A Look at the Surreal Health Care Debate…Dr. Weil, A Tea Party Guy, Newt Gingrich and One Unholy Media Stew

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

“A Look at the Surreal Healthcare Debate” …well, not by me, but one offered up by Thursday (9/10)  night’s group of cable ghouls that I happened to see over the span of a few short minutes.

For some unknown reason I turned on CNN and caught a bit of Larry King.  Dr. Andrew Weil was on, blasting the same-old, same-old of the current health care “reform” efforts.  While the challenges are correctly recognized, the solutions are within the same model we have now. Weil is usually quite sanguine, but Thursday night in his own quiet way, he seemed pretty frustrated over the structure of our non-system. He predicts that whatever is done will fail, because costs won’t come down.  He thinks that high-tech stuff is way overused and he especially is irate over the drug advertising on TV.  We are the only country that allows this and it makes the physician more prone to dishing out the drugs when a patient comes in with a request rather than time spent on real discussion with the patient.  He wants that advertising stopped now!  He likens our ties to Big Pharma as being like the role of Wall Street in our lives.

He stated that places like Germany, Australia, and Norway are places where health care seems to satisfy people (Germany and Australia are part public and part private), but they, too, face the same problems of rising costs.  He mentioned that in Germany and other places, however, people seem to be willing to learn to “take care of themselves,”– they can take care of their own rashes and colds without running to the doctor, he said.

Basically, it seems Weil wants a system where doctors really take the time to know their patients and use modern medicine as well as tried and true remedies and new alternative approaches. He hope kids who are being exposed to new ideas will pass them to their parents. He figures we’ll see a different sort of  person coming into the system to be doctors if the approach to medicine changes, people who will have a real committment to healing  and dealing with patients differently if the attitude about health care changes. He sees some movement among some doctors toward this now. The system currently is all about insurance payments, not medicine, and a fear of liability suits, hence the overuse of reapeated/overkill diagnostic tests.  He strongly believes in preventative medicine, in getting people to understand how they can help themselves in terms of diet and stress management so they stay healthier longer.

He also pointed out that while we hear about eating more fruits and vegetables, they seem to be the most expensive foods, as industry is pushing cheap, processed stuff  full of things that are government subsidized to keep them cheap…all the sugar– corn syrups, fructose, etc.– and oils…which is diametrically opposed to what the message to eat better is saying.

Part of the show involved an interview with the guy leading the “Tea Party Express.”  This guy was revolting to me.  King asked if there was anything in the current reform bills that this guy approved of.  NO.  Well, King asked about the move to end the “pre-existing condition” stranglehold.  NO, was again the answer.  King then posed a hypothetical question…If you wife had a health problem and couldn’t get insurance, would that change his mind?

Well, this BOZO said NO, because he was SURE in the free market there would be someone to write a policy for her!  I guess it was that idiot Roland Martin (?) who actually said the correct thing, that there would be no one there to write a policy for her, that could be easily affordable.  On this I totally agree…this guy, who is leading an awful lot of lemmings these days, has no clue.  Heck, if you’re on disability you pay DOUBLE what the normal Medicare supplement costs!   (I know this from personal experience.) Has this guy ever applied for a policy in the open market with a serious precondition?  The waiting times to be covered, if it’s even allowed, are daunting and the premiums are sky high!  And, not all companies offer the same options. So, yeah, MAYBE she could get a policy, but if she could, it wouldn’t be cheap OR offer immediate coverage in most cases. He’d have to look long and hard. Very hard…

His glibness really bugged me.  It annoys me that that people like him are uninformed or so wedded to their own ideology and are leading lots of people who are also uninformed.  The folks who follow the leaders are often too busy to keep informed or really don’t have the capacity to understand a lot of what’s going on, and are so vulnerable to being fooled and ultimately lead toward their own destruction.  This guy sounded like a Republican or Libertarian, but the key point was he was so rigid. Had the compassion of a a robot…Frankly, I saw the two sides of the same coin (Obama/Organized “Opposition” leader  = same crap) and the pied piper mentality that has befallen this country. The  often-misquoted Janus myth really doesn’t describe this situation, but the visual seems to help create the mood…



That’s not to say some Tea Party folks aren’t well-informed…many are and many are Independents or ticked-off Democrats who are along for the ride for other reasons than Republican reasons.  But, I’m so uneasy about hooking into people who are so against any change at all.  I wish there were people without long-term agendas doing the leading…and when I say “long-term agendas” I mean the Republican agenda which would love to ditch the security net as quickly as possible or take back ANY restraints on the health industry/insurers.  The leader of the Tea Party Express, along with Glenn Beck fall into this category.

