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Comments for: Friday, March 23, 2012: Angus King, Obamacare and mining mountains

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  • Anonymous

    Catherine Raymaker, you say that healthcare is a “basic human right”. How can something be a “right” if someone has to provide it for you? By saying that, you are saying that someone has to be a doctor for you to get healthcare. What if no one wants to be a doctor? Do we enslave people to become medical profesionals? If no one wants to be a chemist, do we enslave people to become chemists to develop drugs? Healthcare is not  a right. By definition, it can’t be.

    • kcjonez

      I must agree that healthcare is not a right unless our government chooses to make it so.  I do, however, believe that when our founders wrote the Constitution they chose the wording “promote the general welfare’ and included it in the preamble to accentuate the importance of the concept.  
      Hence, I am baffled that we have allowed insurance companies to dictate the exclusion of  universal single payer healthcare for so long.  It is the one single system that will allow us to address all the reasons why healthcare is out of reach for so many of us and potentially devastating to so many more.

      • luvGSD

         Agreed.  I think we will eventually get Universal single-payer health care.  It’s time we stop enabling and coddling the insurance companies.  This reminds me of years ago when I had to jump through all kinds of hoops and sign an affadavit  and have it notarized for the FCC because I was unable to receive local TV channels in my location but was able to subscribe to the national networks through DirectTV, because God forbid the local stations should lose out to “the competition.”  (I think they no longer require that nonsense.)  Anyway, the point, at least for the insurance companies, is that competition from a single-payer system would be very, very bad for them.  As in, Free market good, competition bad.  (Just ask those companies who used to manufacture 8-track tapes!)

      • Anonymous

        Good thing the Preamble holds no legal validity as far as the Supreme Court is concerned. It was intended as a fairly broad statement of purpose for the document. It does a pretty good job in that role. Things could get pretty weird fairly quickly if it were anything else.

        “General welfare” might mean raising all children at a government facility or “insure domestic tranquility” might mean every household gets a ration of pot on a regular basis.

        Hence, I am baffled by how you believe the founders intended some single payer healthcare in a time when health insurance companies did not exist and medicine was mostly comprised of saws and leeches.

        • Anonymous

          What does it matter whether it is a right or not? Congress can still pass laws regardless. And what does it matter whether the founders could have conceived of something? That seems like a pretty broad statement and you’d have to be willing to give up quite a bit if you wanted to be consistent with that kind of logic.

          • Anonymous

            Not my logic.  It belongs to kcj when she brought the Contitution’s Preamble into it.
            Of course Congress passes laws.

          • Anonymous

            When I said logic, I was referring to your, “I am baffled by how you believe the founders intended”.

          • Anonymous

             I must agree that healthcare is not a right unless our government
            chooses to make it so.  I do, however, believe that when our founders
            wrote the Constitution they chose the wording “promote the general
            welfare’ and included it in the preamble to accentuate the importance of
            the concept.  —-kcj

             kcj seems to thinks that healthcare is part of  what the founders wanted by inclusion of “promote the general welfare”. I disagree.

          • Anonymous

            But “general welfare” is a concept. Seems that the way the healthcare system has evolved and grown to function, unless there is affordable insurance available, there can’t be a “general welfare.” That’s different from arguing that the founders specifically envisioned this scenario.

            So I’m wondering if you think that that is a requisite for certain laws and if not, how did you get “kcj seems to thinks that healthcare is part of  what the founders wanted by inclusion of “promote the general welfare”” then?

          • Anonymous

            Our greatest Chief Justice, John Marshall, stressed that the draftsmen of the Constitution chose broad language so as to not limit future governments.  It is the separation of powers and the process of elections that limit any Congress’ power, together with some of the Amendments which prohibit Congress directly.
              In 1798 Congress created a healthcare system for merchant seamen paid for by a tax on those seamen.  The notion that even a conservative Roberts Court would strike down the Affordable Care Act is a conservative fantasy.  

          • Anonymous

            You’re right. I think it is ridiculous for these people to screech that certain things aren’t specifically in the Constitution.

          • Anonymous

             I didn’t say it wasn’t in the Constitution. I said KCJ claiming the Preamble as some sort of justification for national healthcare is in error.

          • Anonymous

            Okay, but I wasn’t referring to you.

          • Anonymous

            But he is in error on that point, as well, as one of my posts explains.  

          • Anonymous

            Right wingers who have had no legal training whatsoever have as much credence on this topic as I do on computer design.

          • kcjonez

            As usual, you have twisted my words to accommodate your negative and counterproductive reply.  I did not say the founders meant to include healthcare in their idea of general welfare.  I did say that the concept of general welfare was very important to the founders.  

            Hence, my comment that allowing insurance companies to dictate the particulars of our healthcare system is counterintuitive to actual healthcare.  Our congress could and should institute a universal single payer system, or at the very least, a public option in acknowledgement of the preamble’s general welfare clause.  

            The benefits to our country as a going concern in a global marketplace would be huge.  

          • Anonymous

            I see, so the concept of  of the “general welfare’ was important to the founders so what do you suppose they meant by it? It is mentioned in two places. Once in the Preamble and again in Article 1, Section 8. Do they carry the same meaning in each place?

          • luvGSD

             It seems Chenard may be able to educate you after all.

          • Anonymous

             I posted before chenard or was unaware of her post. Just got back.

          • luvGSD

            R-i-i-ight.

          • Anonymous

             whatever.

          • Anonymous

            As I pointed out to Cheesie above, the Fifth Congress, in 1798, created a health care system for merchant seamen paid for by a tax upon their earnings.  Clearly, Congress recognized that it could raise taxes to cover the healthcare of its citizens and the general welfare language found in the enumerated taxation power makes that irrefutably correct. 
              When Cheesie is talking about the Constitution, he is the metaphorical blindfolded man who mistakes an elephant’s leg for a tree.

