Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Good Looking Player

When Harry Caray was calling the Cub games he would see someone on the field he liked and would say, there goes "a good looking player." Well if Harry was with us today he'd no doubt be blogging on Illinois politics. And after Mark Kirk's Monday townhall in Arlington Heights, he'd no doubt be saying about Kirk -- there's a good looking player. Because fortune or fate or someone, maybe Harry himself, was smiling down on Kirk.

Kirk's townhall was about health care and though poorly publicized, drew a substantial crowd. Large enough to attract the broadcast media. Locally, pols have been avoiding these townhalls. The economy has made affordable health care the issue of the moment and there is always a chance a public forum dedicated to that issue could turn into a foodfight. Which no doubt is what the media was hoping for in Arlington Heights. They must have been disappointed though -- both tea-baggers and HCAN showed up but apparently neither was scrapping for a brawl.

Kirk is the beneficiary of the media's misapprehension. An overflow crowd of relatively well-behaved people show up on short notice to see what Mark Kirk has to say about health care. What will the media think? There goes a good looking player.


Crazy4glf said...

We should solve all healthcare problems via tort reform, says Kirk but Al Salvi -'personal injury' attorney- should run for office as a Republican.

As I just heard in a recorded speech from last year, Ted Kennedy stated that: Senators have a CHOICE to elect to receive government healthcare or not to receive it.
99 Senators (obviously Repubs and Dems) chose to receive it. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) stated he will not accept it until all Ohioans have affordable health insurance.

I guess Sen. McCain, Sen. Ensign, Sen. McConnell, and the like were absent that day.

Just imagine if McCain had to get private, individual coverage (with or without Medicare). Are Medicare supplements risk-rated?

Also, TA praised Kirk as someone who pulled-off a media coup.

Is that why we call them REPRESENTATIVES and we have hundreds of them in Congress?

To be wishy-washy, to be in favor of an incomplete answer to a complex problem, and to kow-tow to the Party 'leadership' when he begged the citizenry to 'Vote the person, not the Party' not so long ago?

If he loses the Senate race, there's always 3 card monty in Kenilworth.

Barney Baxter said...

Hi Crazy4glf,
You make some good points. But the only point I was making was Kirk snagged himself a shitload of earned media on Monday.

Anonymous said...

Yea, let's blame everything on the lawyers and the law suits-what a bunch of crap-tort reform- a way to screw the the individual that is actually injured.

Anonymous said...

Kirk did a great job at the Town Hall Meeting. How can you look for a solution to a problem without addressing the root causes of the problem. In health care, the reality is there are several root causes:

1. Tort reform - the cost of med mal insurance to docs in Illinois is 6 figures; in addition, docs routinely order a battery of tests to cover their asses from the possibility of being sued. These costs trickle down to the consumer

2. In Illinois alone, the Democrat controlled statehouse passed the All Kids insurance program that allows ILLEGAL ALIENS free health care. Do you recall Blago going to the churches to sign people up just before the election? They were probably registered to vote at the same time. The GOP Senate introduced a prudent measure to All Kids, simply put, citizenship is a requirement; proof of eligibility is a requirement - SHOT DOWN BY THE DEMS - trickle down into the fees paid by those of us that take pride in being responsible.

Last year, 50% of all births in Illinois were public aid. 10 years ago, 1 in 10 were public aid. Proud statistic isn't it?

Just this morning, I heard a report that a patients' rights group in Britain charged the NHS (National Health Service aka single payer public option) with mistreating over 1 million patients.

How about a more reasonable solution to health care - cut corporate taxes to incentivize expansion and hiring of workers; provide tax incentives to businesses to provide health care and make it mandatory for employees to take the health care unless a spouse or partner has a family plan. Reinstitute the E-verify system so businesses hire legal residents only; no free health care to illegals (that is what they do in France) and deincentivize illegals coming to the US.

As to migrant workers, expand the number of Visas afforded migrant workers - they prefer coming here, making their money and going home for winter. And YES - companies HAVE TO provide insurance to migrant workers vis a vis the law.

I know it is the intent of this blog and the Democrats to continue to rob Peter to pay Paul, but Peter's had enough and is thinking of changing his name to Paul - so get ready!

Anonymous said...

I, also, think it is ironic that elected officials talk about tort reform and, oh, the doctors are paying 6 figures for malpractice insurance. Hello-the same people that sit on the juries and award these verdicts-are the same people that vote. So, it is ok to tell the juries that you are just too dumb, so we need to cap awards, but we really think you are smart enough to elect the most qualified person for elected office. What we need is PEOPLE reform!

Anonymous said...

I love the ringer in Kirk's townhall crowd, Mrs. Camodeca, who claimed she was afraid that Obama's plan would deny her cancer treatment because of her age. She is the wife of Perry Camodeca, who is the owner of Midwest Insurance Brokers in Arlington Heights, a company that has made millions sell health insurance. Their agents were sending out notices of this forum to their clients nearly 10 days before the date and time were announced to the public.

