Anti-Health Reform Racism: Not Just Wrong, But Stupid


Last week, when I wrote
about the birther phenomenon
and its parallels to the anti-choice movement,
the phenomenon was still largely relegated to email lists and mainstream media
interviews with wide-eyed conspiracy theorists. 
It was alarming because it’s so
widespread and so obviously rooted in a need to express racist contempt
towards
Barack Obama and his parents’ interracial relationship, but it didn’t seem like
it would grow much bigger.  Well,
obviously I didn’t draw a strong enough parallel between the birthers and the
anti-choice movement. If I’d been paying attention to my own ideas, I would
have realized that as anti-choicers’ frustration with their daily lack of
control over women’s bodies erupts into violence, so too would birther
frustration over the perceived loss of control over the reins of power enjoyed
by white people for the entirety of our nation’s history. 

There’s not a formal link between the birther conspiracy
theory and the mobs that are trying to shut down discussion about health care
reform–and not-so-subtly sending the signal that they are flirting with resorting
to violence in order to stop it–but it’s not a coincidence that the birther
energy rolled up into this mob scene, or that the leaders pushing the birther
line are also encouraging
mobs of right wingers to shut down town halls by being disruptive.
  Unsurprisingly, these mobs have turned
violent, something anyone who’s dealt with the anti-choice protestors could
have told you was inevitable. Right
wing mobs have broken out in violence in Tampa, FL and St. Louis, MO
.  Journalists, union
activists,
and Democrats, who are the perennial favorite villains of right
wing talk radio, seem to be favorite targets for violence and threats.

Looking back over the timeline of the growing volume in
birther conspiracy theories that rolled up into mobs threatening and delivering
violence, it’s easy enough to see what instigating issue activated the right
wing, furious about its loss of power. 
Oh, they’ve been angry and right wing violence has been on the rise,
with domestic terrorism incidents that include the murder of Dr. George
Tiller.  But there’s organization and
momentum where there wasn’t much before, and as
Sara Robinson points out,
the leadership has been more overtly enabling and
cheerleading conspiracy theorists and right wing disruption mobs than they have
before – all in the service of hamstringing health care reform.

As I argued in last week’s column, the birther movement is a
way for the huge percentages of Americans harboring blatantly racist beliefs to
express racist sentiments without coming right out and saying things that are
considered racist now, like using racial slurs or expressing disapproval of
interracial relationships.  Every time a
birther engages in spreading the conspiracy theory, he gets to subtly freak out
over the fact that Obama has a white mother and a black father, as well as
imply that African-Americans have no right to claim the office of the
Presidency. 

Meanwhile, the opposition to health care reform has taken on
a racist tone that can only be denied by the people who require someone to be
wearing a hood before they’ll admit it’s racism.  I’ve long been a proponent of the idea that
one reason that Americans don’t have universal health care already–unlike
every other industrialized Western nation–is that enough white people in power
are so unwilling to share with non-white people that they’d rather go without
than share.  History would certainly
indicate this is the case. Ta-Neishi
Coates pointed out that New Deal had to exclude black people to get passed,

for instance.  Under Johnson, the social
safety grew expansively, and conservative anger about the Civil Rights Act
blended with conservative anger about social spending.  After decades of overtly racist rhetoric
against welfare, opponents were able to scale it down to nothing. 

Paul
Krugman agrees that the birther thing plus the revolt against health care
reform are part of one big mish mash.
 
Pointing out that at least half of the mob at one event were on
"socialized" health care–Medicare–demonstrating that their opposition to it
is opposition to other people
getting guaranteed health care, Krugman argues:

But they’re probably reacting less
to what Mr. Obama is doing, or even to what they’ve heard about what he’s
doing, than to who he is.

That is, the driving force behind
the town hall mobs is probably the same cultural and racial anxiety that’s
behind the "birther" movement, which denies Mr. Obama’s citizenship.