          • Anonymous

             Say what you will, Kcj using the Preamble to support her argument is meaningless. If you agree with her you are wrong as well.

          • Anonymous

            The preamble is not, as you have earlier posted, something the Supreme Court has said “holds no legal validity.”  Please cite the Supreme Court opinion that states that.  The Court has said that it is not an independent source of Congressional, Executive, or Judicial Power, but that it helps explain what is meant by the broad sweep of those powers.  Even without the  “general welfare” language in the grant of a taxation power, the “general welfare” language in the preamble helps flesh out the broad reach of other Congressional powers, such as the power to regulate commerce.
              Kcj was more accurate than you.  I have, if you have not yet surmised, one year of undergraduate work in the history of the constitution, and several years of post-graduate work in which interpreting the constitution was either the sole focus of some classes or an area discussed, as necessary, in other classes.  I have continued reading Supreme Court decisions, as well as federal appellate court decisions since that time.
              You would be on firmer grounds debating medicine with your primary care provider.  When I see you post something that is obviously a legal error, I will continue to correct you.

          • Anonymous

            Of course what you ask is difficult to produce because the Supreme Court doesn’t allow its use to begin with. The reason it doesn’t is that the Preamble does not assign powers to the Federal Government. The body of the document performs that role. There have been lower court cases where it has been used but these have been considered frivolous lawsuits and those don’t get very far.

            A better resolution to our issue is for you to produce a Supreme Court case where it was used and a decision based on it. Please limit your search to “Preamble” cases please.

          • Anonymous

            It would have been better, at this point, for you to have remained silent and left people unsure as to whether you were a fool.  Now you have posted and removed all doubt.  
                   McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819) expressly references the first three words of the Preamble to explain that the USA was not a coalition of sovereign states, but a union of the people thereof.  The opinion by Chief Justice Marshall was a brilliant analysis of the Constitution, the meaning of the necessary and proper clause, and the question of whether the state of Maryland, through its claimed sovereignty, could tax the Bank of the United States.  Marshall first held that the necessary and proper clause allowed Congress to create a national bank, and that Maryland was mistaken to claim that the states had created the USA and therefore retained sovereignty in this dispute.  He laid particular emphasis on the preamble’s opening words, “We the people” to dismiss the state sovereignty argument.
                 No case by the Supreme Court has ever held that the preamble cannot be used to determine the founders’ intent.  Story, in his 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, makes it clear that the preamble is useful in determining the scope of delegated powers.  As Story is still cited by the Supreme Court, his words matter.  He served as a Justice of the Supreme Court for 34 years.
                  The Supreme Court that you claim “doesn’t allow” use of the Preamble must be the Supreme Court of GlennBeckistan.  Even Justice Thomas would laugh uproariously at your absurdity.  
                 YOU HAVE POSTED UTTER NONSENSE.  
              

          • Anonymous

             

            The Preamble was not actually written with the rest of the
            Constitution. The Constitution was submitted to a Style Committee after a first
            draft and that Committee finalized the

            Constitution’s writing and also added
            the Preamble to the Constitution’s beginning. As such, the Preamble does not
            add any definitive legal powers to the nature of the Constitution.

             

            The importance of the Preamble comes, instead, from what it adds
            to interpretations of the Constitution as a whole. The Preamble has been an oft-debated
            bit of the Constitution, even though it is so short, because it uses several
            terms, each of which might be understood in multiple ways. Again, the Preamble
            does not offer up a concrete, definitive set of legal provisions, but it does
            influence the way in which the terms and legal definitions offered up elsewhere
            in the Constitution might apply.

          • Anonymous

            Gentle readers, observe how Cheesecake has gone from saying the Preamble has “no legal validity”  and that the Supreme Court “doesn’t allow its use,” to conceding that it is a valuable interpretive aid for the Supreme Court.  He includes no mea culpa for his falsehoods.  The flimsiness and transparency of his “arguments” suggest that his real name  is Cheesecloth.

          • Anonymous

             I expect gentle readers that our Dear Saint chenard is in fact a Obama “truther”.  Who works from her office/home daily accessing a massive searchable database of information provided to her by the Obama reelection committee.

          • luvGSD

            Backpedal much?

          • Anonymous

            Why not just admit that you were wrong, since you were.

          • luvGSD

             He will never admit he’s wrong, especially not to someone he thinks is a woman.

          • Anonymous

            Perhaps she is Michelle Obama herself.

        • luvGSD

           Oh, I would say it isn’t much of a stretch that the concept of “general welfare” could include the good health of the public.  We certainly have enough health and safety and rules and regulations to back that up.  Also, I don’t see how saws and leeches would negate a kind of single payer healthcare appropriate for the time.  I wonder if the Founders would have said that a national garden of medicinal herbs was off-limits to the poor.

        • Anonymous

          Providing for the general welfare is listed in Article I, section 8, as one of the three purposes of taxation, the other two being to provide for the “common defence” and to pay the nation’s debts.  
            Let’s look at an early Congress that had many founders in its membership.  In 1798, the Fifth Congress established a merchant seamen’s healthcare system paid by a tax imposed on all merchant seamen.  
            It seems the founders had the same broad view of the general welfare clause as do Kcjonez and I.  
            Cheesecake, are you more an Articles of Confederation guy?  If so, you have a very long reactionary road trip ahead of you in that time machine to get back to 1788.  Bon voyage!!

          • luvGSD

            Is that all it says, to provide for the “common defence”?  Good Lord, one might interpret that to mean we need only purchase cap guns!  They didn’t even spell defense right. (Reminds me of that joke about Denise and Denephew.)

          • Anonymous

            There is a legitimate argument that Congress had no power to raise taxes for offensive wars, such as the Spanish-American War, WW I, the Korean War, the Viet Nam War, and either Iraq War.  I don’t hear strict constructionists other than Ron Paul ever addressing this. 

