Addressing Congress

10 09 2009

What a night! It seems like every day since the healthcare “debate” began we’re treated to another headline that includes the words “Republicans” and “new low.” Last night, the Republican wielding the shovel was Representative Joe Wilson from South Carolina (where else)? But let’s mention the speech before we talk about the heckling. The President had something to say last night (source: The NY Times). After all, that’s why the Republicans were trying so hard to disrupt him. He called attention to the scare tactics and diversions being used by the opposition. At that point Joe Wilson stepped forward to give a perfect example.

If you’re still living in the pre-9/10/2009 world of relative civility and protocol, last night Congressman Joe Wilson yelled out “You lie!” as the President of the United States addressed Congress (source: Huffington Post). The worst of many worst parts of what Joe Wilson did is that he was blatantly lying when he yelled “You lie!” Obama was stating the plain fact that illegal immigrants are not covered under any plan. At least Wilson could have picked a statement that wasn’t so categorically documented as true. In any case, it’s totally inappropriate to yell “You lie” at the President while they’re addressing Congress. We didn’t even do that when George Bush announced that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy yellowcake uranium… and that WAS a lie!

Sadly, the idiocy wasn’t limited to Joe Wilson. Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas (where else?) waved a handmade sign reading “What Bill?” (source: Washington Post) In 2006 Cindy Sheehan was arrested for wearing a t-shirt critical of President Bush during an address he gave. But when President Obama gives a speech, Republican members of Congress are waving prop signs like they’re drunken freshmen at a Florida Gators pep rally. We should be more selective about who we allow in the House Chamber. And the only way to do that is to be more selective about who we elect to Congress. Joe Wilson’s outburst may be helpful in that respect. Rob Miller, a Democrat planning to run against Wilson in 2010, has taken in more than $100,000 in the few hours since Wilson heckled the president. Joe Wilson’s two words were the most effective fundraising speech the Democrats have had in ages.

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25 responses

5 10 2009
Don

In my province in Canada, we are issued Medicare cards. They have to be renewed every few years by confirming addresses, etc. Our medicare coverage is delivered by each province and they have basically the same coverage, although there are differences (and every province will accept the medicare card of any other province for covered services rendered).

If my Medicare card is expired and I show up at my local emergency room or doctor’s office, I will get service, but will be billed for it. The province will only reimburse those fees when there is proof that I am a resident of the province and my new medicare card is approved. This was installed to cut down on any chance of fraud from visitors to the province.

Although every system can be abused, you can put barriers in place to prevent the fraud. So I really don’t see the illegal aliens using and abusing a potential public health care system as something to stop a plan will likely save the lives of many of your citizens. Good luck.

Peace

30 09 2009
Teresa Duncan

Illegal Immigrants do have access to Emergency Medicaid in many states. I support Mr. Obama, but he is misinformed. Please refer to your state’s Medicaid Eligibility requirements. Also, you can look in any billing or provider manual for information on this subject. All though, the coverage is not comprehensive, it does come at no cost and will cover any accident or illness of a catastrophic nature.

14 09 2009
DENNIS

why is no one asking about just who owns the drug+insurance and
media in America- its not all USA born and bread:
One article of faith in the corporate media is that best solution to our healthcare problem lies the political center. And the pundits who advance this argument take it to its logical conclusion: Obama needs to get to the middle by distancing himself from the left. On the roundtable segment on ABC’s This Week on August 9, host George Stephanopoulos wondered if Obama would accept a watered-down bill and break with what he called the “Howard Dean wing of the party.” This notion was seconded by Cokie Roberts, with right-wing columnist Peggy Noonan chiming in to say, “Maybe it would be good for the President if the left got absolutely furious about something.”

