ChrisWeigant.com

The Revival Of The Public Option: Medicare For All Who Want It

[ Posted Thursday, April 19th, 2018 – 17:12 PDT ]

A funny thing happened on the way to the 2018 midterm elections. Obamacare ceased being a liability for Democrats, and instead the overall subject of healthcare has now become a liability for the Republicans -- while becoming the Democrats' strongest campaign issue. How times change, eh?

Less than two years ago, Republicans were still locked into their "repeal and replace" frenzy, voting over 65 times in Congress to kill the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known (derogatorily, from Republicans) as Obamacare. After they took control of both houses of Congress and the White House, this effort failed miserably -- both legislatively and politically, as the public got their first chance to see what the GOP's "replace" idea actually meant. In a nutshell, the Republican replacement would have been: if you were too poor to buy health insurance, you were kindly asked to crawl off into the woods to die, so your corpse wouldn't litter the streets for everyone else.

The reality of the repeal-and-replace effort backfired on Republicans in spectacular fashion, since this was really what pushed Obamacare over the top in public opinion polling. Since the start of 2017 (when the new Congress and president were sworn in), Obamacare has consistently polled more positively than negatively with the public -- something that was never actually true while Barack Obama was still in office. This reminds me of the chorus of the old Joni Mitchell song "Big Yellow Taxi":

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Now, Obamacare is admittedly pretty far from being paradisiacal, but the parking lot the Republicans were proposing was so incredibly worse that the public reacted strongly. And negatively. When forced to confront what they had versus what the Republicans were offering, Obamacare suddenly looked a whole lot better than it did before.

Democrats have never claimed Obamacare was perfect, of course -- they've been arguing all along that any flaws in the law could fairly easily be fixed, or that the basic scheme could be added to at a later date in order to improve it. This is precisely what is now happening, as Democrats are coalescing around the revival of an idea left by the wayside during the original Obamacare debate in Congress -- the public option. Medicare for all who want it.

That last bit in italics is crucially important, politically-speaking. The public option was always exactly what it billed itself as: an option. As in "everyone gets to choose for themselves." Don't want to sign up to buy into Medicare voluntarily? Then don't. Easy as pie. But those who do want to should be able to, and Medicare should be allowed to compete with the private insurance plans offered, so people can weigh the alternatives and decide for themselves.

This obviously doesn't go as far as the "Medicare For All" plan championed by Senator Bernie Sanders. It wouldn't be single-payer universal health insurance for everyone, because not everyone would sign up (at least at first). Bernie's single-payer plan (and the one recently proposed in the California legislature) would have forced everyone onto the new system. It would totally replace the current system, whether you welcomed such change or not. Which is why the last part of "Medicare for all who want it" is so important. Like your current health insurance? Then keep it. No problem. Just let others choose a different path, if they want to. That is a much easier sell, politically, than Bernie's plan.

In the Senate, Democrats Jeff Merkley and Chris Murphy have just introduced the latest flavor of such a plan, the "Choose Medicare Act." This isn't the first such proposal, as there is already a pending Senate "Medicare-X Choice Act" bill, and also a plan to allow individual states to buy in to Medicaid if they choose to. I have to admit, "Choose Medicare Act" is so far the snappiest moniker for a public option plan, but the devil will be in the details. Each of these proposals differs in big ways down in the nuts and bolts, but the sentiment is the same. Allow people to buy in to government single-payer health insurance, which will compete with private insurance plans on the open market. Both individuals and employers will have the choice to switch over to the new plan.

The beauty of this concept is its simplicity. As the Washington Post article on the Choose Medicare Act proposal puts it: "People who remember how hard it was to explain [Obamacare] to voters will be excited to have something to say on health care that's easy to understand." I'd go further: "...easy to understand, and easy to support."