          • Anonymous

            Why did you not include WW2? That too was a war that we had no business being involved in. A war against Japan, yes, but defending Europe from just one more war between the nations of Europe?

          • Anonymous

            Germany declared war on us first.  Read your history.  Does LarryinCamden suggest that we should turn the other cheek  when a country declares war on us?

          • Anonymous

            Germany declared war on the US because the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor and Germany and Japan were in a way allied. Germany did not help Japan to any extent and Japan did not help Germany either.
            The War in the Pacific and the war in Europe were only tied together by the US. The US being involved in the European war only kept the US from being able to concentrate on defeating Japan. Had we defeated Japan quicker, the European war would probably never left Europe and gone into the Middle East and North Africa. Furthermore, if Germany had attacked the US after Japan was defeated the US would have been far more capable of defeating Germany.
            Yes the US should have ignored Hitler’s declaration of war against us except to increase our defenses on the East coast, which should never have been trashed after the War to End All Wars..

          • Anonymous

            Am I to believe that you opposed Bush I’s Gulf War and Bush II’s Iraq War? 
                 German subs patrolled our coasts and sought to (and did) sink our ships, and German saboteurs landed on our shores.  At what point would you have ceased to be imitating Neville Chamberlain?

          • Anonymous

            Yes, our “wars” in the MidEast were both Stupid.
            The submarines and saboteurs were in response to the same thing that got the Japanese to attack us .. we were supplying their enemies with both materials and manpower while claiming to be neutral.

          • Anonymous

            “Defence” was the proper spelling at the time, as American English had not yet evolved.

          • Anonymous

            Correct.  And the Declaration of Independence speaks of “unalienable” rights, while today we would say inalienable rights.

          • Anonymous

            The Militia Acts of 1792 provided for an “individual mandate” — every “free able-bodied white male citizen” was mandated to provide himself with a weapon and ammunition.  Maybe this is where the Heritage Foundation, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney got the idea for Obama’s Affordable Care Act mandate.

          • Anonymous

            Again, Kcj was referring to the Preamble. What is your definition of it in that context  and how does it differ from Article 1 sec 8 if it does?

          • Anonymous

            You claim the preamble means nothing for purposes of interpretation, but must concede that the enumerated power to tax for three general purposes clearly makes “general welfare” a central purpose of the government.  General welfare has the same broad meaning in the preamble as in the enumerated powers.  That it is repeated is significant.
              In the context of the founders, the concept of the government providing economic assistance was at least as old as the Elizabethan Poor Laws.  The 1798 establishment of a single payer health system for merchant seamen really settles the issue.
              Laissez faire capitalism is a 19th Century concept that appears nowhere in the Constitution and only got grafted onto Constitutional theory in the late 19th Century and early 20th.  The mid-New Deal court returned to the broad interpretation  of Congressional powers that John Marshall and the Federalists had established.  The real limit on Congressional power is at the voting booth and in the very cumbersomeness of the legislative process.    

          • Anonymous

            Art 1, Section 8 of the U. S. Constitution says, “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”
            While the phrase “general welfare” is used it specifically says “general Welfare of the United States”. How does providing medical insurance for anyone promote the “general Welfare of the United States”? Be honest, if you, I, even a member of the government were to die today; would it really affect the “general Welfare of the United States”? We have had sitting government officials die and the government just keeps on keeping on.
            While it is true that Congress created a “merchant seamen’s healthcare system” it was paid for with a fee that was levied on merchant seamen and not farmers, merchants, fishermen, village idiots or anyone else.
            While I have not looked into this, I suspect that this “healthcare system” was created as a way “To provide and maintain a Navy” as provides for in the same Art 1, Sect 8. Can you think of a more efficient and cost effective way to maintain a pool of trained and practiced seamen for the needs of a naval force than having the merchant fleet train them? I can’t.

          • Anonymous

            Having just spent significant time trying to educate Cheesecloth, I am not going to give you a legal education as well.  Read the Supreme Court opinions upholding both the Social Security Act and the Medicare Act and then we can debate.   
                 When you turn 65, please burn your Medicare card.  Although the Supreme Court of the United States long ago upheld that program as a proper and constitutional exercise of Congressional power, you appear to prefer GlennBeckistan’s Constitution.  
                 Continue drinking that crazy tea he brews.  

          • Anonymous

            To “read the Supreme Court opinions” on almost anything since the turn of the 20th century is just not worth it. The Supreme Court of the US has not made the right decision in more than a century.
            We can disagree on the Constitution I believe if you would read the Constitution understanding that the document actually says what the Federal government is allowed to do and it is allowed to do and it is allowed to do nothing else.

          • Anonymous

            Then try reading McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819) for a thorough understanding of the scope of Congressional power (in that case the power to create a national bank).  John Marshall’s thorough explanation of the necessary and proper clause in McCulloch will be cited by the current Supreme Court’s majority opinion this July that upholds the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act.  Just remember, you read it here first. 

          • Anonymous

            Probably one of the first stupid opinions of the supreme court, nowhere in the Constitution does it say anything about establishing our own “Bank of England”, amazingly one of the things that the occupy protesters are protesting about.
            I by far expect that if the “Afordable Health Care ” Law is upheld somehow the supremes will use the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

          • Anonymous

            Are you claiming that having a good medical care and a healthy population does not promote the general welfare of the United States?  Would our general welfare benefit by having us all sick and uncared for?  I fail to see any logic in your assertion that the general welfare is not improved by improving health care — which includes paying for it. 

          • Anonymous

            We would not all be sick and no, the safety and welfare of the United States would not be made any better if the government paid for health care for everyone.
            Having the government in charge of the health care of the country would just lower the overall care available.

        • Anonymous

          Isn’t it wonderful that there are factions in this country who think health care is a personal responsibility yet think its OK to send our military to the four corners of the earth to protect thier personal interests.

