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Private industry has sunk to a new low in trying to get their way. Documents recovered and shown in the mainstream media television outlets show a public relations firm hired by the insurance industry has been organizing an "astroturf" rebellion (a phony grassroots organizing effort) to disrupt town meetings during the month of August while Congress is in recess and discussing proposed changes to the health care delivery and insurance system.

Whatever the public decides it wants to do about the changes presently being debated in Congress, a civilized, informative discussion should be allowed to take place without heckling, shouting, and shutting down constituent questioning of their Representative about this issue. What is the industry afraid of, that an open, rational discussion might actually convince people this plan is not a government takeover of health insurance? What is wrong with allowing an option to participate in a private plan or a public one? Where are all of these so-called free marketers who say that competition is best? If the private sector is better at doing things then let them prove it by providing better coverage at reduced cost. All the industry is offering at this moment is to do away with the pre-existing illness disqualification for insurance coverage in return for a mandate that everyone be covered. That means they get 40 million new customers with no commitment to control costs or stop denying individual procedure coverage. Sounds like a pretty shitty deal to me.

Whatever your views about healthcare reform, this new tactic of funneling private industry money to disrupt town meetings is new low, and should be soundly criticized by all Americans. It's a new form of corporate Naziism, akin to sending Brownshirts to stir up trouble. In this case the Brownshirts are misinformed and frightened people who have unwittingly become dupes in a Washington power struggle. Don't let them shut down the discussion. Contact your representatives and newspapers and tell them you don't appreciate be told what to think or how much information you are allowed to hear to influence your decision-making. Corporations funding lobbying efforts in Washington is one thing. Using their unlimited financial resources for disruption and intimidation is another, and should be unacceptable in a democracy.

Views: 8

Tags: government, healthcare, lobbying, policy, politics, public

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Comment by Getagroove on August 10, 2009 at 9:57am
I would suggest you get your facts from more than one source, especially more than Fox News and Republican party, and insurance company attack ads. None of them really have the interest of the American people at heart. The insurance industry wants continued outrageous profits and the Republicans just want to be in the legislative majority again. Try going to http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck.

With respect to your link. Yes, Obama did try to work out a deal to get the drug makers not to spend millions in ads fighting reform. I can see why he wanted to negotiate something to avoid an expensive television ad battle. The drug companies offered 80 billion in lowered costs for drugs if the legislation did not include power for the government to negotiate drug prices with them. This is not a provision I would support. It's been done already in the Medicare Part D drug program for Seniors. Apparently, many Democrats are upset with this deal and vowed to strip it out of any bill. Capitalists of this sort rarely want to actually compete in a free-market environment.
Comment by Getagroove on August 9, 2009 at 5:23pm
I was saying about what? This link is isn't telling us anything new. Apparently, the drug makers, whose trade association is headed by Former Congressman Billy Tauzin, cut a deal with Obama that they would not fight him on healthcare if he agreed to accept their offer to reduce drug costs by 80 billion dollars over ten years. At first there was an agreement, and now because Democrats are balking and threatening to strip it out of the bill, the deal may be off. So what point are you trying to make with this link?
Comment by Sarge! on August 8, 2009 at 4:13am
You were saying?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090808/ap_on_go_co/us_health_care_drugmakers
Comment by Getagroove on August 7, 2009 at 11:52pm
How did the town meeting go today? Did you assault your Congressman?
Comment by Sarge! on August 7, 2009 at 4:18pm
Actually getagroove YOU crack me up. You say what's with all the name calling yet your friend Wanda starts off with her rant in name calling. I guess since she's in your camp she doesn't count? You are so pathetic.

I laugh at you....LOL!
Comment by Getagroove on August 6, 2009 at 11:28pm
Wanda, you crack me up. You are, shall we say, blunt? I wonder which one he found most offensive, fat, white, or stupid?
Comment by Getagroove on August 6, 2009 at 11:25pm
Dear Picky,

I have no idea of what you're talking about. It sounds to me like the Obama people know they have a monumental education task on their hands and would like to know what people are thinking so they know how to get their message out and clear up misconceptions people may have. It sounds as if your fear is that this data is going to be used to track you down so you can be punished for your views. I highly doubt that, but if it turned out to be true, I would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you in any public demonstration protesting it.