This wasn't a forum for discussion, it was a media event designed to have people like Mrs. Camodeca stand up and pull the fear string. Public service? Try public sham.

As to the cost of medical malpractice tort reform, answer me this: the State of Nevada has the most draconian med-mal liability laws in the country: non-economic damages are limited to $75,000, no punitive awards, fees and sanctions imposed upon plaintiffs and attorneys who file "frivolous" lawsuits. And malpractice rates have doubled since this law was passed. In addition, Nevada has the most expensive emergency care costs in the country, and one of the highest rates of death and illness associated with hospital and physician error. Nationally, malpractice related costs, including defensive diagnostic testing make up less than 3% of the overall cost of health care. So tell me, please, how would malpractice tort reform have any impact on improving the cost, availability or quality of care in this country? Liability reform is just a buggaboo phrase with no meaning, no real purpose except to increase the profitability of malpractice insurers, and, most importantly, no real effect on either malpractice insurance premium rates, or the incidence of medical errors. If you want to give doctors and hospitals more protection, are you willing to demand that they get better than being the 9th leading cause of death in this country? Or do you just want to make their insurers more profitable on the backs of their victims?

Crazy4glf said...

Anon 8:07 -
We've heard the 'cut taxes to increase US expansion' argument before. However, the global (not US) expansion occurred via the shipping of our jobs overseas and by lining the pockets of corporate execs who didn't and don't want to pay for vacation travel, financial advice, or tax preparation. ): Pull yourSELF up from your bootstraps. Also, many a corporate exec got paid boku bucks while leading their companies to needing government assistance. Is that personal responsibility? Is that the appropriate use of governmental regulatory agencies? Are you pleased with our nation's predicament?

Also, the same people who are against healthcare reform and 'government involvement in healthcare' are those that like the idea of a gag rule where the government bans doctors from talking to women about all of their healthcare options and that do not refuse GOVERNMENT PAID HEALTHCARE as I initially stated.
That's a convenient use of government intervention, isn't it?

Didn't the government fund Bush's tax cuts (a form of spending) where an economic rose garden did not arrive and Bush's pre-emptive strike?

Also, I'd say the borrowing that the Bush Administration STARTED robbed peter to pay paul and Mark Kirk didn't bat an eyelash!
(Johnny come lately, new kid in town?)

You see, if someone is truly a fiscal conservative, they are skeptical about ALL spending, not just domestic spending (on all Americans).
If someone is against government intervention, they won't run for office, they won't accept government compensation of any kind, and they won't say the Preisdent can do whatever he wants, 'we're at war!' That is a power grab that flies in the face of a balance of powers or states' rights (which Kirk also wants to do away with via national insurance plans).

Finally, tort reform is not THE root cause of healthcare problems.
The switch from non-profit to for-profit health insurance organizations, the loss of (union) jobs where people could afford private insurance, the hidden costs of healthcare (people not knowing how much a drug costs or what their employer pays), and the stagnant, insensitive nature of those in government to the needs of the people.

For people who are supposedly smart business minds, the return on investment vis-a-vis percentage of Americans covered, true life expectancy and quality of life, and the unchecked costs of services regardless of necessity and quality control is unique.

Why should Members of Congress merit healthcare that I pay for via tax dollars and my neighbor down the street, who plays by the rules, doesn't?

Speaking of registering to vote, isn't it illegal to register people to vote while advocating for candidates and positions on issues at the same time? The Lake County GOP did just that. And there are no stipulations that if you use a special form or secret handshake you can get around said rules.

Team America said...

Crazy- some free advice-> you're going to have to cut the manifestos down to a few bullets or no one will get your points b/c no one will read your comments.

Matt said...

Crazy4glf - What Team America really means is that the republicans won't read your comments because they have no interest in the facts.

My free advice: ignore Team America.

Keep up the good fight. I'm proud to be on your side.

Anonymous said...

I've got to agree with Anon on root causes and TA on the Crazy rants...

Noone has more money to communicate and sell this public option plan than the Dems - they gave every special interest group an opportunity to buy a seat at the table in exchange for protecting their group and for an endorsement.

The only group not represented at the table is the people - suck it up - this is going nowhere fast...

Crazy4glf said...

While TA may have a valid point, it is hard to cite quotes, identify facts, and the like (act in a mostly objective manner) without being a bit wordy.

While it is easier and possibly more fun ilk to label, insult, and/or simplify (which occurs often on the TA blog), some things are actually complex!
The idea that people don't have 5 minutes to engage in a conversation that goes beyond sound-bites and incomplete ideas, comments, and suggestions, to me, calls into question how much time I should spend listening to the other side and the strength or weight of the argument you are making. I thought you guys were looking for an honest discussion. Its hard to discuss when the other side either says shut up or talks over you.

