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Sunday, October 23, 2016

During a Republican primary debate in the last presidential election cycle, there was a dispiriting moment in which Tea Party audience members cheered at the idea that a comatose uninsured American — unable to afford health insurance — would be left to die. That infamous outburst, among others, has prompted GOP bigwigs to try to cut back on primary season debates, hoping to limit appearances that might expose the party’s baser impulses.

But that mean-spirited and contemptuous attitude toward the sick is alive and well in the Grand Old Party, as its maniacal (and futile) resistance to Obamacare has made clear. Now, one Republican politician is pushing that callousness to new lows: He wants to bar the uninsured from hospital emergency rooms.

Last week, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal criticized a decades-old federal law that requires all hospitals that receive Medicare funds and have emergency facilities — and that’s most — to treat any patient who walks in needing care, regardless of his ability to pay. “It came as a result of bad facts,” Deal said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “And we have a saying that bad facts make bad law.”

Deal says that many people use emergency rooms unnecessarily, and those patients inflate health care costs. He is factually correct. But there are other facts that undercut his arguments and reveal his hypocrisy.

First off, Deal is among those red-state Republicans who have vociferously opposed the Affordable Care Act, which makes health insurance available to hundreds of thousands of people who couldn’t otherwise afford it. If more people had health insurance policies that paid for doctors’ visits, fewer would use emergency rooms for routine complaints.

Second, Deal, like many Republican governors, has refused the Medicaid expansion made possible by Obamacare, even though the federal government would pick up 100 percent of the cost for the first three years and 90 percent until the year 2022. That expansion is the best chance many Georgians without means have for getting health insurance.

So, to sum up, Deal hates Obamacare and refuses its Medicaid expansion, which would keep the working poor out of emergency rooms. In addition, he wants to deny them access to emergency rooms unless they can pay. Really, governor? Don’t you insist that your values are “pro-life”?

  • Daniel Jones

    All these people want is to say whatever pleases whoever they’re talking to!! Why do the rest of us insist on calling them on it later, since we know they’re just lying, anyway?

    Because they are the elected and they need to be held to that standard. That’s why.

  • sigrid28

    Between the coasts, the learning curve about the ACA has been moving at a glacial pace, despite its prominence in the eyes of those of us who read a national newspaper daily, watch cable news, read news online, or follow the National Memo. Just one of the brilliant touches in the Oscar nominated film “Nebraska” is its caricature of what passes for information and communication in the small towns of our nation’s interior that have no building higher than their water tower.

    A statistic I keep in mind when judging the executive functioning of other Americans (since I don’t live in Europe or Asia, where lotteries are also prominent): 35% of us think the we can join the 1% by winning the lottery. In “Nebraska,” the consequences of this fallacy play out in a family, where senile elders have been completely taken in by the kind of lottery scam that used to be identified with Publisher’s Clearing House.

    In these mid-American towns, the task of knowing things is divided along gender lines. It’s up to the wives and widows to know everything that is going on and has gone on within the city limits: which kids got jobs and which ones washed up; how well the marriage of your high school boyfriend worked out when he picked another girl over you; who is rich and who is poor. The ladies know the back stories to all the puff pieces published in the hometown newspaper, which sends a ten-year-old out on his bike to take the portrait of the millionaire “prize-winner” for the upcoming edition. With this kind of gossip filling up the front pages of the local news, how long will it take the women-folk to catch on to the ACA?

    Their husbands rely completely on these keepers of old wives’ tales so they can concentrate completely on two points of fact that keep changing from day-to-day: “Who’s ahead?” (while watching a game on television) and “What kind of car you drivin’?” It is understandable how the Herculean challenge of tracking these vital statistics could make learning about the ACA seem trivial indeed.

    So what about the young people in these fly-over towns? When they are not sitting besides their elders glued to the TV most of the day, they are plugging away at dead-end jobs. The most successful of them is an anchor for a local television network; his brother sells stereos and televisions. There isn’t a computer or laptop in sight.

