Friday, August 28, 2009

A Reponse to Congressman Mike Rogers

Maybe a little grandstand-y...but the dude deserves it.

Do all people have a right to health care, or only those that "earn" it, as Congressman Mike Rogers suggests in his recent statements to the US Congress?

Congressman Rogers obviously has his opinions on the subject. In his statement, he said:

"Abraham Lincoln said, 'You can't make a weak man strong by making a strong man weak'. And so what we've decided to do is to abandon the very principles of America and say, you know what? It's so hard and so difficult, we're gonna punish the 85% of Americans who have earned health care benefits as a part of their employment, and we're gonna punish them and the employers who give it to them, to try to cover the 15% that don't have it.

That doesn't hardly seem like a solution that any of us would come to. Why would we punish the part that's working to cover the part that's not?"

Does Congressman Rogers think that paying taxes is a form of punishment as well? I mean, SOME of that tax money might go to help OTHER PEOPLE, like the elderly, many of whom depend on Medicare (a federally run health care program) for their medical needs. Some of YOUR tax money might right now be going to help firefighters fight SOMEONE ELSE'S fire! Well, THAT hardly seems fair! I mean, YOU weren't the irresponsible jerk who started that fire! Why should YOU pay to help SOMEONE ELSE survive it. If they die, it's their fault for being on fire, right?

Let's get real for a minute. Better yet, let's get human. Let's care for a minute what happens to our fellow citizens.

And let's be honest about who those 15% who "aren't working" are. They're real people who work just as hard as you do to make ends meet. They're ME. I am one of the 15% who does not have health insurance. (15% of the US population, by the way, is about as many people as live in California and North Carolina combined. That's a lot of people, even if it isn't everybody.) As one of those uninsured 15%, I take personal offense at Congressman Roger's comments. NOT WORKING?! Trust me, I would love to quit even one of my two jobs, but I can't afford it. I would love to have employer-based insurance but neither of my employers provide it. If I could afford to buy private insurance, I would.

Congressman, who are YOU to tell me that I don't work hard? That I don't deserve to go to a doctor when I am sick because I don't make enough money? Who the hell do you think you are? Shame on you. And shame on those of you who let your fears get the better of you, who let your greed for more, more, more get the better of you. It's easy to blame others for what they don't have when those "others" are random strangers, isn't it? Well, those strangers are your friends, your co-workers, your family, your fellow citizens. They are people just like you. And they have the innate human right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, just as much as you do, regardless of how much money they earn.

We live in one of the free-est, healthiest, richest countries on Earth. We are all fortunate to have the lives that we have, relatively free from hunger, war, and oppression. Many people on this Earth are not as fortunate as we are. (Many people in this country are not as fortunate as we are. Does anyone else remember Hurricane Katrina? A lot of those people are still suffering, but since it's not in the news anymore, I guess it doesn't count, right?)

And yet, when we, who have more means than any other nation on the planet are given the opportunity to help our fellow citizens just a little bit, we balk. We hide our heads behind the red herring of "socialism", claiming that our freedoms (by which we mean our money) are being taken from us. Are we so small, so shallow and greedy of a nation? Are we so easily led by lies and self-interest?

We tell ourselves these lies about health care because we are scared. Because it's easier to ignore or belittle the problem when it's not in our own house, in our own belly.

So, Congressman, tell me: what are these "American principles" you speak of? Those of you who call yourselves patriots, what do you think that word means? If this is the best we can do for each other, then I think we, as a nation, have a long way to go.

There is a beautiful and famous poem on the base of the Statue of Liberty. You may already know a few lines of it by heart, but I think the whole thing is worth repeating. It says this:

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

But given our behavior in the recent health care debate, maybe it would be more appropriate if it just said:
"Every Man for Himself."

In short: Congressman Rogers, go fuck yourself.

Yours truly,

The Mother of Exiles

ps- The congressman is right, Canada IS behind us in cancer survival rates. We're 2nd in the world. They're 3rd. Cuba, a socialist nation, is 1st. So much for statistics, friends.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure that Castro reports the truth concerning their cancer rates....Cancer what cancer???