What many professional pundits are missing in all the horserace coverage of special elections over the past year is how this issue has already been bearing fruit for Democrats. In Virginia, in New Jersey, in Pennsylvania -- and elsewhere -- Democratic candidates have been winning after campaigning heavily on healthcare. National reporters ask endless inane questions such as: "How much will you be beating up on Donald Trump during your campaign?" but the actual Democratic candidates have read the mood of the electorate a lot better than the professionals, and have been concentrating heavily on the idea that Democrats are better -- much better, in fact -- on healthcare than Republicans. In almost every issues poll taken in the past year, healthcare is either the top issue on voters' minds, or at the worst in the top three such issues. This is going to benefit Democrats enormously later this year, if they continue to campaign hard on it. The memories of the Republicans' "repeal and replace" fiasco are still fresh, to put this slightly differently.

The 2018 midterms, in fact, are shaping up to be a tipping point election on the issue. We've already been through such a fundamental shift in public attitude on gay marriage, if you'll remember. For a good 10 or 15 years, Republicans made enormous piles of political hay out of the horrors of gay marriage. They whipped their voters into a frenzy and successfully used it as a wedge issue at the ballot box. But after the Supreme Court put the issue to rest once and for all, it's now a rare day indeed when a Republican candidate mentions gay marriage out on the campaign trail. It just makes them look bad in the eyes of the voters these days, because progressives won this battle so completely and utterly. We are in the midst of just such a shift on Obamacare, and healthcare in general.

Smart Republicans have already realized this. After their failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, many Republican officeholders or candidates are running away from the issue as fast as they can. The issues pages on their websites no longer even mention repeal and replace, because it's no longer a winning issue for them. Even more telling is the fact that Republican advertising against Obamacare in their campaigns has plummeted in the 2018 election cycle. For the past few elections -- ever since Obamacare was passed, really -- Republicans loudly denounced Obamacare and touted their own (non-existent) plans to replace it. This year? Not so much. Like gay marriage before it, it is now a losing issue for them, and they are realizing it.

This isn't just a progressive triumph over Republican bad ideas, it is also worth pointing out it is the triumph of a good idea being revived after Democrats initially killed it. Senators Joe Lieberman and Max Baucus were the two main roadblocks to even considering the public option concept during the original Obamacare debate in Congress (although there were other Democrats who helped kill it as well). But now, it seems, the public option's time has come (at least, among Democrats at large).

The public doesn't want to see Obamacare destroyed -- instead, they now want to see it improved and expanded. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll showed a whopping 75 percent of the public would welcome "Medicare For All Who Want It." In other words, they don't want the Republican parking lot, they instead now want the public option. It might not turn out to be paradise, but the idea sounds good enough for three-fourths of the public to already be behind it -- which Democratic candidates are already beginning to politically capitalize upon.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

45 Comments on “The Revival Of The Public Option: Medicare For All Who Want It”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    I've always wanted the Public Option and if any version of it gets instituted I will be thrilled. Good for Dems.

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Paula -

    Yeah, I agree. I still have very dark thoughts for both Lieberman and especially Baucus, who had doctors and nurses thrown out of a hearing because they wanted to promote the public option...

    -CW

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, just went back and answered all of this week's comments, so go check it out!

    :-)

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    How about a revival of the conversation that started back in March and then ended when you became too busy to keep up with answering comments?

    You know, the one on Paul Ryan where you suggested that I only comment once on One Demand unless the comment generated a response. You did say at some point during those weeks at the end of March and early April that you would catch up on those comments.

    I would really like a response to the Joe Biden question and the scenario referred to in that comment from a previous comment and the "#FU-IT'S YOUR TURN" comments.

    It really doesn't provide much incentive to live up to the comment once on One Demand if you keep ignoring and not responding to the comments.

    While some here might say that your not responding is the response, you said that you were too busy to answer comments so that does not appear to be the case here.

  5. [5] 
    TheStig wrote:

    A big advantage of Old School Medicare and Medicare For All is a high degree of demographic certainty - administrators have a pretty good idea of how many clients are rolling in and how many are rolling out over the decades. This greatly simplifies long term fiscal planning (although it's still dauntingly complex).

    Offering private insurance options has the potential of siphoning off the younger and healthier part of the population, leaving Medicare to handle not just the retirees but the poor and the sick as well. This does not bode well for long term funding of Medicare For All. Especially if Obama Care insurance protections were to somehow vanish during an upcoming session of Congress. The Insurance Industry has a powerful lobby.

