It continues - debate request issued on healthcare with the "I'm a Healthcare Voter" folks - Granite Grok

It continues – debate request issued on healthcare with the “I’m a Healthcare Voter” folks

Update and bumped (third time)

SEIU 

NH for Healthcare – the I am a Healthcare Voter folks

We’re non-partisan!
 What a crock!

Non-Partisan?  HAH!  They say that they wish to promote a dialog and debate about healthcare locally.  Not in my opinion! These folks are going around to all the political events merely to harvest names, addresses, and emails.  They are not being upfront with folks – after talking with a number of them, one learns that they have been well trained to NOT speak of Universal Healthcare.

One of life’s rules for success in life is being persistent – I’m not letting go of this issue, as I believe that this is one of the signature issues of the campaign. And I hate being lied to or spun.  So guess what my emotions were when I ran across this story.

A politically potent union has decided not to take sides in the Democratic presidential battle, at least for now, even though many of its leaders support John Edwards’s presidential bid.

The board of the union, the Service Employees International Union, met in Chicago on Monday, and decided not to endorse Mr. Edwards or any of the other Democrats.

One board member said that a majority of board members favored Mr. Edwards, who has been outspoken on behalf of universal health coverage, one of the S.E.I.U.’s main goals. But those members, taken together, do not come from locals representing 60 percent of the union’s membership, the threshold required for the board to make an endorsement.

Deceiving people is not nice.  And I’ll add the DividedWeFall folks in this too, as SEIU is behind them as well. Just talk?  Just debate?  What a smokescreen!  If that is so true, accept the debate challenge – let’s see who would win in the public square!

If they were so non-partisan, how come I see no mention of Republican candidates?  Oh yeah, the Repubs, especially Rudy, want want to empower individuals and allow them to be more independant of government policies and market distortions.  On the other hand, the SEIU wants people to be taken care, to extend that Nanny State, to be more dependant on government. 

I had issued a challenge followed by a supposition for the SEIU / NH For Healthcare folks.  Then in an email discussion, I offered Zandra Rice Hawkins, their Communications Director, a blog debate followed by a radio debate back on 9/18 not truly knowing the above.  While she did respond, she avoided answering about engaging in debate.  Since 9/19, all I’ve heard has been  cricket sounds.  I’ll post the email thread later and after the jump so you can see for yourself.

I have no doubt now that I’ll win the challenge – there is no defense on their side now that the cat is out of the bag.  Did others know this before me?  Probably, but I’ll just add my voice.

When it is all said and done, this is NOT about healthcare. 

Rather, this is how we see ourselves and government.  Is it the case that we still believe in individualism (the philosophy that made this country great) or are we deciding that government knows best for us?  Do we embrace self-responsibility or giving up that up and have others take care of us?  Do we stay with a more capitalistic form of living or a more socialistic form as in Europe (with its lower standard of living and government rationing healthcare)?

Note: I am not debasing the safety net for those that truly need it.  I am against that line of assistance continuously creeping upward to those that do not need and then becoming dependant on that when not needed.  Help those that truly need it – and that ain’t all of us.

Sadly, it is also a story of advocacy groups not being up front
being honest
and truthful. 

Welcome to hardball politics, Skip. 

——————————– 
Original Post

 I am a Healthcare Voter

At almost any political rally lately, someone dressed like this woman will come towards you and say "Are you in favor of quality, affordable health insurance for every American?  Oh good – would you be willing to sign this petition?"  

If I were her, why wouldn’t I want someone else pay for my freedom to eat what I like, exercise as infrequently as I wish (and for some; smoke, drink, and engage in risky behaviors)?  Impending, self-imposed chronic disease – no problem!

After all, we’re all in this together, right?

 

Advocacy brought to you by the SEIU (Psst – look at the sleeve and ask what that is: Service Employee International Union)

 

Here is the email string:
 
Subject:     Re: Health Care conversation
Date:         Wed, 19 Sep 2007 13:05:04 -0400
From:        Skip Murphy
To:           Zandra Rice

Hi!

And thanks for replying!

    Thank you for the invitation to blog with you about health care issues. As one can see from this blog already, health care is an issue about which we all have strong opinions.

And that’s why we have to discuss it….so are you accepting my offer to a cross-blog debate?  And then come onto the radio show (this week is booked, but I’d set aside a considerable amount of time next week)!

    Our group has been talking to people across New Hampshire about their health care experiences. Everyone has a different take on it, but the overall consensus is that, right now, our health care system is broken. For months, health care activists have been urging all the presidential candidates- Democrats and Republicans – to release plans for comprehensive health care reform. If you look at the most recent debate transcript, you’ll note that one challenge is to get all of the candidates to even detail their plans for health care.

It happening, and as I posted recently (http://granitegrok.com/blog/2007/09/the_differences_could_not_be_starker.html), this will be one of the three defining topics of the race (the other two being fighting Islamofascism and illegal immigration).