You provided a link which I checked out and it is a site that is not exactly a disinterested or objective party in this whole thing. I mean, Redstate.com? Conservatives have every right to organize, protest, speak their minds in the media, etc. but they are not above misleading people to achieve their aims. Remember, they are zealots. People who have the history these people have in conservative politics, generational ties to the Republican party, have an agenda of their own and frequently manipulate genuine public anger or concern to advance their personal political agenda.

Try out Factcheck.org. It is a non-partisan web-based organization that really does an excellent job of de-bullshiting the pronouncements and claims of both parties. At least check in there as well as Redstate.com to get another interpretation. I admit, that I am a left of center Democrat, but I am not part of the conspiracy driven left-wingers that also engage in distortion and disinformation from time-to-time. I listen to Fox News on satellite radio for a hour a day, and receive a daily email from Townhall.com just to hear another point-of-view. I have to fight nausea when I do, but I do it because I know that neither party and their media allies are not beyond committing lies of commission or omission.

Thanks for not calling me names.
Comment by Getagroove on August 6, 2009 at 10:57pm
Hey Sarge,

Report you to Obama? What's with all the name-calling? This isn't AM radio, you know. I certainly hope mental health care is in whatever Bill makes it through, because you're delusional and paranoid. My piece may be passionate but if you want to debate it should be based on facts not some faux patriotic finger wagging. There is a big difference between legitimate public protest and becoming a stooge for a medical/insurance lobby that is funding and organizing phony protests. You may not be part of one of those groups but you should ask your leaders where the money is coming from for signs, transportation, and training.

The problem with this phony protest effort is it is designed to stop conversation between politicians and their constituents. You should go to these meetings and voice your opinions or concerns but act like a grown up and have an intelligent, orderly, give and take with your representative. You're not saving the nation from anything. The nation is trying to save itself from a corporate-tocracy that is out of control and taking you to the cleaners whether you realize it or not. Premiums increasing 30 - 40% a year, CEO's making 20 million dollar salaries, denying coverage for procedures, two-thirds of all bankruptices in this country caused by illness, and you're defending that? What's wrong with you? Your problem is you're really angry with the system that has been increasingly shafting people over the past thirty years. You're either unaware or afraid to admit what the source of your anger truly is.

All that's being proposed is a public option, emphasis on option, to compete with for profit insurance companies. What are they afraid of? If the vaunted capitalist system is agile, smart, and efficient, let them prove it by using their genius to make the government plan look less desirable.

Now, go clean your gun rack. Don't forget your 10:00 AM appointment tomorrow morning at primal scream therapy.
Comment by Sarge! on August 6, 2009 at 7:10pm
Hmmmm.... and what are ACORN, MOVE ON.ORG, and the various left wing orifices spewing their socialist agenda? I'm just wondering? After all if we really want a public hearing...how is it that a company any company or individual doesn't have the full protection of the U.S. Constitution's freedom of expression?

The liberal's move their agenda under the guise of organizations with federal funding promoting something other than the general welfare of the republic. Your arguments Getagroove and Wanda the faye haven't changed at all.

BTW Wanda as you can see from my pic I'm neither WHITE, FAT, NOR STUPID sounding. Oh please forgive me.... I'm A DUMB, LOUSY, STINKING, PUERTO RICAN!! Who isn't interested in the liberal agenda for this country!

Go ahead Wanda and Getagroove, go ahead and report me to Obama, I'm as defined by the Home Land Security office, a US military "potential terrorist" quaking in my freaking military boots.

I'm one of the ones who's had it with the likes of you and your liberal arrogant self serving agenda. We're fed up with your self righteous defenders of the republic who want to squelch any dissent. As I recall those types were known as Nazis, communists, dictators, despots. No corporation has pushed me into protesting, I've figured it all out on my own....imagine that? It is with no doubt that millions of others like me from all walks of life have figured it out too!

Don't look now but we can see your true colors showing!
Comment by Peaches on August 6, 2009 at 1:48pm
BTW, This information was all over the place last night. I have tried to pull up (Flag@WhiteHouse.gov) the website, but it doesn't seem to exist anylonger. I also heard on the news this morning that Twitter has had a huge mishap. Hmmmmmmm very interesting. Maybe someone got the message.

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