    The Insurance Behemoth already has a big foothold in Medicare via Medicare Advantage. I opt for using Medicare Advantage, but it has some very shady quirks....notably with regard to prescription drugs. Older, cheaper drugs are very cheap or free, but Mid Tier drugs that are entering the generic market are more expensive than on the open market. There is zero transparency about this. This is a genuine conspiracy brought to you by Big Pharma and your "friends" at ALEC..."working in the dark to feck up your arse."

    Medical cost containment is foreign concept to the US Health Care Industry...foreign countries know how to do it, the USA doesn't, or more accurately doesn't care to do it. My community has a huge,very modern and still growing corporate medical facility in the city. At the same time, the same corporation is building a competing hospital complex 8 miles away in the suburbs. Competing with Yourself! No wonder US medicine is two to three times more expensive than equally successful medical services in other First World Nations.

    In closing, Bernie gets it right, or at least more nearly right.

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don,

    How about a revival of the conversation that started back in March and then ended when you became too busy to keep up with answering comments?

    Let's not and say we did.

  7. [7] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "Let's not and say we did."

    Really?

    That's exactly what got us where we are today.

    How about let's try it and find out if it works because what we have been doing HASN'T been working.

    Or at least let's actually discuss what One Demand is and not declare it is something else and claim it has been discussed which is what has been the result of any discussion here.

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'd rather discuss A Higher Loyalty so I'm hoping Chris writes about it soon.

    But, if Chris doesn't write about it as that is his prerogative - because, you know, it's his very own blog - then I will refrain from going on and on and on about how I wish to discuss it.

  9. [9] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By the way, about James Comey ...

    Just kidding.

    :-)

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    There is something about the title of this piece that seems to be the crux of the problem with healthcare in America and the reason why the issues surrounding healthcare in America may never get effectively resolved.

    In other words, the public option does not seem to me to be the answer - unless it is just another baby step on the path toward understanding that healthcare should be a right and not a privilege and that everyone who is alive needs healthcare regardless of whether they choose to accept that assertion.

    I understand that the individual mandate has been effectively gutted with the recent tax cut legislation. This just proves to me that Americans, generally speaking, still don't understand the first thing about insurance or healthcare. Perhaps, they never will.

  11. [11] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Liz M

    When you establish for yourself a "right" (entitlement etc.) for something you cannot provide for yourself, be it health-care, food, shelter, doesn't matter what, you essentuially create a claim on what has been produced by someone else, meaning you feel you have the right to confiscate the fruits of someone else's labors.

    What is it you feel gives you that right? And does the other person have a claim on something you produce?

  12. [12] 
    Tzx42 wrote:

    IMHO, the public option would be impossible to compete with since it does not have to figure in the cost of clearing a profit. Insurance lobbyists knew that and that is why they killed it the last time around.

  13. [13] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (8)-
    Yes, we all agree that CW can write about whatever he wants.

    And you can ask him to write about whatever you want and then not ask him again if he doesn't.

    And I can comment on how what he says in an article about one issue should also be applied to One Demand.

    And I can keep asking if he doesn't respond to my comments.

    And if he does respond with comments about One Demand that are inaccurate, are misconceptions or misinterpretations of what One Demand is I can point that out and ask him to respond to what One Demand actually is.

    So we can all do what we are doing and any of us can change what we are doing if we choose to.

    I do not see why it is wrong for me to do what I am doing by asking CW to address One Demand. I do not see why you should object to my asking, but you are able to do so if you choose.

    You could also change your mind and encourage CW to continue the conversation on One Demand.

    And CW could change his mind about One Demand or discussing One Demand just like Boehner changed his mind about legalizing weed.

    And CW could listen to the Cynthia Nixon quote he provided the other day:

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand."

    And despite that quote, I am not demanding that CW (the power at this blog) address One Demand, I am only asking.

    Why is that wrong or should I listen to Cynthia Nixon and make it a demand?

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I wouldn't describe what you are doing as being wrong, Don. But, it's not the best way of doing things. Mostly because the attitude that comes across, at least to me, is often times a bad one.

    Yeah, yeah, I know ... not the best person to be talking about attitude. :)

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    CRS,

    I assumed my use of the word 'right' would be taken the way you did. I should have used a better description of what I was talking about.

