's the blatant disregard of human decency that sometimes keeps me up at night :(

    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and consciencious stupidity.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by JMoore on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:43:18 PM PDT

  •  When I heard them yelling "yeah!" (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZappoDave, Shockwave, Debby, dle2GA, Joe B, vidanto

    I immediately thought of the people who packed picnic baskets, gathered the kids, and had a jolly fun filled day attending a public hanging. Creepy.

  •  The Year ... 2014 (6+ / 0-)

    the setting ... US of formerly A.

    Rick Perry is presiding over the new lottery reality game show that awards medical procedures to good Christians.

    A contestant with a ruptured hernia is present and has to perform certain tasks before he is either operated on ... or .. as chosen by brown shirts ... Left To Die.

    The applause ... when the hernia kills the guy? Is thunderous ...  This ... this is where our Tea Party is headed .. with a quickness.

    This is a brown shirt brew if ever there was one.

  •  He may have been excoriated for it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, Shockwave, Debby, vidanto

    by the right, but Alan Grayson spoke the cold, hard, cruel truth on the floor of the House.

    "The answer to violence is even more democracy. Even more humanity." Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg

    by poe on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:50:57 PM PDT

  •  spent the afternoon with conservative Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    but they all fight for cancer survivors, some very young, some with poor prognosis. Thus, I can't believe that some Americans (are these teaparty people Americans?) are going down this path. Lets fight them! This is not funny. This is very much at the core of what I believe "human" means. And I am willing to fight for it.

    •  Sorry, but.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tari, vidanto, tommyfocus2003

      ...I don't entirely trust people who cover themselves by being privately charitable. It seems their egos require a tithe before the sick person can become well again. It's very much in the religious spirit, to be sure: Jesus cured a leper, and all that. But there are some of us who wonder why Christians make so much of a man who, according to them, could have cured all lepers and banished leprosy, but instead left all but the one who was fortunate enough to meet him personally to rot.

      I dance to Tom Paine's bones.

      by sagesource on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 07:10:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        but we do need to run a campaign on compassion in times of crisis. It will appeal to many Republicans. Bush run a campaign on compassionate conservatism. Nobody in the current GOP shows any sign of compassion these days. The contrast to the Democratic vision for America couldn't be starker.

  •  I'm quite familiar with Let Them Die. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nonnie9999, Mary Mike, Debby, vidanto

    I was one of those left to die.  In my case, I even HAD insurance; it was graduate student junk insurance, and I had a chronic, slowly degenerative and ultimately fatal condition.

    Had it not been for the generosity of two people: my grad advisor for not cutting a sick grad student loose, and a wealthy friend that covered my surgery co-pays, I would not be typing this missive today.

    It was hammered into me most vividly when searching for drugs to control my condition.  One was available: Remicade.  My prescription drug benefit topped out at $1500 PER YEAR.  After that -- you paid 100%.  I talked to an insurance company rep/counselor at the university, asking if any exceptions could be applied for.  I was told 'no'.  I asked if Remicade -- at several thousand dollars a dose -- would be considered a perscription drug.  I was told it was.

    I finally asked her if us chronically ill students were thrown under the bus just so the students could have a low premium.  I was flatly told 'yes'.

    I left without another word.

  •  This Little Light of Mine (0+ / 0-)
    This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
    This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
    (The kids hold up their index finger and move it in a circular motion.)

    Won't let Satan blow it out.
    I'm gonna let it shine.
    Won't let Satan blow it out.
    I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
    (When the kids sing "Won't let Satan blow it out....they blow on their finger.)

    Let it shine til Jesus comes.
    I'm gonna let it shine.
    Let it shine til Jesus comes.
    I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

    (The children cup one hand over their finger and when shouting NO they remove their cupped hand)
    Hide it under a bushel - NO!
    I'm gonna let it shine.
    Hide it under a bushel - NO!
    I'm gonna let it shine, Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

    Let it shine over the whole wide world,
    I'm gonna let it shine.
    Let it shine over the whole wide world,
    I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

  •  I wish that everyone who declares (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nonnie9999, trueblueliberal, vidanto

    that he or she is against mandated heath insurance would answer this question:

    Should hospitals be required to take care of the uninsured?  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:56:27 PM PDT

  •  I call it pancake breakfast health care. (5+ / 0-)

    Some little boy in the neighborhood gets leukemia, and people buy pancakes to save him. This is not a civilization on the upswing.

    The contradictions and horrors of actually implementing so-called libertarianism have never been tested.

    Until the last three years.

    Don't forget that guy in Kentucky whose house burned down because he didn't pay some special premium for fire protection..