      • luvGSD

         Health is a right.  Not health care, not health insurance.  Health.

        • Anonymous

          I think it would be better to say that health is each person’s responsibility to seek. Some need assistance due to no fault of their own, and they deserve assistance. Far too many others ruin their own health through laziness, inactivity, gluttony, and just plain lack of respect for themselves and their bodies. These people are at fault for their own situations, and should be responsible for fixing their own self-induced plights. 

          In other words, health is a condition that we should all strive to reach. A right? Not too sure about that.

          • luvGSD

            It is my right to strive to achieve and to maintain my good health.  You have no right to deprive me of it or to ban my access to my own good health.

          • Anonymous

            I am neither depriving you nor banning you. I just don’t want to have to pay for you.

          • Anonymous

            You realize, of course, that if you have insurance, others are paying for your care, in addition to yourself. Likewise if you have health insurance, you are paying for others’ care.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, but you also have to realize that Obamacare will raise taxes on all taxpayers in order to fund the program while cutting back on services and availability. One thing that Obamacare is set to do is raise the price of my healthcare insurance four times what it is now. It needs to be repealed, and the nearly 300 billion that has already been spent on it needs to be returned to the treasury. 

          • Anonymous

            Could you post the government bulletin that tells you your health insurance will quadruple?

          • Anonymous

            I wouldn’t believe the government they are so out of touch with reality it’s not funny.They are desperate which means Danger.

          • Anonymous

             Do you really go through life waiting for the next government bulletin in order to know whats going on?

          • Anonymous

            Yes, I look at the notes enclosed in my bill for Medicare.  They notify me when there are going to be changes in charges or benefits.  I assume the government does the same for veterans’ health insurance benefits.  Where else would you suggest EJ and I go for that information?

          • Anonymous

            You know EJ he creates his own facts just like many of the R’s, to help their adjender.

          • Anonymous

            Here’s one article from Navy Times. I’ve also read it in the Air Force Times and have received a letter of notification from Tricare about the pending rise in rates. 

            http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/09/military-tricare-benefits-cuts-obama-091911w/

          • luvGSD

            OMG you “might” have to pay a $200 / year enrollment fee?  Wow, that’s tough.  Sure sounds like  “four times” what you’re paying now, since what you’re paying now is nothing.  You’re offended that you’re being asked to pay $200 a year for your own health care?  Good grief.

          • Anonymous

            You conveniently dropped a zero. Imagine that.

          • luvGSD

             No I didn’t.  Do you read what you post?

          • Anonymous

            “A White House statement says the current 20-year military retirement system is outdated and needs an overhaul, but it pledges that any change should not apply to those already retired or currently serving.

          • Anonymous

             You do realize that your insurance raises taxes on all tax payers right?  You do realize that there is no Constitutional basis for your free health care either right?  No Constitutional basis for your retirement either.  In fact, ironically, general welfare would cover “obamacare” but not tri-care.

          • Anonymous

            So EJ… what do we call it when you get medical benefits and other American’s don’t? How about “Tea Party Care” or better yet “EJ Care”.

          • Anonymous

             Don’t we pay for your healthcare EJ?  I thought I remember you saying you were retired military.

          • Anonymous

            Partially. But I was told that if I served for 20 years, that I would have free healthcare for life. That, and other benefits, were cut back, and now I pay for healthcare insurance. Granted, my policy is quite a bit lower than most, it still isn’t free.

          • Anonymous

            The benefits of a military policy are very, very good.  You have a deluxe policy compared to what most people have.  I do not begrudge you this fine benefit.  All military personnel deserve full health care for life for their service.  In return for the taxes I pay to support your policy could I ask you to be just a little bit more considerate and less judgmental of your fellow Americans that do not have insurance or are struggling with health problems like smoking, drinking or obesity.  

          • Anonymous

            EJ’s position is illogical based on his own words and experience. According to him some citizens are entitled to government paid medical benefits. One of those groups are veterans, which he is part of.  However, those citizens who worked all their lives in the private sector without benefits yet, paid taxes which paid for his medical benefits. EJ feels that those paying his benefits are not entitled to the same. EJ also receives a pension from the military, yet he supports companies who move jobs to foreign lands taking away jobs from Americans. When those jobs go and companies decide to raid pension funds leaving workers without protection, he thinks that is OK also. Worst yet, we have politicians who think and act like EJ, yet receive benefits that hard working screwed over Americans are denied. 
            So the question must be asked. Why do think you are entitled to these benefits and other American’s are not?

          • Anonymous

            That question is impossible to answer. Some simply and unfortunately have these me-centric world views, where they see themselves as hardworking earners and others leeching takers. They create a logic somehow where they are worthy of government assistance (though they’d never call it “assistance”) and others are just lazy bums. Again, very unfortunate.

          • Anonymous

            I solute you sir for serving our country but oh It is not over yet. The cuts that are coming will change America and the trickle down effect will change the world as we knew it. The Governments can post as much propaganda to convince the public that things are indeed getting better. We are hearing the unemployment in America is dropping, bull —–. All they are reporting are illusionary statistics, If a persons unemployment runs out does that mean they are back to work..? This has been going on for a good three years now and I am really bull….. .If you really take a good look at the folks that are struggling to put food on the table you will see welfare is up on all levels. food kitchens are running out of food social security is running out of money this is all a distraction from what is real “Survival”. Has anyone ever thought what are you going to do when our world collapses even further. Survival of the fittest is not a game show. At that juncture even health care will be a thing of the past. We all are on a path of self destruction if nothing is done to curb the appetite of the minority called the rich and famous but more focus on the corporate world. Fortunately  for middle class and lower Americans we out number the rich and famous we just have to learn again about teamwork and safety in numbers and that our voice has a place in numbers. Just take a look at the wind industry they are failing everyday  just as Mr King will when he try s to run for office. 