    And by right I also didn't mean free. Healthcare is a unique requirement for anyone who is alive and everyone should pay their fair share for it through your system of collecting tax revenue or income tax. There would be a graduated amount that every tax-paying citizen would contribute - from the highest amount to zero.

    In other words, healthcare should be universal in its availability and in the most cost effective way.

    I might also add that - on an unrelated issue - registering to vote should also be done automatically through your census bureau as part of your income tax system. In Canada, every year on our income tax forms we have to check the box that allows our names to continue to be on the voters list. In other words, universal voter registration.

  16. [16] 
    John M wrote:

    [11] C. R. Stucki

    "When you establish for yourself a "right" (entitlement etc.) for something you cannot provide for yourself, be it health-care, food, shelter, doesn't matter what, you essentuially create a claim on what has been produced by someone else, meaning you feel you have the right to confiscate the fruits of someone else's labors.

    What is it you feel gives you that right? And does the other person have a claim on something you produce?"

    Even though you did not address this question to me, I would like to try to answer it as well.

    The simple basic answer is YES.

    It is mutual. They have a claim to something I produce just as I have a claim to something they produce.

    It's called "a social contract." Humans have been practicing it ever since we formed and started banding together into tribes and developing cities for our mutual protection, survival and benefit.

    The operative word here being MUTUAL. There is nothing new about it. You can even call it a form of socialism if you want. But Humans have seen the logic of doing it for thousands of years. Whether you confiscate it through taxes or something else, you are still making the same claim for societal benefit as a whole. Most often is just also happens to benefit the individual as well.

    For instance, as examples. The fruit of my labor is confiscated in the form of school taxes in order to educate my neighbor's children. Even though I don't have any children of my own, so I will never directly benefit from that, I will still reap the fruits of that indirectly but living in a society that is generally more stable, more prosperous, more advanced, and less crime ridden because of it. It is also a society that collectively will be more likely to support me in my old age when I am no longer able to do so and have no direct descendants of my own to fill that role of caretaker.

    The same thing occurs when providing universal health care to everyone. I end up less likely to live in a society that is going to kill me through the spread of disease if everyone is treated as soon as they develop the first signs of illness, and are provided with the preventive means to avoid such illness in the first place. Whether that is in the form of vaccinations, access to sanitation, clean water, toilets and sewers, roads, what have you. It's something only my tribe can do collectively, and not something I can do easily on an individual basis.

    So, not ONLY is it a healthy self-interest that gives me the right to stake that claim, to our mutual benefit, I might also point put that all the major Human religions and philosophies teach all of us that it is moral to do so as well. in fact, they say it is imperative.

    No, you might try or like to argue that religion makes it a voluntary individual choice, i'e. charitable contributions. But I would argue just the opposite and that that is only an illusion. All religions throughout history have in fact imposed the tenets of their faith in quite a vigorous and coercive manner in order to insure compliance by everyone in order to be more effective. So government and religion are no different in that regard.

    I also never heard of God or Jesus making adherence to say, the Ten Commandments, an a la carte sort of deal. You have free choice, but only in an all or nothing sort of way. Now, you can go try to live off the grid in wilderness Alaska as much as you are able, to do your own self reliance sort of shtick to avoid all that nasty collective socialism, but I guarantee you that the Federal government is still going to come after you eventually if you don't pay your taxes.

    Plus that sort of extreme rugged individualism in reality is simply too much for most people to cope with outside of Ayn Rand novel, Ted Cruz's and Paul Ryan's fantasies notwithstanding. They are the exceptions that prove the rule. Otherwise modern nations and welfare states would not be so popular in the first place. How many Seniors are just so eager to give up their Social Security and Medicare in exchange for a totally free market conservative Republican utopia, that they are chomping at the bit and can't wait to do so?

    Ok, just had to throw that in there. Snark is officially turned off now. :-D

  17. [17] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    John M.

    UNCOMMOMLY well put! Actually, I support the idea myself, perhaps not for to all the same reasons, but I see the common sense need.

    And my hat's off to anybody smart enough to say "preventive", rather than 'preventative'!

  18. [18] 
    Paula wrote:

    [15] Well said!

