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GOP Supports Government-Run Health Care Through Earmarks

Republican politicians in Congress are shrieking in high tones about how government involvement in health care would ruin the US of A, because it’s socialist, and would create rationing, and death panels, and might create a distance between patients and their doctors. I love that last one – the idea that patients and doctors now have a close working relationship that is sustained by the private, insurance-based health care system. Where do these people live, that they could think such a thing?

The truth is, though, that many of these same congressional Republicans actually support government involvement in health care. That’s not just an assertion, or a matter of opinion. They are on the record supporting government involvement in health care, in the form of earmark spending for pet pork health care projects in their home districts.

These earmarks support government involvement in health care in two ways. First, they establish government subsidies for private health care organizations, as is the case with the earmark this year from New Jersey Republican Frank LoBiondo. Second, some of these Republican earmarks actually go to support government-run health care systems.

That’s the case with Spencer Bachus, a U.S. Representative from Alabama. In July, Representative Bachus inserted an earmark into appropriations legislation in order to funnel federal government money to a medical center in Tuscaloosa. That medical center is run by DCH Health System, an organization that describes itself as a “government subdivision that operates a community-owned healthcare system”. The DCH Health System is a government program, supported by government money, not just through earmarks of the sort provided by Congressman Bachus, but directly through taxes as well.

How can Republicans politicians oppose government involvement in health care when they come asking, year after year, for government handouts for health care projects in their home districts? The answer is simple: They’re betting that their their constituents will not pay attention, and that corporate journalists will continue to ignore the issue. That’s a fairly sure bet.

23 comments to GOP Supports Government-Run Health Care Through Earmarks

  • ReMarker

    “Where do these people live, that they could think such a thing?” Most live in the South according to many polls. (They didn’t call me).

    “They’re betting that their constituents will not pay attention, and that corporate journalists will continue to ignore the issue. That’s a fairly sure bet.” Yep, but guess what, thanks to “web sites” (NOW more than ever before in the history of mankind) information is available, can be verified, and facts can learned.

    Thanks Irregular Times for doing what you do.

  • qs

    I feel it’s every congressman’s duty to try to get back as much of the stolen money as possible for their district as possible so putting in lots of earnmarks isn’t such a bad idea. However voting against the final omnibus bill is OK too because that is in the National interest.

    Basically, make sure that if earn marks will pass, you need to make sure that your district is represented proportionately in case the bill is passed.

    That’s been Ron Paul’s stance, which always made sense to me.

  • qs

    So I guess there are two libertarian perspectives for this. You could either elect the Ron Paul take, which votes for equal or even extra earn marks in case it passes, but always votes down the final bill.

    Or you could take the more cynical approach, and get a Chris-Dodd-finance-chair-type crony in their who can really bring home the bacon, and get a lot of the stolen money back to the district or state. The main problem with the latter as an approach, is the earn marks don’t go directly back to the people but gets blown on pointless stuff and bureaucracy and local officials etc but maybe that’s better than not getting anything back at all. Hard to say.

  • qs

    Poor grammar there..o well

  • randy ray haugen

    poor grammar? poor logic. the fact that you think your congressmen should have to steal money that the goverment stole also demonstrates poor attitude, qs. anarchy anyone?
    this shows how the opposition has really taken the discussion off course. talking about publicly run healthcare that can save untold sums then the shift to the government stealing from the people by means of unconstitutionally collected taxes.
    and the public media steps into this shit with both feet.

    • qs

      I use steal as a substitute for the word tax because they are taking it by force and against people’s will.

      They also mandate a monopoly on the use of force so if you try to defend yourself and acquire arms any larger than some fire crackers, the Federal Government will attack.

      • Jim

        Hyperbole.

        Steal does not equal tax because we are participants in a representative democracy that works to the extent that people pay attention. Vote enough Senators and Representatives into Congress to abolish the tax and it will be abolished. You must be perfectly aware that people have the right to acquire arms larger than fire crackers, unless the fire crackers you have in mind are nukes.

        Your attitude about “me, my, mine” extends oddly in just one direction, qs, from you to the government. But how about looking backwards? How did “your” money get to be so absolutely “yours,” qs? Where did you get it from, and on what terms? Those terms are part of a social compact that involves government. A good government safeguards individual liberty. It does not absolve a person from individual responsibility.

        • qs

          Really?

          Notice that the larger the larger the democracy, the less my vote counts.

          Let’s instead have 6 billion democracies. That would work just fine.

          • Jim

            Yes, qs, that’s the nature of the social universe: the more that there are other people, the more that other people get a say in collective decisions.

            How would 6 billion people, each as a sovereign state, work?

            • qs

              Well that would be the ideal, but you don’t have to have the ideal. You can have State governments and no Federal so that people can switch states if one is taxing too much that way you still have some government.

              However, the trend is towards larger government. We have done away with State sovereignty in favor of the empire. Right now the European States are losing their sovereignty in favor of a system wide EU so those are kind of like former states being taken over.

              Right now our the banking systems in particular are all being tied together in favor of world central bank and world governance: the U.N., NAFTA, CAFTA, the WTO etc are all world government organizations so that we can eventually integrate into one giant supposed democracy. That’s why I think a libertarian candidate could accomplish so much as president. Reagan made the government a lot larger so it’s doubtful that anyone even Ron Paul or Mary Ruwart or whoever could shrink the government, but what what we probably could do is destroy the world government.

              back to your question: Ancient Iceland and also Midievil Ireland lived in anarchy.

              Ireland is the better of the two examples though because it was more of a pure anarchy system. You basically set up your own governments in small groups. Farmers elected a chieftan to represent them, and if they didn’t like him they could leave at anytime, and form a new government.