    I encourage you and each of your readers to listen for health care conversation from candidates over the course of the next couple of weeks. I’m sure you know who is talking about health care already, but it might surprise you more to hear who is not. Since nearly 47 million Americans do not have health care coverage, presidential candidates should be talking health care early and often regardless of their position on how to improve it. To that end, right now we want the focus to be on candidates and policies. We could have our debate through the blog, but our emphasis should be on having the candidates compare and analyze one another’s plans. At this time, we are going to keep our attention there. We appreciate you bringing health care to the attention of your readers, though, and are eager to see more in this regard.

The 47 million number I have already debunked (ok, just blogged – someone else has done the number crunching and I can source the result from several other sources as well).  My son is one of them.  In his early twenties, he doesn’t want to pay for it even though he can afford it.  Illegals make up a huge portion.  So do others that can afford it but choose not to.

So this is not much more than a canard to pull at heart strings.  Good policy should never be built solely on emotional arguments.

    In the meantime, one note on the tone of the dialogue thus far – while we have come to amicable terms,

Me too!

    I’m disappointed that both the original posting and response violated the principles of GraniteGrok.

Really?  I was not aware that I broke my own rules…..

    One of our organizers made a grave mistake in his comments.

We all make mistakes – no problem!  That’s why I took down the email.  Action, consequence, repentance, forgiveness – works for me!

    He was truly upset that an activist had been put in a negative spotlight while advocating for an issue that they passionately believe in. Not everyone is willing to pro-actively work for the issues they care about, and dialogue about the issue should not directly attack the everyday New Hampshire residents involved – which includes posting photos intended to ridicule that person, even if the face has been blocked out.

And that is where he was wrong, and I believe you are as well.  I could have gone over any time during the event, introduced myself, gotten her name, chatted with her, and then REALLY go to town and ridiculed her.  THAT is not my style.

I presented no information that could identify her personally.  I took the effort to blank out the face.  I used no name.  My prose was done to show an example of why people may be advocating for "free" universal healthcare with no responsibility on their part…why not – it’s FREE!  And as we all know, TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.  My point was from a layman’s perspective – "here, those of you who have earned more success in life, just take care of me" – and my ire over that philosophy (and trust me, I and my family have had to use the "safety net" in the past – my problem is that this net is being extended to handle what should be done by self-responsible adults).  This is not a personal vendetta standpoint.

Let’s be clear – decisions have consequences.  She chose to identify with your movement.  She willingly put herself out into the public square in agreeing to advocate for healthcare.  In wearing a T-Shirt emblazoned with your message, your union name (SEIU – which, by the way, not exactly what I would consider a non-partisan group.  For example, how many liberal candidates or issues  has the SEIU backed in vs conservative ones? ), both you and she put your union out into the public domain.  Once the latter has been done, and I have done that to myself with GraniteGrok, GilfordGrok, and Meet The New Press, privacy is given up.  You get what you get.

    Our organizer has made his apologies,

And accepted because I believe it was truly meant.

    and we are continuing our serious conversation about appropriate response.

Er, not clear on this point on what you mean.

    On your end, we’d appreciate you removing the photo, and adhering to your own rules of engagement, "Attacking people – banned. Go for the throat of the argument, not the person."

Again, while you feel I was attacking the person, I was not.  If I had wanted to, I would have provided a lot more personal information as I mentioned above.  I didn’t.  Frankly, the picture serves as a good metaphor for the on-going Nanny-statism that we seem to be sliding towards – regular readers of the ‘Grok know and understand this is a big issue with me – the continual infantilzation of society.

    Thank you, and again, we can only compare presidential health care plans that have been released – so ask each presidential candidate to tell us what they will do to fix the health care crisis, and we’ll really have something to talk about!

They already are, and with little prodding from me.  However, I see that you are trying to slide our discussion to be only that what is going on between the candidates – that would only be part of the discussion as we ALL have to take sides and solutions..  My challenge was to you folks directly – is this email an indication that it has been accepted?  I’ve got the sandpaper ready!!!

Let’s keep the dialog up and going….in fact, this email thread could be a good start!

Kindest Regards,

-Skip

Zandra Rice wrote:
>
> Dear Skip,
>
> Thank you for the invitation to blog with you about health c
are issues. As one can see from this blog already, health care is an issue about which we all have strong opinions.
>
> Our group has been talking to people across New Hampshire about their health care experiences. Everyone has a different take on it, but the overall consensus is that, right now, our health care system is broken. For months, health care activists have been urging all the presidential candidates- Democrats and Republicans – to release plans for comprehensive health care reform. If you look at the most recent debate transcript, you’ll note that one challenge is to get all of the candidates to even detail their plans for health care.
>
> I encourage you and each of your readers to listen for health care conversation from candidates over the course of the next couple of weeks. I’m sure you know who is talking about health care already, but it might surprise you more to hear who is not. Since nearly 47 million Americans do not have health care coverage, presidential candidates should be talking health care early and often regardless of their position on how to improve it. To that end, right now we want the focus to be on candidates and policies. We could have our debate through the blog, but our emphasis should be on having the candidates compare and analyze one another’s plans. At this time, we are going to keep our attention there. We appreciate you bringing health care to the attention of your readers, though, and are eager to see more in this regard.
>
> In the meantime, one note on the tone of the dialogue thus far – while we have come to amicable terms, I’m disappointed that both the original posting and response violated the principles of GraniteGrok. One of our organizers made a grave mistake in his comments. He was truly upset that an activist had been put in a negative spotlight while advocating for an issue that they passionately believe in. Not everyone is willing to pro-actively work for the issues they care about, and dialogue about the issue should not directly attack the everyday New Hampshire residents involved – which includes posting photos intended to ridicule that person, even if the face has been blocked out. Our organizer has made his apologies, and we are continuing our serious conversation about appropriate response. On your end, we’d appreciate you removing the photo, and adhering to your own rules of engagement, "Attacking people – banned. Go for the throat of the argument, not the person."
> Thank you, and again, we can only compare presidential health care plans that have been released – so ask each presidential candidate to tell us what they will do to fix the health care crisis, and we’ll really have something to talk about!
> Sincerely,
> Zandra Rice Hawkins