    RE: public option vs. Single Payer: the sticking point all along has been that a majority of the American Public is afraid of "socialized medicine" and those who have good coverage through their jobs fear that Single Payer won't be as good. So some version of a Public Option is seen as a stepping stone through which more of the public can opt in and discover, hopefully, that they like what they're getting.

    Republican efforts to kill the ACA have, in fact, made more people willing to consider Single Payer as well as other versions of Universal Coverage than ever before. Getting a Public Option through would be a significant step in the right direction.

  19. [19] 
    John M wrote:

    [16] C. R. Stucki
    [17] Paula wrote:
    [15] Well said!

    Thank you both Stucki and Paula.

    I was also going to point out that you ignore the welfare of the greater society at your own individual peril. In is in fact in your own self-interest to minimize the economic disparities in society at large as much as possiblw.

    People will ALWAYS do ANYTHING they can to survive. That includes the Have Nots banding together to get what the Haves have, whether it is food or anything else that they themselves don't have enough of to satisfy their own needs. As long as the Have Nots outnumber the Haves, the Haves will always be overwhelmed and destroyed in the end.

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula[17]

    That makes a lot of sense.

    I understand how difficult it can be to change the way people think about something, especially something like healthcare and especially if they are quite satisfied with their own healthcare now.

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    I just don't think it is a good idea to constantly talk about healthcare in terms of it being available for all who want it because it reinforces a wrong-headed way of thinking rather than trying to change the way people think about it.

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    When Biden whispered to Obama that the ACA was a big deal, was he talking about it being a very big step on the path toward single-payer universal system?

  23. [23] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    The biggest problem with "Medicare for All" (or 'single-payer', or 'socialized medicine' or whatever name you put to it) is, it will inevitably not live up to what those who cannot afford their own health care will think they are entitled to.

    When everybody gets no-cost medical care, there will inevitably be service limits attached to it. In other words, your 85 yr old granny simply is NOT going to get the $500,000 heart-lung transplant she needs to survive an extra 60 days.

    And inevitably, that will elicit screams of anguish from the folks who will say "Bill Gates' granny got that, why can't my granny?"

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    CRS,

    No one, anywhere has or will have "no-cost" healthcare.

    I thought I was clear about that ...

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    CRS[22],

    I have to say that this was a pretty asinine comment in its entirety. Which, of course, does nothing to promote intelligent conversation.

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Dom,

    Not every comment here is going to get a response, nor should it.

    For me, if a response is not forthcoming - by Chris or by anyone posting here - within 24 to 48 hours or one to two columns - it probably won't be forthcoming or it'll be too late to bother with.

  27. [27] 
    John M wrote:

    [22] C. R. Stucki

    "The biggest problem with "Medicare for All" (or 'single-payer', or 'socialized medicine' or whatever name you put to it) is, it will inevitably not live up to what those who cannot afford their own health care will think they are entitled to."

    "When everybody gets no-cost medical care, there will inevitably be service limits attached to it. In other words, your 85 yr old granny simply is NOT going to get the $500,000 heart-lung transplant she needs to survive an extra 60 days."

    But that happens now with private insurance anyway. Medical care is already rationed. It's just that with private insurance, it is often simply less obvious or visible. What national health care does do is ensure that everybody gets at least some minimum level of basic care, and that no one goes without anything at all.

    "And inevitably, that will elicit screams of anguish from the folks who will say "Bill Gates' granny got that, why can't my granny?"

    The vast majority of people are going to be reasonable enough not to expect that. The very few tiny minority who do will be able to be appropriately dealt with. That's the same argument made against providing ANY kind of welfare, be it food stamps or anything else. That too many undeserving people will cheat and game the system. That line of reasoning for denying service or any coverage at all simply doesn't hold water. That's not a reasonable excuse for not providing anything at all in the first place. Of course there IS going to be some fraud.

    It's built into and taken into account even in private sector business models. Grocery and department stores, casinos, etc. factor in some loss due to theft, spoilage, etc. That doesn't keep them from operating. No system is 100 percent perfect. There will ALWAYS be 2 or 3 or 4 percent wastage.