          • luvGSD

            You can’t pay for me because I’m already paying for you.

          • Anonymous

            I hardly think so.

            Unless they have started taxing your EBT card.

          • luvGSD

            Oh right, I’m on welfare which is why I am so outraged about the cost of private health insurance. Nice classy retort from the big genius businessman.  Outsourcing and skimming is your racket, right?

          • Anonymous

            I was more spot on than I realized. :)

          • luvGSD

             I see you don’t deny it.

          • Anonymous

            Tacky.

          • Anonymous

             Thank you.

          • Anonymous

            The portion you might pay for me is nothing compared to the portion you pay for our bloated government. In fact, I’ll bet it costs more tax money to pay for one of the President’s golf outings than it costs to take care of me. And just think how much we’re paying for his 13 year old daughter to go on spring break to Mexico.

            In other words, I’m not the one you should be worrying about.

    • luvGSD

      Good health is a right. That’s why we are fortunate enough to live in a country where we have access to clean air and water, food and workplace health protections, etc. Good health is my right because you do not have a right to take it from me.

      • Anonymous

        Good health is not a right; it should be a goal.

        • luvGSD

           What should your goal be if you are already in good health?  Maintaining it, perhaps?

    • Anonymous

      Was your education in public schools a basic human right?  If so, I paid for it.  Is your right to liberty a basic human right?  If so, I am paying for police protection and a court system that makes your liberty meaningful.  If your neighbor holds you hostage at gunpoint do you want the police system and the courts that I have paid for to help restore your liberty?  Read the Declaration of Independence.  Immediately after defining our inalienable rights, Jefferson says: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
        If you don’t want me to pay for your rights, please think of moving to Somalia, where the total absence of any functioning government will free you of any tax burden and free you to defend yourself.  

      • Anonymous

        How much time did you spend in the Armed forces defending your rights?

        • Anonymous

          Four years.  I presume I am paying for your health care, then, as you are likely retired military.  

        • Anonymous

          Military service is not a prerequisite  to holding and expressing  a political opinion or belief.  

        • Anonymous

          Six years. And I volunteer at Togus twice a month. And you?

        • Anonymous

          You are trying to avoid answering the question.  Is liberty, made possible by a public police force and publicly paid judges and a publicly-run prison system, a basic human right?  Dou want your community to have a Fire Department or not?  Do “we the people” form the government in order “to secure these rights,” thus instituting a government by the consent of the governed?

          • Anonymous

            I do not consider anything that needs to be paid for a right. Rights are endowed by our creator.

          • Anonymous

            And protected by a government that derives its authority from the consent of the governed.  Read the entire Declaration or head for Somalia. 

          • Anonymous

            So you are saying that Jefferson was wrong, that our Creator has NOT endowed us with liberty, because liberty costs money — money to pay for police, courts, jails and jailers, even an army is required to preserve our liberty.   Without the expenditure of some public money for police and courts, we have no liberty.
            You sound like an anarchist friend I had in college in the late 1960s.  He thought that people should build their own roads (and presumably highways), and people should hire their own security company (like a warlord’s private army), insuring that the rich and powerful would be well-armed, and the poor would be completely enslaved. 
            Anarchism is the unmitigated oppression of the weak by the powerful.  Libertarianism is one step short of anarchy.

    • Anonymous

      Ya, let’s just be corporatist GOPers who believe that being SICK and DYING is the real “basic right.”  Going bankrupt because of illness is a basic right in the GOP book.  Yes GOPers, let’s follow your way with the freedom get sick and die because people can’t afford a doctor, and the freedom to go bankrupt and lose your home when you get sick, along with the other freedoms the corporate-owned GOP loves, like the freedom to have one’s job shipped overseas, and the freedom to not be able to afford to go to college, and the freedom to be thrown off of one’s health plan when you get sick, and the freedom to work for two dollars an hour with no bathroom breaks.   These are the corporate GOP’s “bill of rights.”

    • Anonymous

      The greater majority of people who have health insurance have it provided through their employment as a benefit. There fore someone is providing their health coverage. There are an ever increasing number of people who can’t afford single payer insurance premiums. Of those there are quite a few that have pre-existing conditions that would make the premiums out of reach for all but the very wealthy.

      As for the rest of your assertions, BS.

      • Anonymous

        A benefit that they pay for, it would cost my wife over $100 a week for that so called benefit, if there was 45 million people without health care then pass a law that covers them and leave the rest of us alone.

        • Anonymous

          “me me me me me”

        • Anonymous

          Ummm, that’s what the ACA does.  It also lowers your prescription costs, covers you even if you have a pre-existing condition, covers your son or daughter up to age 26 on your health insurance, and eventually will lower the cost of all health insurance because the insurance pool will be bigger. 

          • Anonymous

            That’s what it’s advertised to do. Trouble is, the truth won’t be known for years what all is in this bill, nor how much it’s actually going to cost. The cost has just been recalculated, and now it’s predicted that it will raise the deficit and debt rather than reduce it. 

            It’s a losing proposition for all of the country. There are much better ways to handle the problem, and they don’t include a government takeover. It needs to be repealed.

    • Anonymous

      ‘Right’ is perhaps the wrong choice of words.  However, like having an educated population, having a healthy population is one of the essentials of a vigorous work force and a prosperous nation.  

      Let’s call universal health insurance, not a ‘right’ but, a really, really smart idea for a country to do for itself if it wants to prosper. It’s one of those things that come under the constitutional mandate of “promote the general welfare”

  • Guest

    Catherine Raymaker:  If you would like protection from fear go realize it.  The issue is you believe that you have right to healthcare that I or someone else should pay for.   Your class warfare suggesting that only the super rich can afford insurance is right out of the Democrats playbook.  BTW, who granted that basic human right of healthcare to you.  NobamaCare is not the answer but like a good liberal you are looking for a handout.