    What this attitude creates is a society of indifference. Every city in America is now Las Vegas. If you win, you win. If you lose, fuck you.  A lot of people are losing in Vegas right now.  Even the Brat Pack would be horrified.

    I am waiting in my car, I am waiting in this bar, I am waiting on your essence. - Lucinda Williams

    by Bensdad on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:56:33 PM PDT

  •  wonder what would have happened... (4+ / 0-)

    if blitzer had said the patient was a woman and pregnant.


    larger version

    I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

    by nonnie9999 on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:57:43 PM PDT

  •  Churches Should Consider Their Failure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moonbatlulu, duufus

    We, here in America, used to believe it was important to help others.  That belief, like it or not, came from European ethics, derived from Church teachings.  Today, where are those teachings?  Does any church tell its members that it is their duty to take care of others?  Or is all "christianity" in this country reduced to "God wants you to be rich"?  The churches parade their faith and scold their members for not giving enough money.  They extoll the virtue of giving yourself to Christ, but ignore Christ's teachings.  Just shameful, and destined for the Lake of Fire, all of them.

    •  For the past two Sundays priests (6+ / 0-)

      at Saint Pius X church in El Paso, TX have responded to the Republican debates
      Last week, a missionary priest stated that Rick Perry's advancement of capital punishment in not in line with the Teachings of Christ .. that Christians could not view capital punishment as something Jesus would have advocate.
      and he specifically stated -twice - very clearly that Perry says he is a Christian but that his actions are not those of a Christian.

      Tonight, the pastor of St Pius denounced the callousness and selfishness of the crowd at the second debate.  
      Fr. Arturo mentioned the "let him die"  moment and then went on to condemn the candidates for not giving a Christian response... He mentioned his real dissappointment in the two Catholic candidates for not speaking up ....
      And he stated that one cannot call oneself Pro-Life and have these attitudes towards capital punishment, the uninsured, the poor, the undocumented ...

      Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

      by moonbatlulu on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 07:07:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  there's a bigger picture (4+ / 0-)

    Those people are not Christians - they are Authoritarians . Being from that mindset they require an organization to belong to. They have co-opted Christianity and the Republican Party and they're hellbent on taking over this country. They do not follow ANY rules but the ones they make up (and change whenever it suits them). They would erase the Enlightenment and undo the last 300 years of progress because religion has always been the go to vehicle for suppression of the masses.  And when there is a growing middle class it is much harder to control everyone, so the middle class in the US must die along with the Constitution.

    We are in mortal danger, and I don't see an end to it - at least not a good one. I look at my granddaughters, aged 14 and 6, and I have to bite my lip to keep from weeping.

    We've fallen down the rabbit hole and come out in a Dali painting.

    by surreal times on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:59:35 PM PDT

  •  Real Christians Can't Be Republicans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rgembry, Debby, Joe B

    There's simply no way to really follow the teachings of Jesus and support today's Republican Party. Of course, I'd have say the same about 75% of the Democratic Party as well, but the Rs are so blatantly non-Christian in their core values that they really should be describing themselves as something other than "Christian." Their religion, as such, is really Republicanism: I got mine (or plan to get mine) and to hell with everyone else.

    Sure, they'll pray for some of the people they don't hate, for what that's worth. And maybe they'll even give 10% of their income to their own church, so its leaders can have nice cars and new carpet in the sanctuary. But do they demonstrably give a damn about poverty? Illness? Inequity? Injustice? In fact, I'd argue anyone who supports the Republican Party is guilty of increasing those ills.

    How the Democrats continue to lose to people who literally hate a large percentage of Americans and can't be bothered to help most of the rest when they need it is beyond me. I've wondered most of my adult life if it's gross incompetence, or if somehow the leaders of the party actually intentionally fail for some twisted psychological reason I just haven't been able to divine.

    "Take it easy-- but take it!" --Woody Guthrie

    by Mr Green Jeans on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:00:52 PM PDT

  •  2012 a life or death decision... (4+ / 0-)

    As much as I disagree with the President, the Blue Dog caucus, the "centrists" and the "incrementalist pragmatists, in the Democratic Party, when I see something like this, I am reminded that this is an existential moment in America. If the Republican Party gains the White House and the Congress, people in America are going to die of poverty and neglect at a much greater rate. If the Republicans gain political control America will be a lesser country and its people will be less educated, less free and less economically secure. If Republicans win, the majority of Americans lose, and it is ultimately just that simple.