To the idea that the Dem's have all this money to fight for healthcare reform: there are about 2-3 lobbyists (with checkbooks in hand) for each member of Congress from the healthcare/health insurance/pharma contingent alone. That costs money most Americans don't have.

Also, to your point about nothing happening. That is not a good thing. Doing nothing will truly cost us more than taking some sort of action. We will still spend a lot on healthcare, not have enough people covered, and not have what many would consider adequate quality of life regardless of our life expectancy.
Careful what you ask for, you might just get it.

Team America said...

Crazy - here's a little help for ya.

LC Truth said...

Crazy...TA is just a bit jealous that there is intellectual dialogue on this site and his site/cite is dedicated to Kirk worship.
Your posts are always well thought out an informative.

Anonymous said...

No worries, Crazy4glf. TA comments about how something is said when he has no response to the substance. His commenters engage in rude, moronic name-calling and wish only to live in the echo-chamber, so you can't blame him if the other side of the story knocks him off his game. Well, actually, you CAN blame him, and I do, vehemently and repeatedly. He's almost as much fun as Ed Sullivan, Jr.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:23 says:

"Noone has more money to communicate and sell this public option plan than the Dems - they gave every special interest group an opportunity to buy a seat at the table in exchange for protecting their group and for an endorsement."

What nonsense! Why then have Pharma and consortiums of health insurers assembled both millions of dollars for ad campaigns in the districts of certain legislators that appear 'soft' on the healthcare plan, and organized disruptors and trumped-up, phony-baloney sob-stories to appear at legislator's town hall meetings?

The most ironic thing for TA is that when the final health care bills are brought to the floor, Kirk will vote for them. He knows there is no other way for him to have a chance to win the senate seat. All the bleeting you hear from him and his minions here and on his blog is just that; meaningless verbalizations of discontent before the wave just washes over them.

Team America said...

My, everyone on this blog is a bit snippy this morning. You have to admit the link I put up was funny. Three days of rain getting everyone down over here? Or it is Obam-essiah's tanking ratings that has everyone so upset?

Anonymous said...

"Obam-essiah"!?!? TA, you're pathetic. Man-up, you puppy.

Anonymous said...

TA - your link is very funny and Anon 8:23, in case you missed it, Pharma is supporting Obamacare...

The GOP is not saying "do nothing", they are suggesting a plan to address the root causes of increased medical care. If you support a solution to simply "cover everybody", we will go bankrupt and fast...

You need to address med mal insurance, defensive medical practices that cost millions of dollars to basically cover the doctors asses and jackpot lawsuits that finance some high rolling PI attorneys that pocket a third of all settlements. If you are unwilling to address those issues, it is my opinion, you are simply defending Obama.

Healthcare reform is fast becoming a national debate with the opposing sides being the people versus the government.

Barney Baxter said...

Hi Anon 8:16,
Good points. However, I have to jump in. I would be seriously surprised if Kirk (or any Republican) votes for any health care bill that makes it to the House floor.

Crazy4glf said...

Anon 9:39
Hi. Does your not wanting to protect PI attorneys mean that the GOP will never put up people like Al Salvi?

Pharma is appearing to support Obama's healthcare initiatives at the lowest cost possible to them.
Given they got quite the gift from the Medicare Reform Act (i.e. no volume discounts), their pittance is just that. Even Holiday Inn has a government rate and no one is yelling bloody murder.

Addressing a comprehensive problem with a singular approach that has not been proven to come close to lowering costs is not what 45 million Americans need. It is not what the entire country needs if we want to avoid skyrocketing healthcare costs that have increased almost 100% in 10 years.

Again, it is unique hearing from the born again fiscal conservatives who approved tax cuts for the rich (spending!), a pre-emptive strike, and the consideration of cutting benefits to vets who were not retroactively dishonorably discharged.

Anonymous said...


I attended a meeting filled with trial lawyers yesterday. And yes, there a small minority of them who are Republicans.

Sleep easy tonight. The trial lawyer associations and their big $$$$ are still in the hip pockets of you Democrats.

They are absolutely thrilled and joyous that Obamacare makes no mention of reforming tort litigation in the field of medicine. And they will continue to show their pleasure with lots and lots of $$$$$$$$$$!

Thought you might like to know. Your spin on the topic is just making you dizzy!

Louis G. Atsaves

Crazy4glf said...

My spin?
An article on Yahoo News reflects that California and Nevada are battling it out to see who is worse for businesses and I believe it was stated that Nevada has significant tort reform. I also beleive that tort reform was attempted in Illinois a few times, though, surprisingly not too often during GOP Governorships or when they led the General Assembly; possibly because the GOP was also in the Trial Lawyers Association's pockets while Al Salvi ran for office (he did run, its not spin).

I believe that the cost of healthcare has not decreased significantly nor is acess to care any better in places like Nevada.

Maybe it is not my spin that tort reform by itself will not solve all healthcare related problems (like health insurance company profit margins, a lack of competition in an otherwise capitalist society, etc.?).
Maybe it is an unwillingness to frankly debate an issue, being open to all sides of a story, and to not want to avoid calling out people like Mark Kirk who take a simplistic, Party-approved approach to comprehensive problems.