  28. [28] 
    John M wrote:

    [22] C. R. Stucki

    "The biggest problem with "Medicare for All" (or 'single-payer', or 'socialized medicine' or whatever name you put to it) is, it will inevitably not live up to what those who cannot afford their own health care will think they are entitled to."

    "When everybody gets no-cost medical care, there will inevitably be service limits attached to it. In other words, your 85 yr old granny simply is NOT going to get the $500,000 heart-lung transplant she needs to survive an extra 60 days."

    But that happens with private insurance now. Just not in so obvious or visible a way. What national health insurance does do is to ensure that a minimum amount of basic coverage occurs so that nobody has to go without anything at all.

    "And inevitably, that will elicit screams of anguish from the folks who will say "Bill Gates' granny got that, why can't my granny?"

    The vast majority of people are going to be reasonable enough not to expect that. Those few who do, that tiny minority, can be reasonably dealt with in an appropriate manner. Ask any manager of any business now that deals with the public and has to soothe an irate consumer. It should be a truism that the customer is almost never right, rather than the other way around.

    The argument that too many undeserving people are going to cheat and game the system, and therefore we should not offer any form of welfare to begin with, simply doesn't hold water. It's an excuse, not a reasonable rationale.

    Even the private sector takes waste and fraud into account in their business models. Companies expect a certain amount of loss due to both spoilage and theft because no system is 100 percent perfect. But it doesn't stop them from operating in the first place.

  29. [29] 
    Paula wrote:

    [26] John: Yes. PLUS: getting everyone covered actually reduces costs overall because problems get handled earlier when it's cheaper.

    Now, if we went full Single Payer we might also decouple "profit" from medical care altogether (to a degree anyway) -- or, maybe a better way to put it -- it might remove some/many of the incentives currently operative that lead to unnecessary treatments, tests, etc. If the focus is on people-being-healthy versus people-being-avenues-to-profits, a lot about how medical care is practiced and delivered could change for the better.

  30. [30] 
    Paula wrote:

    [20] Elizabeth: Agreed.

    How's your Mom?

  31. [31] 
    Kick wrote:

    [11]
    C. R. Stucki
    11

    When you establish for yourself a "right" (entitlement etc.) for something you cannot provide for yourself, be it health-care, food, shelter, doesn't matter what, you essentuially create a claim on what has been produced by someone else, meaning you feel you have the right to confiscate the fruits of someone else's labors.

    What is it you feel gives you that right? And does the other person have a claim on something you produce?

    Of course, I am not EM either, and I think John M provided some most excellent answers to which I would simply add the following quotes in answer to your questions.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ~ The Declaration of Independence, 1776

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. ~ Constitution of the United States of America, 1789

    Words of our Founding Fathers spell out quite succinctly and in no uncertain terms our rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, safety, our common defense, promotion of our general welfare to ourselves and our posterity, etc., and that governments are instituted to secure those rights.

    As JL, I, and others have pointed out on previous occasions when you whined and moaned about a variety of issues you refer to with the label "economics": It's the way our Founding Fathers set it up and what they wanted for US.

    For many like you who have a tendency to equate salary with worth, it is instructive to remember there are hundreds of thousands of Americans who are out there working every day for your rights, and I can assure you the majority of them aren't doing it for a huge check from their Uncle Sam. Try to remember that you're living off their "fruits of their labor" and you bet your lazy ass they have a right to something others produce... even if the amount of the majority of their salaries puts them squarely in the lower income brackets. :)

  32. [32] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    I've never been known to oppose people quoting the Constitution and the Declaration of Ind., but inasmuch as you addressed your post to me, I have to presume that you consider those quotes to be some sort of rebuttal to my [11], but I fail to see the relevance. Are you saying that we need socialized medicine in order to be able to "pursue happiness, maybe?

    If I'm missing something there, feel free to elaborate.

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Paula,

    Thanks for asking about my mom! She's a real trooper and trying very hard to deal with what I can only imagine is a lot of frustration as her dementia progresses and she's lost most of her ability to communicate. She hasn't lost her sense of humour and her sunny disposition still shines through most of the time.

    Thanks again, Paula.