    • Anonymous

      So healthcare is currently easily affordable for the average Joe? Pointing out that healthcare costs are rising isn’t class warfare, but nice try on trying to implement that talking point.

      • Guest

        Most people are insured

        • Anonymous

          50 million Americans are not.  The ACA will cover them.  

          • Guest

            Topic was affordability.  Get 2-3 jobs to pay for insurance before asking someone else to pay. 

          • luvGSD

             Yes, I’m all for the private insurance industry being my slave-master.  You need to realize that the private insurance industry skims one dollar out of every three spent for health care.  That, my dear flat_earther, is a 33% tax on all of us.

          • Anonymous

             And the US government skims 27% of all revenue. That is in addition to borrowing 100% of GDP.

          • Anonymous

            Right, all those imaginary jobs that don’t exist.

        • luvGSD

           Ah, no, most people only *think* they are insured.

    • luvGSD

       She didn’t say only the super rich can afford insurance.  Read it again.

      • Guest

        It was very painful getting through it once

        • luvGSD

           Yes I’m sure that was very difficult for you.

    • Anonymous

      If you are retired military, over 65, or a retired state government employee, I am paying for your health care.  If you have any of those three health benefits, please burn your card.   

      • Guest

        I wish I was knowing that you would appreciate the irony

        • Anonymous

          LOL.  Good one.

    • Anonymous

      Your ignorance runneth over.  In the Affordable Care Act, which is a MODERATE plan full of planks that YOUR party used to SUPPORT before it went TeaWhacko, EVERYONE is required to pay something.  Low- income people do get a subsidy, but everyone has to be in just as with car insurance so that premiums come down for everyone.  The insurance exchanges in the law are actually originally a REPUBLICAN idea as  they increase PRIVATE market competition and further reduce cost.  Your comments are straight off FAKE-News and Rush Limpmind, and your party is a wholey-owned subsidiary of the greedy  insurance corporations who buy off your politicians and fight anything that might reduce the number of mansions their CEO’s get to buy while millions of Americans can’t afford health insurance.  In your book, Americans have the “freedom” to get sick and die quickly, and that is just fine with you.  PS:  The Affordable Care Act is very similar to the very plan that your party’s presidential frontrunner championed in MA and has touted as a “national model.”  So I guess you disagree with your own frontrunner and think he is a liberal.  And see you in November when your pathetic Goofy Oddball Party gets CRUSHED at the voting booth.

      • Anonymous

        It seems that flat-lander objects to his tax money being used to benefit anyone but himself.

        • Anonymous

           But seems to have no problem with other people’s tax money to support them.  Typical.

        • Guest

          Absolutely inaccurate but you’re showing your class 

      • Guest

        Largest benefit ever to the insurance lobby is Nobama’s plan forcing all to buy a policy.  Nobama and the Dems who voted for NobamaCare are the party that caved in to the insurance lobby.   “Everyone is required to pay something” LMFAO. 
        BTW, I am not affiliated with any party and go back to your tent.  Dress up the weather is going to get chilly.  Wouldn’t want you to get a cold and have to go to the emergency room.

    • Anonymous

      Is there anything that you think you should pay for?

      • Guest

        Absolutely and happily

  • kcjonez

    Larry Ferrell–When mine owners fly over the evidence of our desecration of our fair land, they do not see pollution–they see money.  That is the sole reason why they “lobby” our representatives to allow them to continue their pillage.  Like Pavlov’s dogs, they have conditioned us to drool at the prospect of jobs and overlook the consequences.  

    One more reason why clean elections are so important.  

  • luvGSD

    Catherine Raymaker, I agree with you 100%. The heyday for health insurers is quickly coming to a close. That gravy train is pulling into the terminal. They are grasping at their final straws. It’s high time they started earning an honest dollar.

    •  Yeah, mandating that we buy their insurance will surely teach them blood sucking insurance companies… Oh wait.

      • luvGSD

        I predict the mandate won’t last a New York minute.

        • Anonymous

          Without the individual mandate — which was originally proposed by the (conservative) Heritage Foundation, and promoted by Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney — the whole program will fall apart.
          President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) avoids a government-run program like the British National Health, or the U.S. Medicare program, and sends everyone to private insurance companies.  There isn’t even a public option, a government-run plan, as one of the insurance options.  Thus it is a capitalist plan that avoids the “socialist” alternative. 
          But how do you get the insurance companies to insure people who have pre-existing conditions, and not drop people when they get sick?  Require everyone to have health insurance (the individual mandate) thus sending new, healthy customers, to the insurance companies.  People who can’t afford insurance will get subsidies.
          ACA, dubbed “Obamacare,”  is really the Republican alternative to Bill Clinton’s “Hillarycare.”  President Obama figured he couldn’t get a Democratic Party-style plan to pass, so he proposed Republican-style “Romneycare” on a national scale. 
          But because a Democrat proposed it, the Republicans, moving ever farther toward the hard right, opposed it, and now they call their own capitalist plan “socialism,” of all things!

          • luvGSD

             You are correct on all points, except that I predict the individual mandate will be determined to be unworkable, subsequently a public option will be instituted, and then insurers will be able to go back to their old, usurious ways of making obscene profits from *not* paying claims.  And remember folks, when they don’t pay a claim it isn’t good for the patient!

          • Anonymous

            A public option would be great.   It would still be in the bill if Saint Olympia had not nixed it in a ploy to get her support.
            If the mandate does go down, and I hope that it does not, that does not negate the other protections in the bill as passed.  At least I do not think that it does.

          • Anonymous

            The mandate will surely survive the frivolous Constitutional challenge.  After that, inertia will take hold.  All the mandate triggers is a tax less than the cost of subsidized insurance.  The yahoos who oppose it forget that it was once part of the right wing alternative to Clinton’s 1993 proposal.