Finally, although the GOP rants and raves when unrelated components are added to legislation, somewhat like allowing guns in national parks that they brought about themselves (being in the pockets of the NRA, perhaps?), I think that tort reform at the federal level would usurp states' rights (often a GOP platform, Mark Kirk's plans for national insurance notwithstanding) and need to be addressed in separate legislation.

Anonymous said...

Gee, Louis, perhaps you're one of those $300.00 per hour malpractice defense lawyers that pocket their dough win lose or draw.The AMA's own studies in '06 and '07 clearly show that the defense lawyer excesses both account for significant waste and expense, but and have actually risen at a greater rate than the number of lawsuits filed or the amounts of rewards. I thought America's back-bone was the entrepeneur; the businessman that puts his worth on the line for what they believe in. That sounds like a trial lawyer to me. But how typically Republican of you to point only to the victims and their advocates as the shoulders you seek to carry the burden of more profits for insurance companies. Thanks for that play-book response.

Anonymous said...

So, malpractice defense lawyers would be employed by the insurance companies-so perhaps we need to cap the amount those attorneys can charge.
I love this debate-whatever happened to the notion of doing your job correctly-if you make a mistake you pay-why should the patient be denied compensation for doing nothing wrong-to protect inadequate doctors?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Anon. I'm not a defense lawyer. And that was no defense lawyer meeting I was attending.

One by one, the tired stereotypes put up by Democrats are found wanting around here.

Anyone honestly believe that you can cut medical costs and expand coverage to the uninsured without any tort reform? Oh yeah, Obamacare does!

Perhaps that is one of many reasons as to why the American public is rejecting Obamacare?

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Okay, Louis, I'll bite. Yes, I believe that tort reform and streamlining the cost of healthcare services and delivery are two seperate issues, neither dependent upon each other. Explain why they are, please. But thanks for the partisan diatribe and slogans. Wouldn't want any facts to get in the way of that firmly entrenched opinion of yours.

Anonymous said...

Well Anon, I'm not sure if I'm talking to the same "Anon" but I'll give it a shot. If 10 different Anons answer with 10 different offshoots of what I am posting, I can't help that.

Ordering extra tests before rendering a diagnosis or prescribing surgery, "just to be absolutely sure. Guess what, that costs a significant amount of extra money!

Using back surgery as an example, first there is an x-ray, examination, MRI or CT scan (sometimes both), then an EMG/NCV study. Some doctors still do myelograms or myelograms with CT scans just to triple or quadruple check their original diagnosis. When you take depositions of doctors, many claim that if the MRI or CT scan affirmatively shows a need for surgery, then the EMG/NCV study, myelogram, etc. are superfluous. Many claim all those extra tests instead of one or two represent "defensive" medicine (i.e. protecting yourself from malpractice claims).

In my practice, I see this happening each day as a matter of routine. An insurance company, medicare, medicaid, etc. pays for all those extra tests). In a single pay system, that means you. In a blended system, that also means you would pay part of all those extra tests.

President Obama in touting his Obamacare proposals keeps making references to eliminating extra unneeded testing. Unfortunately, the President makes no reference of tort reforms which would end the expensive costs of "defensive" medicine designed merely to cover one's posterior glutemous maximus in court.

Most Democrats distort "tort reform" into eliminating all lawsuits against doctors/hospitals, etc., a faslehood, and a tactic Republicans have used to distort some health reforms in Obamacare. See, we learn from you! We pay attention to your tactics!

Ball's in your court, Anon.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

The Towers-Perrin Study of the effect of malpractice on overall health care costs places the cost at 1%, based on 2008 nationwide figures. The Congressional Budget Office places the cost at 1.5%. You're actually willing to take from the people, the juries, the right to assess fair and reasonable values to the injuries from malfeasance to save 1 to 1.5%? How 'big-government' of you.
The AHA studied defensive testing in 2007 and have another study going now. Their original findings are that only 2% of all referred diagnostic tests have any corelation to malpractice or legal proceedings. More importantly, less than one 10th of 1% of all such testing is directly related to any legal consideration. Anecdotes just don't tell the tale. In the real world, this is just a hyped scare-tactic. Physicians are more likely to order a referred test solely because there is a billing opportunity for such test.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the Towers-Perrin Study and the Congressional Budget Office numbers is that they only count up the costs of lawsuits filed.

They do not take into account the scenerio I posted earlier.

You want big government? Go with Obamacare!

Ball back in your court.

Louis G. Atsaves

Crazy4glf said...

The Republicans failed to address tort reform during the 6 years they 'led' Congress and the 8 years Bush was in the White House.
Why is tort reform so urgent now that the Dem's have the majority and the White House?
I will tell you why. Its a distraction. It is unique that Grassley and Enzi are negotiating healthcare reform when they want nothing to do with a vote on healthcare reform. Why should they? They have 'socialized' medicine for life!