  • charleo1

    It seems very evident Americans are going to have to make some very
    important decisions, and soon. And, given our avoidance to make any
    decision that is not absolutely pain free. That doesn’t cost us anything,
    doesn’t raise our taxes, or requires, Heaven forbid, our participation in anything that doesn’t clearly benefit me today. Frankly, I’m very much concerned the home team is not appreciating the gravity of the situation.
    Look, it’s multiple choice! We need not reinvent the wheel. Just choose
    “A,” or “B.” We can choose to continue our slide from a standard of
    living that was once the envy of the world, into the same kind of daily
    subsistence, many of our corporations find so appealing in the third world. Or, “B,” insist on an economy that exists, and works for the majority, not just the miniscule number at the top. This is so hard!
    Maybe if we took a quick look at the healthcare system in Bangladesh,
    or Sri Lanka, and find out how their emergency room policies differ in
    any way from the policy Governor Deal is proposing. The truth will set
    us free! But, will work for work’s sake, set us free, or enslave us? Big
    questions, we seem to be having such a terrible time deciding, “A,” or
    “B.” Do low wages create jobs, and low taxes provide employers with
    the money to expand, and raise wages? Or do they have the effect of
    lowering demand, and shifting the real costs of living not covered by
    the low wages onto the Government? And what if the Government
    stopped covering the shortfall, as the Right proscribes? “A,” or “B.”
    A lot of us seem to think a good defense, is the best offense. I’ve got
    mine, and if anything changes it might effect me. So stop with the
    mucking around with the healthcare system, that’s working fine for
    me. And raising the minimum wage might make things more expensive,
    and I’m on a fixed income. So, stop with that too. Sure poor people
    have it tough, but I doubt they’ll ever be thrown out of an emergency
    room. And why again, is this my problem? Because, for any society to
    prosper, and progress, it must not only live for today, but for tomorrow.
    The concept that what yesterday’s generation paid forward to us, not
    only enabled our success. But created for us, the responsibility we have to following generations, to pay it forward. To shape the world they will
    inherit. To make sure they have the opportunities to work hard, and thru
    that work, make sure as best we can, they may realize their ambitions,
    and leave behind a better world for their children. It’s, “A,” or it’s “B.”
    And it’s really up to us.

    • Independent1

      You’ve pretty much captured it there Charle. Big problem we have today is the current low tax rate which is encouraging those with money to hold onto it rather than spend or invest it.

      The author of an article in the DailyKos (kavips) demonstrates that over the past 6-7 decades at least, the only time the American economy really prospered is when tax rates were high (think the 1990s when Clinton was in office) ; and that’s because when tax rates are low, companies and the wealthy tend to stuff their money into a mattress somewhere, whereas, when tax rates are high they’re encouraged to spend on luxuries and invest in their businesses spurring the economy which is good for everyone.

      Kavips claims that over these 6-7 decades six options have been tried to get the wealthy to spend and invest, and of those, only one option has ever proven successful – high taxes.

      Here’s the six options that have been tried:

      1.Price and pay freezes.
      2.Government set and regulated prices.
      3.Lower tax rates.
      4.Cash incentives from taxpayers to reinvest.
      5.Pleas and entreaties from the Oval Office.
      6.Higher marginal tax rates.

      Only number 6 has ever worked. When the GOP pushes for any of the other options, they’re pushing against history and are destined to fail.

      Here’s a link to Kavips’ article which is very enlightening:

      Economic Stagpression: Two Charts The Entire World Must See

  • midway54

    Yes, the beauty show of the posturing rightwing clowns to which she referred about the cheering when it was clear that a patient with no insurance through no fault of his own and in need of life-saving surgery should, well, just die. The nutcase who brought the rightwing crowd of crazies to their feet to whistle and applaud was none other than Ron Paul, Rand’s daddy. It seems, as I recall, that this crowd was in one of the Dupedom South states…perhaps in Texas. the Loon Star State, home of crudeness and unalloyed ignorance.

    • joe schmo

      This is such a contemptuous article.