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:01:11 PM PDT

    •  I see it becoming much worse (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sagesource, KJG52

      If the repubs were to gain control of the presidency along with congress and have unfettered ability to pass laws and make policy...we'll have riots in the street and mass rebellion......this in addition to the great pockets of poverty and lack of education opportunities and all else you've mentioned here.

      This is a very troubling time indeed.

      - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

      by r2did2 on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:26:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Death Panel, revealed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sagesource, Sandy on Signal, duufus

    We finally found a real, honest to goodness death panel, at the Republican debate.

  •  Duh! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal

    I, too, thought I saw a hesitation from Dr Paul, even a bit of surprise, that made him hedge that answer.  The end result of such policy is unavoidably "Let him die", though, and Paul can't duck that.
    As for the disgust rightously given to that cruel block of Americans who win elections...duh!  As for the existence of a cruel block of Americans who think themselves Godly...duh!  As for the stupidity of so many of those heartless bastards who would prosper from social care but won't vote for it...they sicken me and I've taken to telling them just that to their face.

    "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

    by rainmanjr on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:06:50 PM PDT

  •  These people are radical (0+ / 0-)

    I'd call them evil, but I'm not into that silliness. The videos of people cheering for executions and deaths of uninsured are stunning. They make me ashamed of America.

    No Jesus, Know Peace

    by plok on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:07:13 PM PDT

  •  Hippocratic Oath? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal

    I found Dr. Paul's comments upsetting.  Maybe they were made in the heat of the debate but in the end he's a doctor.  He's obligated to treat people regardless of any income or insurance concerns.  He took that oath.  That's what really got under my skin with his comments.

    "All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree" -- James Madison

    by paulitics on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:18:35 PM PDT

  •  Brilliant piece Hunter (0+ / 0-)

    I'm keeping this one.  

    You crystallize the misguided quest for freedom from government that does not understand that we all are the government.  And that divided we fall -- united we stand.  That one simple cliche is more valid than any Tea Party doctrine.

  •  Does it work for government? (0+ / 0-)
    So does it work? Do churches contribute a hundred thousand, here and there? When was the last bake sale you attended that raised $50,000? The last yard sale? Just how much change can fit in a glass jar on a countertop, once you count it all up?

    Why are there all these Americans around us who cannot pay those bills, no matter how many bake sales they attend, no matter how many times the collection plate is passed around at their church?

    Okay, but honestly, the problem is that even government can't afford these costs. Nobody can. That's the problem. You can go on for days about how health care is a right, but that doesn't make the money appear out of thin air.

    If you want government to pay for everybody's health care, you have to raise an obnoxious amount of money. Honestly, it's doubtful that such a sum exists, let alone how it could be politically possible to obtain it.

    •  How Does The Rest Of The World Do It? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, trueblueliberal, duufus

      Everybody else has government provided health care.  Why can't we?

    •  You do know almost every other country has it? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, trueblueliberal, kareylou

      Congratulations, that is the silliest post I've ever read on Daily Kos.  The British have universal health care.  The French have it.  The Canadians have it.  Brazil has it.  India has it.  Japan has it.  Sensing a trend here, are we?  For freak's sake, even Bhutan has it.

      Honestly....

      OK, that last bit was a cheap shot.

      "To know what is right and to do it are two different things." - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin "It was like that when I got here." - Homer Simpson

      by rbird on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:59:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great. (0+ / 0-)

        Let's do it then. As long as you're certain it's not going to impact quality of care...

        •  Have you heard of google, wikipedia? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kareylou, duufus

          An ocean to swim in, and you stay in the shallow end.  You don't like the google, wikipedia too egalitarian for you, consult the CIA World Fact Book, it's online.  Or go to the library and read a book.  I'm cutting you off after this one, "Mr. Honesty."

          Life expectancy is a good indicator of quality of health care and general quality of life.  The USA is rated 36th in the world for life expectancy.  That's your vaunted quality of care right there.  We tie with Cuba.  Those evil socialist powers, the U.K. (that's the British) is 20th, Germany is tied at 20th, France is tenth, Iceland is third, and Japan is number one.  The Japanese live about five years longer than we do.

          That answer your question?

          Find your own answers in the future.  I'm done with this conversation.

          "To know what is right and to do it are two different things." - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin "It was like that when I got here." - Homer Simpson

          by rbird on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:41:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  "If they help their fellow man, they want to see-- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debby, peptabysmal

    --the person grovel for it a bit..."

    And they also want to make sure that said charity recipient is "poor" enough for their liking: e.g., they don't own a TV, get their nails polished, groom themselves as if they take pride in their appearance, no matter what their circumstances. And they can't have heating, air conditioning, a refrigerator, or an occasional toy or treat for their kids.