I’d say that’s exactly what it is. According to research done by
the Kaiser Family Foundation,
low-income and uninsured Americans are far
more likely to be members of a racial minority than Americans with insurance.
This fact should surprise no one, and I’m sure that the
teabaggers/birthers/cute-nickname-for-right-wingers showing up at town hall
events are instinctively aware of how much universal health care will benefit
communities of color.  And they’re not
having it. 

It’s frustrating, not just because racism is wrong, but
because it’s stupid.  It trips up my
corny meter to say this, but it’s important. We all do better if we all do
better.  I’m better off if my neighbors
have access to health care, from a strictly selfish perspective.  I want to live in a society that’s productive
and healthy, where disease doesn’t spread unchecked because we’ve written off
huge sectors of our society based on race and class.  I look at these right wing mobs and I think
that they just must think that doing the right thing morally (rejecting racism,
getting health care for everyone) must somehow exact a cost from them.  But the truth is the opposite.  Racism prevents you from seeing how much we
all rely on each other, and therefore how we all do better if we make sure the
most vulnerable amongst us have their basic right to housing, nutrition, and
health care met.

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  • invalid-0

    If there’s any -ism behind the opposition to health care reform, I would say it’s individualism. In other words, people are selfish. As long as they get theirs, they don’t care about anyone else. These people seem scared that their health care quality might drop a bit, or that taxes might go up a bit. They’re scared that others might get something for nothing. It doesn’t matter that the US system is all kinds of broken and considered an example of what not to do among other industrialized nations, or that society at large might benefit. No, what’s paramount is that no one gets anything that they didn’t pay for themselves.

  • amanda-marcotte

    The selfish choice is actually to support universal health care, because it will lower prices and make it easier for individuals to do things like change jobs without losing health insurance.  Everyone—outside of the very few who feel 100% secure in careers they love—could use it.  But what we have is the "I’ll sleep in mud if they sleep in shit" mentality going on here.  The protesters are actively hostile to more people getting health insurance at this point. They have convinced themselves they’ll lose something if others gain, to justify their meanness, but at the heart of it, it’s just pure nastiness for its own sake.

  • invalid-0

    Brilliant analysis, Amanda. I’ve been struggling to understand what exactly these people are so afraid of with health-care reform, but I didn’t think to make the connection to racist anxieties. Yet it makes so much sense! Thanks for writing this, and giving me a better frame for understanding what’s happening.

  • invalid-0

    It seems like the people who resist the racism tag are thinking primarily about racism as an individual rather than layered, systemic problem.
    Are you familiar with Patricia Hill Collins? I really appreciate her discussion of the Domains-of-Power framework as a teaching tool to get people out of the “stuck on the individual level” mindset.

  • invalid-0

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/11/a-district-office-for-represen/

    I’m sure someone’s going to say that it was done by liberals trying to frame conservatives, though.

  • invalid-0

    It is truly a sad and unfortunate event that our first elected minority President has turned out to be so horribly bad for our country. His policies, not his race, are the problem. To his credit he has not played the race card though many of his supporters are quick to do so rather than form rationale arguements.

    The problem is not reforming health care, we all agree on that, it’s the particulars of the bills currently in Congress. They both contain several elements any of which alone would be a show stopper. Other, truly bipartisan, plans have been developed but, of course, never got out of Committee.

    If you truly wish to make informed decisions, it’s an easy matter to obtain the actual text of the bills as they stand now.

    I doubt you’ll bother to do so, but if you do can you please explain why they contain the following?

    full coverage for illegal aliens at no expense to them;
    taxpayer picks up the tab.
    full coverage for union members and family again at the
    taxpayers’ expense.
    full covearage for ACORN, Americorps, others at taxpayer
    expense. As well as monthly payments to these groups for
    undefined administrative tasks.
    allow for federal funding of abortion on demand.

    These are not race issues, they are blatant payback to groups who supported his election. And a tremendous insult to those of us expected to pay for them without question.