Lauryl Sulfate said...

Ha! Good point, although I don't know too much about how Raul likes to run things now that Fidel is out of the picture.
The report I read didn't say how the study collected it's'd be interesting to do a little research and find out.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauryl,

Thank you so much for your incredibly refreshing rebuttal to Rep Rogers' fear mongering, elitist speeches! I'm a 53 year old female cancer patient without healthcare coverage. I lost my job & insurance last year, 2 days after I returned home from the hospital. I got medicaid until the day that I received my first disability payment. I was then informed that I was no longer eligible - unless I was able to live on $637/month (nearly $900/month share of cost).

My own right wing father just sent me a link to Rogers' videos (how thoughtful, huh?!). I can't tell you how nice it was to read YOUR take on the idiot. THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

To the woman who is 53 and a cancer patient...

I feel for you. I truly do. You must be VERY against government run health care. I mean, from first hand experience of Medicaid finding a way to not cover you. You cannot possibly think that some government run "option" will do anything different than the government run "option" that already has decided not to cover you?!?

The problem with health care in our country is NOT that it is not run by the government, but in fact is due to government medaling in the past. We could have much much cheaper options for insurance (because lets be real here. It isn't about HEALTH care here it is about being insured) if the government would just lift the restrictions on health insurance companies from operating on a national level. There are many many companies who are not allowed by laws to operate in all states. It isn't because of "corporate greed" as your precious democrats want you to believe. And as Congressman Rogers said, 15% of the population... Yes, that's a lot of people. But as one of the 85% of insured people I say screw you! Don't mess with me to fix your situation. Find a way to fix your situation without installing some more government into something that they really don't need to be doing.

Lauryl Sulfate said...

Did you even read my post at all, Anonymous, or are you just looking for fresh liberal meat? I feel that I already laid this out, but if not, let me make it plain, with swear words, because I am having a bad goddamned day:

Friend, if you desire freedom from the social contract, then by all means, follow your bliss. Certainly, I wouldn't want you to feel forced by our evil, evil government to help another human being, like say, a woman suffering from cancer.

But, if you're going to get all "MY FREEDOM! MY FREEDOM!" about it, then might I suggest you go seek your freedom someplace else, like a desert island, maybe? I understand that there, you will find no pesky taxes. Or roads. Or prepared boxed pasta dinners. Ye,s there I think, you will be free to live the life of Manifest Destiny that you crave, away from the terrible constraints of this horrible nation. Also, you can hunt for berries in the forest and figure out how to build your own generator! That will be fun for you.

You see, the rest of us live in a society, so we understand that none of us exists in a vacuum, and while there are drawbacks to living in a society, like sometimes having an annoying interaction at the Taco Bell drive-thru, or having a central governing body (who, you may be shocked, require money sometimes from us, their bosses, to get things done), there are also advantages, such as the rule of law, due process, public education, infrastructure, a well-organized militia, and not getting your head lopped off with a machete during a bloody genocide.

But, hey, if you don't want those things, that's your choice.

Just don't think that somehow, just because you were born lucky enough to be a US citizen, this means you have the right to all the benefit and none of the burden.

Increasingly, that seems to be what Americans want. All of the benefits of living in a civil society and none of the burdens. Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

Many, many other countries in this world have socialized health care. And you know what? Those systems aren't perfect. No system is. But they all work as least as well and usually better than our fucked up Rube-Goldberg contraption of a "system", and they have have the numbers, and the high approval ratings of their citizenry to prove it. And the funny thing is that in none of those countries has socialized medicine led to some kind of devastating totalitarian regime.

I'm not saying the govt. is perfect. I'm not saying that "government controlled health care" is a panacea for the nations woes. But I also think it's a better, more attractive option than continuing with a system that's as broken as ours and then thinking that simply deregulating the state lines rules is going to fix it. I mean, you whine about liberals fixating on "corporate greed" but the cons are so fixated on "deregulation" as the end-all, be-all that they cannot see that it simply DOES NOT WORK. Exhibit A, The Great Recession. Welcome to it.