    If they meet any of these criteria, via the kindness of friends and family or the "underground economy" of low-paid service employees exchanging goods and services and bartering for a little bit of a leg up, then they don't qualify for the Teathuglicans' hard-earned tax money.

  •  I love the way you write (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dle2GA

    the only word I object to in its context you have put it in the diary is "tribal". A tribe usually does the opposite of "let them die", it tries to take care of its members and protect them. Other than that I follow and agree with you word by word.

  •  Like the fat guy in the suit.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AZ RedWingsFan

    You know what I'm talking about....

    "To know what is right and to do it are two different things." - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin "It was like that when I got here." - Homer Simpson

    by rbird on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:50:07 PM PDT

  •  I wonder and I hope (0+ / 0-)

    but only hope, that Ron Paul and the other candidates may have had that moment McCain had at a rally when the one of his supporters said that Obama was an arab, a moment when they realized they have turned a wrong path.

  •  In her comment to Paul Krugman's (0+ / 0-)

    article, Free to Die, Marie Burns begins with the most succinct and powerful indictment of the right wing I have read in a long, long time:  "The sneering cruelty of the conservative base . . ."  Indeed.

  •  We're In a Battle for the very idea of America. (0+ / 0-)

    Honestly, it's becoming clearer with every passing day that the other side will stop at nothing until they win at any cost. Hunter as usual pulls back the curtain and shows us the beast on the other side. We have to find a way to win this fight. Have to find a way to separate the still rational GOP voters from the herd that is leading them and the rest of us off a cliff. We cannot allow "let them die" to win.

    Oh and on a side note, just want to say that I look forward to Hunter's posts as much as any on this website. It's gotten to where I will sometimes miss the name of the poster and then halfway through realize I'm reading one of his and when I check I'm almost always right.

    Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

    by jusjtim35 on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 07:49:56 PM PDT

  •  What worrys me most is not how the audience (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal, peptabysmal

    responded so violently in the debates but how and why they were chosen for their participation.  

    Were these ordinary people off the street or were they purposely chosen to be representative of Republican thinking? Of Tea Party thinking?  Were they chosen by the networks to provide infotainment so prevalent in media these days?

    Surely no one would have chosen this audience for the debates, or would they?  Did they?

    Inquiring minds want to know.    

  •  #1: Let them rain crazy EVERYWHERE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicethugbert

    I want moderates to get a distinct "ick" factor when they feel tempted to vote for a Republican.

    I want this kind of insanity to taint everyone who calls him/herself a Republican.

  •  Awesome piece by Hunter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kareylou, tommyfocus2003

    One of the best offerings I've read here in quite some time.  Sums up exactly how I feel nearly every time I have to sit through a dreadful conversation with many of my selfish neighbors out here in Paul Ryan's district.  It's enough to make a person sick enough to want to see a Doctor.

  •  hell, hurt, hate GOP (0+ / 0-)

    GOP/TEA  conservative wingnut politics simply breaks down to:hell, hurt, hate GOP political campaigns.....


    They'll send you to hell/punish you because THEIR god would!

    They'll hurt you because because they are permanently in victim-mentality. You HAD to have hurt them because they are feeling HURT about etc. etc.; ' They'll 'get you before you get them' ( twisted overcompensation, projection, from various forms of inner self-loathing )

    Hate:  Well they hate so many people and things and they indulge in hate.

    All of the HATE-HURT-HELL policies are triggers-permissions for obsessive compulsive behavior that leads to destroying others out of existence, destroying public opportunity, destroying common good because they have defined what is good by infamous heros, Milton Friedman ( Chicago School of Economics) or Ayn Rand (compassion is evil, selfishness is good ) and they hate - hurt - hell  because if they believe something is true, it is absolutely the truth.
    but it boils down to their slice of "humanity"  SCAPEGOATS others rather than forming community bonds;  they have to have a pool of people to feel superior to which validates their insecure egos; and ANY religious, ideology, political excuse will do to mistreat others; instead of evolving by fullfilling themselves they find 'something and call it their absolute reason to throw the scapegoats under the bus....
    and that boils down to a mental emotional spiritual craving/urge/compulsion  to ' get them' before they 'get me'  jungle-world-view;
    civilization is suffering because that predatory instinct  becomes the depraved status-quo as that population creates, finds, or follows an annihilation agenda/mental map;

    2012 It's not about Obama it's about your Moma. ~ Rev. Al Sharpton

    by anyname on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 09:19:06 PM PDT

  •  #2 Why was the Paul staffer's mom (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AZ RedWingsFan, nicethugbert

    liable for his medical bills? Was he a minor? Was he her dependent? Had she entered into a contract with the hospital to pay his bills? If not, then the hospital was no more entitled to bill her for his care than to bill her for a randomly selected homeless person's care.

