The Will of the People Wants Health Care Reform


Despite what the Teabagger Crowd and the loud GOP mouthpieces want you to believe – that the election of Scott Brown as the 41st Republican in the Senate is evidence that Democrats are trying to shove health care reform down the throats of a large populace that does not want it – a large majority want reform and they want it sooner rather than later.

James Fallows by way of Andrew Sullivan:

Counting the new Republican Senator Scott Brown from Massachusetts, the 41 Republicans in the Senate come from states representing just over 36.5 percent of the total US population. The 59 others (Democratic plus 2 Independent) represent just under 63.5 percent. (Taking 2009 state populations from here. If you count up the totals and split a state’s population when it has a spit delegation, you end up with about 112.3 million Republican, 194.7 million Democratic + Indep. Before Brown’s election, it was about 198 million Democratic + Ind, 109 million Republican.)

Let’s round the figures to 63/37 and apply them to the health care debate. Senators representing 63 percent of the public vote for the bill; those representing 37 percent vote against it. The bill fails.

It’s ridiculous that the screaming of the 37% can stop from happening what the overwhelming majority wants.  This of course isn’t the Republicans fault entirely; the Democrats couldn’t get the health care bill passed even with the 60-vote filibuster-proof majority.  I blame them both: the Republicans for their pledge to “Just Say No” to every single item of President Obama’s agenda and cry “Socialism” for anything the Democrats do manage to pass regardless of the validity of that statement; and, the Democrats for their lack of cohesion, lack of transparency and letting the Republicans control the soapbox to the general public.

I still don’t understand the “neo-Socialism” calls and the notion that threatening a political party does anything to help the citizenry – a politics based on fear instead of policy is not difficult: it merely means pointing fingers, saying “no” to everything, blaming everything on the opposing party, and throwing out the words “communism” and “socialism” to engage those primal fears still ingrained in people from 50 years ago.  But, how does one run a government with those tactics?  There’s no substance to saying to no – first, one needs something to which to say no.  A productive opposition actually interested in governance and the welfare of Americans and not their own party’s power would agree with the common ground, say no to those aspects of policy that they disagree with, and propose alternatives.  This would go back and forth until they came to a consensus.  More or less.  And the end of the day, the party in power will most likely shape the bill more to their liking than the others but that’s the general idea.  (And, yes, there will always be some common, middle ground – only Rush Limbaugh seriously believes that the current health care situation in America is sustainable as it is right now with no reform.)

Democrats still hold a strong 59-41 majority in the Senate, 256-178 majority in the House.  63% of the population want health care reform.  Scott Brown’s election should not change this.



  1. The underlying flaw in your assertion is that, while 63% may – the number vary by 20%+ depending on the poll – want healthcare reform, far fewer want the “reform” to health insurance that the Liberals put forth as their supposed solution.

    An interesting experiment would be to have qualified people decipher the bills in question and put them to we, the People for a vote.

    As for Rush’s beliefs – They’re closer to right than wrong. Various polls have shown that 70% – 90% of Americans are content with their health insurance.

    • There are a lot of factors that go into why people are unhappy with either the Senate bill or reform in general. Various polls say different things. I think the climate is more of anger at government and the whole legislative process. Democrats are angry at their own representatives for (seemingly to them) not being able to get anything done even when they had a 60-vote majority. Republicans are angry because, well, they’re the Party of No.

      Many people don’t like the Senate bill because they feel that it doesn’t do enough – no public option, it’s not universal coverage, etc. – so in a very basic poll that only shows favorable/unfavorable, it can be misleading. I mean, the Senate Bill is basically what Obama ran his campaign on, but even more moderate: no public option or additions to Medicaid. It’s very similar to Romneycare in Massachusetts, but with more cost controls. I think most of the unrest and disapproval is with the lack of leadership and ugly process than the actual idea of reform.

      Well, 70-90% of people with health insurance at the moment isn’t exactly the reason for health reform. I’m sure that the 40 million people without health insurance would say that they are unhappy with their level of coverage, and their opinions matter. Also, regardless of whether or not those people are happy with their insurance, the idea of the reform is to make sure that they will always be able to be happy with it: that they don’t get dropped once they lose their job or develop a serious illness or get pregnant; that they can continue to afford their premiums as they skyrocket while their wages stay the same or barely increase. Being happy right now is fine, but reform is necessary because at the current rate that premiums and other health care costs are increasing, the number of Americans insured will drop and that 70-90% who are happy with their coverage will really only be a gauge of the small percentage of people who still have it.

  2. I see you’ve been reading the Leftists’ manifesto again and absorbing a number of its lies and half-truths concerning healthcare and health insurance.

    If ObamaCare is passed, more people will be harmed than will be helped. The 10 million or so (that would be the real number as opposed to 40 million) without insurance would benefit, but the rest of us would be harmed by higher insurance rates or reduced coverage, and by a further stifled economy as businesses had to absorb the new taxes and requirements.

    Now does that mean the current system is sustainable? NO! It’s just that the problem does NOT lay in health insurance; it lays in healthcare costs and healthcare expectations.

    • How about we split the difference since I’m betting your numbers are skewed a little and I’ll concede than mine are, too. So, let’s say roughly 25 million Americans are uninsured. That would mean that every single person in Texas is uninsured. Texas is responsible for 34 votes in the Electoral College. It’s not some nominal number of Americans that can be dismissed so easily. So, having most of them gain access to health insurance would be a huge benefit, worthy of this bill in and of itself. The fact that the bill also cuts costs is even better.

      It is all about health insurance. Costs and expectations are habits that the American public need to work on (not ordering a whole slew of tests when the most likely diagnosis doesn’t require them, would be a nice start) but it all stems from health insurance. You also don’t get into the reason why those 25 million people are uninsured: many are uninsured because they have pre-existing conditions that prevent them from getting coverage even if they have the money and willingness to pay for coverage. That is one of the biggest problems with our current system – it leads to bankruptcies and divorces, which add all kinds of costs to the system, higher doctors and hospital fees because more and more people are getting treatment (because regardless of insurance status, at some point, you will go in for treatment) but not paying their bills because they can’t afford them which then causes providers to raise their rates, and on and on. It’s directly related to health insurance.

      I also still don’t know what figures you’re referring to that show that everyone else aside from those currently uninsured will be negatively affected by this bill. The CBO reports: “everyone will pay the same or substantially less for insurance, except for fairly well-off people in the “non-group” insurance market (ie, people with incomes greater than 425% of the poverty line who are buying insurance on their own). They will pay about 10-13% more for insurance, on average, because they will buy more insurance. That is partly because insurance will be obligated to cover more stuff by law, and partly because they will choose to buy more insurance since, covering more stuff, it will be a better deal. So the average cost of insurance will go up in rather the same way that the average cost of a restaurant dinner goes up when people start eating at Ruth’s Chris rather than McDonald’s. Meanwhile, people who do get subsidies in the non-group market—57% of the people in that market—will pay less than half what they’re paying now for coverage.”

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