Obama meets with Senate dems over Obamacare fears

Clearly the polling data and Terry McAuliffe’s nail-biter victory in Virginia have created some upheaval among vulnerable Senate democrats up for reelection in 2014. President Obama met with a group of anxious senators to hear their concerns as we begin to enter the 2014 midterm election cycle. In an attempt to stem souring public opinion, the President recently interviewed with NBC News where he apologized for his inability to fulfill his campaign promise regarding the ability to keep your existing health insurance plan.

Report from Fox News:

President Obama on Wednesday sought to assuage anxious Democrats who are worried that ObamaCare’s troubled rollout is going to come back to haunt them during the 2014 midterm elections.

“There’s a lot of pent-up frustration” among Senate Democrats who are facing voters next year, a party source familiar with the meeting told Fox News.

A Democratic source told Fox News’ Ed Henry that some of the senators in the room floated a delay of up to one year in the law’s implementation – an idea the president rejected. The source said, however, that senators left the White House feeling that it was a “constructive meeting.”

The meeting could suggest that momentum is building for Democrats to force changes to the law. A letter circulated in late October among Democratic senators urged the Obama administration to delay enforcement of the health care law’s individual mandate, a recommendation supported by senators Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and Kay Hagan, D-N.C., all of whom were present at Wednesday’s meeting.

The vulnerable Democrats are now pushing for a delay of some sort in the hopes of easing continued frustrations among voters about the website failures, cancellation letters and premium rate shock. The President has stated that a delay of the individual mandate is not on the table.

What does this mean for 2014? Can Republicans ride this issue to a Senate majority or will voter frustrations diminish in 12 months?

  • Ryan

    I’ve never clearly understood what happens if enough “healthy people” don’t sign up on the exchanges. I’ve heard they need 7 million such people to make the program work. But what happens if they don’t get that many.

    That is, who pays for the cost of insuring those with pre-existing conditions?

    In case the reason I’m asking isn’t obvious, if they delay the individual mandate it becomes a certainty there won’t be enough “healthy people.”

    • TT

      The fact that it’s routinely accepted by seemingly a majority of Americans that up to 20% per cent of you income be payed to profit motivated insurance companies and you describe this as ‘the best healthcare system in the world’ is laughable. What the uber right wingers call ‘socialised medicine’ operates free for all in most of Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Sure, elective surgery can have waiting lists which are shameful but if ANYBODY chops off a finger at the weekend or breaks a leg slipping or tripping free first class medical assistance is available at no cost unlike the American system where such a common accident can easily lead to years of debt of hundreds of thousands of dollars. For anybody with an IQ greater than their shoe size, before listening to the Tea-Party about death lists and other such hyperbole, do some basic research.

  • http://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com Nate

    Yes, you’re correct. That is why the President can’t support the delay because then the numbers don’t work. If too few people signup, then insurers are not getting the premiums they need from the “healthy” pool to pay for the “unhealthy” pool. Thus why there is a mandate in the first place.

    As to what will happen, that’s anyone’s guess..

    • Ryan

      So the private insurers will foot the bill? Which means they’ll increase prices later on?

      Here’s my thinking. Private insurers want to get the “healthy people” but not the “preexisting condition people.” Technically they’re not allowed to turn away the preexisting condition people. It seems the best strategy for a private insurer, would be not to get on the exchange initially (or have extremely high prices) because the first people to sign up will be the preexisting condition people.

      The healthy people who are signing up solely because of the mandate are going to wait till as late as possible. A private insurer could offer a lower rate around this time or advertise more prominently around this time if they can’t change their rates.

      In other words, there probably ways around the idea that insurers would have to take on healthy and preexisting condition customers all the same.

      I’d assumed there was some government-backed guarantee to these insurers who are signing up these early customers. Otherwise, why would they even be in the game at this point. They didn’t want these customers before the ACA. Why do they want them now? Clearly they’re hoping to get the healthy customers later. But if the government abandons the individual mandate … seems like the private insurers could sue the government and they’d have a really good case.

  • ed uehling

    I thought it was the Tea Party that got everything wrong and was going to ruin it for the Republicans! After all they were responsible for shutting down the government, weren’t they? This is only the first stage of Hell for the Dems. Wait until the public understands the true extent of their mendacity–when the pictures of the chains on our hospitals and doctors’ offices take hold as a real possibility during the next government shutdown. If the Dems can shut down National Parks and roads (and keep open the NSA, IRS, etc.) in order to make their despicable political points, why won’t they close down the medical industry once the ACA gives them control. And that is only one way that every aspect of our ability to control our own health will be subject to politics. The Tea Party won’t need money to roll over both the look-alikes from both establishment parties.

  • ed uehling

    ACA, the Democrat cure-all, is the medicine that will kill the Democrats.

  • Goethe Behr

    A year is a long time in politics. If Sebelius is correct, and the website works by the end of this month, the rough startup will be as forgotten as the government shutdown.

    Then, the election will largely depend on whether people do sign up, and if they do, whether they think it was a good idea. That’s the gamble, and if it pays off, it’s better to have the gamble done soon.

    Dems are stupid if they think delay in the signup is a good idea for them. A delay would just cause additional confusion, and more reticence to sign up–a snowball effect that would be disaster for them.

    • http://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com Nate

      The website is inconsequential. That is the “simple” thing for GOP to harp on right now and general public completely understands a buggy website. The consequential items are rate increases, cancellations, insurance market uncertainty etc… those are the long term implications that will remain well into next year after the website is rebuilt.

      GOP needs to do something it’s bad at which is create a coherent message which better explains the long term effects. Otherwise public will assume that fixed website equals fixed Obamacare.

      • Goethe Behr

        Nate: I think it was a mistake for the GOP to make a big fuss over the website. If the administration can get it going, the public impression will be that Obamacare is “fixed.”

        And if the website is fixed, signup will be possible. And if enough people sign up, the program will also be seen as successful for that. AND then, insurance companies will have a vested interest in selling the program, too.

        Nate, you’re a small minority. One of the few rich, young, white guys who will notice a difference. There will be lots in the news about such anomalies, because the news is usually “what goes wrong,” but most people will be relieved that things didn’t seem to change for them, personally.

        Cancellations will be forgotten–old news–a one-time event. Rate increases will be balanced with decreases. And the uncertainty is BECAUSE of the opposition.

        If Obama can keep the program from being delayed, there will be plenty of time by next November for the public to figure “it’s the law,” and move on to other concerns.

        Last month, ALL we could talk about was the shutdown. Now, it seems like ancient history (“Oh, yeah, the shutdown, I remember that!”)–just one month later. Imagine how little we’ll care about Obamacare a full YEAR from now.

        • http://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com Nate

          Excuse me? There are 3.8 million people who have been dropped as of now. I’m not complaining, I didn’t lose my plan, I’m just paying more for it.

          Could be 20 million people who will “notice a difference” when they’re dropped and paying double for a replacement plan within months and many more after the employer mandate takes effect next year. Did you forget that had been put off a year? I think you did. Once that goes into effect we’ll see a whole new round of these stories but this time for those who get insurance from an employer. Millions will be dropped by their employers and need to go “shopping” at the exchanges. Will they pay more or less than they do now? Smart money is on more with higher deductible since that is what we’re witnessing now.

          I think you’re underestimating the long term effects here. You keep downplaying it but you’re forgetting Obamacare was designed to be implemented over a decade.

          I think you need to read more about it even though you think you’re the small minority of the rich, old, white man on Medicare who won’t be affected that much.

          • Goethe Behr

            Nate: I don’t believe it. The problems are WAY overstated. I think the insurance companies are going to see this as windfall profits, so they will have a vested interest in making it work.

            But mainly, I think there will be lots of confusion through January, but things will calm down after that. And 8 or 9 months is a lifetime in politics.

            You young sprouts just don’t have any long-term perspective.

          • Tess Trueheart

            The Insurance companies chose to cancel (5%) of their own substandard policies. You know, the policies that impose lifetime caps, cancellation for prolonged illness, high deductibles, risk pools, etc. The insurance companies chose to do the cancellation rather than bring their policies up to the basic minimum standards of medical insurance coverage. Insurance plans that existed on the individual market before the passage of the Affordable Care Act were “grandfathered” in, and consumers only lost coverage if insurers altered those policies after the Affordable Care Act took effect. For the 80 percent of Americans insured or covered through an employer plan or through Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans’ Administration, there is no change except for an increase in benefits.

            It is companies like McDonald’s (memo to federal officials) who said “it would be economically prohibitive for our carrier to continue offering” the mini-med plan unless it got an exemption from the requirement to spend 80% to 85% of premiums on benefits. The carrier, BCS Insurance Group of Oak Brook Terrace, Illinois, declined comment.The majority of McDonald’s (and other low wage employers) employees are on food stamps, housing, and use the Emergency Room for health care. And you know who pays for that.

            There are things in The Affordable Care Act that I disagree with. Here are some points I do agree with:
            1. Health insurance policies are available to all.. No one can be denied health insurance because they have or had an illness.
            2. Basing premiums on past insurance claims, gender, occupation, how long an individual has held a policy, or size of the small employer is illegal.
            3. Health insurance companies can no longer charge higher premiums to higher cost enrollees. Insurance companies can no longer refuse to renew coverage because of illness
            4. Young adults can stay on their parent’s policy until 26 years of age. With college tuition so expensive–what a boon to American parents

            • Goethe Behr

              Tess: Personally, I like the emphasis on prevention services–health care, not just “sick care.”