    • silviahall

      I just sick and tired of listening and reading about the same lies regarding the health house health care bill.  I am sorry to disappoint your but those items you mention are not in that bill; they might be in your imaginary House Health Care on whenever planed you spend most of your time (I just love this line), because you people seem to be in another reality (maybe you have watched too many SG-1 episodes – I used to watch them too but SG-1 was a TV show, so I am able to differentiate TV show and reality).

      I want a choice, if you want to pay high premiums so insurance companies can keep their profits up, go ahead and do it.  I do not wish to do so. 

       

  • graceyd

    People who are worried about the healthcare reform should prepare for a Reality Check. The reality check has been published by the website Reality Check, which is part of the Obama administrations’ PR department. The issues it addresses are the complaints of the naysayers – like rationing, which won’t happen, or seniors getting euthanized. Which can’t happen, either – it’s only legal in a few states, and can’t be even suggested by a physician unless asked specifically by the patient. A lot of squawking it going to continue over the health care debate, and it appears that nothing, Reality Check testimonials from White House officials, reading the bill itself, or cheap loans, will make the conspiracy theorists pipe down.

  • invalid-0

    Not everyone that are against different details of the bill are racist just many of the ignorant and belligerent ones that show up to the townhall meeting that shout racist/ignorant things and start fist fights and call in threats and spray paint Nazi symbols on people’s property. So if you are not one these people then the author is not talking about you. Do you defend these people’s inappropriate actions?

  • http://www.sixthromeo.com invalid-0

    I belonged to a military “reunion” group of fellows who served in the US Air Force Security Service at a place in Germany. Most members served pretty much between 1949 and 1960, old enough to be my father’s age. The amount of racist comments posted on the site between the time of the 2008 presidential campaign and this health care reform debate grow on a daily basis. The disinformation passed, posted in words and graphics is alarming. Their anger against the nation electing Obama as President causes them not to listen to any reason nor any truth. The offensive, incendiary nature of their posts is disconcerting and insulting. I once had respect for these members of the Air Force, learning of their severe “learning disabilities” caused me to disassociate from these racists, bigots and hypocrites

  • invalid-0

    You say that you are against Obama’s policies because they have “turned out to be so horribly bad for our country.” However, you cite as objectionable policies, things that are not even in any possible version of the bill. “Abortion on demand…”,”full coverage for ACORN members?” Where are you getting this stuff? That isn’t in the bills. If it is show it to me. Reply to my reply with a reputable source showing that this is in a possible version of the bill. I don’t know if the anti-healthcare reform movement is primarily racist or not. I am sure that there are things in the bill that will need to be ironed out and difficult choices will have to be made. The current system is not working. Costs are skyrocketing with no end in sight. That not withstanding, this over the top reaction against health care reform is bordering on fanaticism and could lead to dangerous consequences. I do believe that some portion of the anti-healthcare movement is racist. I’m not sure what per centage but I am sure some of it is. Regardless, if you are going to be against something, you should be against it for what is… not what someone told you it is off of the street.

  • emma

    You do understand that a lot of ‘illegal aliens’ (which is a disgusting term; why not say ‘undocumented immigrants’, which at least doesn’t connote non-humanity) do, in fact, pay taxes, right? Oh wait, I guess you don’t know that.

    The fact that you use the anti-choice jargon phrase ‘abortion on demand’ suggests that you’re of a certain undesirable political persuasion, so I wouldn’t really expect any better. The phrase is meant to evoke images of stampeding hordes of women at 38 weeks’ gestation crashing through reproductive health clinics ‘demanding’ abortions because they’re bored with pregnancy or took 38 weeks to decide they wanted to terminate their pregnancies. Those flighty, silly, indecisive, selfish women! They just can’t make up their feeble little minds! That’s the intended implication.

    ‘Illegal aliens’. ‘Abortion on demand’. Wingnut phraseology.

