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Tempers flare in South Florida over healthcare overhaul

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posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 10:39 AM
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Tempers flare in South Florida over healthcare overhaul


www.miamiherald.com

A raucous group of about 100 protesters confronted staffers of U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, expressing their displeasure with the healthcare overhaul bills being considered in Congress.

BY BETH REINHARD AND LESLEY CLARK
breinhard@MiamiHerald.com
Confrontation over a national healthcare overhaul reached South Florida on Wednesday, when routine office hours for the staff of a Broward-area congressman turned into a raucous protest.

The incident is like others that reflect nerves frayed by the nationwide debate. Democrats decry what they describe as a mob rule orchestrated by special interests try
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 10:40 AM
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Well, all does not appear well in the Land of Oz anymore! It seems like more and more people are becoming vocally homesick for good old Kansas! Go figure?

Once again people opposing Administration plans and voicing their concerns directly to their elected representatives find their motives being questioned and undermined by a mainstream media who seems adverse to actually interviewing protestors and demonstrators without bias to determine without bias or at least let their readers and viewers determine without bias what the demonstrations and protests are for. Instead it appears that the only people deemed credible to give information to the media are Administration Officials and Administration Handouts meant to form an ‘official’ view of the credibility and veracity and origins of those demonstrating.

Clearly the representative republic system of citizens interacting firsthand with their representatives to Washington to give valuable input to help lawmakers actually craft laws that are representative of the citizen’s thinking and perspective is becoming entirely inconvenient and troublesome to the government itself, that now seems to feel it is the sole credible arbiter and decider of what’s in the ‘public’s’ interest.

The thinly veiled accusations of malicious, deceitful and even criminal terrorist intent in citizens demonstrating and protesting seriously undermines the lynchpins of a representative democracy to the point that it is clear our representatives no longer wish to or feel bound to represent the will and voice of the people but simply their own will.

Anyone in sales (who is good at it anyway) will tell you an objection is simply a request for more and better information.

Our governments response seems to be you will like it if we tell you to like it, you will buy it if we tell you to buy it.

It remains to be seen ultimately what the people’s response to that will be, but judging by the number of protests taking place on a host of issues and the rancor involved with them, I would say that the people themselves are receiving it “Not to good!”.


www.miamiherald.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 10:48 AM
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From Texas to Pennsylvania, protesters have disrupted town halls. In North Florida, an effigy of a congressman, Allen Boyd, was tarred and feathered; in New York, a congressman had to be escorted to his car by police.

The rally on Wednesday in Klein's 22nd congressional district office was orchestrated by a Republican campaign rival.

The public outcries are likely to continue while Congress is in recess and members make the rounds in their hometowns.

Klein plans to hold a healthcare forum in his district this month -- via telephone.


Miami Herald

The article goes on to say that Congressman Klein is going to discuss health care with his constituents later on in August via the telephone!

Of course it’s much easier to screen calls so the Congressman finds himself responding to the Health Care Choir instead of those in opposition to it. It of course also gives the Congressperson far greater control as he can simply hang up or disconnect any call that becomes bothersome or tedious to him.

Representatives should be cognizant that in utilizing technology to avoid having to deal face to face, openly and honestly with their constituents is a double edged sword. Today’s technology has reached a virtual threshold where the whole idea of having to have representatives whose sole task in life is to commute to Washington after meeting face to face with their constituents in order to voice their will in Washington is fast becoming redundant. Citizens registered to vote could in fact at this point simply way in with their own yes or no on every Bill that is introduced and brought to vote through computers and automated telephone calling systems to allow the laws being passed to be a true majority decision by the people the laws will actually effect and not just several hundred Congress People and Senators.

What’s good for the goose should always be good for the gander!



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 11:46 AM
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Broward Republican Party Chairman Chip LaMarca, who attended Wednesday's protest, said the public also expects to see their lawmakers in person.

``Representatives are supposed to be ingrained in the district, and there's no reason they should be afraid to come out and give their opinions. If it's going to be a big event, we'll find a bigger venue,'' LaMarca said.

In Lighthouse Point on Wednesday, the parking lot near City Hall was overflowing with cars. Inside the library, a few people waved handmade signs. ``Obama Care is a big lie,'' read one placard. ``Czars = Tyranny,'' read another.

One woman had printed out a 1,018-page healthcare bill. ``I've only read up to page 430 so far, and I've seen a lot of things that scare me,'' said Debbie Brown, a 52-year-old homemaker from Deerfield Beach.