              I also like that companies won’t be able to kick people out, or deny/limit necessary care just to make a dirty buck.

              Sixty percent of personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills–and 75% of those are people who HAVE health insurance.

              Seems to me, if we can catch disease early AND prevent up to 60% of the personal bankruptcies, there will be LOTS of unrelated benefits to other people, as well as the country.

              I think it’s time to start talking about constructive changes to the new system, and stop wasting so much time and energy “pissing and moaning.”

            • Surfisher

              Tess Liehard — still shilling for Obama with your mendacity…?

            • Goethe Behr

              Hey, Surfisher: Nate has done a good job of trying to bring in people of various political views, so we can have a more interesting debate.

              We have Republican establishment partisans, Tea Party partisans, Religious right, Libertarians, Neocons, Moderates, Democrats, Anarchists, a few troublemakers. . .and Billy.

              We need ‘em all. Tess is the only one who seems to argue the Obama side. And she does not deny that she supports him. So let’s stop the name-calling, ok? Just acknowledge that you disagree, and try to come up with a factual argument. She seems to respond well to facts.

              And, thanks. I appreciate the truce between you and me.

            • http://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com Nate

              “Just acknowledge that you disagree, and try to come up with a factual argument.”

              Amen.

  • Josh

    Why is it everyone forgets about the mandate? That is *the* consequential item. Insurance rates, cancellations, market uncertainty are important. But we can never lose track of the point that government has decided we don’t have the right to refuse personal health insurance, even though the vast majority of Americans are against it. If America wants it gone, they must elect republicans in 2014 at least and maybe as far as 2016. This doesn’t mean republicans are the heros for the country,…it means the citizens are. It also means the democrats have degraded themselves to the point where history will likely put them in the category of the Nazi’s and the Soviets…if they aren’t stopped now, they will eventually start doing things like them…Obamacare is just the start. The elitism of one group of people believing they know what’s best for another group and using the force of government to mandate their morality always ends up in Tyranny and destruction. Whether it is religious imposition of morality…or scientific humanistic morality, it always results in destruction.

    The cancellations are the result of a stupid undermining rule that allowed Obama to make a promise that could not possibly be kept…but that he would not ‘technically’ be considered a liar for making.

    The mandate is simple, straight forward, and everyone understands it…it is also something Obama will not back off of. He and the democrats do not believe that Americans have the right to choose *not* to buy personal health insurance. The only way to get rid of it is to vote republican. Republicans have repeals waiting in the wings.

    • Surfisher

      Josh — exactly!

      A Mandate is a soft term for a Dictate — unless we live under a Dictatorship, the government cannot dictate (mandate) that free citizens buy something AGAINST THEIR WILL…!!! THAT’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL — END OF STORY!

      Save America — Impeach Obama!

  • http://allandouglas.com/blog/ Allan Douglas (@AllanDouglasDgn)

    I’m a lurker who has enjoyed watching your discussions here. I don’t normally jump in because I’m no brainiac on politics. This time, however, I have some relevant info to share.

    I have for over 3 decades been self-employed and self-insured. Being self-insured (for me) means that I paid for medical care out of a savings account as I needed it. I was free to choose my own doctor and could refuse frivolous testing. It also meant that should I be diagnosed with some expensive, terminal disease I would make peace with my creator and await the end. I’ve always been OK with that. I’m still OK with that even though I was diagnosed with emphysema last December: an occupational hazard for anyone making a career in woodworking.

    My doctor charges me $60 cash for an office visit, e-mail consults are free. I pay just over $200 per month for the medications that slow the progress of this disease.

    At 3:30 this morning I found the Healthcare.gov web site to be operational – my first attempt – so I decided to go poke around and see what is what. That site will not provide any firm premium or deductible costs without actually filling out and submitting an application. But the Kaiser Foundation offers a calculator that provides estimates based on general information provided.

    In my case, a Silver ACA plan would cost me around $4,200 per year and would come with a $2,200 annual deductible. Since I am now retired from woodworking I may qualify for a government subsidy (if I wanted to accept a govt hand-out – and I really don’t). This means that I would be paying nearly all of my own medical expenses AND $4,200 a year. For that $4,200 I would qualify for free annual health screenings and preventative shots – but they would be administered by a Govt. approved physician, which probably will not be my doctor. I do not plan to employ “heroic measures” to cling to a pathetic quality of life as long as possible. When it gets to that point I’ll enroll in Hospice and await the end with some dignity.

    The alternative to buying an approved plan is to pay the Irresponsible Citizen Fee; in my case: $240 the first year, $480 the next, $600 per year (adjusted for inflation) for any years that I survive after that.

    $600 a year or $4,200 per year for the same lack of expense coverage? It’s a no-brainer for me. Just call me ‘Rebel’.

    • Goethe Behr

      Welcome, Allan. You have added an angle we have not seen up to now–and in a very reasonable manner. Hope you decide to contribute in the future.

    • http://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com Nate

      Allan, welcome to the discussion. Thanks for giving us a new perspective.

      I think the decision to simply pay the fine is going to be made by many uninsured people when they do the math. Nothing wrong with it, that’s how the law works.

      I’m sorry to hear of your illness. Not many people could handle it the way you are.

    • Josh

      Hey Allan, sorry also to hear about your situation. It will be interesting to see how the fee for not having insurance will be collected. There have been a lot of theories floated, and most of them make it sound like the fine is easily escapable w/out breaking the law. Like the one that says, it will only come out of your refund. Given what Obama said about ‘you won’t lose your coverage…period!’ I suspect that the ‘only out of your refund’ promise is a very loaded true statement, too.

      I would call you a Rebel, most likely in the breed of the kind which founded this nation. I highly suspect that if you were in Boston on December 16, 1773, you would have been dressed like a native chucking tea into ocean. Self reliance is a rare commodity these days.

      I did some of the same kind of numbers crunching you did on insurance a few years ago and realized i was spending around $3000/year (after employer assistance) for going to the Dr. 1-2 times per year just to save $10 to get the network discount. Decided to go with a high deductible health plan instead.

      I believe there are millions of Americans just like you out there – just 1 of 100 makes for over 3 Million. The high estimates of the uninsured in America is 15%. Those who really want it and can’t get it haven’t been calculated, but I would not be surprised if it is less then 5%.

      To me, as I’ve stated multiple times on this site, the worst thing about this bill is the mandate. It really doesn’t effect me since I’m a card carrying native american. But I still think its a crime against the country. It is removeable, like slavery, and I hope the republicans have the resolve to end it like those in the 1860′s.

  • Tess Trueheart

    Thanks to the Supreme Court it is a tax penalty not a fine. The following people are exempt from the tax penalty: Family income is below 10,000 (individual) 20,000 (family), if you pay more than 8%of your income for health insurance, members of a religious group that oppose health benefits, members of an Indian tribe, undocumented workers, and persons incarcerated.

    Also exempt from the tax penalty are: Tricare members ( retirees, service members and their families), Veterans health service, medicare, medicaid, chips (children), grandfathered health plans, employer health plans, and if you buy your own health insurance that is equivalent to the minimum plan.

    The tax penalty for 2014: 95.00 for an adult, 285.00 for a family 2015: 325.00 per adult, 975.00 for a family. 2016: penalties will either increase or decrease according to the cost of living standards.

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the Comprehensive health care reform will cost the federal government $940 billion over a ten-year period, but will increase revenue and cut other costs by a greater amount, leading to a reduction of $138 billion in the federal deficit over the same period. It will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the second ten year period.

  • http://allandouglas.com/blog/ Allan Douglas (@AllanDouglasDgn)

    Actually Tess, the individual penalty for 2014 is $95 or 1% of gross household income: whichever is HIGHER. 2% for 2015, 2.5% (+ inflation) thereafter. I am curious about the CBO report on projected expenses. I can see the tax penalty generating new income, and I know that anyone who qualifies for medicaid (free insurance) will be pushed onto their state for coverage: saving the federal budget those expenses. I wonder what else will be cut.

    • Tess Trueheart

      The tax penalty is not expected to generate a large percentage of new income. Medicaid is paid in a large portion by the federal government through the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). The average state FMAP payments are 57%, but ranges from 50% in wealthier states up to 75% to 82% in states with lower per capita incomes. States bear the lesser financial burden for medicaid. The horrific financial burden borne by states is the millions who use the emergency rooms as their primary health care.center without paying a cent.

      Allan…you have my highest respect for being a self sufficient person and for evidently putting aside savings to care for your needs. However, when you speak of handouts…did you not pay social security and medicare taxes into your account (some self employed choose not to)? I am not that eager to leave this world so I believe in preventive care and I desire the care of a highly skilled physican to treat me which takes a very good insurance plan.

      There are several things in the Affordable Care act that I find troublesome. As in all human endeavors there are flaws. Time, and a concentrated effort for good, needs to prevail until we actually know how this law will help or hurt the nation.

      • Surfisher

        Tess Liehard — which part did you miss, Obama shill?