  • invalid-0

    Where do I get this stuff?? Well, right out of the plans posted on Congressional website. Here’s the truth of HR3200 as it stands today. No editing, no spin, see for yoursleves what this bill says.

    Would you like me to post a link to download it? And the Senate version also?

    ACORN coverage, and similar organizations, is called out in Sec 164, page 164. It also applies to union members and their families. And they don’t pay, we do for them.

    Section 152, pg 54 gives illegal aliens full rights to the system and lines 1 -3 on page 170 state they don’t pay a dime, taxpayers pay their way.

    And yes, abortions are not excluded in the language though an ammendment to do so was introduced and voted down.

    Page and line numbers for each objection:

    Pg 22 of the Health Care Bill mandates that the Govt will audit the books of all employers that self insure
    Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill – Establishes a Govt committee that decides what treatments/benefits you get
    Pg 29 lines 4-16 – Rationing of health care
    Pg 42 – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your benefits for you. You have no choice
    PG 50 Section 152 – Health Care will be provided to all non US citizens, illegal or otherwise
    Pg 58 – Govt will have real-time access to individuals’ finances & a National ID Healthcard will be issued
    Pg 59 lines 21-24 – Govt will have direct access to your bank accounts for elective funds transfer
    PG 65 Sec 164 – This is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in community orgs (ACORN).
    Pg 72 Lines 8-14 – Govt is creating an Health Care Exchange to bring private plans under Govt control.
    PG 84 Sec 203 – Govt mandates all benefit pkgs for private plans be in the Govt health care exchange
    PG 85 Line 7 – Specifics for Benefit Levels for Plans = The Govt will ration your Healthcare
    PG 91 Lines 4-7 – Govt mandates “linguistic appropriate services.” Translation: for illegal aliens
    Pg 95 Lines 8-18 – The Govt will use groups (i.e., ACORN & Americorps) to sign up individuals for Govt plan
    PG 85 Line 7 – Specifics of Benefit Levels for Plans. (#AARP members – your care will be rationed)
    PG 102 Lines 12-18 – Medicaid Eligible Individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice.
    pg 124 lines 24-25 – No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No “judicial review” against Govt Monopoly
    pg 127 Lines 1-16 – Doctors/ #AMA – The Govt will set compensation for you
    Pg 145 Line 15-17 – An Employer must automatically enroll employees into Govt plan
    Pg 126 Lines 22-25 – Employers must pay for health care for part time employees AND their families.
    Pg 149 Lines 16-24 – Any Employer with a payroll of 400k & above who does not provide public option pays an 8% tax on all payroll
    pg 150 Lines 9-13 – Any employer with a payroll between 251k & 400k who doesn’t provide public option pays a 2-6% tax on all payroll
    Pg 167 Lines 18-23 – Any individual who doesn’t have acceptable Health Care according to the Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income
    Pg 170 Lines 1-3 – Any nonresident Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay)
    Pg 195 – Officers & employees of Health Care Administration of Govt will have access to all Americans financial and personal records
    PG 203 Line 14-15 – “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax” Yes, it says that
    Pg 239 Line 14-24 – Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected
    Pg 241 Line 6-8 – Doctors, doesn’t matter what specialty you have, you’ll all be paid the same
    PG 253 Line 10-18 – Govt sets value of Doctor’s time, professional judgment, etc.
    PG 265 Sec 1131- Govt mandates & controls productivity for private Health Care industries
    PG 268 Sec 1141 – Govt regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs
    PG 272 SEC. 1145 – Controls treatment given at Cancer hospitals – Cancer patients – Welcome to rationing
    Page 280 Sec 1151 – The Govt will penalize hospitals for what Govt deems preventable readmissions
    Pg 298 Lines 9-11 – Doctors that treat a patient during initial admission that results in a readmission will be penalized
    Pg 317 L 13-20 – Prohibition on ownership/investment. Govt tells Doctors what/how much they can own.
    Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 – Prohibition on expansion- Govt is mandating hospitals cannot expand
    pg 321 2-13 – Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception to expansion rule, but “community input” (ie, ACORN) required.
    Pg 341 Lines 3-9 – Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Advanced Plans, HMOs, etc., forcing people into Govt plan
    Pg 354 Sec 1177 – Govt will restrict enrollment of Special needs people.
    Pg 379 Sec 1191 – Govt creates more bureaucracy – Telehealth Advisory Committee. (Health Care by phone)
    PG 425 Lines 4-12 – Govt mandates Advance Care Planning Consultations. Senior Citizens must meet with Govt representatives on a regular basis (more often if ill) to discuss “end of life” issues
    Pg 425 Lines 17-19 – Govt will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney. Mandatory!
    PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 – Govt provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in death
    PG 427 Lines 15-24 – Govt mandates program for orders for end of life. The Govt has a say in how your life ends
    Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An “Advance care planning consult” will be used frequently as patients health deteriorates
    PG 429 Lines 10-12 “Advance care consultation” may include an order for end of life plans.
    Pg 429 Lines 13-25 – The govt will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.
    PG 430 Lines 11-15 – The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life
    Pg 469 – Community Based Home Medical Services (ACORN Medical Svcs)
    Page 472 Lines 14-17 – Monthly payments to community-based organizations (ACORN)
    PG 489 Sec 1308 – The Govt will cover Marriage & Family therapy. Which means they will insert Govt into your marriage
    Pg 494-498 Govt will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, rationing those svcs.