So here you have a situation where a citizen is really actually trying to read and familiarize herself with the Bill and has decided they have some real and pertinent questions.

The Administration's response seems to be questions? Questions, where did you get the idea that Americans question things?

How long can a simple and petty partisan divide really be used to blind people to the fact such abuses of power and arrogance are running rampant in our government and it is now entirely beyond the control or will of the people?



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 11:55 AM
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This "movement" is an attempt to stifle debate by intimidation. It is sponsored by healthcare lobbyist, insurance companies and big pharma.

The crowds are being encouraged to disrupt meetings verging on incitement to riot. Thug tactics.


The contents of the email I am replying to are patently false. If the anonymous writer of this email had actually read the bill, he or she would know better.

Here are the facts. Anyone can verify them by reading the bill at www.opencongress.org...



Actual itemized contents of the Health Care Reform Bill:

"Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self-insure!"

TRUTH: This is not an "audit," it's a study. Moreover, the bill states (pp. 22-23) that the report will "include any recommendations the Commissioner deems appropriate to ensure that the law does not provide incentives for small and mid-size employers to self-insure or create adverse selection in the risk pools of large group insurers and self-insured employers." This is almost directly the opposite of the email's claim.

"Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed!"

TRUTH: Page 29 continues to define the "essential benefits package" and discusses limits on what Americans will have to spend on health care under this minimum standard. In no way does this section stipulate the rationing of care.

"Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process)"

TRUTH: Page 30 begins to describe the Health Benefits Advisory Committee which establishes certain minimum standards for health insurance plans. In no way does this committee deny treatments and benefits to Americans with health insurance.

"Page 42: The 'Health Choices Commissioner' will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None."

TRUTH: Page 42 begins to describe the Health Choices Commissioner's duties. The idea that this person will decide what benefits Americans receive is patently false, given that most Americans will keep their current plans under reform, and Americans within the exchange will have the choice of purchasing many different kinds of health plans. Rather, the Commissioner will establish minimum standards to protect Americans.

"Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services."

TRUTH: Pages 50-51 contain a provision stating that discrimination will not be allowed in the provision of health care services. Nowhere does the bill state that non-US citizens will be provided free health care services. The bill prohibits federal dollars from being used for undocumented immigrants.

"Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard."

TRUTH: Page 58, in the context of a discussion of administrative standards, mentions that "determination of an individual's financial responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility...may include utilization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card." In no way does the bill state that such a card would be national, or that it would be issued to every person, or that it would, in fact, be used at all.

"Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer."

TRUTH: Page 59 continues the discussion of administrative standards, and authorizes electronic transfers of money within the government. In no way does this provision grant the government access to individual bank accounts.

"Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (read: SEIU, UAW and ACORN)"

TRUTH: Here's what page 65 says: "Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall establish a temporary reinsurance program to provide reimbursement to assist participating employment-based plans with the cost of providing health benefits to retirees and to eligible spouses, surviving spouses and dependents of such retirees." No mention is made of unions or community organizations.

"Page 72: All private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange."

TRUTH: That's true! Plans have to have a minimum standard of benefits, bat can offer other plans as well. But that's fair, isn't it? Private insurers can continue to operate outside the exchange if they wish - should the government establish no standards for the exchange? In that case, how could reform end insurance industry abuses and help to control costs?

"Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans)"

TRUTH: This section says is that if private health care plans want to operate in the Exchange, they must provide a basic benefit package.

"Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens"

TRUTH: Some American citizens are more comfortable speaking a language other than English, especially in a sensitive situation like a consultation with their doctor. This provision in no way opens the door for coverage of undocumented workers.

"Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan."

TRUTH: Page 95 makes no mention of ACORN and Americorps; all it says is that the Commissioner can conduct outreach to vulnerable populations, making them aware of their options.

"Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter."

TRUTH: People who are eligible for Medicaid will not have to face the burdens of paperwork and other bureaucratic struggles. Far from depriving people of choice, this measure will ensure coverage.

"Page 124: No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No 'judicial review' is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will be crushed."

TRUTH: This section describes rate-setting under the public health insurance plan option, which will compete with private insurers, who can set their own rates. Because of inherent advantages like their established administrative and provider frameworks, private insurance companies will not be "crushed" by government competition.

"Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages."

TRUTH: The government will negotiate rates with providers under the public health insurance plan option. However, private insurers will continue to pay their own rates.

"Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives."

TRUTH: This is simply not true. Employers with more than 20 employees aren't even eligible to participate in the exchange, let alone the public plan, until several years after the exchange launches in 2013. Moreover, no employer will be forced to participate in the public plan.