        A Mandate is a soft term for a Dictate — unless we live under a Dictatorship, the government cannot dictate (mandate) that free citizens buy something AGAINST THEIR WILL…!!! THAT’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL — END OF STORY!

  • http://allandouglas.com/blog/ Allan Douglas (@AllanDouglasDgn)

    Indeed I did, Tess. As a self-employed business man I paid a self-employment tax which equals the employee AND the employer SSA contributions based on my wages/net profits. However the last few years have been thin as the economy crushed my custom furniture business – far fewer people willing to shell out big bucks for a luxury item. My profits were so low (net loss) that I didn’t have to pay the SSA tax. Earlier this year I filed for SSA Disability. My claim was denied because Social Security is no longer a personal account but INSURANCE and since I had not paid into my social security insurance for 3 years I was no longer insured and ineligible for disability payments. I do not know if this means I won’t be able to draw Social Security if I live that long, or if this applies just to disability. I have appealed the decision and that too has been denied. I am talking with a lawyer but hold little hope of prevailing against the government.

    • Tess Trueheart

      I don’t believe anyone really understands how SSA disability is dispensed. One must prove they are severely disabled — that is, that you have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from doing any substantial and gainful work and will last at least one year or will cause your death. There are two benefit programs you can apply for: (SSDI) for disabled people who’ve already worked for a certain number of years or (SSI): available to disabled or elderly people whose incomes and assets are very low. If you have a doctor who will document your illness, get a lawyer and your chances of winning are very good. This will not affect your drawing social security if you paid the self employment tax. I do hope, Alan, that I am not coming off as a smartass but I do have the privilege of standing with a group of women that try to get the word out.

      • Surfisher

        Tess Liehard — “…not coming off as a smartass but I do have the privilege of standing with a group of women that try to get the word out.”

        What’s the name of that women’s group — “How to destroy America by implementing Obama’s infamies”…? And what’s “the word” — “Obey Obama for he knows best…”?

        What a sad little Obama shill you are, and how hateful of this once Free Nation you must be, to keep posting pernicious Obama propaganda that is designed to further help in the destruction of our Constitutional Rights!

        Shame on you!

    • Surfisher

      Allan Douglas — the Tess “Treuheart” character…better known as Tess LIEHARD, is nothing more than an Obama shill. Do not pay attention to it, no-one of merit does. It comes here and posts nothing but pernicious propaganda in defense of the Usurper of our White House who’s out to destroy or nation!

  • Tess Trueheart

    Surfisher.. Like Rand Paul, you are plagiaristic. Apparently unable to dissect the news of the day and form an opinion of your own, you post the thoughts and writing of a third person. You profess to want to follow the constitution…then you need to do so yourself. Meaning: my opinions may not be agreeable to you but I am entitled to them without being subjected to your rancorous comments. Meaningful debate, without cruelty, on issues of the day is a good learning process. Try it.

    • TT

      Tess – As a European (not a communist, socialist or other radical leftie type), you are clearly the voice of reason in your ongoing debate with Surfisher, keep it up! From the same European perspective, the likes of Surfisher are both an enormous never ending source of amusement (can they really be that mad!) and an endless source of concern (they really are that mad!). Just from a point of interest and your demonstrated capacity for reason, why is it that seemingly a majority of Americans hold on to literal interpretations of the constitution believing that modern America should adhere to the letter to a document published in 1787? Obviously, to the rest of the entire world (except maybe North Korea) the ‘right to bear arms’ issue with it’s mention of militia’s etc is patently ridiculous for 2013 allowing any number of madmen to wreak havoc on innocent people yet still they hold this as sacrosanct? Baffling!

      • Tess Trueheart

        TT…I appreciate your comments. Most of “us” Americans use the constitution as a shield when we are unable to justify what we are saying with reason. Our second amendment is the most controversial because Americans are born hunters (especially in my state) but I’ve never known anyone to use an AK15 to kill a dove or a deer…those seem to be reserved for people. The men who wrote the second amendment could not fathom the repeating mechanisms of guns of today or the manner in which they are used. Just as they could not fathom how we would interpret their words. Surprisingly, Americans are selective when it comes to adhering to our constitution. Even the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection did not prevent the states from passing Jim Crow laws to maintain white supremacy or the Supreme Court from ruling that the amendment did not mean what it said. It took until 1964 to get this amendment basically re-enstated.

        America is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not provide universal healthcare. A large number of people term this “socialism”, forgetting that our fire departments, police departments,public libraries, parks, any public facility is federally and municipally funded but they do not carry the same socialist tag. Welcome to America!

        • obvious

          tess,
          your take on the 2nd amendment is incorrect.
          had nothing to do with hunting but the citizens being armed on par with the military, read up on it.
          this gentleman states it very well in a few minutes;

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZo4hbGJjVI

          • Tess Trueheart

            Obvious…I repeat: the second amendment is the most controversial…you are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled mine. I watched your Utube account with interest. Your speaker spoke of the Supreme Court case United States vs. Miller (1939), in which the ruling was: the federal government and the states could limit any weapon types not having a “reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia”. In McDonald vs. Chicago (2010), the Court clarified its earlier decisions limiting the amendment’s impact to a restriction on the federal government, expressly holding that the Fourteenth Amendment applies the Second Amendment to state and local governments to the same extent that the Second Amendment applies to the federal government.

            Your spokesman used Korea and China’s revolt’s as a source of reason. A bit of anachronism, don’t you think?

      • Josh

        Hey TT – I know you asked Tess this question, but if you don’t mind, i’ll insert my opinion here, too on the constitution. The general answer for why we would want to adhere to it literally is because human nature does not change. The constitution was written to constrain human nature in government. Since human nature does not change, neither does the need to constrain it in government.

        For example – religious freedom – historically people of one particular belief system once they have governmental power abuse those who do not share their belief system. So we decided that our government could not establish a national religion, nor prohibit anyone else from exercising their personal religious viewpoints.

        We also decided that since freedom to speak one’s mind is critical to a democratic representative republic, that the government could not abridge the freedom of speech.

        For the right to keep and bear arms, remember that it in our case it was ‘militias’ who rose up against the established government. Also remember that in our Declaration of Independence we pointed to the self evident truth that when a government reduces its people to a place of absolute despotism, it is their right to throw off such government and form another that meets with their own liking.

        Exactly how can people do that if they are unarmed? Exactly how can they do that with single shot cap and ball rifles?

        Nobody in America is for criminals having weapons. It is criminals who abuse weapons and we need to do a better job of getting them out of criminals hands, and keeping criminals from getting them, while at the same time allowing free access to law abiding citizens.

        I am not so naive to believe that my government will never become something that needs to be overthrown. History tells the lesson of how over and over again governments consolidate power and abuse their citizens…or other countries…or both.

        I am also not so naive to believe that it will never happen that America could go to war with an outside force and be invaded.

        Given the long view of history, having an armed responsible citizenry is likely a better retardant to an invading army. No one will defend a man’s home more ruthlessly than the man himself.

        I do realize there are paranoid people with gun stockpiles and dry food storage supplies that will last decades, and I am not one of these. But as far as I’m concerned, as long as they aren’t a criminal who cares? …and they may have need of it some day.

        And given that human nature doesn’t change…the right of citizens to keep and bear arms should not be infringed.

        • Goethe Behr

          Josh: I think it’s a romantic fallacy to think that people can rise up and overthrow a modern government. The past few years have shown that. You have to rise up with ideas. If you try to use violence, you end up with an endless, deadly war, such as in Syria.

          • Tess Trueheart

            Goethe..you’re third sentence should be enshrined.

          • Josh

            …i don’t know if its the site or my browser, but my posts often end up in the wrong places…reposting

            every war is about ideas. The American revolution was about ideas. In fact we did exactly what you prescribe. We elected our government and declared independence. We sent the declaration over to the king of our separation, and he responded with an army. We responded with a militia…because the people were armed.

            The romantic fallacy is that you can overthrow *any* tyrannical government without the use of force.

            Look at what the soviets did to their uprisers. Look at what is happening today in North Korea. Look at tiananmen square. Look at how the world tried to treat the Nazis. The world tried what you prescribed with the Nazis initially and all it ended up creating was World War 2. The people who saw what Germany was were pushed to the back and Neville Chamberlain became a negotiator. After bombs started dropping Winston Churchill was elected and the rest is history.

            Philosophical disagreements with a tyrant always end up in an elementary school playground type of argument with a bully. ‘Oh, yeah, so what are you gonna do about it..[shove]‘ A bully and a tyrant always use force to get their way. Because its not about what’s right, its about what they want.

            You have to use both force and ideas….which is why our Seal shows an eagle with Arrows *and* Fig Leaves.

            Even Ghandi understood the need of people being armed. He is famously quoted as saying that the worst thing the brits did to them was disarm them. Britain had become a better government by that time being representative, so non-violence worked.

            however, it is naive to believe that the goodness of any government will be perpetual for all generations.

            • Tess Trueheart

              Josh..On the Seal of the United States, the Eagle holds a bundle of 13 arrows in its left talon, referring to the 13 original states, and an olive branch in its right talon, symbolizing that the United States has a strong desire for peace. The eagle has its head turned towards the olive branch, showing a preference for peace not war. In its beak, the eagle clutches a scroll with the words E pluribus unum (“Out of Many, One”).