      ‘hoping to limit appearances that might expose the party’s baser impulses.’ Unbelievable.

      This article is so ridiculous that even the hippopotamus party has gone to great lengths in becoming such a preposterous size simply by being fed bullsh*%. The misconception is that the Conservatives want the poor to starve to death. This idea is so misconstrued and twisted that it becomes like a sequel to ‘The Grapes of Wrath.’ It is ludicrous to believe that the one time senator now turned governor would disallow anyone on Medicare or Medical to receive treatment of any kind. Your typical emotional Democratic viewpoint has been warped by a sense of entitlement which can only come from propaganda straight out of the ‘Communist Manifesto.’

      Especially since I have read articles that state quite the contrary. The only thing ‘Deal’ is guilty of is hating ‘Obamacare.’ I think the only people who benefit from Obamacare are the lower to ‘noer’ income earners. Yet even then the system is so flawed and unorganized that it fails under its own weight.

      Face it folks. Obamacare is an utter failure and you know it. If you really would have wanted it to succeed it should have been checked inside out and upside down before it was revealed.

      If anything, Obamacare is going to allow many people to die due to the fact that 1) Doctor’s don’t want to deal with not getting paid. 2) Stems on people getting approved 3) Being able to see only certain Drs. 4) and 5) extremely high premiums for the middle income individuals who lie on the border between the higher wage earners. The very people you sought to help, you hurt. Many people not signing up leave many who have enrolled holding the bag for the mega freebie recipients.

      How do I know this…..I live in LaLaLand with all the fruits and nuts in Californio….

      • Franco Miccolupo

        Doctors not getting paid? Or doctors not getting paid enough? Be clearer. Where are they gonna go? To a country with no universal care?…plenty of bucks to be made in countries like Zimbabwe and North Korea for them?

        • joe schmo

          Are you in the medical field? Do you know how much studying you have to do to become a Dr.? I bet you think Drs. should get paid no more than a unionized carpenter? Good luck under Obamacare finding a good Dr in the future. I know many people who refuse to sign up for this abomination, namely because they cannot afford it. They will pay the penalty. Seems 1 out of 6 people in California are signing up for the plan. Many of those signing up are filling out the paperwork for Medicaid. Who will pay for the the poor when the able are not signing up at all. Most likely they will be FORCED to do so eventually. Sounds more like Communism to me every day…..and if you say I don’t know what I am talking about…well my family lived under it for over 40 years. My father and mother both escaped from it after the war.

          You are going to get what you asked for. I know how the European system works because my Mothers best friend and her husband are orthopedic surgeons in Europe. They opened their own private clinic so that those who wished to pay for better quality care could get it. Socialized medicine sucks!

      • JSquercia

        Actually that the governor as objecting to was passed under
        Reagan .
        there are many features of Obama Care that people love such as not being denied coverage for a preexisting condition , not being dropped once you become ill , no lifetime cap on coverage and being able to continue coverage for dependent children until they are 26 .
        For the insured these are good things but there is no doubt they add to the cost of coverage .Hence the requirement that everyone have Health Insurance so as to expand the pool .
        The only provision I worry about is the elimination of the lifetime cap which I far could bankrupt an Individual Insurance company .
        We liberals would have preferred a single payer plan quit possibly Medicare for ALL .
        The governor was upset at the fact that many rural hospitals were going out of business because the law forced them to treat people who had no Insurance . Most of these people would have been covered under the expanded Medicaid that the Governor chose to reject in spite of the fact that it would not have cost the state any money .
        It would seem this Right to Life governor feels that the poor should be left to die hey can’t PAY

        • joe schmo

          Don’t even worry about individual health insurance companies. You will get your wish for that single payer system before it is all said and done.

          Not so sure everyone loves Obamacare. Not many people I know love it. They have decided to opt for the penalty….

          …..and I have never heard of any hospital turning down treatment for the poor. It is maintained in the hippocratic oath all Drs. are sworn to uphold when they get their doctorate. Problem is there are more and more people who don’t have squat. How do you expect Drs. to get paid?