"Page 146: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families."

TRUTH: Employers are required to pay some benefits for part-time employees on a basis proportional to what they pay for full-time employees. No language on this page or the next stipulates coverage for the families of part-time employees.

"Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll"

TRUTH: The payroll penalty applies to employers with payroll over $500,000 who do not provide insurance to their employees. The percentage for employers with payroll from $500,000 - $750,000 is 6%. Employers do not have to offer the public option to avoid this penalty, they can offer private insurance if they wish.

"Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll"

TRUTH: This is false, see above.

"Page 167: Any individual who doesn't' have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income."

TRUTH: Pages 167-173 detail what "acceptable health care" means (basically, insurance coverage) and also allow for many different kinds of exceptions to this rule.

"Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them)."

TRUTH: Non-resident aliens do not have to pay the penalty for not having health insurance, nor will the receive federal assistance, because they are not required to purchase health insurance. They are not exempted from individual taxes generally.

"Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records."

TRUTH: This is a gross overstatement. For the purposes of determining affordability credits for Americans who need financial assistance in purchasing health insurance, employees of the Health Choices Administration will have access to tax information that the federal government already keeps. As is clearly stated on page 196, "Return information... may be used by officers and employees of the Health Choices Administration or such State-based health insurance exchange, as the case may be, only for the purposes of, and to the extent necessary in, establishing and verifying the appropriate amount of any affordability credit described in subtitle C of title II of the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 and providing for the repayment of any such credit which was in excess of such appropriate amount.''

"Page 203: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it really says that."

TRUTH: This quote is taken out of context, and is in fact referring to a calculation used in the bill. Full context of quote: "'(4) NOT TREATED AS TAX IMPOSED BY THIS CHAPTER FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES...



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 12:09 PM
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reply to post by Leo Strauss
 


Oh please, the guy they claim is "manufacturing" this stuff is a normal everyday guy wit a face book page a 23 Friends.

Could you explain to us exactly how this is any different than what ACORN or any left wing group does? Were you in a cave the last 8 years? As if there are rallies or protests that aren't organized...


What you are doing is repeating the blather from the far left "think progress". They are putting it out as a way to discredit their critics. Its been the strategy of democrats and Obama for a long time. Now its coming back on them and they suddenly don't like it. Liberals can dish it out, but they cant take it and this a great demonstration of that fact.

[edit on 6-8-2009 by Wimbly]



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 12:26 PM
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reply to post by Leo Strauss
 


good info there leo...a star for you...the "right" is now on the job of just lying and making stuff up to see what sticks to the wall.

i did think it was funny when they said democrats are out to kill old people...how moronic does one have to be, to believe this nonsense.

i think every news talk show host on TV should demand factual evidence from each person to back up these types of wild claims.

and FOX NEWS should just have on corporate insurance executives to talk about health care...at least fox could cut out the middle guy by not paying for the current hosts.



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 12:34 PM
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It's disgusting to see Republicans continually trying to take over these protest from otherwise non-partisan angry mobs.

If I were at the protest, I would start a second protest to protest the Republicans for being just as Socialist as the Democrats.

It all plays into the Divide and Conquer mentality that for so long we have declared the PTB are using.



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 12:41 PM
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The big problem these protesters are facing, is that they are the minority.

They are a vocal minority, but the majority of Americans are in favor of government-run healthcare.



Fifty-two percent of 2,276 US adults surveyed online by Harris Interactive between July 9 and 13 said they were in favor of a government-run health plan, while just 30 percent were against.




Nearly seven in 10 Americans told Harris Interactive that a government-run plan would be a valuable alternative to private insurance; more than six in 10 thought it would help keep insurance costs down and 55 percent said it would allow patients to get better care.


Source



The national telephone survey, which was conducted from June 12 to 16, found that 72 percent of those questioned supported a government-administered insurance plan — something like Medicare for those under 65 — that would compete for customers with private insurers. Twenty percent said they were opposed.


Source


It may seem odd that people are so violently protesting health care reform, but then again its easy to believe with all of the lies and right-wing propaganda they are exposed to, such as "you won't have the freedom to choose your own doctor anymore", or "Obama wants to kill off all the old people." In reality, the majority of Americans are fed up with the insurance companies, and would welcome a government-run alternative.



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 12:44 PM
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I am glad that Americans are starting to get angry.

It is just a pity that so many are deluding themselves into thinking this anger is not spontaneous.

There's a Revolution Comin'....