    There’s more but surely you get the point by now.

    Has nothing to do with race, that’s a sohpmoric excuse for having no explanation for what’s in these bills. Personally, I don’t know one single person, of any race, who is in favor of these bills. Health care reform, yes. In a rational, transparent, open to reasonable debate forum.

    I wonder, do you also believe that we have only 4 months left to avoid destruction of the planet as UN said today?

  • invalid-0

    Well, sounds like you’ve just about made it impossible for anyone to challenge this bill without getting themselves accused of racism. So lets consider something that never discriminates, cancer. Regardless of race or gender we should all be concerned about cancer. The best way to fight cancer? I would say its preventative care, mamograms, colon cancer screenings etc. Where do you go to get that kind of preventative care? Well, not Canada or Europe. You stay right here. Regardless of race or gender, Americans are more likely to survive almost any kind of cancer there is. This can be traced to the fact that we are much more able to access mamograms, pap smears and other cancer detecting tests. Most of us do have health insurance and if we don’t, we almost certainly qualify for medicaid. Certainly our system isn’t perfect but dismanteling the best healthcare system in the world is a pretty radical plan; certainly one worthy of debate.

  • colleen

    Regardless of race or gender, Americans are more likely to survive almost any kind of cancer there is.

    Sorry Cmarie, this just isn’t true for low income workers. Preventative care for those who don’t have health insurance or are what we are now calling “underinsured” is prohibitively expensive. I’ve had three friends die from undiagnosed cancers and one from undiagnosed diabetes in the past year. Despite the fact that republicans and blue dogs are fond of saying that ‘the poor’ have access to health care through emergency rooms the simple fact of the matter is that most who make under median wage have limited access to healthcare of any type and the employers of low wage workers are the least likely to provide health insurance. Indeed, for many women the sole preventative care in the form of pap smears and mamograms they receive is from Planned Parenthood who have sliding scale fees.

    There’s nothing to be proud of in our health care system, it’s broken and it kills people.. We have some of the worst outcomes to be found out of all the industrialized nations.
    The insurance companies make their obscene profits by denying necessary health care. And you really need to read up on medicaid.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • invalid-0

    “‘illegal aliens’ (which is a disgusting term; why not say ‘undocumented immigrants’, which at least doesn’t connote non-humanity)”….I say illegal because they are here against our laws, criminally. Many others immigrants respected our laws and are here legally. “‘abortion on demand’ suggests that you’re of a certain undesirable political persuasion,”… I see. Anyone who holds a different opinion is undesirable. Talk about closed minds. And abortion on demand is exactly that, not medically necessary but at the request of the mother. Has always been removed from federal funding and should continue to be.