The fact of the matter is that when most states addressed tort reform they did so as an issue unto itself, not as a way to fix problems with health insurance per se.

Also, as I've said before, its hard to believe the GOP is in favor of tort reform when so many of them are personal injury attorneys like Al Salvi who ran for public office and may do so again or a member of his LAW FIRM.

Full disclosure: this is one reason I was not a supporter of John Edwards.

Of course, if the Repubs wouldn't make the product recall system VOLUNTARY, provide patent protections to organizations that evade the under-funded CPSC regulations, and there was a bottom-up approach by the GOP once in awhile, there wouldn't be the need for malpractice and product liability lawsuits.
There's another insight you GOP'ers can evade and talk around!

Anonymous said...

See Anon, you are missing the point.

Your sloganeering can be turned against you in a heartbeat. You Democrats now have had nearly nine months to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whatsamatter? You have had nearly nine months to fix the economy and find jobs for everyone. Whatsamatter?

We can play that game forever and resolve nothing, or we can put aside stupid sloganeering that both parties engage in and demand real reforms of issues troubling this nation.

Your choice. What do you want to do?

Tort reform is hard, just like health reform is hard, and reforming government through stronger ethics is hard. Those pushing such issues use them as a hot button to sway voters. To really reform is hard work. The Springfield Democrats miserably failed in their "Landmark" Ethics reforms to the point where they asked the accidental Governor to veto their work so they could "start all over." What was the problem there? Their sloganeering and labeling failed to mask their failure to tackle the problem and resolve it.

Obamacare will go down in a ball of flames for the same reason as tort reform stalls out. True reform requires work, effort and study, not sloganeering on both sides. Ram something through Congress that is all hot air, sloganeering and filled with protections for special interests, and you will have an unhappy nation.

Right now there is only sloganeering in this State and in this Nation.

The funny part is that GOP members want reform in health care and other issues. But the sloganeers claim that the GOP is the party of "no" with no new ideas, conveniently ignoring all the GOP proposals out there on the subject. They are out there, stuck in committees, or being ridiculed like Kirk's. Of course, the "No New Ideas" sneerers contradict themselves when they attack something like the Kirk plan, but they will never figure that out so we will let them stay on their own little planet and humor them.

And proclaiming health care as a "right" is also sloganeering, just like home ownership is a "right." Or maybe "was" a "right" but now much more diffult to obtain. The mortgage, foreclosure, and banking crisis resulted from the "homeownership is a right" sloganeering. How did that one work out for this Nation?

Do it right and it will work. Do it wrong (like Obamacare) and it will not.

Some folks laughed when I demanded everyone raise the level of debate and keep the name calling and sloganeering out of it here and at another blog site.

They can continue to laugh. Because they of both parties are part of the problem, and are not part of any solutions.

Ball back in your court!

Louis G. Atsaves

Joe said...

You Democrats now have had nearly nine months to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whatsamatter? You have had nearly nine months to fix the economy and find jobs for everyone. Whatsamatter?

You're kidding, right Louis? Please tell me you're kidding.

First of all, it has technically been only 7 months & 11 days since Jan. 20th, 2009.

Secondly, it's going to take a hell of a lot longer than that to clean up the mess left after 12 years of Republican rule in Congress & 8 years of a really bad administration that did away will oversight regulation in economic policies & took us into an illegal & immoral war that has cost us almost $905,000,000,000 since 2001.

And comparing the right of health care to the right to home ownership is completely ludicrous. George Bush's (proud parent of the mortgage crisis) rhetoric and policy centered on an 'Ownership Society' that wasn't just verbiage, it was policy. Indeed, after the catastrophic job losses of his first term, expanding home ownership was the one bright spot Team Rove could point to in an otherwise dismal picture. Expanding home ownership by any means necessary was Bush administration policy until roughly Spring of 2008. A White House Fact Sheet titled America's Ownership Society: Expanding Opportunities amplifies the point that risky mortgages were the implicit foundation of the administration's approach. A White House Fact Sheet titled "America's Ownership Society: Expanding Opportunities" amplifies the point that risky mortgages were the implicit foundation of the administration's approach.

As for health care, how sure are you that you won't be denied coverage for some unexpected health catastrophe that befalls you or your family? How sure are you that you won't be dropped from your policy as a result of that? How sure are you that you won't lose that lovely home you have in Lake Forest because you have to pay your medical bills? What will you do then, Louis?

Joe said...

Sorry that I repeated myself when discussing Bush's risky mortgages plan. Guess I got carried away with just how bad it was.

BTW, if anyone wants to find out the facts about health care, check here.

Anonymous said...