Lauryl Sulfate said...

But listen to reason, you will not. you're too hopped up about this idea that somehow having more people with access to decent, affordable health care will lead to the goddamned armageddon, all because you have some amorphous, soundbite-driven fear that it might somehow lead to slightly higher taxes for you. Let's turn your own reasoning around for a second: boo-fucking-hoo. I don't feel bad for you having to pay a little more, or me for that matter, if it means I don't have to shell out half of my paycheck for insurance that is unreliable, unhelpful, and ultimately, pays for nothing but it's own executives to go golfing while even that company's own low-level employees are struggling to get by.

And if it means that the system gets repaired so that the poor woman who has CANCER who was nice enough to write in to my blog gets some fucking treatment without having to lose her shirt, then, yes, I think it is my duty to help out.

So, no, actually, screw you if you think you owe nothing to this country or your fellow citizens.

You think that you got to where you are on some magical cloud of self-reliance, perseverance and can-do American pluck?

You got there by being lucky enough to have been born in a country where you don't live in a fucking dirt hut dying of AIDS, so spare me the lecture about how much more you think you deserve than anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Health care is not a right. Its not in the constitution. Nor, is having a department of agriculture or department of education.

Department of agriculture is a disaster. (This department destroys family farm and shoves GMO food down our throats)

So is the department of education. (is the reason why half the people in america are borderline retarded)

And people are fooled into thinking a depart of healthcare is going to be in their best interest?

Who wrote the obama care bill? The health insurance companies.

They wrote it so they can make higher profits and not have no legal accountability.

I don't believe in the left right paradigm. I'm a libtertarian.

Your insanely wrong on this issue.

The intelligent thing to do is to dismantle almost all the federal government. They are the problem.

And dismantle the federal reserve.

So we can get back on track and stop the devaluing of our currency.

Why would you want government to solve the problems it created?

Would you hire a rapist as your gynecologist?

Obama has lied about everything since day 1 in office.

Respect the condition and stopping being a TOOL to corporate communism.

Ron Paul 2012.

Lauryl Sulfate said...

I'm posting your response, Anonymous, because I feel you deserve to have a rebuttal, but I don't really want to waste my time having this argument for the eleventy-kabillionth time. So, I'm probably not going to continue this debate with you past this post, okay? Sorry, I know this somewhat unfairly leaves me with the last word, but then again, it's my blog. If you have a blog, you can go ahead and say what you want over there.

The selfish part of me actually kind of wants the controversy because it increases readership, but mostly, I'm just fed up with this argument. I'm done. It goes nowhere. YOu have your views, I have mine, and we basically have such different ideas about the way the world works that it's really pointless for me to try to change your mind. You think I'm insanely wrong, and I think you're actually a little insane ("Respect the condition and stopping being a TOOL to corporate communism." What does that even mean?) So, what's the point in having this conversation?

Look...I'm sure that in real life,you are a wonderful person. Some of my best friends are libertarians. I even agree with them occasionally. So, I hope you (and they) don't take offense when I tell you that I do not, and never will, subscribe to the libertarian philosophy, or any conservative philosophy for that matter, (Whether on not you subscribe to the "left/right" binary, libertarianism is, at its core, a conservative belief system), because I think that these philosophies often pander to the worst parts of human nature...selfishness, paranoia, and sometimes xenophobia.

As I said before (and which you did not address in your response), as a member of a society, we have a responsibility to other people. That's not mush-brained altruism. It's just how a society works.

And I just DO NOT BELIEVE most of the paranoid crap that a lot of libertarians seem to buy into. I don't think Obama is the anti-christ, just like I didn't think Bush was the anti-christ, even though I really, really didn't like him.

