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Old 08-19-09, 01:45 AM
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Dulce Dulce is offline
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Congressman: 'I've got facts, you've got Glenn Beck'

Congressman: 'I've got facts, you've got Glenn Beck'

When Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA) took his health care forum to the pitcher's mound on Wednesday at Memorial Stadium in Everett, Washington, of course he expected detractors to be lobbing hard balls.

But when a woman began literally reading a list of scary-yet-false claims about the president's health care proposals -- concluding with, "I'm unwilling to throw my health insurance away for them" (meaning the poor) -- Larsen took a deep breath.

First, he clarified that nobody will be forced to buy health care or change their current policies. Then he broke through to his real point: "Some folks will say that's not true. But, I've got facts on my side, you've got Glenn Beck on your side."

The audience erupted in cheers.

Also worth noting, one speaker toward the very end makes a very good counter-point to those who suggest that the Constitution does not authorize Congress to initiate an optional public health insurance plan.

He says: "Article 1, section 8 says that it's the duty of Congress to provide for the general welfare. That's what I see this health care bill as. Providing for the general welfare. So, for the Constitution people, there it is. Maybe you haven't read it."


Meanwhile, after being targeted by American conservatives for its allegedly "Orwellian" health care system, the British are finally being dragged into America's health debate as well. In a lengthy expose' on American health care, The Independent sent a reporter into the belly of the beast: A free health care fair in Los Angeles, California, where over $2 million in health services were given away over eight days.

The poor lined up around the block. Hundreds of teeth were pulled. Blood pressure was taken. Mammograms given. Blood was tested. Children received vital immunizations. It improved the quality of life for thousands of Americans, to whom health care is oh-so scarce.

In other words, it was evil, "Orwellian"-style Socialism. (Not to say there's nothing "Orwellian" about the UK; there is.)

Most striking about the piece is a list of numbers printed at the bottom. Let these figures soak in, as sourced from the World Health Organization:

Health spending as a share of GDP

US 16%

UK 8.4%

Public spending on healthcare (% of total spending on healthcare)

US 45%

UK 82%

Health spending per head

US $7,290

UK $2,992

Practising physicians (per 1,000 people)

US 2.4

UK 2.5

Nurses (per 1,000 people)

US 10.6

UK 10.0

Acute care hospital beds (per 1,000 people)

US 2.7

UK 2.6

Life expectancy:

US 78

UK 80

Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births)

US 6.7

UK 4.8

How do you like that? The UK spends half as much of their gross domestic product as we do, yet their life expectancy is longer, they have more doctors per 1,000 people and a lower infant mortality rate.

And their poor are not forced into wage slavery because they could not afford or were denied health insurance.

Yet, they spend less per person than we do.

Seriously, has anyone ever seen so many allegedly "free market" Republicans act like such children when their friends at the insurance companies were confronted with a little potential competition?

You'd further think that figures like these would encourage more pro-lifers to support health care for the poor. Think about it. Making medical treatment available to a woman newly pregnant and throughout her expectancy would ultimately Save More Babies while lowering the costs of bringing a child into the world.

Until Democrats begin framing their arguments in terms the frightened opposition can understand -- in their logic, on a level that even (and especially) makes sense to dumb folk -- I'm unconvinced the public option will succeed.

-- Stephen C. Webster

The Raw Story
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