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Old 10-05-2013, 02:28 PM   #561
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My point being that the poll results depend on the questions. If asked broadly about the ACA as a whole, I would suspect, due to the massive amounts of misinformation and misleading rhetoric surrounding it, that most average people would probably lean against it. I'd like to see a poll based on the specific components of the ACA. I suspect the results would be quite different, even today.
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:45 PM   #562
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My point being that the poll results depend on the questions.
Sorry - I thought your point was this:

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Republicans & the right-wing media are nothing if not extremely disciplined and relentless message pushers.
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I'd like to see a poll based on the specific components of the ACA. I suspect the results would be quite different, even today.
One of the hurdles is that that this sort of legislation is so bloated and convoluted, it's difficult to trust. Sure - many of the individual components are probably popular on their own - but if the entire law compiles into something that is over 20,000 pages of legal jargon - there's a problem.
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:19 PM   #563
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After doing some research last night, I'm convinced the Single Payer system is the only valid long term solution. Of course, that would mean many of the insurance fat cats and Big Pharma crooks would lose access to the nation's teat, and they will buy as many politicians as they can to prevent this from happening (as they already have).

ACA is not a compromise with the American people, it is a compromise with these companies. It solidifies their revenue stream for another generation.
I agree. I've felt this way since the law was still being debated. Once the "public option" was off the table I lost any sense that the law would really do much to change to the basic state of health care in the USA. That said, for me I've not since felt a need to see the law destroyed at all costs. Part of that is simply because the Republican ceded any real effort to provide a meaningful alternative to the ACA. But I think that's because ideologically the Republicans see no need or desire for an alternative. They would prefer the system we currently have because at least it's more or less privately run, even if some people are excluded. And that's why I'm not a Republican, because I fundamentally disagree with them on whether healthcare should be guaranteed to all.

Anyway my point is that feeling that the ACA is a poor law does not translate in me wanting to see the government shut down in order to stop it.

I've been trying to get a sense of how the conservatives are spinning the shutdown. I feel the coverage in my usual media sources is a little more slanted than usual, and I've just wanted to understand how the "other side" is interpreting these events. I finally came across on argument in a Town Hall article somebody posted on Facebook that seemed to sum up what the conservatives think about all this (can't find it again, otherwise I'd post the link). They seem to argue that that the shutdown is actually the Democrat's fault because they refused to vote the funds to keep the government open without the funds for ACA included. They're spinning it as the Congress doing what it's supposed to do i.e. deciding what they want to appropriate funds for and what they don't. There's also a little of the childish "they did too" type arguing that has been thrown about in this thread (though whether "they" did it too has nothing to do with whether it's right or not, as I often have to tell my students!).

I guess my question would be, why would the Republicans insist on withholding funding Obamacare as a condition of voting for the continued spending of everything else? Was Obamacare already an organic part of the spending bill, and they created a new bill that did not include it? Or was it not included and the Democrats demand that it be included? If it's really as simple as refusing to appropriate funds as Town Hall indicates, why wasn't that tactic employed sooner?

Finally, if the government shutdown was supposed to stop Obamacare, how is that the ACA rollout happened on Monday, even with the government shut down? Are the funds and manpower for implementing Obamacare still available even in the midst of the shut down?
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:41 PM   #564
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I agree. I've felt this way since the law was still being debated. Once the "public option" was off the table I lost any sense that the law would really do much to change to the basic state of health care in the USA.
Yes - this is going to be a mess.

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That said, for me I've not since felt a need to see the law destroyed at all costs. Part of that is simply because the Republican ceded any real effort to provide a meaningful alternative to the ACA. But I think that's because ideologically the Republicans see no need or desire for an alternative. They would prefer the system we currently have because at least it's more or less privately run, even if some people are excluded. And that's why I'm not a Republican, because I fundamentally disagree with them on whether healthcare should be guaranteed to all.
Perhaps someone like Nathan or INDY would be best at answering for the Republicans, as I am a supporter of the single-payer, universal coverage option.

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Anyway my point is that feeling that the ACA is a poor law does not translate in me wanting to see the government shut down in order to stop it.
I would take it further and change the budget process so that this isn't allowed to happen again.