              Mohandas “Mahatma” Karamchand Gandhi said: “Truth is God and there is no way to find Truth except the way of nonviolence. Violence separates people, but the search for truth is a communal enterprise in which we have to work together”.What Gandhi had to say about guns, in his autobiography, quoted a letter he wrote to the Viceroy of India during WW I: “I would make India offer all her able-bodied sons as a sacrifice to the Empire at its critical moment, and I know that India, by this very act, would become the most favoured partner in the Empire. I write this because I love the English nation, and I wish to evoke in every Indian the loyalty of Englishmen.” When it came to his own participation on the side of the English in WW I, Gandhi joined the ambulance corps in 1914, stating: “A rifle this hand will never fire.”

              The King of England, by his own choice, made the decision to remove the thirteen colonies from his cover of authority, protection, and jurisdiction. The Colonies had no option left but to establish themselves a new lawful government. From the Declaration of Independence: “He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.” America was born in lawful authority, which gave our forefathers the right to defend and drive the British from their new country.

              In 1937, World War II began in Asia when Japanese forces invaded China, a longtime American ally. In 1937, the US Congress passed an even stronger Neutrality Act, banning American ships from carrying passengers or goods of any type to foreign nations embroiled in war. In March 1938, Nazi Germany swallowed up Austria. Six months later, Hitler demanded that Czechoslovakia hand over to him the Sudetenland. Hoping to appease Hitler by caving in to his demands, British and French negotiators allowed the German dictator to seize the Sudetenland in exchange for a worthless promise to abandon all plans for further territorial expansion. A tragic mistake, however, at that time 59% of the American people believed they had done “the best thing in giving in to Germany instead of going to war”.In 1940, Winston Churchill was elected and gave his famous “We shall not flag or fail,” speech. Although 79% of Americans were polled as still against war, Franklin D. Roosevelt, had begun devising ways to circumvent the isolationist restrictions of the US Neutrality Acts in order to offer the maximum possible assistance to the British. Roosevelt told members of Congress: “If my neighbor’s house catches fire, and I know that fire will spread to my house unless it is put out, and I am watering the grass in my back yard, and I don’t pass my garden hose over the fence to my neighbor, I am a fool.” It became Roosevelt’s war and we all know what happened.

              I do believe that right and goodness in our government will prevail. Why would any American want to overthrow a government that let’s everyone express their views, vote for whom they choose, work for whom you please, and can campaign for election to Congress to put forth better ideas to help other citizens.

            • Josh

              Tess, the simple answer to your question is…because they no longer let everyone express their views, vote for whom they choose, work for whom they please and campaign for election to Congress….etc. but become an oppressive form of government.

              One of the basic philosophies put forth in Thomas Paine’s Common Sense is that one ought not perpetually trust government. This is also why are declaration stated that if a government *becomes* destructive (this implies that at one point the government was not destructive).

              My point about arms is very basic. You cannot perpetually trust government. Because you cannot perpetually trust people.

              Look at the democratic party. They were pretty ferocious racists from the 1800′s – the mid 1900′s, aligned with the KKK. Passing Jim Crow laws…etc. But now, they are very different.

              Both parties were involved in the scourge of eugenics – Teddy Roosevelt was a proponent of it.

              We ended the democrats desire for slavery with the civil war. The electoral process took another 100 years – they still fought civil rights legislation all the way to its passage. Even President Johnson (who signed the civil rights law as president) voted against similar laws before he was president.

              I’m sure there are lots of examples of evil behaving republicans, too.

              My point is that if a government could not be changed with the electoral process – Nazi Germany is an example…Hitler was ‘elected’ – what is a people to do? This means promoting ideals alone would not help.

              I don’t believe it is outside the relm of possibility that in 100 or 200 years the USA could be a very different place with very tyrannical government. Why would I want to disarm those people 100 or 200 years from now with bad legislation today?

              Easy example – God, Moses, and Pharoah. You’ve seen the 10 Commandments probably.

              If a head of state will say no to God about letting his people go, what makes you think a head of state will always listen to argument alone?

            • Tess Trueheart

              Josh…From 1860 to 1932, the Democrats elected only two presidents in 72 years, Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson. The Republican party was in control. Do not lay the desire for slavery at the door of democrats alone. Abraham Lincoln owned slaves, as did George Washington,Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and the majority of our forefather were slaveholders. The Northern part of the country preferred to use the indentured servant route. The indentured person had to work a set number of years, without pay, to earn their freedom. You do President Johnson an injustice. Did you read the reason for his votes? Vote on lynching: He believe lynching was already a crime – a state crime called murder – and should be vigorously enforced, When Three Rivers, Texas morticians- citing race- refused to provide funeral services for Felix Longoria, a casualty of war, then Senator Johnson arranged for burial with honors at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1964, he said “I want to be the President who helped to end hatred among his fellow men and who promoted love among the people of all races and all regions and all parties”.

              Thomas Paine was an inspirational radical who died in miserable circumstances..An inveterate pamphleteer, Thomas Paine spoke of the merits of reason, republicanism and radicalism in a series of writings. Having fled to France to avoid arrest for treason in 1792, he was soon imprisoned there. Here, he wrote Age of Reason I have read his works but I don’t like to quote him. A thought just crossed my mind, Paine was a liberal and I have often been accused of having that strain.

              On Your easy example: To me, God was always in control, Moses was his instrument to lead the people from bondage to the Promised Land. Through out this story ran the strong threads of love and trust. No guns needed here

            • obvious

              tess,
              reading your post; it looks like a highschool paper copied from web searches.
              aside the obvious web quotes the only independent opinion you state is ‘no guns needed here’ in reference to the exodus to the promised land.
              introducing an anachronism, to make your point of no guns in america, is a silly approach.

            • Tess Trueheart

              Obvious..You need to reread my post…”no guns here” was solely in reference to Moses and The Exodus. You are overanalyzing.

            • http://gravatar.com/eduehling edmundo uehling

              Yes, Tess, you are correct about the positioning of the posts. I was able to read your post on my email, but can’t find it (at least easily and without wasting time, here on the thread. What is happening?

            • Josh

              True, no guns involved. God is spirit, He don’t need no stinking guns (to borrow a paraphrase).

              One thing God did employ was violence, not just persuasive ideas. That was the point.

              The other point was that even ideas from God Himself were not enough to persuade a tyrant, hence the need for subsequent coercive violence.

              Those go back to the supporting the concept that ideas and words alone are useless against a tyrant. You must have both ideas and weapons. If a people only has ideas, and government has all the guns…that’s not a winning argument when the government is tyrannical.

            • Goethe Behr

              Josh:

              It’s a romantic idea, but in today’s world, the government has all the tools it needs to defend itself. An armed rebellion merely gives that government a justification for a repressive response.

              In the modern world, you can’t force a government out of power, no matter how many pop guns you have. The government has to collapse from within. And that usually means that the military decides that the government no longer has legitimacy.

            • Josh

              Goethe – i’m sure that’s what England thought during our revolution. England’s repressive response failed in 1776. The soviet unions repressive attempt failed dramatically. Your belief is contradicted by history, not only ancient, but also recent.

              An armed citizenry is in a much better place against a tyrannical government than a disarmed citizenry. Hence, the right to keep and bear arms should continue to not be infringed.

            • Goethe Behr

              Josh: Please name a revolution in which people with guns led a revolution.

              Certainly not the case in recent ones–Tunisia, Libya, Egypt & Egypt.

              Syria is proof that an uprising with guns doesn’t work. And it also shows that one group of foreigners will use it as a grounds for fighting another group of foreigners.

              The Soviet Union feel BECAUSE the soldiers were NOT faced by guns.

              The Russian Revolution was a popular uprising, but it was a collapse of the military, which saw the insanity of the First World War. It wasn’t “the people” rising up.

              You could say the demonstrations at Tiananmen Square failed, but that’s a negative argument. I think things would have been much worse with a circular firing squad.

              The American Revolution was really a secession from a foreign power, not an overthrow of a domestic government. AND, I think it’s pretty clear that the British could have won if they felt it was worth their trouble. After all, look at how they just walked right in and burned down Washington in 1812–and that was while they were in the middle of war in Europe.

              All the modern revolutions have been a case of popular discontent getting to the level where the military decided that they should change the government.

              I see no example of people with pea-shooters taking down their domestic government.

            • Josh

              Goethe – I think you are arguing against something I am not saying…again. I am saying that a people is better off and more able to stand up against a tyrannical regime than a disarmed citizenry. I am saying a people disarmed have *nothing* when the government (including the military wing) is against them. Nothing you have said contradicts this. This is why the framers defended the people’s right to keep and bear arms with the constitution.

              Can they accomplish overthrowing a government with guns alone? Who is saying that? I’m not. I’m only saying they can’t do it disarmed.

              You are saying that if a people needs to overthrow a violent tyrannical regime, they can do it by completely non-violent means.

              You are also saying that people should be disarmed when they need to defend themselves, being armed when defending yourself is useless, right?

              That is the result of your argument. The only way a people can defend themselves against a tyrannical government is disarmed, right? The *only* way possible for regime change is non-violent right?

            • Goethe Behr

              Josh: NO, I am arguing against EXACTLY what you are saying.

              There are lots of arguments for and against guns. The one that makes absolutely NO sense is that “an armed citizenry” can overthrow a government.