    I’m far less concerned about PC terminology than I am about truth.

  • invalid-0

    It says….Reform will stop “rationing” — not increase it
    The “euthanasia” distortion on help for families,
    Vets’ health care is safe and sound,
    Reform will benefit small business — not burden it,
    Your medicare is safe, and stronger with reform
    You can keep your own insurance. Euthanasia is over the top I agree (though it was just introduced in the Candian system as a voluntary option), have never heard a concern about Veterans in particular, it certainly WILL NOT help small business, by publically aired and printed interviews the intention is to reduce Medicare. And,no in spite of claims to the contrary, you can not keep your own insurance (refer to the actual text of the bills)But please note they don’t even attempt to address the huge financial impact, the encompassing of illegal immigrants, the give away coverage to unions and community organizations (ACORN), and several other major points of contention. Personally, I don’t have to worry about it, I’m a gov’t employee and receive the same coverage as any Congressman. Yet, it’s so very wrong what they’re trying to do and they’re doing it as an unethical, slip it in quickly before it can be read, scam. How could you possibly trust these people?

    • crowepps

      After all, he admits that he’s a government employee so he’s one of the people he says we shouldn’t trust.

  • http://www.yoursloan.biz invalid-0

    showing up at town hall events are instinctively aware of how much universal health care will benefit communities of color. And they’re not having it.

    Payday Loans

  • invalid-0

    Yes, it must be true. Anyone who doesn’t want the U.S. Government to take over our healthcare system just HAS to be racist. It’s the only explanation, isn’t it?

    They couldn’t possibly have valid concerns about a bureaucracy that is presiding over the impending bankruptcy of social security and medicare. And they really couldn’t actually like the choices they currently have when it comes to accessing the system.

    Oh, and they really must just not be hearing things right when they listen to the debates over healthcare financing and access to care in Canada and Great Britain and think things sound pretty dismal there.

    Surely they don’t REALLY think it’s OK for a company to provide a service and expect to make money at the same time they’re creating jobs. That’s is just plain wrong, isn’t it?

    No, there isn’t any explanation for people to oppose big government programs other than racism. Or so we’re told over and over and over again when people speak out against the pet projects of those who think government is not only AN answer, but THE ONLY answer to every problem.

    To be sure, there are racists who oppose “healthcare reform”, but there are also racists who support it. And the converse is also true, in my opinion.

    Can we not disagree without vilifying those with whom we differ? If not, then hopes for any semblace of civil discourse on the pressing issues of today and tomorrow are effectively dead.

  • invalid-0

    The best way to fight cancer? I would say its preventative care, mamograms, colon cancer screenings etc.

    Agreed! so let’s allow EVERYONE to get this care, what do you say?

    Most of us do have health insurance and if we don’t, we almost certainly qualify for medicaid.

    What? Can you even give me an example of what state I would have to live in to get medicaid? Every state I’ve lived in only provided medicaid to children or parents taking care of children.

    Me and my boyfriend would like preventative care! But we are in US, so we can’t. My boyfriend has not had insurance for over 10 years, and has only been to the doctor in that time like twice. Never for preventative care, because it’s too expensive. Can you let me know how to get to your planet where we can get some healthcare?

  • invalid-0

    David Frum reports on the sorry state of Canadian health care:

    Every year Canada’s leading free-market think-tank, the Fraser Institute, compiles waiting times across Canada in a report called “Waiting Your Turn.” Here are some highlights from this year’s edition.

    Median waiting time for radiation treatment for breast cancer in province of Ontario: 8 weeks
    Median waiting time for angioplasty in the province of British Columbia: 12 weeks
    Median waiting time for radiation treatment for prostate cancer in province of Quebec: 12 weeks
    Median waiting time for cataract removal in the province of Ontario: 20 weeks.
    Median waiting time for cataract removal in the province of Saskatchewan: 52 weeks.
    Median waiting time for a tonsillectomy in the province of Saskatchewan: 80 weeks.