  • dtgraham

    I saw Al Madrigal’s Daily Show interview with Ashley Landess of some South Carolina policy institute, who’s quite obviously a Republican. She kept insisting that no one should be accepting the Medicaid expansion because “we can’t afford it.” She kept revisiting and redressing that point in the interview of ‘not being able to afford it’.

    If a foreigner was watching that, who didn’t know any better, they’d come away with the impression that America was trying to do it’s best for it’s people but were simply a poor nation and not able to. They would think that America is just too poor and “can’t afford it” and that’s why they’re unable to have the type of national health system for everyone that all of the other advanced, developed nations have in one form or another.

    Obviously nothing could be further from the truth. The United States is wealthier than any of those other countries. You know, that is amazing. The shameless party of evil has no problem denigrating their own country and portraying it as a pauper nation if it will help advance their goals; one of which is denying health care to their own citizens. Nice.

  • amphiox

    It is a part of every physician’s professional oath that he or she will provide emergent care to all who come to him or her, who need it.

    What Deal is suggesting is basically a law that forces medical professionals to violate their own professional oaths.

    The Party of Personal Freedoms, people!

    • joe schmo

      No, the people who have been around a lot of Drs. here and abroad. The people who know how hard Drs. study to become physicians and the care they have to give their patients, thereof. Are you kidding me do you really expect them to donate their services. Please where do you reside…fantasyland.

      • amphiox

        joe, my friend, I AM A DOCTOR. A neurosurgeon, to be precise. I have practiced in BOTH the United States and Canada, and am STILL PRACTICING.


        I swore exactly such an oath when I completed my training, and would not have been licensed without swearing that oath.

        The obligation to provide service to ALL who come to us in need dates all the way back to Hippocrates at the very least.

        If someone cannot immediately pay, we are still obligated to treat their immediate emergent needs when they come to us, and seek renumeration after the fact.

        Non-emergent care we can withhold, but emergent life-sustaining care we cannot.

        • joe schmo

          Amphiox, I respect your opinion and your position, however; your point is?

          I understand your Hippocratic oath. I realize how very hard you worked to get your degree because I too have a higher degree. I also appreciate that you are dedicated to your profession, however; I do know of Drs. in Europe who are family friends. They were not huge proponents of socialized medicine and opened their own clinic. That is not to say they didn’t care, they just wanted their patients to have better treatment than what the social system had to offer. In fact, the father of mother’s best friend was a Dr. back in the day. My Mother’s best friend and her husband are Drs. My Mothers friends father traveled from house to house and spent a great deal of time with patients. She always claims that the Drs. of today are no comparison to those of yesteryear. If you are like that then kudos to you. You are certainly a rarity.

          I also have a chronic condition and have seen Drs. most of my life. Many of the Drs. that I see nowadays, don’t take insurance.

          Honestly, there is that element of concern for the patient, but money has just a wee bit of influence on the profession….or I could be wrong? I hope I’m wrong.

          • amphiox

            My point is simple and should be understandable by anyone with even the slightest understanding of the english language. It is part of every physician’s professional ethics that we MUST provide life preserving care to anyone who comes to us in need of it, irrespective of whether they can pay at that moment. That is part of the oath I swore when I graduated from medical school, and I would not have been granted my degree without first swearing that oath.

            Of course we expect to be compensated for our efforts in general, but in the specific case of emergent care, we are expected to provide care first, and seek compensation later, when the life threatening issue is no longer immediate.

            And again, as plainly stated in my ORIGINAL comment you so ignorantly chose to critique, Nathan Deal’s proposal would force every physician working in his state in emergent patient care to VIOLATE that professional oath they took when they were granted their degrees.

            Again, as plainly stated in my original post AND in the article, this is about EMERGENT medical care, not medical care in general or non-emergent medical care.

          • joe schmo

            Of course you should be expected to receive compensation for your services and with respect to EMERGENT care, well, that is indisputable. When there is an emergency their is no thought process involved you simply act as you were taught.