              Recent history, in particular, shows just the opposite. In the examples I cited, it was the LACK of guns that led to government overthrow.

              If you stand in front of the tanks with guns, they will run over you–for their own self defense. If you stand there with your arms up, inviting them to join you, you have SOME hope of success.

              The idea that a bunch of crazies running around with guns will bring down a modern government is just insane. And counterproductive.

            • TT

              Goethe – what is a gun? While I agree that ‘a bunch of crazies waving guns in the air’ has about as much chance of overthrowing a (in particular, the US) government as Sarah Palin has of winning the Nobel prize for economic science, this assumes when talking ‘guns’ we mean AR15′s and AK47′s. In my own personal definition the generalist term ‘gun’ includes B2 Bombers, Cruise Missiles, Sarin Gas and Fox News (smoking ‘gun’). Give this type of ‘gun’ to God and Country patriots and you’d have a real democracy in no time (or am I confusing them with the Taliban?).

            • Goethe Behr

              TT: yeah. Same thing. That’s the fallacy in the fantasy that we need guns for sedition. Trouble is, the people with the assault weapons are insane enough to want them.

              How small can a dick be that he needs a semi-automatic and a hundred rounds to prove his manhood?

            • Goethe Behr

              And, no, I am NOT saying the citizenry “should” be disarmed.

              I’m simply debating the false argument that “we need guns to overthrow our government.”

              That’s simply propaganda to peddle more guns to a country that already has more guns than people. And it’s a false premise.

            • Tess Trueheart

              Goethe…There have been several powerful ideas turned into non-violent protests in the United States that changed the actions of our government. An anti-war demonstration in front of the Pentagon on October 21,1967, organized in an attempt to end the War in Vietnam. Not even the National Guard, with guns drawn and bayonets fixed, was a match for the young hippies armed only with flowers. Flower power and no casualties.

              Even though African Americans constituted 70% of total bus ridership in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks still had trouble keeping her seat on Dec. 1,1955. It was against the law for her to refuse to give up her seat to a white man, and her arrest incited the Montgomery Bus Boycott. One year later, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision that made segregated seating unconstitutional.

              The Suffrage Parade on March 3, 1913, lawyer Inez Milholland Boissevain led a procession of more than 5,000 marchers down Washington D.C.’s Pennsylvania Avenue. The National American Woman Suffrage Association, founders of the event, had started the struggle to grant women the right to vote — a right that was finally achieved seven years later.

  • ed uehling

    Instead of labeling Surfisher and making accusations, which, when they are not unsubstantiated, are ridiculous (he or she is “not following the constitution”?), why not address the specific issues (s)he presented? Do you, Tess, think that the young and healthy, who are also in the lowest income bracket, are going to subsidize the old and sick, who happen to be in the highest income and asset bracket? Do you have other figures to indicate that a number of young participants less than 3 million will make Obamacare sustainable?

  • Tess Trueheart

    ed uehling…you need to review all posts. The truth is not an accusation. If you agree with Surfisher that is your’s to live with. There are 17.8 million young adults that lack basic health coverage in the United States. I realize that the young often feel invincible but it only takes one car accident or an unexpected diagnosis to bring crushing medical bills upon a family. Over 3 million young adults remain on their parent’s insurance due to a ruling in the Affordable Care act. The 3 million you speak of are an unknown at this moment. The young in the low income bracket will qualify for assistance to help pay for health coverage. How is this subsidizing the old and sick? Since enrollment in the Affordable Care is in it’s infancy, there are no outstanding figures that you or I can quote with any accuracy about actual enrollment. Kentucky’ Governor Beshear is working very hard to get enrollment moving in his state. He said: 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.

  • ed uehling

    Tess, maybe one of us has a fundamental problem with the distinction between “truth” and “accusation”. In my opinion “like Rand Paul”, “plagiaristic”, “unable to dissect the news”, “unable to form own opinion”, “rancorous”, and “cruel” are all accusations and judgments, not “truths” or “proofs of truth”. Looks to me like you define “truth” as anything you say, be it an accusation as wild as your statement that Surfisher is not “following the Constitution” or specific data that would refute the contentions he made in the post you objected to. Speaking of data, it may be that 17.8 million young adults lack insurance, but that is not germane to Surfisher’s points. (S)he questioned the likelihood of duping enough young people to voluntarily submit to this regressive wealth transfer.

    According to Surfisher’s data (which you have not refuted), Obama wants 7 million and NEEDS 3 million young people to pay his inflated $180 per month for the $50/month coverage they get today (which is apparently sufficient to meet their perceived needs) because he knows that, overall, they will pay far more cumulatively than they receive cumulatively. The opposite is exponentially true for people over 65. That means the young, even counting all their car accidents for which you shed crocodile tears, are subsidizing the old. Even Obama knows that’s the truth, so it’s not some unfounded Tess-style accusation. If the young were mostly too poor to pay, as you imply, then Obama and the Democrats would be less interested in cajoling young people to enroll and PAY and PAY and PAY. Their wholesale robbing the relatively poor young to make the rich slightly more comfortable appears, ironically, to have been taken out of the establishment-Republican bag of tricks.

    • Goethe Behr

      Ed: Maybe you haven’t been following the ongoing Surfisher-Tess battle. The note you’re responding to is the first time that Tess has fired back, so it’s really not fair to attack her on it.

      I would prefer if we’d all stick to the facts, but Surfisher has been vicious with his attacks on her, seldom using facts, and even now, he’s still using words like “shill” and “Tess character,” instead of making a reasonable post.

      Unfortunately, that sort of thing is contagious. Surfisher and I got into a prolonged name-calling battle, because I got sick of it, too. Up to now, Tess just showed her hurt feelings, or asked him not to reply to her. She just snapped.

      As for the point at hand, I suspect one reason Tess snapped is that (a) people are complaining that Obamacare is not ideal–as if the current system were, and (b) most of the analyses are written by people who want it to fail. (It’s easy to complain.)

      I think Tess would have been better off to say, yes, there are a lot of ways anything can fail–if that’s what you want. But you’re assuming that no one will work on problems.

      The criticisms are also based on a current snapshot, rather than long-term implementation.

      I DO NOT HAVE A HORSE IN THIS RACE, since I have Social Security, but I’m just tired of seeing Tess beat up.

      BUSINESSWEEK says Obamacare will benefit business, if allowed to work:

      http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-26/obamacare-can-benefit-businesses-if-congress-gives-it-a-chance-to-work

      FORBES says, “new evidence keeps emerging of the benefits that expanding access to health coverage and investing in prevention and public health can bring.”

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/robwaters/2013/11/08/its-not-the-website-stupid-new-research-says-romneycare-worked-obamacare-will/

      Sen. Jay Rockefeller says the system is already making a difference:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sen-jay-rockefeller/the-affordable-care-act-w_b_4031834.html

      From NYT: “My confidence that the Affordable Care Act will meet its coverage objectives is based on a belief, shared by most economists, that financial incentives, if they are big enough, tend to work.”

      http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/10/why-obamacare-will-work-on-its-own-terms.html

      From Real Clear Politics, which has been forecasting like magic for a decade–”Patience, Obamacare Will Work”:

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2013/10/25/patience_obamacare_will_work_318578.html

      And, finally, from WP–the current hysteria is not because Obamacare won’t work–it’s because it might:

      http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-09-23/opinions/42323586_1_romneycare-obamacare-health-care

      • Surfisher

        Goethe Behr — the truce is between you and I.

        Do not ever again neg me on my deduction of what Tess is (an Obama shill) — let each of us speak for themselves.

        • Goethe Behr

          Surfisher: I am shaking in my boots.

          What you don’t realize is that name calling, whether it’s me, Tess, TT, or anyone else you besmirch, you are just making it appear that you have no confidence in your argument, so you fall back on personal attacks.

          I think if you ask anyone here, they will tell you they are LESS likely to agree with you if you throw in a childish ad hominem comment.

  • Tess Trueheart

    ed uehling…I will not debate about Surfisher. If you have something worthy, post it.

    • ed uehling

      My comments referred to your style, which you even had the chutzpa to defend. I guess all of us will wait in vain for you to debate his facts. Or maybe you accept them as the “truth” you are so vigilant in defending. I don’t pretend to know anything about his data, but I can recognize a red herring when I see it and your penultimate post had several swimming around.

  • Josh

    TT – your statement is kind of ridiculous. The average take of the federal government is about 17-20% of GDP (and a large portion of society gets medical coverage out of that money). This leaves about 80% of the dollars the *vast* majority goes to profit motivated companies. Whether they put it in the bank. Buy clothes and food. Buy cars. Invest. The *vast* majority of the remaining 80ish% goes to profit motivated people and organizations. Why? Because America is a capitalist mostly free society. This means that individuals take their ‘after tax’ money and use it in ways that benefit themselves. The way ‘for profit’ organizations get that money is by providing some product or service individuals (and sometimes other ‘for profit’ organizations) benefit from…and the ‘for profit’ company benefits from the individuals benefit.

    Its a mutually beneficial relationship.

    It is not true that the ‘socialized medicine’ in Europe operates for free. Do the doctors and nurses volunteer? Has some land owner given their property for use for free? Has someone built medical facilities at ‘no charge’ and did all the companies involved in the building and maintenance of the facilities…computer, metal, cement, wood, furniture…etc…etc..all provide their products and services for free?