    If you want to see how much worse Canadian healthcare availability has gotten then see the graphs in page two of this PDF (note: Acrobat Reader or equivalent PDF viewing app needed). Also see page 3. Once a person finally gets in to see a specialist that doesn’t mean they are anywhere near getting an actual surgical treatment done to them. The text version as a PDF is available as well.

    Frum suggests comparing Northwestern US states and Western Canadian provinces that have similar ethnic makeup (as different ethnic groups get cancer at different rates in the first place) and other characteristics for cancer fatality rates. See these tables and compare Colorado, Idaho, and Utah with the Canadian Western provinces. For instance, Utah and Alberta have almost identical cancer incidence rates at 307 and 312.8 respectively but the male case fatality rates are .3456 and .43798 respectively. British Columbia scores lowest in case fatality rates of all Canadian provinces and yet it is worse than almost half the US states.

    In the face of this wonderful trend in Canadian health care access the provinces are lowering the growth rate in health care spending. From the Canadian Institute For Health Information this PDF is a summary of Canadian health spending.

    Update: David Frum responds to some of the critics of his original piece:

    c) The Canadian population is demographically different from America’s in important ways. The average age of the Canadian population is lower than that of the United States. There is less obesity in Canada, fewer premature births, fewer victims of assault and attempted homicide. Canadians also drive fewer miles per year than Americans. These differences impose costs on the United States that the Canadian system does not bear. Even under exactly identical health-care policy regimes, one would expect health-care expenditure in the United States to be significantly higher than in Canada.

    d) Advocates of single payer often cite Canada’s lower expenditure on healthcare as an argument in favor of the Canadian system. Then, when confronted with the evidence of the Canadian system’s failure, they admit that America’s 14% is not all frittered away on advertising and obscene HMO profits – that it does indeed buy superior care. But if the American system is not riddled with waste that single-payer will squeeze out, then extending a single-payer system to cover the entire U.S. population will be just as hugely expensive as conservative critics fear.

    By Randall Parker at 2002 November 15 04:37 PM Socialism, Capitalism

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  • invalid-0

    Would is be possible for you to break up your text into boxes – I honestly want to read what you have to say but I couldn’t even make it through the first part!

  • sam-holloway

    Kater, the reason cmarie’s post is tough to get through is because you are a reality-based person who is averse to the taste of b.s. These winger concern trolls are trotting out long-discredited talking points and aren’t gaining any ground. They’re just sucking up bandwidth and taking up space; they’re kind of like the teabaggers, only easier to ignore.Their ‘beliefs’ are steeped in racism, no matter what they say. Everything else is just a lame excuse. People really concerned about true reform– where everyone is covered, no questions asked, no matter their skin color or income level– should have only one question about any proposed plan: what value do insurance companies provide? (Thanks to Rep. Anthony Weiner for that one, which had right-wing sh-tbag Joe ‘Never Mind That Dead Woman in My Office’ Scarborough grasping for talking points.)

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/anthony-weiner-leaves-joe-scarborough-mome

  • eddie1717

    Eddie1717
    How right you are. Since I have been getting flooded with anti-healthcare reform E-mails. Unfortunately I have found out how many of my friends and acquaintances are biased. I send back links, like factcheck.org, etc, to prove the lies and misleading statements, but it does little good. I doubt that any of them have even read any part of the bill. I’m not sure if many of them know how much of this reform actually belonged to Edward Kennedy. Now the special interest groups are claiming that the Democrats are going to use his death to push through the bill. That is a sick statement. A big part of the bill does in fact belong to Edward Kennedy and his 20 year fight for decent affordable health care. I have accumulated a list of reliable sites, that expose every one of the lies and misleading, misinterpreted statements.