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There's also a little of the childish "they did too" type arguing that has been thrown about in this thread (though whether "they" did it too has nothing to do with whether it's right or not, as I often have to tell my students!).
I admit - I've pointed out "they" did it too. The love affair that some seem to have with the Democrat Party is just as narrow-minded as those that pledge the same blind allegiance to the Republicans.

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I guess my question would be, why would the Republicans insist on withholding funding Obamacare as a condition of voting for the continued spending of everything else? Was Obamacare already an organic part of the spending bill, and they created a new bill that did not include it? Or was it not included and the Democrats demand that it be included? If it's really as simple as refusing to appropriate funds as Town Hall indicates, why wasn't that tactic employed sooner?
All good questions - I'm not sure.

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Finally, if the government shutdown was supposed to stop Obamacare, how is that the ACA rollout happened on Monday, even with the government shut down? Are the funds and manpower for implementing Obamacare still available even in the midst of the shut down?
Another good question, perhaps it was already paid for?
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:54 PM   #565
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I think you mistake the shock and horror at the modern GOP as evidence of love for the Dems. It's not.

But, again, if one is seeking to appear unbiased or independent it may be necessary to do so in order to maintain the illusion that both parties are the same and that only you can see through it all.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:00 PM   #566
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But, again, if one is seeking to appear unbiased or independent
As a former Republican - I am probably more biased against the GOP. I've mentioned often that can't stand the fact they've been able to manipulate the middle and lower class workers to do their bidding. (The Democrats recruit the urban poor and super rich). Also, I've been vocal about my support for some causes that are generally considered "liberal" - such as universal health care, green technology, and basic income.

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it may be necessary to do so in order to maintain the illusion that both parties are the same and that only you can see through it all.
I'm certainly not the only one that can see through this charade - the number of Independents continues to grow.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:01 PM   #567
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The Supreme Courts only determines the Constitutionality of the law, they do not determine whether it's a "good idea."
You may have missed my point.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:35 PM   #568
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An unmistakable sense of unease has been growing in capitals around the world as the U.S. government from afar looks increasingly befuddled — shirking from a military confrontation in Syria, stymied at home by a gridlocked Congress and in danger of defaulting on sovereign debt, which could plunge the world's financial system into chaos.

While each of the factors may be unrelated to the direct exercise of U.S. foreign policy, taken together they give some allies the sense that Washington is not as firm as it used to be in its resolve and its financial capacity, providing an opening for China or Russia to fill the void, an Asian foreign minister told a group of journalists in New York this week.

Concerns will only deepen now that President Barack Obama canceled travel this weekend to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Bali and the East Asia Summit in Brunei. He pulled out of the gatherings to stay home to deal with the government shutdown and looming fears that Congress will block an increase in U.S. borrowing power, a move that could lead to a U.S. default.

The U.S. is still a pillar of defense for places in Asia like Taiwan and South Korea, providing a vital security umbrella against China. It also still has strong allies in the Middle East, including Israel and the Gulf Arab states arrayed against al-Qaida and Iran.

But in interviews with academics, government leaders and diplomats, faith that the U.S. will always be there is fraying more than a little.

"The paralysis of the American government, where a rump in Congress is holding the whole place to ransom, doesn't really jibe with the notion of the United States as a global leader," said Michael McKinley, an expert on global relations at the Australian National University.

The political turbulence in Washington and potential economic bombshells still to come over the U.S. government shutdown and a possible debt default this month have sent shivers through Europe. The head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, worried about the continent's rebound from the 2008 economic downturn.

"We view this recovery as weak, as fragile, as uneven," Draghi said at a news conference.

Germany's influential newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung bemoaned the U.S. political chaos.

"At the moment, Washington is fighting over the budget and nobody knows if the country will still be solvent in three weeks. What is clear, though, is that America is already politically bankrupt," it said.

Obama finds himself at the nexus of a government in chaos at home and a wave of foreign policy challenges.

He has been battered by the upheaval in the Middle East from the Arab Spring revolts after managing to extricate the U.S. from its long, brutal and largely failed attempt to establish democracy in Iraq. He is also drawing down U.S. forces from a more than decade-long war in Afghanistan with no real victory in sight. He leads a country whose people have no interest in taking any more military action abroad.

