| Comments 
| Category: Barack Obama
| 12/23/2009 4:51:44 PM CT
The Senate voted by 60 - 39 to limit debate on the health care bill, setting up a vote for final passage tomorrow at 7am ET. Debate continues on the bill this evening.
As part of this continuing debate, the minority (the Republican caucus) was allotted one hour for remarks. As part of these remarks, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) asked that the bloc be divided evenly among several members of the Republican caucus. John Thune (R-SD) received the third segment which can be viewed in its entirety below.
Sen. Thune directed much of his ten minute address to the issue of the deficit. He began by presenting convoluted percentages of non-defense budget spending over the preceding several years. He was attempting to illustrate that the Democrats contributed more to the deficit and that our current deficit is not attributable to President George W. Bush or the Republican party.
He then lifted a blank presentation board and a marker. Next, he began to write numbers, in billions of dollars, relating to the Congressional Budget Office's estimate of the Healthcare bill's cost. The first number represented the CBO's estimated surplus ($132 B), over a ten year period, resulting from the implementation of the Senate's Healthcare bill. The next few lines depict Sen. Thune's interpreted inaccuracies of the CBO's estimate.
Sen. Thune then adds the 132 billion to his list of erroneous estimates and makes an arithmetic error:
132 - 200 - 72 - 47 = -177
His numbers don't add up to -177; the correct computation yields -187. We have a US Senator attempting to illustrate why the CBO is wrong and he can't add four numbers of three digits or less together. Simply stunning. But perhaps what's even more stunning is that nobody caught this error; either in the planning stages or during the remaining remarks.
| Comments 
| Category: House of Reps.
| 11/7/2009 10:38:55 PM CT
The US House or Representatives officially passed H.R. 3962, The Affordable Health for America Act, at 11:15 PM ET upon the confirmation of the tally by House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D); although the qualifying number of votes were cast 8 minutes earlier:
The final vote was 220 Ayes to 215 Nays:
The lone Republican voting for the measure was Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana's Second District.
The House adjourned until Monday at 6 PM, after a fourteen and a half hour session. There will probably be several press conferences from each party at some point; you can watch live on CSPAN.org or check your local TV Listing for the channel number in your area.
Update [12:25 AM, CT 9/8/2009]: Immediately following the passage of the bill, and before the Democratic press conference, CSPAN fielded callers from around the country. Below is one of these such exchanges:
Announcer: Lets hear what you have to say about the debate today. This is
Pam in San Diego, California against the bill; go ahead.
Pam: Yeah. My name is Pam, and I am very much against any bill, on any kind of insurance, because insurance is not an airbag to protect you. Insurance does not buy healthcare; there is something, just, infinitely wrong with the idea that doctors are actually taking care of people.
Source: CSPAN.org Video Library
The bolded text above is probably the most vile and incompetent critique of healthcare reform possible. Insurance does buy healthcare, in fact it's the purpose of having insurance; you spend money, i.e. you buy insurance, and in turn, you receive healthcare. Insurance is the exchange of money for access to healthcare within a distributed stress system. The general concept of insurance places roughly equal burden upon all participants in exchange for assistance when a statistical anomaly occurs, such as cancer. Insurance buys access to, in this example, healthcare for cancer; this healthcare is probably not affordable, without insurance, for the average American [pg. 5].
Secondly, the purpose of doctors is to take care of people; which I thought was a common sense notion, but apparently I was wrong. The Hippocratic Oath, the corner stone of ethical medicine, seems to hint at a doctor's need to care for their patients:
I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.
Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.
Source: PBS NOVA
The statements by Pam above, are without a doubt, the most ignorant things I have ever heard relating to the healthcare debate.