            …And you misunderstand me to some degree. I was stating a comment that only stood up for the profession. Having a higher degree, I realize how hard you have to work to get to that residency. I am not sure how the Social system works with respect to Drs. being compensated. Maybe you will be happy being in that position….I’m not you. Perhaps having the insurance companies not breathing down your necks will allow you to spend more time with patients. You know, this may end up as a ‘single payer’ system? Since you come from Canada the socialized system is something you are used to? I just know that many people from other countries have come to the US because of the quality of treatment that they receive. Will this change…..will we have to wait in line, and why did you come here in the first place? Maybe your intentions were different than what I think.

            English language? Wow! Are you inferring that I am stupid? That sounds no different than the man who viciously told me to go you know what myself. I think speaking your mind is good. We are still a free country. Aren’t we?

            I have met many Drs. who I respect, but I guess it wouldn’t surprise you that I have told several of them off. Honestly, you are human and no better than anyone else. I know I don’t have to tell you that being a physician is a people profession.

            I am fortunate that you do not know my political affiliation as a patient. Since you know I am Conservative, maybe your treatment of me would be different. That sir, would be a tragedy.

          • amphiox

            Firstly, a comment that “ONLY stood up for the profession” would NOT begin with a “No” in reply to my original comment. In fact I don’t see any reason that a comment that “ONLY stood up for the profession” would even be needed to be made in reply to my first comment, since my first comment itself was a comment that “stood up for the profession”.

            So I’m sorry, but I question the sincerity of that above statement there.

            Secondly, if you saw fit to put the statement “please where do you reside… fantasyland” in a comment that you claim to “only” be standing up for the profession, in reply to an actual physician describing a FACT (not opinion) from his personal and professional experience, then you should count yourself lucky that a snark about your comprehension of the english language was the only response in kind that I choose to employ.

          • amphiox

            See joe, this is NOT a question about position or opinion. This is an issue of FACT. In my original post the statement “It is a part of every physician’s professional oath that he or she will provide emergent care to all who come to him or her, who need it,” is not a statement of opinion or personal ethics, it is a statement of FACT.

            A FACT that I know from personal and professional DIRECT experience of it.

            You chose to dispute this FACT. You even called it “fantasyland”.

            Well, your so-called “fantasyland” is REAL LIFE.

    • JSquercia

      I believe it was Congressman Grayson from Florida who summed up the Republican Health Plan “don’t get sick and if you DO please Die quickly”
      I remember watching with horror at that Republican Debate where the crowd screamed.that the uninsured should be left to DIE . Even Ron Paul was taken back by the reaction . These are your Compassionate Conservatives in ACTION .though I think their tune would change should it be one of theirs

  • Greenie Beanie

    I think we can all agree that Barack Obama is dangerously delusional.

    • Budjob

      No BG,the delusional ones are the (excuse my language) the republican motherfuckers.You know the ones,they are the ones that would walk across a field of whores to fuck their own Mothers.This is not limited to the rat bastards in office,it would be inclusive of everyone that votes for and supports them!!

      • joe schmo

        I would expect you to curse and call us liars and trolls. How disgusting! I have no respect for people who have no manners. It’s plain flat out cheap. Problem is when you have no recourse you cuss. Why don’t you make sense for a change. Oh, I forgot, you have no common sense.

        • Budjob

          Let me reiterate one more time schmo,I volunteered three years of my life to defend people such as you,and I find it offensive that these repulsive republicans are using my term of service to MY COUNTRY to exploit the poor,the sick,and the elderly!!Maybe you don’t find the assault on these individuals obscene,but I sure as hell do!!! In closing I’m not going to tell you to go fly a kite,I’m simply going to say GO FUCK YOURSELF!! That’s military jargon,you creep!

  • Budjob

    I donned a uniform and carried a piece for three years for these BASTARD REPUBLICANS!!?? Believe it or not folks EVERYONE that is a republican,or holds office as one,are very,very sick individuals!!

    • sigrid28

      To call them sick is too kind. They are heartless and proud of it.