Louis, you just threw the ball into a different court. Your need to back out of one issue and try to scoot to another evinces the lack of intellectual integrity rampant throughout our Lake County GOPers. Your anecdote said nothing as to the need for medical malpractice reform. I know a little about orthopedic surgery and when anyone is cutting a back, prudence requires as many diagnostic tests as possible, because bad results in spinal surgery are generally really bad. That's the thing about anecdotes and micro statistics; you can find them to support any position on the compass. But it's most telling that you try and shift to a whole other set of issues. I'll see that as conceding the utter seperation between medical malpractice reform and healthcare reform. The Republicans are just using that as a roadblock, rather than offering reasonable and workable solutions of your own. You really are the party of 'NO'.

Matt said...

The Republican Theme Song...with sincere apologies to Groucho.

Crazy4glf said...

Bush had 8 years to screw the country up, had no opposition, and we were told that to disagree was unpatriotic and almost against the law, by the very same people that didn't wait a day to disagree with anything that didn't come from Rush and Steele.

You say that Repubs want healthcare reform, then use a pejorative to describe what the President -'the one we're supposed to respect and give him a chance' so the GOP told us not so long ago- has attempted to shape or initiate a conversation toward. Which is it? It is not like the President has said this is how it has to be or that the President ignores polls and the needs of the average citizen like the previous one did.

Kirk isn't promoting healthcare reform. He's promoting tort reform which the Repubs have failed to pursue at the federal level when they were in charge. The two are not joined at the hip.

It is hard for some of us to look at the GOP as fiscal conservatives when they approved and failed to wind-down an expensive and unnecessary war (while cutting taxes and wasting Justice Department funds on 'opinions' not worth the paper they were printed on). Also, if Obama yanked all troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan - outside your unique world - the Repubs would blame him for that too. It would also mean that Obama is fixing the way in which the wars were fought for the last 6+ years.

Considering that the Repubs already have their own health insurance, see their speaking engagement fees increase when they go out of office, and go to work at lobbying firms like Dick Armey, why are we to believe Repubs want healthcare reform, Louis?

Its sure not from the plethora of tangible, relevant proposals we're seeing from the Right side of the aisle.

Yes there were tea parties centuries ago, but sooner or later the grass-roots Colonists got it together and banded against a powerful aristocracy that had its own recognized faith (Regents University, CBN, Vitter and Sanford's professed faith, and McCain's being a Christian viewed as 'a key component to being a candidate for President'), high taxation that didn't pay for much west of the Atlantic, and people who didn't represent them in any sense of the word.

Do you really want to go down that road? If so, I'd say the Repubs are looking more like the Royalty in England that was eventually overthrown on our shores of, for, and by the people.

The country that the Repubs want has nothing to do with our nation's founding, the needs of the overwhelming majority of Americans who don't have the ability to refuse Congressional healthcare (although no Repub has utilized this right!!!!), and will be far worse than the gains we're already seeing with the stimulus package and programs like cash for clunkers and appliances.

Careful what ya wish for. We all might get it ):

Anonymous said...

"The country that the Repubs want has nothing to do with our nation's founding, the needs of the overwhelming majority of Americans who don't have the ability to refuse Congressional healthcare (although no Repub has utilized this right!!!!), and will be far worse than the gains we're already seeing with the stimulus package and programs like cash for clunkers and appliances."

Oh my!

Crazy, you and your pals just confirmed the point I was making. And bribing people with money that the government doesn't have so folks can spend money they don't have to spend money to revive the economy? Sheesh! How utterly Rezko of you folks! (See, I can sloganeer and name call just like you folks can! :-)

When you want to really discuss issues of the day, I'm pretty easy to find.

If you want to sloganeer and infer utter nonsense, then remember, I can do it too. The difference is I know when I'm doing it, you seem to not know when you are doing it.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Well Louis, here's the thing. We have been discussing the "issues of the day" but you keep talking in circles. My, what fun you must be in a court room.

Frankly, I've got better things to do with my time than to waste it with you & your stupidity.

Oh yeah, and bummer about that new Kirk Condoms ad on immigration. Kirk is looking about as sane as Lou Dobbs.

Joe said...

That photo of Mark "Bush" Kirk is enough of a downer to end all romance.

Anonymous said...

Mark: I agree, be careful what you wish for or how you perceive things. In a little over three years it will be the Democrats fault and Obama's fault that the county is still in a mess. What then? Somehow blame it on the Republicans?
I think alot of members on both sides don't really want reform, but they want to have a nice resume when they run again for office.

Anonymous said...

The MSM has picked up on that ad. Too bad Kirk never used the word "condum" and the MSM is portraying that ad as a lie. Waste of money. Perhaps that organization could have purchased some healthcare insurance for some they claim to represent instead of blowing all that cash on lies no one is paying attention to?

Sloganeering and namecalling at its worst, compliments of a Democratic leaning organization.

Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!

Again, when you are REALLY ready to talk politics without the nonsense sloganeering and namecalling, just track me down. I'm easy to find. I post with my real name and do not hide behind an alias.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...