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by Leo Strauss
 


Leo Strauss, no offence meant, but if you really believe people are only capable of acting like lemmings and will only protest and speak their minds if and only if they are first organized to do so, by like minded people who harness individual's oppinions by way of hijacking them to an unseemly or faulty agenda...then it would seem you have a very low estimation of human intelligence...

Conversely it can be said that your lengthy entreaty aimed at minimizing and dismissing ligitimate concerns, questions, protests and demonstrations is likewise the 'canned' and 'authored' work of an orginization whose goal's are specifically to that end...

Therefore it would appear you could in fact be guiltier of what you are charging others of, in a blanket and not individual way.

How then does it become 'ok' for you to engage in the same 'type' of behavior you are decrying and minimalizing others for 'supposedly' doing, when it appears you yourself are doing it for a fact, and with an agenda, and with organized aide by others evidenced in the source you post as a response?

Yet you do wonder why some people are legitimately fed up with the hyprocritical dual standards and shameless arguments and attempts to deflect from the real issues?



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 12:53 PM
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reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
 


Very well put. People should not forget, these protest were occurring BEFORE they were hijacked by special interest groups. Which wasn't until the media started covering them.



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 12:54 PM
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reply to post by drwizardphd
 





They are a vocal minority, but the majority of Americans are in favor of government-run healthcare.


This statement could only be accurate if the question was posted on the ballots of all 50 states.

Maybe its time for Americans to say what they really mean and said instead of pollsters and media pundits.

[edit on 6/8/09 by ProtoplasmicTraveler]



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 12:57 PM
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Originally posted by drwizardphd
The big problem these protesters are facing, is that they are the minority.


Wrong.

We are the Majority - That is the big secret that the MSM is trying to suppress.

Americans are uniting over common causes; they have begun to see the false paradigm of the two party system for what it really is - a control mechanism.

They want their country back.... And they'll get it back.

[edit on 6-8-2009 by Exuberant1]



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by drwizardphd
 



The big problem these protesters are facing, is that they are the minority.

They are a vocal minority, but the majority of Americans are in favor of government-run healthcare.


Could be very true. But just because the majority want government-run insurance doesn't mean they are satisfied with what is being offered.

And the fact that our elected representatives can't read a 1,000 page bill means they can't answer the questions that both the minority and majority have.



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 01:14 PM
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reply to post by jam321
 





And the fact that our elected representatives can't read a 1,000 page bill means they can't answer the questions that both the minority and majority have.


It might really give an intelligent person pause to ponder just how these types of Bills are voted on...what criteria do our law makers use, when it comes to voting things into law that they have never even familiarized themselves with?

Is it now really just a system where the majority simply take the 'word' of a very small group of people who claim to actually know, but make a living none the less of refuting what's in Bills as opposed to explaining and outlining what is in Bills and why and to what end or purpose.

I can't imagine a business running well in this fashion where none of the policy makers know what is actually in the policies. How could a government of the people, for the people, by the people possibly work well in such a haphazzard, laxidasical and incompetent fashion.



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 01:18 PM
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reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
 


There's going to be a town hall meeting tonight in Tampa Fl.

Can't wait to see how it goes.

The neighborhood they're planning to have it in is mostly hispanic and black.

Who knows?



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by drwizardphd
The big problem these protesters are facing, is that they are the minority.

They are a vocal minority, but the majority of Americans are in favor of government-run healthcare.

This is just NOT true.
For starters, your source is from early June and since then people have actually found out whats in the bill and the majority oppose it.

Secondly, who on Earth would trust a CBS poll.
Hell, CBS is known to spread false information.

Lastly, all the current polls point to just the opposite of your conclusion.

Nice try though.

Nobody in their right mind wants the government involved even more into healthcare.



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by Leo Strauss
This "movement" is an attempt to stifle debate by intimidation. It is sponsored by healthcare lobbyist, insurance companies and big pharma.

The crowds are being encouraged to disrupt meetings verging on incitement to riot. Thug tactics.

Sorry, but I just had to laugh.

That is the most ridiculous thing I have heard today.

I guess you are going to prove your statement about how this is all sponsored or should I just take your word for it.


Look, you are spewing the typical neolib fascist propaganda. Every word being typed by you is a lie and you know it. If you don't know it then you are a brainwashed ignorant sheep.

Expressing one's opinion is NOT incitement to riot.

Thug tactics??
You must be talking about the liberal playbook.



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by MagicaRose
 


It will be interesting to see how it goes down.

I will have to check the Tampa paper in the morning and see how things went for them.

Thanks for posting.



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