I don't think there's any big govt. conspiracy, I don't believe in mind-control, I don't believe the moon-landing was faked, that global warming is a hoax, or that Obama is a liar who's trying to trick us all into the "new world order". I don't believe that all the politicians in the US are in on the same evil plot. I'm sorry, I just don't believe any of it. It's all just bullshit, propagated by opportunists, zealots and paranoiacs.

I mean really, use Occam's razor for a second here.

Look, I'm gonna tell you what no one wants to tell you because no one has the heart to look you in the face and say, "honey, we love you but your shit is looney-tunes". Please, listen to me: NO ONE IS OUT TO GET YOU. THERE IS NO BAD GUY. We're all just people, acting out our own dramas and neuroses and aspirations every day. We are all human, we are all flawed, and we all just have different ways of looking at the world.

Lauryl Sulfate said...

On a different note:

Just because health care isn't in the constitution does not mean that it is not a fundamental human right. A lot of stuff isn't in the constitution. (My awesome recipe for zucchini bread, for instance? Not in the constitution. And yet, this recipe STILL EXISTS! And thank the goddess it does.)

Human rights are not bestowed by a piece of paper. To quote the Declaration of Independence (another fine document, also not the constitution, but still useful, I think) our rights are self-evident. You, of all people, for all your expressed belief in liberty, should know that.

Beyond that, I find it contradictory that you put so much stock in a federal document, one which lays the groundwork for many, many federal laws, since you're so anti-fed.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I like all of our founding documents a lot, but I also think it's a little naive and not very useful to treat them like unchanged and unchanging holy texts. One of the great joys of these texts is that they are always changing to suit our needs (hence, all these "amendments" we have) I agree, it is good to approach these documents with respect, but let's not get precious here. It becomes too much like Biblical literalism.

I also think that the concept of a libertarian running for federal office is a bit of an oxymoron.

Anonymous said...

your rebuttal is totally on point.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! It's exactly what needs to be said to each and every inconsiderate fanatic. Apparently, they lack the 3 C's (Consideration, Compassion and sense of Consequence) - and should never hold "public" office without a segregationist disclaimer. Our government principles were built on protecting the entire public "health, safety and welfare." When did we start limiting the protection to a select population? Aloha!

Anonymous said...

Hi, me again. Turns out global warming did come out to be a hoax from the uncovered hacker UN data since the last time posted.

It feels so good to be right.

Oh, I can't wait until everyone knows the truth about 9/11.

I'm sorry I didn't get the memo from the tooth fairy that told me I have a obligation as a member of a society to pay for a SERVICE....

You know what a SERVICE is?

Nobody is entitled to ANYONE'S SERVICE.

Doctors are getting fucked in the ass by socialized medicine.

Liberals have no concept of history.

For along time NOBODY even had health insurance in this country. You didn;t need it. You could pay cash it and wasn;t much because of the inflation.

Now look, with all the "modern" medicine. And the big drug companies cutting deals to drug up the population on barely tested drugs we now have a shorter lifespam then our grandparents.

Prices are supposed to GO DOWN.

Just like in Technology.

It is government involvement know that has caused healthcare and education to become expensive.

But maybe if YOU feel responsible for helping people than start a group. That is your write. Start a group and create your own patch adams hospital.

I don;t want to be apart of it. I dont want to pay for the war either.

Part of freedom is the ability to say no.

But there is good news for you. There will be socialized healthcare even tho the majority doesn't want it. Just like the majority of people don't want us to be in Iraq.

But Corporations do want us to be in Iraq and Corporations want us to have socialized healthcare.

Also since the last time I posted the healthcare bill has changed.

You actually have to BUY your 15,000 dollar plan or you get up to 3 years in jail and up to $250,000.

Thank Pelosi for that.

Also remember the founding fathers HATED democracy. Democracy is the worst from of government. America was founded as a republic.

After this passes you will end up crying about something else you want for free because your an "artist" and you went that route so now people like myself who would love to be an artist but went to school as an engineer now have to be raped with more taxation.

Anyway, these are just my opinions and you have yours.