          • luvGSD

             Right, and if I’m not mistaken the fine will be levied only on those who can afford to purchase health insurance but refuse to, so basically it will affect almost no one.

          •  Yeah, and then who will decide “who can afford it”? That right there has potential for abuse/harassment.

          • luvGSD

             Who do you think will be fined?

          •  Anyone they don’t like. Much like how the IRS uses its muscle to punish people who fight back and refuse to pay a totally “voluntary” tax.

          • luvGSD

             That sounds a little paranoid.  They will set an income standard to determine who can afford it and who cannot, probably based on taxable income.  If you can afford it and choose not to, you pay a fine.  I can’t imagine there are that many people who are without health insurance and can afford it but choose not to purchase it.

    • Anonymous

      Add another who agrees with you 100 percent, Catherine. And I’m sure there are many more who tire with the party line the lemmings use against a very good health care program.

  • Anonymous

    Obama has passed out his “mercy” cards to the Muslim Ft. Hood shooter who killed our American soldiers.  We don’t hear much about those killings these days–wonder why!

    • Anonymous

      You wonder why because you just spew this stuff and don’t bother to actually let something like facts get in your way.  Nidal Hassan is set to face Court Martial in June.  He faces the possibility of the death penalty.  Of course you could have easily found that out before posting your absurd, false, and immoral post.  You not only suggest that the President has excused the accused shooter but also that we that wear the uniform would turn our backs on justice for our comrades that were murdered.  

      Your post and similar fact less, make it up as we go along, posts are an affront to reasoned thought and political discourse.  If you don’t like Obama, then don’t like Obama.  But, don’t lie to influence the discussion.  You only debase yourself.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you for you for a thoughtful and factual reply.  

    • Anonymous

      Do you have any idea how ignorant and hateful that accusation is?

  • Anonymous

    Recession’s Toll on Health CoverageBy REED ABELSONIt’s a startling reminder that when people lose their jobs, they typically also lose their health insurance coverage. The share of children and working-age adults who had insurance through an employer fell 10 percentage points during the last recession, according to a study released on Thursday by the Center for Studying Health System Change, a nonpartisan research group in Washington.From 2007 to 2010, the share of children and working-age adults with employer-sponsored coverage fell  to 53.5 percent from 63.6 percent,according to the study.The major contributor to the decline was the loss of employment during the downturn, with almost a third of the people younger than 65 living in a family where no one was working, according to the study. The study is based on the center’s 2007 and 2010 Health Tracking Household Surveys.The surge in unemployment, coupled with the steady deterioration of the number of employers offering coverage and the number of workers signing up for insurance, is causing a “steady erosion” in employer-based coverage, said Chapin White, a senior researcher at the center who is an author of the study.“There’s been a lot of debate about what health reform is going to do to employer-sponsored coverage,” he said, but much of that discussion ignores the significant decline in employers as a source of coverage. “The backdrop for that debate is shifting,” he said.The study was conducted for the National Institute for Health Care Reform, a nonprofit group founded by Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and the United Automobile Workers union.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. perkins, obviously you are not in favor of pres. Obama tell me who do you propose>

  • Anonymous

    The corruption of Angus King, Kurt Adams and Balducci is finally coming to light with their ties to the corrupt wind industry and First Wind.  Why would anyone who is not corrupt vote for any of these scumbags who made millions off the Maine tax payers?

    • Anonymous

      Conservatives keep talking about the corruption of the King and Baldacci administrations but they never mention anything specific.  Could you please tell the unenlightened among us exactly what corruption you are talking about.   

      • Harry H Snyder III

        Plenty of instances to pick from, I’ll give you one… my favorite…

        Baldacci’s elimination of the old Verona Island Bridge and his back-slap deal with Chinbro to construct a new one.

        Real funny coincidence here;  The old bridge was “to frail” to carry heavy trucks (according to Baldacci) so they lowered the weight limit on the old bridge to 60,000 lbs. As soon as the bond for replacement was approved, the State moved the limit back to 100,000 lbs where it stayed until the replacement bridge came on line.

        • Anonymous

          You fail to mention the several million dollars MDOT spent temporarily reinforcing the old bridge with two new cables. Thisis what  allowed the bridge to regain its 100,000 lb  limit

        • Anonymous

          Oh and there was the lack of oversight on the Turnpike commission.  

  • Anonymous

    Ms Raymaker:  I too am dismayed at the antagonism against universal health care especially as most  people have made a decision that the ACA is bad for them and for the country based on twisted facts, some outright lies and a great deal of hostile propaganda from the ultra-conservative noise machine.  The very people that believe somehow the ACA will cost them money are the people that stand to benefit from universal health care.  

    The ACA has already started working. Prescription prices have  come down.  More generics are available.  Young adults up to age 26  are getting coverage.  People with pre-existing conditions can now get insurance.  Eventually everybody will have basic health insurance at a reasonable rate.   Conservatives have made the ACA a focal point for those that dislike President Obama until the issue is no longer health care but simply way to vent how much they despise  the president.  As Mr. Adler says in his post below ” If you don’t like Obama, then don’t like Obama.  But, don’t lie to influence the discussion.”  

    Don’t let your rage get in the way of providing health care to all AmericansThe ACA is not perfect health coverage but it is better than leaving 50million Americans uninsured. A healthy population is essential to a prosperous nation.  It is in everybody’s interests that everyone have access to health care.

  • Anonymous

    Catherine Raymaker- The problem is that the ACA is a watered down, chopped up mess that we ended up with after the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists threw billions at it trying to defeat it and protect their piles of gold. Had it gone through in it’s original form, it would have closed the gap between the haves and the have nots in regards to affordable health care and been a workable solution. We compromised and ended up with a mess that is heavily weighted towards big corporate America, AGAIN.