After this little segment of insanity, I then caught a bit of Greta van Susteren who was chatting with Newt Gingrich.  Greta seems to have come completely on board with the FOX stance of complete negativity.  There she sat with old Newt who had the GALL to say that we need more “scientific reasearch” along with the standard GOP stuff about taxes, more freedom to sell policies across state lines, etc., which do squat to really reform much of anything.   Let’s see…didn’t Bush CUT research funds to the bone????

Well, yes, he did without much upset from Republicans, who were also busy doing the cliffhanger bit on paying doctors who participated in Medicare. Dr. Weil mentioned how far back we’ve been set back by this and even referred to the “religious” groups (and Bush) who howled about stem cell research. For Weil to get into that hornet’s nest was pretty surprising, but, as I said before, Weil seemed pretty pissed off in a quiet way.  Weil is grateful that there’s been some restoration of funding for research, but I don’t think he’ll be looking to Newt and the Republicans to come in and do MORE when they retake the government.  Would you??

So there you go…Greta sits there and doesn’t challenge old Newt. I’ve noticed that she NEVER puts anything into context…that lawyer’s brain of hers is permanently atrophied, it seems.  I used to have some hope that she could put together SOMETHING informative, but she’s gone downhill and spends way too much time on missing children cases…

And, so,  people like Newt say things that are LUDICROUS and the Tea Party Express guy with the stick up his ass (looks like a blond, ex-army guy or something, with a strange look in his eyes) leads the way to…WHERE?

Which is why I prefer to watch “You Are What You Eat” on BBC America…at least it provides some visual shock value in terms of the junk people consume, some discussion about the effects on health, and some inspiration that things can actually CHANGE, one unhealthy person at  a time…

19 Responses

  1. Although I cheer at Republican efforts to sink the Democrat plans to remake health care I am not fooled into believing they actually have anything to offer which will benefit most of us. Call it a marriage of convenience. Because I do not support the Democrat plan in the least.

    While I watched the entire Washington Tea party event and enjoyed it I was very uncomfortable with all the emphasis upon conservative this and conservative that. For although I consider myself a fiscal conservative I also don’t fit very well into their definition of what that should be. And I don’t idolize Ronald Reagan. I rather despise the man and all he stood for actually.

    I see much of what is going on in this health care reform debate as overreaching by both sides. The Dims want to do too much too fast and the Repugs want to do too little too slowly. And unless someone actually heads toward the middle we are going to be screwed whether it passes or fails.

    I’ve outlined what I think could go a long way toward reforming health care with very little cost. The proposals might even receive broad bipartisan support. Or so I dream.

    1) Actually reform medical malpractice lawsuits. Set sensible limits on payouts for actual negligence and make it a crime with stiff penalties to file a lawsuit that has no real merit. And revoke the license to practice law from lawyers that abuse the system.

    2) Set a mandatory minimum of coverage by all health care insurers.

    3) Eliminate the restriction on cross state insurance sales to stimulate competition.

    4) Prohibit restrictions on pre-existing conditions and set a percentage limit on the excess premium insurers can charge for those with pre-existing conditions based upon actual medical science.

    5) Allow small businesses to join together in pools to bargain for the best price for the best care for their employees. This could extend across state lines.

    6) Allow re-importation of drugs manufactured in American but sold to other counties at a discount.

    7) Seek out, identify and actually eliminate the waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare program rather than use the claim as a political toy while doing nothing about the problem.

    8) Require substantial penalties, including jail time, to those who attempt to defraud the system.

    9) Make those convicted wear a tee-shirt that says: I tried to kill Grandma anytime they venture out into public for a period of not less than five years. Implant subdural tracking chips in them and post their whereabouts online for everyone to see.

    I realize these do not solve all the problems but they could certainly solve some of them rather simply. I am not entirely kidding about Number 9.

  2. good point about Medicare. We already have 2 health care systems in ths country- 3 counting SCHIP. The other one is Medicaid. How about closing up the donuts in these systems,& opening them up to everybody- regardless of age & income. What is so hard about that?

    & put a cap on drug prices. That’s what other countries- including Canada- do, which is why it is cheaper to import medicenes from there.

    • Clinton tried to open Medicare to people over 50 who lost their jobs…guess who shut it down???? Think GOP….

      In NM, there is a “pool” for small businesses…not doing much for anybody…

      Across state lines… well, I figure that everyone will apply for the cheapest rates, which will then go up because the pool will include “sick people.” Then, in the states that lose subscribers, those rates will go up because there aren’t ENOUGH subscribers…Then, in both cases, insurers decide to stop underwriting in these states. Jersey is case in point…a community rated system, Washington National and Mega offered cheap rates for about year, then raised them sky high…who know who is writing now in Jersey, it’s been about 12 year since I played in that game!!
      Net effect–nothing to really improve anything!!