  •  Freedom's just another word for nothing left... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicethugbert, Feist

    Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose...  

    As a civilized society we should be providing for the "least among us".  It is not a democrat or republican issue...it is a human issue.  How dare we call ourselves civilized when we do not provide even base healthcare for our citizens.  It is an idea whose time has come.  It is waaaay late in my opinion.

    There should be a safety net.  A parent should never have to decide between rent or food and healthcare for their child.

    No one should ever face bankruptcy because they had the audacity to get sick.

    And yeah, who the hell is the hospital to hit up the guys mother for the bill?  They should bill his estate.  If his estate is unable to pay then tough shit.  The guy died...it's not like the hospital really did their job is it?

    Of course he is from Texas right?  Texas probably has some screwed up law that says you can bill next of kin.  It is all so barbaric.

    I really felt ill that my fellow Americans are so heartless and barbaric.  I wonder though, how many of those in that audience are on disability and medicare?  They don't seem to make the connection.  Maybe when their gravy train they are on stops paying them they will have an "Oh shit" moment.  Like... oh you meant THAT medicare.

  •  St. Ron Paul The Communitarian fails to see....... (0+ / 0-)

    that a State, Country, Planet are communities.  Repukes really are such small minded fools.

  •  "Pro-life?" (0+ / 0-)

    Ha.

    15 years old and a proud progressive and Phillies phan.

    by vidanto on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 05:21:48 AM PDT

  •  What you guys are talking about? (0+ / 0-)

    In one debate (not sure which one), Ron Paul clearly said the constitution does not prohibit states to be welfare state. If states want to have universal (state-wide) health care, they are more than welcome to do so.

    Is there any liberal state that has government run healthcare (not private insurance mandate like Romneycare)?

    •  No, but it's not for lack of trying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kareylou

      California passed universal health care twice by large margins in the state legislature only to be vetoed twice by the governor.  Because California has a useless "rump" party called the Republicans who control just enough seats in the senate to prevent overrides (and passage of things like budgets), the state can't lead the way as it should.

      Now that the state has a Democratic governor again, and some useless Republicans look to be redistricted out of their seats, things could get quite interesting.

      •  And California is a prime example (0+ / 0-)

        of why this has to be a federal program. Some stupid states (like California) have ridiculous constitutions that prevent majority rule, and therefore can't implement statewide laws that simply make sense, both moral and economic. You have to circumvent the crazy minority conservatives in this country to get anything done that freaking saves money, let alone lives!
        And if they finally did implement statewide health care? How many Nevadans would cross the border to get some of that? All of them, and our unemployment would skyrocket (and our social services would be overwhelmed.) You can't do this kind of thing unless you do it everywhere, or you are going to increase the unrest and dislocations in the country as a whole.

  •  Of course churches and charatible goups did not (0+ / 0-)

    pay all unpaid medical bill when Paul was first a physician.

    The next question he should have been asked was to name some of the institutions that did and as a presumed Christian did he?

    They don't and can't these days because the cost of health care is too high, and there are too many uninsured and under insured for any group other that the largest insurance companies or the government to cover the costs.

    And of course charitable  groups like Acorn that might have, have been murdered by people like Paul.

    People were allowed to die then, just like they are today.  If you have (had) no money, hospitals are (were) not required to treat you forever.

  •  Are we talking about Roe v. Wade, or . . . (0+ / 0-)

    Haven't we already decided that it's all decided by matters like, for instance, the age of the victim?  How does the unborn or "partially born" get insurance - or some of that hugely generous (someone else's money, that is) private charity?  

    I was hoping Paul would have the presence of mind to ask for donations from the audience, to start a fund for the guy who didn't bother to provide for his own medical bills.  It would have been interesting to see who it as that chipped in," wouldn't it?  And the doctor should have asked where the public largesse might be curtailed.  Should the government start another kind of "uninsured motorist" coverage, this one medical?  

    And, where does the "uninsured parasite" coverage start and stop?  Does, for instance, the woman who has over-eaten until she weighs three hundred pounds and contractied diabetis (among a myriad of things related to overweight) have the right to demand public assistance, "uninsured glutton," and the like?  Has anyone ever heard of the old since Ancient Roman times legal doctrine of "voluntas injuria no fit" - he who assumes the risk has no cause of legal action?

    A little thought, please (and less bloviating blabber).

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