As Europe worries about economics, Asian allies watch in some confusion about what the U.S. is up to with its promise to rebalance military forces and diplomacy in the face of an increasingly robust China.

Global concerns about U.S. policy came to a head with Obama's handling of the civil war in Syria and the alleged use of chemical weapons by the regime of President Bashar Assad. But, in fact, the worries go far deeper.

"I think there are a lot of broader concerns about the United States. They aren't triggered simply by Syria. The reaction the United States had from the start to events in Egypt created a great deal of concern among the Gulf and the Arab states," said Anthony Cordesman, a military affairs specialist at the Center for International Studies.

Kings and princes throughout the Persian Gulf were deeply unsettled when Washington turned its back on Egypt's long-time dictator and U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak during the 2011 uprising in the largest Arab country.

Now, Arab allies in the Gulf voice dismay over the rapid policy redirection from Obama over Syria, where rebel factions have critical money and weapons channels from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf states. It has stirred a rare public dispute with Washington, whose differences with Gulf allies are often worked out behind closed doors. Last month, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal warned that the renewed emphasis on diplomacy with Assad would allow the Syrian president to "impose more killing."

After saying Assad must be removed from power and then threatening military strikes over the regime's alleged chemical weapons attack, the U.S. is now working with Russia and the U.N. to collect and destroy Damascus' chemical weapons stockpile. That assures Assad will remain in power for now and perhaps the long term.

Danny Yatom, a former director of Israel's Mossad intelligence service, said the U.S. handling of the Syrian crisis and its decision not to attack after declaring red lines on chemical weapons has hurt Washington's credibility.

"I think in the eyes of the Syrians and the Iranians, and the rivals of the United States, it was a signal of weakness, and credibility was deteriorated," he said.

The Syrian rebels, who were promised U.S. arms, say they feel deserted by the Americans, adding that they have lost faith and respect for Obama.

The White House contends that its threat of a military strike against Assad was what caused the regime to change course and agree to plan reached by Moscow and Washington to hand its chemical weapons over to international inspectors for destruction. That's a far better outcome than resorting to military action, Obama administration officials insist.

Gulf rulers also have grown suddenly uneasy over the U.S. outreach to their regional rival Iran.

Bahrain Foreign Minister Sheik Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said Gulf states "must be in the picture" on any attempts by the U.S. and Iran to open sustained dialogue or reach settlement over Tehran's nuclear program. He was quoted Tuesday by the London-based Al Hayat newspaper as saying Secretary of State John Kerry has promised to consult with his Gulf "friends" on any significant policy shifts over Iran — a message that suggested Gulf states are worried about being left on the sidelines in potentially history-shaping developments in their region.

In response to the new U.S. opening to Iran to deal with its suspected nuclear weapons program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.N. General Assembly that his country remained ready to act alone to prevent Tehran from building a bomb. He indicated a willingness to allow some time for further diplomacy but not much. And he excoriated new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a "wolf in sheep's clothing."

Kerry defended the engagement effort, saying the U.S. would not be played for "suckers" by Iran. Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful energy production, while the U.S. and other countries suspect it is aimed at achieving atomic weapons capability.

McKinley, the Australian expert, said Syria and the U.S. budget crisis have shaken Australians' faith in their alliance with Washington.

"It means that those who rely on the alliance as the cornerstone of all Australian foreign policy and particularly security policy are less certain — it's created an element of uncertainty in their calculations," he said.

Running against the tide of concern, leaders in the Philippines are banking on its most important ally to protect it from China's assertive claims in the South China Sea. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Manila still views the U.S. as a dependable ally despite the many challenges it is facing.

"We should understand that all nations face some kind of problems, but in terms of our relationship with the United States, she continues to be there when we need her," Gazmin said.

"There's no change in our feelings," he said. "Our strategic relationship with the U.S. continues to be healthy. They remain a reliable ally."

But as Cordesman said, "The rhetoric of diplomacy is just wonderful but it almost never describes the reality."