——————————– 

Update and bumped (again) and retitled from "Perhaps they should rethink who their volunteers should be?":

The email that precipitated the update (confusing Doug for me) has been taken down – the jist was that the "I am a Healthcare" folks are non-partisan, they were not pleased with the post, and wanted an apology (which I obviously refused to do).

Well, a couple more emails – one an apology from them.  I have thus taken down the email and have offered them a blog debate on the issue culminating in a radio / live stream debate on our radio show Meet The New Press.

Thwack – ball’s in your court!  Shall we have a reasoned debate?  I await your answer… 

——————————– 

Update and bumped:  Get it straight, I wrote it; not Doug.  And no, I’m not until Andrew Sylvia meets my challenge and proves my supposition wrong. If he does, I’ll eat his choice of sandpaper grit with my challenge and suppostion printed on it!  Of course (smiling here), if he can’t, he’ll have to do the same!

Challenge:  I bet that when the SEIU, "I am a Healthcare Voter", DividedWeFall, and AARP finally "analyze" their petition and the folks that signed it, they will conclude that the only answer will be one that will contain an even more government controlled or mandated or taxable "solution".

Supposition:  Non-partisan? My eye! SEIU is a union, a big one.  I have only seen unions have their members pay more for healthcare when negotiations have been "lost" in this area. AARP, their big ally in this field, has been known to lobby hard for not changing SS benefits, even in the face of damaging demographic change – the "it’s owed to me" mentality.  It is rather doubtful that they will support free-market solutions to the current government inspired, over-worked, and distorted healthcare payment plan that masquerades as health insurance.

Note: I have talked to a number of these folks….they are well trained not to give answers as to possible solutions that may be offered.

Again – prove me wrong and I’ll apologize.  But not until.

————————————————————-

I am a Healthcare Voter 

At almost any political rally lately, someone dressed like this woman will come towards you and say "Are you in favor of quality, affordable health insurance for every American?  Oh good – would you be willing to sign this petition?"  

If I were her, why wouldn’t I want someone else pay for my freedom to eat what I like, exercise as infrequently as I wish (and for some; smoke, drink, and engage in risky behaviors)?  Impending, self-imposed chronic disease – no problem!

After all, we’re all in this together, right?

 

 

 

Advocacy brought to you by the SEIU (Psst – look at the sleeve and ask what that is: Service Employee International Union)

 

 

 

Remember, once the government has taken over, things like this story from the UK will happen.  Not if, when.  Again, healthcare has to be rationed one way or another as there will always be more of a demand for it than the supply of it can cover. 

A man with a broken ankle is facing a lifetime of pain because a Health Service hospital has refused to treat him unless he gives up smoking.

 

John Nuttall, 57, needs surgery to set the ankle which he broke in three places two years ago because it did not mend naturally with a plaster cast.

Doctors at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro have refused to operate because they say his heavy smoking would reduce the chance of healing, and there is a risk of complications which could lead to amputation.

They have told him they will treat him only if he gives up smoking. But the former builder has been unable to break his habit and is now resigned to coping with the injury as he cannot afford private treatment.

However, the hospital told Mr Nuttall, who no longer works because of smoking-related chest problems, that he would have to give up smoking before an operation could be carried out.

[snip]

"I have paid my dues as a taxpayer-and now the NHS won’t treat me."

Mr Nuttall, who is s
ingle, uses a walking stick to get around and fears his bones will now be so ‘calcified’ that an operation would not work even if he were allowed to have it.

"It is very painful," he said. "If I walk more than a few steps I can feel it grinding."

A spokesman for the hospital trust said: "Smoking has a very big influence on the outcome of this type of surgery, and the healing process would be hindered significantly."
 

Once can decide to ration it via governmental policies, like those of Britain as we see here, or we can move to a more free capitalistic system that will better regulate supply and demand.

John Edwards wants to force you to go to a doctor.  The plan laid out by Hillary when she was First Lady would have told you where you could go and who you could see (and told doctors what they could study, what type of medical practice to have, and where).

Do you want either of these folks determining healthcare for you and your family?  I’d rather go with Rudy’s plan – "I" get to decide!