      Same with auto insurance…some carriers won’t write there …

      • Hillary campaigned last year on expanding Medicare for all. Who shut that down? Think 0zero.

        she also voted against FISA, & doubtless would of stopped any continuation of PNAC, which Big Dawg rejected out of hand when he was in office.

        I’m honestly starting to think that the Dems screwed her over last year, not becuz the ddn’t want to run a woman in the general election, but becuz they didn’t want to run anybody- male or female- who would threaten the current world order.

        why put a political novice in the White House? Human playdoh perhaps?

  3. There is no way to solve the health care crisis in this nation. Both sides are too married to their crap, and far too good at setting the center against each other.

    I refuse to play this game any more. The current system sucks. What Democrats want to do sucks. What Republicans want to do sucks. What everyone else is doing to each other sucks. This debate needs to end before it tears what is left of America apart.

    Which, of course, is exactly what Obama wants. Stop being pawns. We are all being manipulated by both sides, and our chaos and anger is being used to destroy us

    • My sentiments exactly, Grail. Unfortunately, too many of the people dishing out the advice on this matter don’t know what it is to really grapple with a serious illness and the full toll it takes on resources; mental, physical and financial combined, to travel this road.

      I expect nothing good to come from this bill, whatever is passed. It’s become just more of the same old, same old.

    • This is exactly how I feel on ALL issues now…I’ ve decided basically to tune most of it out and take care of myself and enjoy a good movie on TV on a regular basis!!

  4. I will continue to watch and listen and choose what to believe and who to believe.

    I will continue to watch Greta, because she is one of the few voices for women’s rights on television and I often do agree with her politics, if not with her guests. She had Blagojevich on her program too, I don’t think means she’s on board with Blago.

    As for the Health care issue I don’t trust either party. I don’t think the Democrats ever intended to give us anything if it took money out of the pockets of the PTB. They just “pretend” to care so they can “pretend” to be the good guys. The are as corrupt and dishonest as any Republican.

    I am glad to see the people who are part of the Tea Parties for their energy if nothing else. Many of them may not understand exactly what it is that’s wrong with the system but they know, in their guts, that some is dreadfully wrong.

    Are they uniformed/misinformed? You bet. They are being lied to by both parties and by the media. Unless they are all political junkies that live and breathe politics they don’t really know what is going on. Many/most haven’t the time or the knowledge to search out “real” information. Information, honest and unbiased information that should be there on the front pages of their newspapers. So they protest. Many/most are protesting the corruption they know/feel is in their government. Many/most are protesting the government interfering in their lives to an ever greater extent.

    What we will probably get is a watered down bill that may even help a few people here and there. But with a “mandate” that forces citizens to “buy” insurance that will be an enormous “gift” to the very insurance industry that Obama and the Obamacrats are so busily vilifying.

    I respect the “Tea Party Protesters” for their energy and for caring enough to protest. Many of them for the first time in their lives. I respect that more than ANY damn politician, media talking head, or political party. I’d be proud to stand with them. Even if they do have some fools and mountebanks in their ranks. That’s bound to happen whenever large groups, or small, of people congregate.

    • You’re more generous than I, my friend. I fully believe that the intent of the democrats is to screw the Middle Class until it’s dead. They feel the only way to make reparations for black slavery 150 years ago is to enslave all whites. And since they can’t do it literally, they have decided to do it financially. They don’t even care about the many blacks and other minorities they are taking down at the same time. Just collateral damage. (Of course, the fact that the profits are going to their benefactors has a bit to do with it as well…)

      If you think this is not the case, you are deluding yourself. The irony is that white liberal guilt is forcing the return of full-blown, unapologetic racism on all sides. They have provided all the fodder the nut jobs need, and now we are all screwed in the name of “democracy” no matter what happens.


      The reason I’m less focused on the republicans (who are equally as evil, just in other ways) is that no republican ever screwed me over by pretending to be like me. I know their motives and react accordingly. They are unapologetic and tell me I am wrong, but they don’t ever try to convince me that they’re pro-choice, pro gay rights, or against corporate greed.The democrats continue to this very moment in pretending to be “for the people”. That, in my book, is the worst treachery possible. I can make a temporary alliance with an honest adversary. I cannot do so with a dishonest, backstabbing, ill-intentioned “ally”.

  5. I agree with most of what you say GG. And like you, I don’t find the Republicans as evil because they never pretended to be all the things that I thought the Dems were. I may dislike, or even loathe the guy down the street that cheats on his wife, I would have a hatred deep and wide for the man that cheated on me. That to me, is my former party. As an Independent I can see what both sides are, and they are mirror images with differant rhetorical drivel.

    If the Green Party recruits Van Jones as I’ve read, they’ve got the last vote from me.

    And if the Dems pass a bill with a mandated insurance in it they’ve gotten the last vote they will ever get from me.