That reality worldwide, he said, "is a real concern about where is the U.S. going. There is a question of trust. And I think there is an increasing feeling that the United States is pulling back, and its internal politics are more isolationist so that they can't necessarily trust what U.S. officials say, even if the officials mean it.
Sense Of Unease Growing Around The World As U.S. Government Looks Befuddled

This is a dark time for America. I don't know or think it will get any better.

You know how some right-wingers say America will fall just like Rome? Because we took God out of society, became decadent, immoral, multi-cultural and racial, and became less isolationist, we will fall?

Looks like those who complained about those things are the ones who are destroying America instead. As if they blamed someone else to distract from their faults
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:42 AM   #569
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Sense Of Unease Growing Around The World As U.S. Government Looks Befuddled

This is a dark time for America. I don't know or think it will get any better.

You know how some right-wingers say America will fall just like Rome? Because we took God out of society, became decadent, immoral, multi-cultural and racial, and became less isolationist, we will fall?

Looks like those who complained about those things are the ones who are destroying America instead. As if they blamed someone else to distract from their faults
Are you suggesting we fire some missiles to regain our standing? I'm not sure I understand the argument that the US is "weaker" simply because we didn't bomb the hell out of Syria...

Weakness usually implies the lack of power/ability to do X. The US certainly has both, and chose not to use it. That's not weakness - that's strategy.
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:43 AM   #570
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You may have missed my point.
I'm quite certain I did...
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:44 AM   #571
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[url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/05/world-us-government_n_4047613.html] will fall just like Rome?
Rome didn't fall - it moved east and lasted another 1000 years...
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:29 AM   #572
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Are you suggesting we fire some missiles to regain our standing? I'm not sure I understand the argument that the US is "weaker" simply because we didn't bomb the hell out of Syria...

Weakness usually implies the lack of power/ability to do X. The US certainly has both, and chose not to use it. That's not weakness - that's strategy.
I never said that. I only posted that article to show what the rest of the world thinks of our government and how embarrassing it is.

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Rome didn't fall - it moved east and lasted another 1000 years...
Yes, but some conservatives, like Pat Buchanan, often refer to the decline of Rome - the city itself - as America's future. My dad is a wacky conservative who eats up Buchanan's books and agrees with his comparison. I just find it funny that there are people out there (and sadly there are plenty) who believe our current decadence and multiculturalism will destroy us, as it did to Rome, but that is not the case here.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:12 AM   #573
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Yes - this is going to be a mess.

Perhaps someone like Nathan or INDY would be best at answering for the Republicans, as I am a supporter of the single-payer, universal coverage option.
I'm not sure what a "Republican" response would be. I can only speak for myself, and I'm not sure how to solve the problem of health care, which goes back *at least* to the 1970s, as documented by Michael Moore in SICKO.

I continue to believe that the structural inequalities of a free-market economy when applied to health-care don't work, because no matter which way you slice it, the sick and poor stay sick and poor.

People chafed at my citation of the NY Times article for its discussion of the ways in which the costs of buying into the ACA via Medicaid were too onerous. Here's another story that breaks down in even greater detail how Medicaid is usually the second or third largest expense for the states currently, and how the states will be forced in three years to carry a much larger financial burden, and for some states, those costs are untenable. (TX, for example, will have to pay an additional $2B over ten years to cover Medicaid costs, once they start paying "only" 10%.)

http://www.governing.com/news/federa...-medicaid.html

Taxation alone will not solve the problem, because the core structural problems of a free market healthcare system whose costs balloon regularly are not being addressed. (It's no secret that insurance companies jacked up rates on their members over the past few years, as the ACA came closer -- so, while one poster may say that costs are slowing, that's only because they had been out of control in recent years.)

In any event, raising taxes on the poorest states to get them to pay for medical care will only force those states to cut other primary services. Raising taxes to cover the cost of another tax will, in essence, be a form of double taxation, particularly on the middle class, who will be most adversely affected, as they are most vulnerable to companies cutting back hours.

Again, no one is dealing with the structural inequities of cost. Instead, we have a system that is becoming increasingly unjust, and a government that is only throwing fuel on the fire. Something must be done, but the misnamed Affordable Care Act is not a solution. Someone needs to bring the health care industry in line.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:43 AM   #574
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:41 PM   #575
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I suppose some good can come from all of this. Perhaps the tea party will cause the republican party to self destruct from within, leading to a split between the moderate republicans and their psychotic brethren. That would be nice.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:04 PM   #576
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(TX, for example, will have to pay an additional $2B over ten years to cover Medicaid costs, once they start paying "only" 10%.)
My apologies. My numbers were erroneous.