    • joe schmo

      That’s just plain flat out sick. How dare you judge anyone. You are the problem with what is wrong with this Country. Who do you think is inciting these problems???? The fault is never directed at one group. It takes two to tango. Go fly a kite.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Republicans have proven time and again that their interest in “Pro-Life” ends at birth. After that, as far as they are concerned, the kid can die at any time and it isn’t a problem to them.

    • paganheart

      Especially if the kid is poor, non-white, and non-fundamentalist christian.

      • joe schmo

        Not very Christian of you to say that. I know for a fact that the Christian middle class donates more than any other group. I do have articles that can back me up and have seen this type of charity in action. What you state is pure bullsh*%.

        • JSquercia

          Sorry Joe but the idea that private Charity will provide all the funds needed to care for the poor is just plain wrong .

          • joe schmo

            Well, guess what….your end is so bent on getting rid of the 1% which are mostly Liberals anyway, and the Corporations that might help provide funding for the poor. Once this Country is deflated down to practically a 3rd world order, who do you suspect will help the citizen poor. That’s right. No one. A wealthy country with a strong middle class can help it’s citizenry, of which, a large portion are Christian citizens who, in turn, do a hec of a lot for the poor and downtrodden. Without the wealth, there is no money to help anyone anywhere…..

          • JSquercia

            You CORRET it takes a Wealthy country with a STRONG middle class to aid the poor . We are still a Wealthy Country but we no longer have a STRONG Middle Class .Thirty years of Trickle Down Economics have seen to THAT

          • joe schmo

            Exactly my point! If we don’t see a turn around in the near future, (I hate to sound like a dooms ‘dayer’) your children will never see the freedoms that we saw in our youth…..

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Here is what the current Republicans appear to hope for:
    ‘ “Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge. “Plenty of prisons,” said the
    gentleman, laying down the pen again. “And the Union workhouses?”
    demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?” “They are. Still,”
    returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.” “The
    Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge. “Both very busy, sir.” “:Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.” “Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?” “Nothing!” Scrooge replied. “You wish to be anonymous?” “I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.” “Many can’t go
    there; and many would rather die.” “If they would rather die,” said
    Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
    Seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their point, the
    gentlemen withdrew. Scrooge resumed his labours with an improved opinion of himself, and in a more facetious temper than was usual with him.’

  • JustTheFactsMa’am

    “That’s likely because most voters, no matter their reservations about
    Obamacare, know that the Republican Party has no good solution for the
    millions of Americans who work every day”

    No, they don’t know that. They don’t want to know it and they sure wouldn’t believe it. Too many people listen to only a few “news” outlets, who all parrot each other. So these people only hear the same, ones-sided arguments – and they believe them.

    • dtgraham

      You nailed it there JustTheFacts. Just my opinion. Regular Fox News viewers (many of whom watch nothing else for news) would have no idea what’s all in the ACA, what it will do for them, or that the GOP have no legitimate alternative. They also believe negative things about it that aren’t true.


    To make things even more nauseating, the people spewing their contempt for the poor, just as often spew out nonsense about their deep personal relationship with Jesus.

    • JSquercia

      They are going to be very disappointed when they meet him and he tells them that when I was hungry you gave me NO bread and when I was cold you gave me no clothing .They will ask Why did we do this Lord and he will reply Whatsoever you did to he LEAST of your brothers, you did unto ME

  • Jim Myers

    You just don’t understand.

    Pro-life is not about keeping sick people alive. It is only about keeping every fetus alive until birth. Regardless of the viability of the fetus, health of the fetus and the mother, and the conditions into which the fetus will be born.

    After the fetus is born, good luck. If it doesn’t survive, or is in excruciating pain its entire life, that’s Gods will.

    “Get the kids ready. It’s time to go to Church.”

  • Fairplay4

    Republicans rely on the ignorance of certain segments of the population to maintain power. They are supported by biased and bigoted Party hacks to promote their agenda. You can tell some of the Hacks by the number of posts they make on a single article.