  6. The Dems certainly have revealed their true selves…Republican-lites. It’s left many of us without a political home….
    Republican, however, never move off their mark, never change their stances on anything, They are Luddites, while the Democrats are just …jackasses!!

    Tonight I watched the one hour special on the financial mess on BBC America. We don’t have that kind of discussion anywhere else on TV. (The World Service has been running a long series on this the last week or so.)….Robert Shiller mentioned the political end and the need for a real understanding of all this by the public, but we will never get anywhere if half the public listens to Rush et al and makes decisions based on them…Yeah, let’s weep for big business…I’d almost prefer this sort of discussion on the radio, on all stations like we suffer with the rightwing shows. The dummies could listen to rap music and interested people would sit through the discussion.

    ON the other hand, there’s the media that’s in Obama’s pocket…but that may be slipping…

    I’m beginning to think that the dummies should be bored out of the way, so that real discussion could take place. Right now, the dummies listen to crap music or the right wing shows and swallow it all as the “truth” while all that is happening is that the big talkers are delivering the GOP agenda, with no examination of the Republican side of the aisle, EVER.

    This is why we don’t get anywhere. We don’t get serious discussion, just both extremes yelling their usual slogans at a public who never gets a chance to even hear intelligent evaluation of our problems.

  7. The talking points that pass as discussions are a sad part of what most Americans get as “news”.

    Unless and until the people stop listening to the liars in both parties and come to understand that the enemy is the politicial system and those corrupting it, government and equally corrupt media, they will not be able to make informed choices.

    That’s why partisanship is so evil in my mind. It allows people to make a choice without bothering to know what choice they are really making.

  8. I watch CSpan tonight, Dennis Kucinich’s hearing on the ways the healthcare industry will always find a way to deny coverage. A former worker for Humana was of the witnesses. There are laws on the books to enforce data collection of denials, dropping people, etc. but they’re not enforced! The Humana woman spoke about how they would sell “catastrophic” insurance to people who already had ample insurance…a scam!

    Poor Dennis K. Imagine his frustration with the party leadership…this is not the first great hearing he’s held…I met him when he was running for Prez in 2004. He spoke at the health food coop which I belong to.

    If there were more Democrats like him…You know, if the Dems are going down in flames on this, at least if they presented a truly national single payer system, I could respect them. But to serve up basically GOP crap AND be demolished because of the bullshit about how it’s so anti-business, etc, etc is simply ludicrous and STUPID!!!

    A Cato guy came on praising the wonderful health insurance industry. I asked my mother if she had ever heard Rush Limbaugh rail against the abuses of the healthcare industry…..crickets. I keep thinking of that jackass woman whose video was plastered all over a certain site, how wonderful she was….you know, the one who loved her insurance?? Another brainwashed lemming who maybe has been lucky so far but is not on the planet when it comes to knowing squat about the shitty health insurance industry…

  9. yeah my homeboy ROCKS!! 🙂

    he’s also a HUGE threat to the established world order.

    which is why they marginalize him & refuse to take his Presidential runs seriously. If Dennis had even a tenth of the MSM coverage Obozo has, Dennis would be sitting in the White House now & be seriously cleaning up this mess our country is in.

    but some people can’t have that

    • Nope. Can’t have that, because the wunderkind in the MSM declared him a wingnut before he began. It was announced that he was about as serious a candidate as Pat Paulsen, and then he was ridiculed and belittled by one and all, right and left.

      That should have been our first clue of things to follow. I personally will never make that mistake again. Dennis Kuchinich and the other ridiculed “he can’t win” candidate – Ron Paul- were the only candidates offering actual change. That’s why they were considered dangerous. Hillary was only considered dangerous after they discovered she wouldn’t toe the line (and of course after they remembered she had scary lady parts).

  10. Dennis K. would never be able to get past the fact that, while under his leadership as mayor, the city of Cleveland went bankrupt. But I do love that he sticks to his principles, something very rare in Washington. Another guy who has been saying all along that both parties suck is Ralph Nader. I used to be mad at him for taking away votes from Gore in 2000…..but then again, Gore didn’t even win his own state of TN which if he’d won it wouldn’t have mattered anyway….maybe I’ll just stick to blaming Donna Brazile and that silly fool who made him wear earth tones and turtlenecks.

  11. yep, Dennis has experience with bankruptcy. It should also be noted that Dennis was a political novice at the time, with only slightly more experience than the Daley Machine prop currently occupying the White House. Dennis has been around the block a few times since then. This time last year Dennis wanted to give the TARP $ to the people of this country, worked out to around $3k per household, if I remember correctly. But some people couldn’t have that, so that plan was DOA.

  12. Rather good article, definitely useful stuff. Never thought I’d find the facts I want right here. I’ve been scouring all around the internet for some time now and had been starting to get frustrated. Fortunately, I stumbled onto your page and received exactly what I had been hunting for.

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