  • Anonymous

    Well Catherine, I have to disagree. WHY? Because Obamacare has been destroying my health care month by month, so much so, that I, as a widow, struggling, can no longer afford my teacher-retirement health care. It hasn’t worked. It only works for the s-called poor. Those of us in lower middle class, like myself, can’t afford the higher deductibles, the co pays, the monthly sum taken out of my check to pay for Athem. So much for Obamacare. I was hoping it would relieve my situation, but instead, it has made it much worse.

    • luvGSD

       What are you talking about?  Obamacare hasn’t even been implemented yet.  It’s your private health insurer that is screwing you over, equinefan.

      • Anonymous

        The ACA  hasn’t been completely implemented but to say it has not been implemented is inaccurate. Many of your fellow posters today are ballyhooing the benefits they are experiencing already. It is also inaccurate to say those changes do not effect his current premium. They do and have for the past 18 mos. +/-.

        In 2014 the real damage will come.

    • Anonymous

      Every year Anthem petitions the state to allow it to raise its rates and every year the state allows them to do so.  This has been going on since the state turned the not for profit BCBS over to the very much for big profits Anthem 25 +/- years ago.  This has nothing to do with ACA and everything to do with the state insurance commission.

      • Anonymous

         BCBS was sold closer to 18-20 years ago if memory serves. Closer to the time that the state adopted the community rating system and many other insurers abandoned the Maine market, leaving just two-three companies operating here. It is likely that BCBS would have gone under had Anthem not picked them up.

        • Anonymous

          You’re probably right.  I don’t  remember the exact date, even though I did testify against the sale. I don’t think BCBS were going under. They were self sustaining because of their endowment? trust fund? I don’t know what it was called but I do know it made Anthem salivate.

  • Anonymous

    Insurance companies are raising rates, faster than ever, in anticipation of obamacare!! So, in effect, yes, obamacare has begun.

    It is like gun sales; thanks to our president, the sales have never been better.  It is just the philosophy of anti gun people, that is driving the sales.
    Obamacare is driving health care faster and faster out of control, and it was fast enough.

    • luvGSD

       Wouldn’t it be smarter for insurance companies to *lower* their rates in anticipation of Obamacare?   You know, like a going-out-of-business sale.

      • Anonymous

         That actually brought a smile. But not what is happening. Funny though.

        • Anonymous

          If it were up to Republicans in Congress, the insurance companies would be allowed to keep classifying being a woman as a pre-existing condition. They would put decisions about your health care back in the hands of insurance company CEOs. And they would repeal coverage for preventive medicine that will help keep all of us healthier and lower costs for everyone in the years to come.

  • Harry H Snyder III

    Greg Perkins
    I agree.  The problem is to find an “honest man” and then get this unique individual to run for the U.S. Senate where he will surely be exposed to a mud fight extraordinaire.

    Catherine Raymaker
    I would agree EXCEPT having lived in many different cities and towns, I find that when you live in a depressed economic area where the number of food-stamp families is great, the prices at the grocery stores are HIGHER then they are in the more wealthy suburbs.  Do “subsidies” cause higher prices?  I suspect that the answer is yes.

    Larry Ferrell
    …and daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
    Down by the Green River where Paradise lay?
    Well I’m sorry my son but you’re too late in asking
    Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away.
    Artist: John Prine

    Gareth Warr
    Absolutely. Lets give the ultimate fines and prison time for any action which might endanger the lives of property of others. Actually this would include driving…. with or without a cell phone.

    I agree that people are incapable of making their own decisions, and government should treat all of us as if we are retarded.

    John Friedman
    “Scapegoat’ is a good word for describing this individual. Afghanistan is NOT Iraq. People in Afghanistan declared war on the United States. this action was evuidently approved by their government (at that time) The case could be made that the Country (Afghanistan) approved the murder of almost 3,000 US civilians. No one has ever apologized for that action.

    Us forces burned the City of Dresden to the ground (after it was logistically necessary.) Our Country killed many civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. War is ugly. War is dangerous. If we want to stop burying dead “civilians” we should stop making war. Osama is dead. time to bring the forces home.

    …The coal company came with the world’s largest shovel
    And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
    Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
    Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man

  • Anonymous

    Catherine Raymaker, larry Farrell, Gareth Warr:  good letters.

  • CnJ

    Greg Perkins, I just read in the Morning Sentinel today, where Angus King, Rob Gardiner dba as Independence Wind and First Wind and being investigated by Congress.  And, they should be.  Lying to the people of Maine by promising TIF’s, jobs, and their assorted glories which never appeared.  The TIF’s have yet to be realized, most jobs have been awarded to out of state, union contractors.  Being right on Rt. 201, I see truckload after truckload of wire, steel, huge treated power poles, sub-station and transmission paraphenalia coming from Canada to the wind projects (American and/or Maine jobs?)  Blowing off mountain tops, cutting new huge swathes through our woodlands all for electric power to be sent to southern New England which will somehow raise our rates.  Yes, King and Gardiner are slick talking snakeoil salesmen.  They need a congressional investigation and a state and local accountability hearing, a trial for fraud and deception and when found guilty, which they surely are, be made to pay restitution, apologize to the people of Maine who they have betrayed and be sent to prison for their wrongs, just as any of us would.   This is a person we want representing us?

  • Anonymous

    Gareth – it’s a joke that driving a vehicle has become the secondary thing going on in that vehicle.  No one is paying attention, and no one really cares.  Yes, I have a phone; no, it does not text or take pictures.  Yes, I do not answer the phone when DRIVING.  Yes, I pull over when I know I am expecting a call.  I am not a violent person, but I am waiting for some bunghole with their phone in their hands (which they should have the steering wheel in their hands) to run into my “I take care of and pay good money” vehicle – that phone is being inserted in some oriface.

  • Anonymous

    Regardless, it’s still not a right. 

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