Thanks for going back to your name-calling and 'all Democrats are bad' themes and giving up on your medical malpractice reform yada-yada. In the land of the big-dogs, we refer to arguements like yours as 'meritricious' and find their use a character flaw. So just move on, Sunny-Jim. Good day.

Anonymous said...

Nice try Anon.

I was commenting on the Democratic leaning organization and their name calling and fibs.

Some one pointed out to me that Columnist Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun-Times, no friend of Republicans is he, agrees with me on that point. Today's newspaper. Today's column.

Tsk, tsk, tsk!

Louis G. Atsaves

Crazy4glf said...

When it comes to spending money we don't have (why not - China's loaded, Mr. BUSH and Mr. KIRK), have you heard of the Bush tax cuts (a form of government SPENDING) and the unnecessary war in Iraq where Halliburton & others received contracts despite barely providing 2/3's of what they were obligated to provide?
That kind of help my friends and the VP get rich spending is fine with you Louis. Its just the spending on healthcare, education, and the environment, that you are against. You're not alone. There are a lot of Repubs - I call them born again fiscal conservatives - that are right there with you.

I know you can 'utter nonsense' and you haven't spared us from it. Your words - not mine. Again, from the previous President, to Sanford, to Kirk's approach to healthcare reform, its either nonsense, hypocritical, or unrelated.

As for me on the other hand, my comments have been based on actual news reports about GOP'ers not refusing their health insurance, about hypocritical GOP'ers who want the government involved in preventing certain healthcare decisions (Schiavo, women's health) though also don't want the government involved in anything (kill your own chickens?),
and about how the Repubs were never about compromise - not under Nixon, Reagan, Bush (x2) and not with regard to Grassley and Enzi.

Its hard to negotiate with people who pejoratively refer to the healthcare reform they are trying to implement and who perpetuate previously debunked myths most of us knew were false when they were first uttered by GOP Members of Congress.

When you guys want to stop grand-standing and being pleased with 'media coups' our door is now and always has been open, contrary to what Mr. Alexander stated.

Anonymous said...

"Its just the spending on healthcare, education, and the environment, that you are against."

Are you talking about smart spending or just plain old out of control break the bank until the nation is broke and bankrupt type of spending? Because claiming that Republicans are plain against healthcare, education and the environment is hyperactive sloganeering at its worst. This is the type of "political debate" that I have decried over and over in this thread, but you folks just can't help yourselves.

Funny, you throw Bush and others in my face, and I can respond with Blagojevich, Stroger and a bunch of other Democrats you folks rather would not want to admit to knowing, but then again, that is sloganeering Crazy4glf, and not political debate.

And with regards to your statement that "As for me on the other hand, my comments have been based on actual news reports . . . " LOL!

Thanks for allowing me to go to bed tonight with a smile!

You WERE kidding, right? Right?

Louis G. Atsaves

Joe said...

OK, Louis, why don't you tell us just exactly what you are for?

Let's start with one issue.

Do you want health care reform? What exactly does that reform include?

Ground rules: stick to the subject & don't use Republican talking points.

BTW, this is in an effort to have a meaningful dialog that might possibly lead to better understanding. I'm sick & tired of the culture of divisiveness that has permeated our political discussions locally & nationally. This isn't a freaking game we're playing here. We're literally talking about matters of life & death.

Anonymous said...

Come on-no one here wants meaningful dialogue. All we hear from both sides is "Bush immoral war" or "Stroger and company." This is a blog site-posters jump up and down to inflame their side, with no real substance. Both Mark and Louis are at fault.

Anonymous said...

"Ground rules: stick to the subject & don't use Republican talking points."

Whose ground rules are these? And asking if a Republican is REALLY for health care reform is a DEMOCRATIC TALKING POINT! :-)

Revise your ground rules and we'll talk. But straight talk only, none of the WHATSAMATTA WITH YOUSE REPUBLICANS nonsense.

At least someone around here is trying. Maybe there truly is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Louis G. Atsaves

Matt said...

Louis wants to call the shots. Typical. Someone reaches out to him to have a civil discussion & he gets pissy about it.

That's the Republican way. You're wasting your time trying, Joe. It's their way or no way. No compromise, no compassion, no reasoning.

Oh, and Louis: I'm not giving you my full name because I don't trust you one bit. How do I know you won't hunt me down with your thugs?

Crazy4glf said...

"Thanks for allowing me to go to bed with a smile on my face:"

45 million people don't have health insurance. FACT.

We spend the most of civilized nations and get the least in return. (outcomes, percentage of covered Americans, administrative costs and a lack of competition in the private market). FACT

Health insurance companies used to be not-for-profits. Now each of their CEO's incomes can support multiple small businesses. FACT.
Related to this, the Bush-initiated bailout(s) did not prevent financial organization CEO's from reaping huge profits for poor performance (Did I miss this in capitalism 101?)