              What’s odd about the system was that the governments were not based on geographic lines meaning you wouldn’t have to leave Louisiana and move to Mississippi to change governments you just left.

              • qs

                Actually I think Ireland lived with an anarchist system for around 1000 years, and they didn’t have any wars either because no one had a central force that was capable of dominating the entire thing.

              • qs

                uhhh midieval.

              • ReMarker

                To state the statesman Barney Frank, talking to some people is like talking to the kitchen table, but I’ll try.

                qs, if individuals or governments (composed of people whether they are in groups or are entire countries) were not willing to stop unscrupulous people/governments then America, as we know and have known it, would not exists. It may be a little known fact to some, but WW I and WW II are examples of unscrupulous people/governments needing to be stopped and being stopped.

                That’s without even mentioning “transportation” and
                “communication”. You see, without a good transportation and communication infrastructure, you don’t have good commerce. In other words, we won’t be able to travel and can only talk to the people we can see. Life would be like, “Hey Fred, I’m huntry. Let’s go pick some garden peas and build a fire. Maybe Isabelle will smell the food or see the fire and walk over here, he he.”, and that’s about it. (That kind of life style exists in many third world countries, anti-technology communes, anti-technology religious cults, etc.)

                My point is; It took/takes all of us, chipping in, to have what we have. No one person or one group could build the roads, wire territories, or develop hyper-cyber-technologies, alone.

                Additionally, I, for one, want my country to be most powerful so unscrupulous individuals/groups/countries won’t mess with my/our way of life. However, being powerful requires being responsible or individuals/groups/countries get hurt. And that’s not good. Besides, being responsible is spiritually fulfilling by itself, and helpful to our decendents.

                qs, maybe a third world country would suit you better. You seemed to be displeased with America being what it is. As for me, I’ll do what I can to make it better.

              • qs

                Huh? I oppose our entry into WW1 and 2. Our involvement actually created WW2. Most states need a reason to exist. Not only that but I strongly oppose conscription (government slavery.) Bill Ayers was an anti-conscription leader in the 60′s, but now he’s essentially turned into a socialist now days.

                The cold war was an excuse for government enlargement not only on our side but on their side too so lots of times government needs a fake enemy to enlarge itself.

              • qs

                “qs, maybe a third world country would suit you better. You seemed to be displeased with America being what it is. As for me, I’ll do what I can to make it better.”

                Are you a fascist?

                Why do you want to kick people out who don’t support the empire and a STRONG federal government. Wanting to destroy the government is well with in the realm of Free Speech. Besides we don’t exist at the politicians and the government’s behest.

                It’s the other way around so there is nothing wrong with being anti-government.

        • qs

          ps- the Federal Government spent 53 thousand dollars in 1 second (about the amount of time it took me to hit the post button), or in other words about one billion dollars every 7 minutes.

          That’s why they can afford and need such a large standing army to enforce all this crap.

  • ReMarker

    qs, me fascist? No. And I don’t want to kick you out of America. I want you to be happy and you don’t seem happy here, assuming you are here in America.

    Like America’s founders (1700s), I realize the value of a non-anarchistic system of governance for people that want reasonable freedoms (having the freedom to rape, kill, steal, dictate a religion, etc. is not reasonable), and I support their design.

    As for free speech, it’s most important. It helps many of us learn about others that have ideas that may be damaging, unless ofc the speaker disguises his/her “real” beliefs. Then learning about them may take some time. Their actions may be the only way to tell conclusively.

    In my defense, or yours depending on how you look at it, I’m just going by the words you type, that I read.

    What have I learned? Kitchen tables can type.

    • qs

      Well we can change the Constitution or have states secede from the Federal Government as an alternative. Ron Paul ran on overturning the 16th and 17th amendment. That seems like a pretty good idea to me.

      Also you act as if people can just pick up and change governments easily, but there are languages and cultural barriers so you can but it’s ultra difficult.

      Also most governments suck, which is the natural state of mankind. If people establish freedom from government it normally only lasts a short while until the beast grows back again. It’s like a forest cycle.

      • ReMarker

        Governments (any of them) are only as “good” as the people running them. History includes governments of all types, that have been benevelent. Paul, like Bush, does not have the correct frame of mind to lead a benevelent government.

        Governments are NOT the problem. I repeat, Governments (which include groups with chieftains) are only as good as the people running them.

        History’s empirical evidence suggest the Government of the United States of America, to date, provides one of the world’s best opportunities (if not the best) to have a benevelent government. Ofc, that demands we citizens use due diligence in selecting our leaders.

        • Jim

          ReMarker, I’ve agreed with a great deal of what you’ve said, but disagree with your statement that “Governments are only as good as the people running them.”

          What you say is true of bad governments. The hallmark of a good government is that it restrains the bad impulses of petty people in power. That’s why I’m a fan of American constitutional government as it is conceived: it sets up a structure to distribute power and check the impulses of individual rulers. Our problems lately stem from the erosion of constitutional government.

  • ReMarker

    Exactly, and that is WHY we (the electorate) must do a better job of vetting our leaders.

    I have learned to view the “government is the problem” crowd with suspicion when selecting someone for my vote.

  • randy ray haugen

    “kitchen tables can’t type”
    that’s funny! i laugh , qs, only because my typing is not that great either. i can’t figure out how to spell-check and forget punctuation. but, that does not excuse your skewed logic. even a kitchen table knows it needs more than one leg to stand on.
    and then there’s healthcare.

  • randy ray haugen

    oops! i read CAN”T where you wrote CAN.
    kitchen tables can’t type very well. that’s what i learned.
    my apologies to all.
    and then there’s healthcare.

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