  34. [34] 
    Kick wrote:

    C. R. Stucki
    32

    I've never been known to oppose people quoting the Constitution and the Declaration of Ind., but inasmuch as you addressed your post to me, I have to presume that you consider those quotes to be some sort of rebuttal to my [11], but I fail to see the relevance.

    You presume it was a "rebuttal"? Incorrect. You asked a question which John M answered, and I added my 2 cents.

    Are you saying that we need socialized medicine in order to be able to "pursue happiness, maybe?

    Were the words socialized medicine in your question or in my answer? No.

    If I'm missing something there, feel free to elaborate.

    It appears you're missing a brain. You asked a question, and I answered it in fairly straightforward English.

  35. [35] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    OK, so now I understand. You're contending that the Constitution and/or the Declaration of Ind. grants you "the right to claim for yourself the fruits of other peoples labors."

    That's a little vague, and seriously weird reading of those documents. Care to expand on your interpretation? Like maybe you feel unable to "pursue happiness" if you can't claim the fruits of other people's labors? Well, too bad. You're just gonna have to pursue happiness with what you produce yourself.

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    No man is an island, CRS.

  37. [37] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick My [35]

    P.S. BTW, the Constitution only guarantees you the right to CHASE happiness. Ain't no guarantee that you're gonna CAPTURE it!!!

  38. [38] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Liz M.

    So it is said, but I seem to recall that there is an island near England named "The Isle of Man(n)", so maybe that old proverb is a lie!!!

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    CRS,

    Most, if not all, of your comments might lead one to assume that you do indeed think man is an island in all of the meaning of that phrase.

    Am I right or am I right??

  40. [40] 
    Paula wrote:

    [33] Elizabeth: "her sunny disposition shines through" -- good for her! My Dad was like that too. He was a sweet, cheerful man before Alzheimers and he remained a sweet, cheerful man to the end.

    In the last months of my Mother's life she began seeing him standing beside her bed when she woke up. I like to think they are enjoying themselves together right now.

  41. [41] 
    Kick wrote:

    C. R. Stucki
    35

    OK, so now I understand. You're contending that the Constitution and/or the Declaration of Ind. grants you "the right to claim for yourself the fruits of other peoples labors."

    No, you don't understand. Damn, you are stupid. It's simple English, but you insist on twisting it into a fantasy you can whine and moan about. Just stop.

    That's a little vague, and seriously weird reading of those documents.

    Well, you are frequently vague and have a tendency toward weirdness and making shit up... so that explains it.

    Care to expand on your interpretation?

    It's your interpretation/fantasy... so feel free to expand on your own bullshit... as per usual.

    Like maybe you feel unable to "pursue happiness" if you can't claim the fruits of other people's labors?

    It's your fantasy, Stucki; you tell us. How did it feel from the top of your high horse when you accepted other people's money in the form of farm subsidies?
    Those are public record, hypocrite.

    Well, too bad. You're just gonna have to pursue happiness with what you produce yourself.

    Like you did? *LOL*

    If my daddy were still alive, he'd be laughing his ass off at your stupidity, but my SO is alive and well and laughed hard enough for the both of them. :)

  42. [42] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    Sorry, those "farm subsidies" are an illusion. I did many yrs ago, contract to buy some farm land from a friend who had enrolled the land in the so-called CRP, but wanted to retire. The first several gov't rental payments were made out to me, but I endorsed them over to the original owner as pmts on our contract. After 4 or 5 yrs, the gov't reduced the annual rental to where it wouldn't make the pmts, so friend and I cancelled the agreement, and he took the place back, and owns it to this day.

    Sorry your daddy died. Let me guess, he succumbed to a broken heart over having such a SFB offspring, right?

  43. [43] 
    Kick wrote:

    C. R. Stucki
    42

    Your ignorance and hypocrisy are showing, Stucki.

    Sorry your daddy died. Let me guess, he succumbed to a broken heart over having such a SFB offspring, right?

    Wrong again, though your comments here are a living testament to the fact that you never tire of showing your stupidity and your dissimulation, right? :)

  44. [44] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    Give us stupid guys a break on the multisylabic stuff. I had to look up 'dissimulation'!

  45. [45] 
    Kick wrote:

    Dumbing down posts to your level, Stucki!?

    Really!?

    No. :)

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