The only fact is that global warming came out to be a hoax a month ago. Thus, making you wrong on that point. Your wrong on the others too.

Anonymous said...

"don't think there's any big govt. conspiracy"

World Trade Center Building 7. How did that collapse in NY on 911?

Why is the section of the pentagon so much smaller than a plane?

Read Charlie Sheens 20 questions for the president.

Anyway, there is a goverment conspiracy and you cant handle that because that goes against your belief that large government is the way to go. Bigger is better right? China has a big government for ya. Move there.

Adolf Hitler will always be the most famous Liberal of all time.

He was Time magazine man of the year twice before the war. American liberals loved his viewpoints. You share a lot of those.

Lauryl Sulfate said...

Oh, Anonymous! It’s YOU, again! How could I have forgotten you, random unnamed rightwing mouthfoamer? There are so few people like you on the internet, randomly posting your paranoid, ill-informed, hyperbolic rantings on the web!

Friend (May I call you friend? It seems we’ve grown so close after all these hours of not knowing each other, Anon.), I doubt you’re aware of this, but I just had my second child a week ago. And I’m in the process right now of writing what I’m sure will be a killer blog about the whole experience. So, I’m not terribly inclined to waste my time trying to respond to some unfocused, off-point, and embarrassingly misspelled verbal vomitings on a months-old blog about health care right now.

I would be happy to debate the issue with you, if you were a real, physical person that I knew, and wanted to really talk about the the actual healthcare reform bill, its benefits and drawbacks, practical solutions, etc. As a tree-hugging, bleeding heart liberal, you may well imagine, and you’d be correct, that I’m not thrilled with the outcome, either. The difference, though, is that I blame the outcome of the bill on stonewalling, asshole Republicans and so-called blue dog (in the pocket of big pharma/big insurance? You betcha!) Democrats of questionable moral fiber who didn’t have the vision or the cojones to deliver what the American people asked for. (And the majority of American people have consistently been in favor of massive reform, and yes, universal health care. Look it up.)

Even with all its flaws, though, I am still in support of this far from perfect, yes. But the system as it stands in unsustainable, and this, at least, is a step. An historic step, I might add.

But here’s the thing: Your responses were mostly about things that have nothing to do with my post. I don’t believe I ever mentioned the Kennedy assassination. (I did mention the “moon-landing hoax” theory, which is totally, totally batshit, and if you believe in it, then I’m sorry, but I don’t think we can really talk about any of this rationally, anyway. Moon hoaxers are as self-deluded as creationists. Why waste my energy?)

And, also, I dunno if you’ve ever heard of Godwin’s law, but quite simply, it means that in this debate, you lose. Comparing me (or Obama, or anyone, just because they’re more liberal than you) to fucking Hitler is beyond silly; it’s embarrassing to you and an insult to all of the people who died hideous deaths at the hands of the Nazis.

This is exactly what I’m talking about. You wanna talk about totalitarian regimes? You wanna talk about bloodshed? You wanna talk about oppression? Why don’t YOU spend some time learning about history? Rwanda, Cambodia, Zaire, Dominican Republic, etc. etc, etc. You’re so far from these experiences, it would be a joke, except it’s sad and not funny how unappreciative you are of the lot that you drew. Is America perfect? Far from it. I never said that I agree with all of Obama’s policies, or all of the decisions made by our large government, but I’d like to know, exactly what would you replace it with? There has never been a “libertarian” system of government in the history of the world. Maybe because the concept is oxymoronic.

There are so many more things I could say to your laundry list of tangentially related memes, but it would take too long and wouldn’t do any good anyway. You’re not interested in progress. You just want to yell at someone, and the internet is a safe, anonymous place for you to do that. No offense, but I didn’t start this blog to be a defender of sanity against every wacky, tea-bagging birther with a PC.

Comments section closed. I have shit to do, and only one lifespam to do it in.

Helen E. Kourous. Hard SF is back. said...

Bravo. This dumb video is making the rounds among my fb "friends" and I needed a good rebuttal!