We could decrease costs by covering more people and not paying $3 per Tylenol tablet (those of us who are insured) and not have as many people with advanced, expensive conditions. FACT. Isn't this the morally superior way to go, Mr. High and Mr. Mighty?

Some are striving for compromise, the greater good, and sensible reform (McCain SAID he was for all kinds of reform) and others are complaining because the President is going to speak to our children in public schools.
Choose your battles people, there's too much muck created by Bush and company to resolve!

As I've said before, if the Repubs would have always been fiscal conservatives, if they did not prioritize their so-called social conservative initiatives over safety and well-equipped troops, if they appeared to negotiate in good faith; maybe they'd be more credibible, maybe they'd be taken seriously, maybe we wouldn't be skeptical about everything they said.

Keep smiling when 50 million people are uninsured.
Keep smiling when Public Enemy Number 1 for years under Bush is still free.
Keep smiling when America no longer manufactures anything.
Keep smiling when hateful speech, myth, and untoward (marital?) behavior is taken as par for the course.

Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite. Of course, you probably have insurance so maybe you'd prefer to. Its just that you don't want others to afford a basic necessity. If you're not compassionate and are not conservative, what are you?

Anonymous said...

Let's see where we are at right now shall we?

The "ground rules" by the anonymous (not so brave) posters call for no "Republican Talking Points" but allow for "Democratic Talking Points." Sorry boys (or girls). Not biting. Play fair or not at all.

Now someone fears "thugs" if he outs himself. There are piles of police reports of Republican "thugs" beating up on poor hapless Democrats in Lake County - NOT! If you are too afraid to debate, just back away!

And that "Crazy" fellow rips off a series of Democratic talking points to claim a start to a debate. Crazy doesn't get it.

Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! And you wonder why the debate on Obamacare has gone badly for you?

When you are ready to play and debate fair, let me know. You know where to find me.

Louis G. Atsaves

Matt said...

Hey Louis, do you get that feeling that nobody here really cares about you & your right-wingnut opinions anymore?

Crazy4glf said...

Let's see, debate and play fair. Myths being perpetuated as recently as last Saturday (Enzi?), Mr. Alexander stating that the President doesn't know how to engage in a bi-partisan manner though news reports reflect quite the opposite, and our being told that GOP'er's are all about compromise and moral superiority when we've seen nothing of the sort for at least a year.

I don't receive or lend much credence to Dem or GOP talking points.

It is a fact that by covering more people, less is spent subsidizing care for under-insured and uninsured patients - YOU HAVE FEWER OF THEM?! This subsidy comes via those with private insurance being billed more than may be necessary and the government paying providers in hard-pressed areas more money to care for uninsured and under-insured people.

When Blue Cross covers at least 70% of people in one state - let's say Illinois - and others, when not engaging in back-dating of stock options, are behaving just like BC/BS, this is not a free market. This is where employers and employees are forced to bear the brunt of excessive executive compensation, a lack of choice, and insurance companies that lose sight of their own mission.

I've been waiting for GOP'ers to quit complaining, quit distracting, and enter into an open, genuine debate about the issues without contradicting themselves via fund-raising email, radio address, and town-hall.

I think Rep. Jenkins told a constituent to pursue S-Chip which does not cover the single mother herself, when Ms. Jenkins voted against S-chip's continuation, and when she couldn't stop laughing. This to me says, S-chip isn't good enough for me to vote for but someone who's vote I want isn't worthy of anything close to the insurance I have.

Anonymous said...

Crazy says: "I don't receive or lend much credence to Dem or GOP talking points."

And then he spews out a whole bunch more of Democratic talking points. LOL!

Louis G. Atsaves

Crazy4glf said...

What don't you agree with?
If there's an organization that has a disproportionate market share, that's not a free market (the bastion of the GOP), that doesn't ensure consumer costs are reasonable, (apparently high costs are not a concern of yours) and that doesn't place a market-based check on the organization.

For example, How many flights are there to a certain city at O'Hare given United and American's dominance and their current cuts in service? How much does this lack of choice cost each of us?

Were you NOT aware that some hospitals are paid a premium for the uninsured and under-insured care they provide? If we cover more people and prevent issues or treat them early, isn't that MORALLY BETTER and less expensive over time?

Were you not aware of the objective, peer-reviewed studies that reflect people without insurance who become eligible for Medicare have higher expenses once eligible than people who are covered (Medicaid and private insurance)? Are peer-reviewed journals part of Hannity's alleged vast liberal conspiracy?

If I try to discuss something using quotes, facts, and logic (not to mention the avoidance of labels and insults) and the person I'm trying to discuss it with hides behind 'you're using talking points,' 'you are crazy,' or without responding in-kind, is it worth compromise, a respectful debate, or inclusion?

GOP'er's have code words. Like when Bush said compromise, it meant his way or the highway (i.e. negotiating on torture with Sen. McCain). When the current crop says inclusion or work together, it means prioritize their top issues and let everything else including the fact that we currently spend $1-2 Trillion per year if we do nothing be darned.