    No they do not all of those things cost money. Where does the government get that money? From taxing citizens. So it is not free.

    what makes it even more shameful to call it *free* is the fact of choice, choice is taken out of the picture. In ‘single payer’ systems, individual liberty is lost and the mutually beneficial relationship is, too. So there is no constraint on the end of the consumer of medical services to limit themselves, and there is no incentive for the company to provide an excellent service. So what comes about as a result of this mandated relationship is regulation for the benefit of the state. The state cannot truly seek to benefit the individual in *every* way they want, because the state is having to pay the medical provider, and the state only has so much money (remember the Grecian debacle?).

    This is why there are waiting lists. In a capitalist, free-will. relationship, someone needing an operation is money on the table (at worst), or is someone people can really work together to help unconstrained (at best)…regular business is likely somewhere in the middle.

    But in ‘socialized medicine’ the mutually beneficial relationship of a capitalist system is broken, and people are left with a system in which the state is the only one who truly benefits. Is capitalism perfect, no, but its definitely better than the alternative.

    Plus, Obamacare doesn’t change the 20% number you indicated. What it does is force *everyone* to participate in it.

    If you truly objected to the ‘for profit’ motivated insurance, you ought to be screaming from the rooftops for Obama ‘forcing’ American’s to buy from those scoundrels.

    What’s worse? Paying 20% of your income by choice, or paying 20% of your income by force?

    • TT

      Josh – Healthcare in Europe, Aus, NZ and I believe Canada is indeed paid from the tax pool ….. which is a sliding scale of the more you earn the more you pay. If you pay nothing through disability or unemployment you still get exactly the same level of care. Your comment on there being ‘no incentive for a company to provide excellent service’ is both extremely sad and indicative (in my opinion) of capitalism gone mad. Call me starry eyed but everywhere outside America a vast majority of those that work in the provision of public health (NOT the parasite botox jockey’s) do so not for the money (which is not a lot) but to be a small part in providing what anybody (again in my opinion) might expect from there government …. healthcare when they need it without going into debt for the rest of your life.
      No it’s not free but it is funded on the principal of ability to pay. Earn a million pay a lot, earn nothing pay nothing is what the rest of the first world calls civilisation, a moral obligation or simply the right thing to do. Name a country anywhere in the world where they have a national health service where there is even a whisper that it should be abolished for a private insurance scheme …. or don’t wast your time, there are NONE. I accept your right to think that the rest of the world is ‘out of step’ but from where I’m sitting …..

      I’ll close by suggesting that healthcare is not a game and not something that should be kicked round like a political football. Obama (in my opinion) has not gone nearly far enough toward socialising medicine in the US so that the US can BEGIN to catch up with far far far better systems the world over.

      • Josh

        TT – i understand where you’re coming from, but you should also understand that America is a vastly different culture. Above all else we value individual liberty. I don’t need to name a country where they have a national health service that the public by and large does not want. That is irrelevant to America. What is relevant to America is the fact that the vast majority of Americans do not want socialized medicine.

        We’re OK with tid bits of socialization – Social Security for the elderly and handicapped. Medicare/Medicaid for the same group. We’re OK with being taxed to provide temporary assistance to those in need. But in a free society no one should be perpetually dependent on someone else unless they’re a child or an invalid . That’s the value system of the largest portion of American society. The largest portion of American society believes people should make their own way and reap the rewards (or experience the failures) of their own pursuits and personal choices.

        The only systems that should be put in place are what the people want. In America we do not want socialized medicine, we never have. This is why Obama had to lie to the American public in order to get his law passed. It took a hidden tyranny to get this passed. I would assume you would disagree with forcing the system on people?

        Remember, about 85% of the American public already had health insurance, and the vast majority (around 80%) were happy with what they had. The remaining 15% didn’t all *want* health coverage, it is likely less than 5%. So this law was put in place taking away the right of choice for all Americans to enable insurance for less than 5% of the population (numbers are showing now that about 78% of that 15% don’t *want* to sign up..at least that’s the buzz). So this really isn’t serving society in America. Elsewhere in the world, maybe. But again, elsewhere is irrelevant to here from the ‘we’re happy with it in Europe’ perspective.

        The profit motive is the best motivator that people can count on. You mentioned that there are ‘waiting’ lines for things, the only waiting lines for healthcare I know of is the Native American healthcare…which is socialized. I’m a Native American and gladly pay out of pocket to stay in the free market. I’ve experienced Native American healthcare, and socialized medicine. Free market is the best place. If someone needs a surgery, that’s money on the table. So people will line up to get that money, and also to do the procedure excellently. The incentive to do excellently is to avoid lawsuits, and also have return customers. The profit motive allows doctors the financial liberty to do things for no charge (experienced that before, too). Its really is a better system, but i guess we can agree to disagree.

  • Tess Trueheart

    Nate…is the above post not problematic to you?

    • http://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com Nate

      Tess Trueheart: Yes, Surfisher is in the Gulag for many, many offenses. I hate being the babysitter here but after numerous complaints from numerous different regulars, I can only warn so many times.

      • Goethe Behr

        I’m not sure what “above post” we’re talking about.

  • Josh

    Goethe – every war is about ideas. The American revolution was about ideas. In fact we did exactly what you prescribe. We elected our government and declared independence. We sent the declaration over to the king of our separation, and he responded with an army. We responded with a militia…because the people were armed.

    The romantic fallacy is that you can overthrow *any* tyrannical government without the use of force.

    Look at what the soviets did to their uprisers. Look at what is happening today in North Korea. Look at tiananmen square. Look at how the world tried to treat the Nazis. The world tried what you prescribed with the Nazis initially and all it ended up creating was World War 2. The people who saw what Germany was were pushed to the back and Neville Chamberlain became a negotiator. After bombs started dropping Winston Churchill was elected and the rest is history.

    Philosophical disagreements with a tyrant always end up in an elementary school playground type of argument with a bully. ‘Oh, yeah, so what are you gonna do about it..[shove]‘ A bully and a tyrant always use force to get their way. Because its not about what’s right, its about what they want.

    You have to use both force and ideas….which is why our Seal shows an eagle with Arrows *and* Fig Leaves.

    Even Ghandi understood the need of people being armed. He is famously quoted as saying that the worst thing the brits did to them was disarm them. Britain had become a better government by that time being representative, so non-violence worked.

    however, it is naive to believe that the goodness of any government will be perpetual for all generations.

    • Goethe Behr

      Josh: I was afraid that I had written too short an explanation.

      There are lots of arguments for and against guns. The one that makes no sense at all is that we need guns to blow away the government.

      You mentioned the Soviet Union. Duh. Where were you when it fell?? The REASON the USSR fell was precisely BECAUSE the citizenry did not have guns.

      Imagine yourself as a soldier. You are being asked to kill unarmed citizens of your own country. Are you going to do it? THAT is a tough question, and we have seen, over and over, that decent soldiers will NOT kill those who are unarmed.

      NOW, imagine you’re that same soldier, facing the same citizenry, but now, they are shooting at you. Are you going to defend yourself? Of course, you will. Even if you don’t want to defend the government that hired you, you are going to defend YOURSELF.

      And THAT is my point. Look at Tunisia, or more impressively, Libya (which had a strong government), and even better, Egypt–TWICE. Now look at Syria, where the gunslingers have been killing military and civilians while trying to claim some sort of righteousness–for TWO YEARS.

      Your suggestion that “every war is about ideas” is nonsense. Most wars have been fought for power and wealth.

      I am not talking about appeasement. It doesn’t make you a “man” to sling a gun. Just the opposite. It is much more manly to stand in front of a tank and tell them you will not move. And it is much more likely that the tank will stop if you are not a raving maniac waving a gun.

      Guns don’t kill tyranny. Ideas and real courage do.

  • Josh

    “The one that makes no sense at all is that we need guns to blow away the government.”

    Completely agree with you here. I think you are arguing against something I’m not saying.

    You need ideas *and* weapons. Ideas alone don’t work any more than guns alone don’t work. You *must* be prepared to use force, otherwise ideas are meaningless with a tyrant.

    What would have happened in the revolutionary war if we were not prepared to fight at the citizen level?

    *every* war being about ideas was an overstatement. I would not say that *most* wars have been fought for power and wealth alone either.

    Civil War was about the right of every person to be free (an idea). WW2, was about stopping Nazi Germany’s desire to take over the world and bring about a master race (an idea). The ‘cold war’ (which shed real blood in indirect conflicts between the USA and USSR) was about stopping the spread of communism (an idea). Those conflicts would include vietnam and korea, plus several south american skirmishes in the 80′s.

    Then there is the conflict we have today with terrorism and Islam…backed by Russia. Russia is likely in the power and wealth scheme, with Islamic terrorists its about ideas. The terrorists want to see spread their religion by force…they’re still stuck in the dark ages mentally (terrorists, not all muslims).

    Ideas don’t kill tyranny either. Ideas, guns, and real courage do…you need them all.

    • Goethe Behr

      Josh: How do I disagree with you. . .let me count the ways.

      Let me be more clear. In the modern world, guns in the hands of rebels gives the government a license to kill. In modern revolutions, it is the civilians, working together, who convince the military that the government has lost legitimacy.