TX will be expected to pay $27B over ten years starting in 2017.
That's $2.7B a year.
With a B.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:25 PM   #577
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And yet, some poorer, Republican states like Kentucky (far poorer than the 2nd most populated state in the country, Texas) think the expansion of Medicare and the ACA is good for their people, and also good for their economies.


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It’s no coincidence that numerous governors — not just Democrats like me but also Republicans like Jan Brewer of Arizona, John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Snyder of Michigan — see the Affordable Care Act not as a referendum on President Obama but as a tool for historic change.

That is especially true in Kentucky, a state where residents’ collective health has long been horrendous. The state ranks among the worst, if not the worst, in almost every major health category, including smoking, cancer deaths, preventable hospitalizations, premature death, heart disease and diabetes.

We’re making progress, but incremental improvements are not enough. We need big solutions with the potential for transformational change.

The Affordable Care Act is one of those solutions.

For the first time, we will make affordable health insurance available to every single citizen in the state. Right now, 640,000 people in Kentucky are uninsured. That’s almost one in six Kentuckians.

Lack of health coverage puts their health and financial security at risk.

They roll the dice and pray they don’t get sick. They choose between food and medicine. They ignore checkups that would catch serious conditions early. They put off doctor’s appointments, hoping a condition turns out to be nothing. And they live knowing that bankruptcy is just one bad diagnosis away.

Furthermore, their children go long periods without checkups that focus on immunizations, preventive care and vision and hearing tests. If they have diabetes, asthma or infected gums, their conditions remain untreated and unchecked.

For Kentucky as a whole, the negative impact is similar but larger — jacked-up costs, decreased worker productivity, lower quality of life, depressed school attendance and a poor image.

The Affordable Care Act will address these weaknesses.

Some 308,000 of Kentucky’s uninsured — mostly the working poor — will be covered when we increase Medicaid eligibility guidelines to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Studies Institute at the University of Louisville concluded that expanding Medicaid would inject $15.6 billion into Kentucky’s economy over the next eight years, create almost 17,000 new jobs, have an $802.4 million positive budget impact (by transferring certain expenditures from the state to the federal government, among other things), protect hospitals from cuts in indigent care funding and shield businesses from up to $48 million in annual penalties.

In short, we couldn’t afford not to do it.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/op...acare-now.html

It's a matter of political will. Read the whole thing.
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Old 10-06-2013, 04:19 PM   #578
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(the 2nd most populated state in the country, Texas)
Do you think that this might have something to do with TX' expected costs of $2.7B a year for ten years?

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have an $802.4 million positive budget impact (by transferring certain expenditures from the state to the federal government, among other things)
So the already-strapped federal government is going to absorb additional costs of close to a billion dollars -- and this just from KY alone?

Gotcha. Tell me how that makes the ACA actually affordable. 'Cause the plan of the KY governor (a Democrat, by the way) sounds like he's just kicking the can back to the broke federal government. There is no act of political or moral will in simply passing the costs on to a government that can't afford it. And this does nothing to address any of the issues relating to the cost of health care, or the fact that neither the government nor its poorest citizens can afford it.
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Old 10-06-2013, 04:46 PM   #579
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I object to your characterization of a colossal nation-state like Texas -- which ranks 50th, btw, in citizens with health coverage -- as a poor, cash-strapped, rural, agrarian state.

I also object to the characterization of the federal government as "broke."

We can discuss what causes health care costs to rise, and we can discuss how much the ACA will help that or not, but we can't dispute the fact that it is an attempt to do something to bring the US up to par with the rest of the world while addressing costs.
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Old 10-06-2013, 04:50 PM   #580
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I object to your characterization of a colossal nation-state like Texas -- which ranks 50th, btw, in citizens with health coverage -- as a poor, cash-strapped, rural, agrarian state.
Well that settles that. I guess I missed where I characterized the state that way?
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