      The only modern example of an unarmed uprising being stomped out was in China. And that was unique in many ways. First, it was a relatively small number of people–among billions. Second, the students hoisted a Statue of Liberty icon. How do you think we’d like rebels holding up Swastikas or Sickle-and-Hammer or other foreign symbol? Third, the Chinese saw the chaos that the USSR was falling into.

      To repeat: guns prevent revolution in the modern world.

      As for your “idea” wars, the Civil War did not begin as a war on slavery. It was about trade and imbalance. World War II became about ideas, but I’m not sure when or if we would have become involved if we had not been invaded. Considering the insanity of Hitler attacking Russia, with whom he had a Non-Aggression Pact, we would probably have been attacked eventually.

      The idea that Russia is supporting Islamic terrorism is absurd. They are trying to stomp it out in Chechnya.

      But the bottom line is that a populace which decides it has had enough can overthrow a regime, but ONLY with the agreement of the military. That means you don’t shoot at them. And that means guns prevent revolution. QED.

      • Josh

        Goethe – the idea of a ‘modern’ world and things being different is highly naïve. Human nature has never changed throughout time.

        Russia is supporting Islamic terrorism by supporting Iran. Iran is the cornerstone of the modern Islamic terrorist movement. The Ayatollah Khomeini started the movement that’s trying to set the world on fire today.

        And you don’t realize you are making my point for me by saying a populace can only overthrow a regime with the agreement of the military, and you are missing the fact that *the military IS part of the government* So the case you are making does not address the point I am making. The point I am making is what is that an unarmed citizenry with only ideas is nothing against a tyrannical government (military is part of the government). Your case has part of the government siding with the people against another part of the government, I’m not talking about that.

        I am talking about responsible risk planning for a society. It is simply irresponsible for a society to abdicate their defense solely to the government and give up the right to keep and bear arms. This quote from common sense says it all about the foolishness of perpetual trust in the goodness of government:

        “One of the strongest NATURAL proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is, that nature disapproves it, otherwise she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ASS FOR A LION.”

        Government ought always be good, but history proves it is not always so.

        You say that an armed resistance is useless against a government. I say a disarmed resistance is useless against a tyrannical government.

        One glaringly obvious example supporting my stance is Afghanistan. Russia tried and failed to conquer that nation. A world super power unable to conquer a 3rd world people who refused to quit fighting. True, it was not an uprising against a tyrannical regime. But it was an example of a feebly armed society able to repel a super power by attrition.

        You have not given any contraction to the statement that ideas and guns are necessary against a tyrannical regime. In fact, the examples you gave re-enforce the idea generally, but avoids it specifically because your ideas do not address what a society is to do when its entire government turns against them, and the government has all the guns.

        • Goethe Behr

          Josh: Nonsense.

          Modern governments do NOT fall because a bunch of locals wave guns. ALL the successful recent revolutions were because the government fell apart FROM WITHIN.

          As for Afghanistan, that was not a revolution. It was one more organized theatre of the Cold War, in which one foreign power tried to hold control, while another foreign power opposed them, with the help of another foreigner–Osama bin Laden.

  • TT

    Josh – so to paraphrase your last couple of posts… suburban Americans need guns now to fight off the threat of Russian backed Muslims and/or because in a couple of hundred years time the US government ‘might’ have become so tyrannical the citizens ‘might’ have to rise up (with their 200 year old weapons) to overthrow it and that this risk is sooooo real it was worth the lives of over 35000 (that’s THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND) of your fellow citizens (including children at Sandy Hook elementary) in 2012? (and that gun deaths in the US are forecast to exceed road deaths by 2015, Bloomberg reports today). That about right??
    Also while I’m on and as a frequent visitor to the US and watcher of US politics, just exactly what do you mean by “they no longer let everyone express their views”? Is not Freedom of Speech enshrined in the constitution? The only instance I can think of about the big ‘THEY’ is not Obama or his government (incompetence isn’t tyranny!!) but the TEA party people who openly suggest and admit the only reason for the introduction of a photo ID in advance of voting in an election is to marginalise ‘groups’ which predominantly vote for the Democrats. The US, while a first world, educated and wealthy nation, has more murders than just about any country on earth, why? and enough of the Russian Muslim and tyranny stuff, have a real think about it.

    • Josh

      TT, you’re funny. A good sense of humor is a welcome thing here. I bet you think that spoons make people fat, too, huh? ;)

      Yeah, its pretty much worth the risk. People who are against guns are just against guns and they make up reasons to get then out of other people’s hands, and they twist whatever numbers they can find to make their point. Its a legitimate viewpoint, its just naive.

      Let the majority decide, clearly in America the majority of people know that most people have self control and are responsible. There’s no reason to take away the keep and bear arms right for exceptions. We accept the costs of our freedom. Otherwise we would have outlawed cars long ago, because as you’ve stated the auto-vehicle deaths

      Looked at those 35000 numbers, they’ve been pretty consistent for a while, its the road deaths that have been declining. If you didn’t look at them you might thing that gun related deaths have been going up. But since they’ve been pretty static, even though population has continued to climb, that means ‘per capita’ the gun related deaths is possibly even declining.

      If you really want to decrease gun violence you look at the reasons for it and address those. Gang violence for one. Drug related things…etc.

      So you’re pretty close on what i think, you twisted some things, but its close enough for a thumbs up. You get the gist of what i’m saying and just don’t like it.

      Obama and the current crop of democrats are both incompetent and tyrannical….but that’s a different topic.

      The tea party is talked about a lot in this country, but I haven’t heard anyone from the tea party say what you described. Their political opponents ascribe those things to them, but the tea party themselves don’t do that.

      Voter ID is simple, you need to be able to identify yourself as who you are. States have offered free ID’s to everyone who wants them, but the democrats still objected. The deal is that democrats partially rely on fraud and they know it. Vote early and ‘vote often’ is a joke a lot of people use when talking about democratic voters.

      There was one lady in either Ohio or Indiana who was caught voting like 8 or 10 times in the same day. She said she would have done more if they hadn’t caught her.

      In one recent Minnesota Senate race where the democrats won by a handful of votes, one county logged more votes than registered voters.

      So, yeah, fraud is problem, it needs to be fixed. The whole thing about hurting democrat voters doesn’t make sense, its a rule that applies to *everyone* regardless of race, creed, religion..whatever. It just doesn’t make sense.

      • obvious

        josh,
        on the 2nd amendment;

        it has nothing to do with hunting as ‘tess’ stated, but the citizens being armed on par with the military, in order to be able to defend themselves, or the nation if called upon, against foreign or domestic enemies.

        the freedom of the people to defend themselves against any foe, was paramount to the framers of the constitution.

        this gentleman states it very well with facts in 5 minutes;

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZo4hbGJjVI

        • http://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com Nate

          Yes, I think it’s well-established the Second Amendment had nothing to do with hunting. Hunting was how you kept from starving at that time in history. That would be like giving us an amendment today saying we have the inalienable right to visit the supermarket and buy potatoes. Clearly not what the founders intended to say.

          • obvious

            nate,

            true; i liked the gentleman’s statement ‘i’m an american by choice’ and the factual data he provided in support of his well founded argument.

            did you watch the video?

            also, any reason why my comments await moderation?

            • Goethe Behr

              Obvious: Maybe it’s because your posts have become increasingly hostile and verbose as we’ve gone along.

              But more likely that it’s the way the system works, and you are just paranoid.

            • TT

              Goethe, on the paranoia of ‘obvious’ …. from a Woody Allen film …. ‘no you’re not paranoid, everybody really does hate you’.
              Question (respectful but fully expectant that the loons will go nuts with this!): If the Supreme Court sat on a case between God and the US constitution, who could/would win?

            • Goethe Behr

              TT: Bob Dylan has an old song called “With God On Our Side,” about the fact that both sides claim that God is on their side, and the song ends by saying if God is REALLY on our side, He’ll stop the next war.

              I say that to point out that you’re going to totally confuse the religionists on here, since they think God wrote the Constitution as another book of the bible, and it was just an “oversight” that He did not put any reference to Himself ANYWHERE (nor in the Declaration of Independence, for that matter).

          • Tess Trueheart

            Nate..I ask you to go back and read my post. It was my thoughts on gun control and the type of guns in present day use.

        • Josh

          obvious – I don’t know, I think it might have been about hunting….Having an armed citizenry ‘ being necessary to the security of a free State ‘ sure was useful when we needed to quell that crazy polar bear invasion in the early 1800′s. The polar bears seeing the coming industrial revolution and knowing that global warming would closely follow endangering their habitat and their posterity, pushing them potentially to the brink of extinction had no choice other than to mount a pre-emptive strike.

          good thing we had people armed for hunting, who knows what we would have done about that….

          Those who think the need for personal armament is exclusive to the desire to hunt are deliberately not thinking about their stance. They just don’t believe people should have guns, and don’t like that our constitution protects our right to arm ourselves. They know it does protect (not provide) that right, they just don’t believe that self-defense is an inherent right…maybe they don’t realize they think that way, but the functional imposition of their belief system has the same effect of taking away the ability of the individual to defend themselves. Right without ability is pretty useless. Gotta agree with you here, 2nd Amendment wasn’t really about hunting.

    • obvious

      tt,
      you seem to not be able to understand that the us constitution is unique; for no other nation in the world has such definitive guarantees of individuals freedoms, and the fact that the individual’s rights must never be unjustly subordinate to government’s or society’s needs.

      it was created by the greatest minds ever put in one place in this worlds history, that had superior knowledge of all pertinent matters (which today is sadly unseen in any group of political body); philosophy, the good parts and the shortcomings of the magna carta, plato’s republic, and much more.

      the 1st amendment gave us the right to speak freely, and thus assure that the 2nd amendment become constitutional law, since it is one that assures that the 1st, and the rest of the constitution guaranteeing our freedoms are not to be taken away from us with ease.

      • TT

        The thread of this is baffling! Response to ‘Obvious’ re “it was created by the greatest minds ever put in one place in this worlds history, that had superior knowledge of all pertinent matters…” is without any doubt historically a bit of a stretch but not worth an argument. What I would say was it was remarkable for it’s time … which was my point. That the interpretation of it and what its authors were thinking when they wrote it is still the cornerstone by which the US governs itself is the thing I find difficult to understand. Surely the constitution was never intended to support an environment where an individual with documented mental health issues can buy a military grade rifle by mail-order and as much ammunition as they can physically carry and then do as these people so often do? If it does, is it right and is it what the US really wants?

        • obvious

          tt,
          reading your posts, you basically opt for an opinion that the older the text, the less valid it “must” be today; an opinion is nothing but someone’s fancy, thus worthless as a conclusive argument.

          plato’s dialogues are over 2000 years old, are they false because of age?
          no, since no-one has been able to refute their validity from day one.

          to question the validity of the us constitution on age alone, is the same;
          your opinions are just that, silliness that lacks merit.

          i know it’s hard for a current euro to comprehend the liberties unquestionably bestowed on all americans by the us constitution, since most freedom loving euros left your continent long time ago to come here, thus few are left in europe today understanding why their forefathers left — so, you are excused for your lack of comprehension.

          • TT

            Obvious – I know I shouldn’t and it’s a spectacular wast of time but hey, it’s a slow day ……
            “an opinion is nothing but someone’s fancy, thus worthless as a conclusive argument” .. ya think!!, and your ongoing drivel is not er um ‘an opinion’? Come on, you have to have better than that … and I suggested the US constitution was invalid due to its age?? Breathtakingly myopic, again, surely you have better than that? … but you save your best for last, in 1620 a bunch of religious separatists from Holland and a few ‘there has to be something better than this’ types from London did indeed set in train a school of thought that 167 years later became the US constitution. That you can somehow propose that in effect anybody that didn’t agree with them and chose to stay in Europe did so from a knowing position of rejecting a desire for freedom is (in my apparently worthless, silly and meritless opinion) 100% bonkers.
            As I have said in this thread, America is a truly great country but the idiotic and infantile notion that it is the greatest (why do you feel the need to be?) or best country is not worthy of any sort of debate and is as pointless as declaring blue a ‘better’ colour (that’s how we spell it) than brown. Is it the most influential – yes, does it rank plum last on world rankings for current account debt – yes, is 40% of the population obese – yes, does it rank in the top 10 nations for literacy and numeracy – yes, does it have an annual per capita gun death rate 40 times greater than the UK – yes …. and on and on it could go. Great country yes, ‘issues’ most definitely! I love visiting and working in the US (and yes I have a resident card) but I choose to live and raise my children in Europe where I sincerely believe the healthcare and education systems are far superior to that in the US and most telling, no public or private institution (schools, hospitals, sports facilities, shops, concert halls, cinema’s) has gun screening technology at it’s front door!!

            • obvious

              tt,
              my mistake; thought you had reasoning abilities, but after reading your posts you turn out to be nothing but a simple troll.

              the fallacious drivel you posted:

              “What the uber right wingers call ‘socialised medicine’ operates free for all in most of Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Sure, elective surgery can have waiting lists which are shameful but if ANYBODY chops off a finger at the weekend or breaks a leg slipping or tripping free first class medical assistance is available at no cost unlike the American system where such a common accident can easily lead to years of debt of hundreds of thousands of dollars. For anybody with an IQ greater than their shoe size, before listening to the Tea-Party about death lists and other such hyperbole, do some basic research.”
              *ANYBODY chops off a finger…. or breaks a leg ….[under] the American system where such a common accident can easily lead to years of debt of hundreds of thousands of dollars* — an unsupported statement bordering on idiocy; no americans have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on medical bills losing a finger or breaking a leg.

              “Just from a point of interest and your [Tess] demonstrated capacity for reason, why is it that seemingly a majority of Americans hold on to literal interpretations of the constitution believing that modern America should adhere to the letter to a document published in 1787? Obviously, to the rest of the entire world (except maybe North Korea) the ‘right to bear arms’ issue with it’s mention of militia’s etc is patently ridiculous for 2013 allowing any number of madmen to wreak havoc on innocent people yet still they hold this as sacrosanct?”
              *Why…Americans hold on to literal interpretations of the constitution believing that modern America should adhere to the letter to a document published in 1787? Obviously, to the rest of the entire world (except maybe North Korea) the ‘right to bear arms’ … is patently ridiculous for 2013…* — you clearly demonstrate here that because of the age of the document (200 year old us constitution) it should no longer be valid. ***

              “Obama (in my opinion) has not gone nearly far enough toward socialising medicine in the US so that the US can BEGIN to catch up with far far far better systems the world over.” — at least you state that as your opinion, which by definition has no merit.

              “Come on, you have to have better than that … and I suggested the US constitution was invalid due to its age?? Breathtakingly myopic, again, surely you have better than that?” — myopic applies to you, since you fail to see your own post above***

              at the local zoo there is a sign ‘don’t feed the animals’ — so no more peanuts for you.

            • TT

              Obvious – Medical Bills Are the Biggest Cause of US Bankruptcies: Study – http://www.cnbc.com/id/100840148 (I know you can cut and paste from your ‘interesting’ post above) and I think that outside of the usual disappointing name calling, that’s the only point you made? Listen, I’m sure you mean well but in all honesty you’re coming across as a bit of a half-wit on this post. Take a deep breath, hit the pause button on Fox News and remember that if you need to make a point or refute a proposition or argument you need to do so carefully after considering all the facts. Cutting and pasting my comments and calling me a troll and a monkey doesn’t cut it. As I said. you have to have better than that??

  • Josh

    In today’s issues on Obamacare, this quote from Common Sense seems appropriate:

    Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.

    stating that point again – ‘we furnish the means by which we suffer’

    America is suffering right now. Seeing a president that out and out lied to us. Telling us a bold faced lie and then saying ‘period’. You can keep your plan…period! is what he said. Now, after its been revealed the he knew what he said wasn’t true when he said it, what’s the best he can do…’you can keep it for a year.’

    So now insurance companies are back to the drawing board trying to figure out what they can and can’t do…and also what ‘you can keep it for a year’ exactly means. He’s already been caught in a lie once one this topic, and claims he didn’t lie. He just made a loaded statement. Is this another loaded statement?

    And millions have had their plans canceled, while millions more have had their premiums increased, and millions more are being forced to buy something they don’t want…or pay a tax they shouldn’t have to pay.

    We have furnished the means by which we are suffering. But we can also furnish our deliverance, 2014 is around the corner.

  • obvious

    tess,
    you did not post what this gentleman actually said, but instead decided to post an untruth:
    “Your spokesman used Korea and China’s revolt’s as a source of reason. A bit of anachronism, don’t you think?”

    what he actually stated had nothing to do with korea revolts (no such thing) or china’s — but gave as an example the LA riots in which koreans were able to defend themselves in the usa, and postulated that if china had a 2nd amndt, the tienanmen square would not have resulted in the disappearance of those opposed to a tyrannical gov.

    your constant choices throughout your posts, to concoct data in order to make your arguments work is counteractive to your goal of brainwashing the public; people are seeing through your misinformation.

    as someone else said: ‘too many red herrings swimming in your genetic pool’.

    tess, watch and listen again, and see why you were caught lying, again:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZo4hbGJjVI

  • Tess Trueheart

    Obvious…As the man said above, “I know I shouldn’t and it’s a spectacular waste of time” but you need to clean out your own genetic pool of anger and cruel defensiveness. Each of us have thoughts that are posted and each has a right to disagree. Maybe neither of us is correct but name calling and personal insults are a useless pursuit.

    • Goethe Behr

      Tess, You’ll have to excuse Obvious. He obviously went to Surfisher Finishing School to learn his manners.

    • obvious

      tess,
      you posted this in reply to this video;
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZo4hbGJjVI
      “Your spokesman used Korea and China’s revolt’s as a source of reason. A bit of anachronism, don’t you think?”
      that is a lie; so how does exposing your lie becomes a personal insult to you?
      whether you lied deliberately or not, that fact remains it was a red herring; misinformation you posted.

  • obvious

    Obama works in mysterious ways….

    heard that one from a friend and cracked me up!

    • TT

      Obvious – because you have become sport, ‘cracked you up’ as in Rob Ford of Toronto cracked up? Now things make a lot more sense and I shall try to be more understanding. Don’t give up, there is help in rehab (if your insurance plan covers it).