Well that’s the media’s standing advice to Democratic politicians: make the left mad, and you win. And what the pundits consider “left” is usually pretty telling. Washington Post reporter Dan Balz spelled that out on August 12, writing that the so-called public option “is dear to the left in the Democratic Party.” Thus, if Obama and the Democrats ditch the public option, he’s gonna get somewhere: “Some of his staunchest allies believe that course would be prudent and might change the dynamic of the debate in the administration’s favor.” This is the typical corporate media formulation; this public option idea is very left-wing. But that’s not so. Despite a media discussion that muddies up the issues and favors shouting over substance, polls still show the public is generally supportive of the public option. So when the media suggest that the Democrats ditch the idea, what they’re really saying is that they should reject something the public wants. How that is politically smart is hard to figure.

13 09 2009
eric

Congressman Joe “You Lie” Wilson voted in 2003 for a bill that gave health care to illegal immigrants.

The vote came on the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, which contained Sec. 1011 authorizing $250,000 annually between 2003 and 2008 for government reimbursements to hospitals who provide treatment for uninsured illegal immigrants. The program has been extended through 2009 and there is currently a bipartisan bill in Congress to make it permanent.

And whether the anti-reform anti-immigrant crowd likes it or not, hospital emergency rooms will continue to be where they go for help. Are we going to deny medical care suffering people, many of whom work here and pay taxes?

Hospitals have a legal obligation to treat everyone who comes in seeking care, regardless of citizenship status, insurance or other characteristics. This means that hospitals treat millions of people every year who don’t have the means to pay. Obviously, this drives up the nation’s healthcare costs overall. Section 1011 helps cushion the costs for hospitals, but it’s not nearly enough to cover the actual costs in most areas.

Of course, Wilson was wrong, as are those who continue to claim that the health care bill allows taxpayer dollars to pay of illegal immigrants’ health care.

H.R. 3200: Sec 246 — NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS

Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.

http://www.alan.com/2009/09/11/joe-you-lie-wilson-voted-to-give-tax-dollars-to-illegals-for-health-care/

13 09 2009
DENNIS WAITE

Media Corporation Insurance & Pharmaceutical Companies

Disney/ABC Proctor & Gamble

GE/NBC Chubb, Novartis, Proctor & Gamble, Merck

Time Warner AIG, Health Cap, Paratek Pharmaceuticals

Fox/News Corp GlaxoSmithKline, Genentech, Hybritech

New York Times Co. First Health Group, Eli Lilly

Tribune Co. Abbott Labs, Middelbrook Pharmaceuticals

Gannett/USA Today Chubb

12 09 2009
Don F.

Hey Randi,

Keep up the fight. As a Canadian that is sick and tired of our Medicare system being lied about 24/7 south of the border, I hope the your politicians get with the program with the rest of the developed world: not just because I believe every one of your citizens deserve better, but because what happens in the USA does cause tremors up here. Our system is not perfect and needs some fixes, but it has saved my father twice, my brother in law once and kept our regular everyday medical needs served. I NEVER want to go to a for-profit health care system.

Good luck to you all.

Peace

11 09 2009
Lisa Mallinson

Hi Randi:

Not only is section 246 of HR 3200 a clear written sentence, as a lawyer, I can tell you this is amazing in and of itself, but also, the title of the section in Bold letters says. NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS. How much clearer does it need to be?

Lisa Mallinson

11 09 2009
Torin

Dear Randi,

It is time to “call out” the right wing thugs of the Republican Party for what they are: liars and demogogues. To do my part, I am calling out Republican U.S. Rep. John Linder and Tom Price of Georgia (where else), who conducted a town hall meeting on health care that resembled more like a white lynch mob ready to figuratively and literally hang President Obama. The thugs used the words “Communist, Marxist, and Socialist” in one sentence to describe President Obama and yelled that he was taking away their rights. They invoked “state’s rights” and that the government could not impose health care reform against them. When have we heard that before . . . ?

Rep. Linder and Price smirked each time the crowd rose and gave a standing ovation to the thugs. We know the thugs are really bigots and racists and that Rep. Linder and Price are just like Rep. Joe Wilson.

Randi, we need to “call out” these thugs and let everyone know what they stand for. Let your listeners know so that they can also “call out” the Republican wackos for the poisonous vemon and hatemongering they preach as well as their willingness to accept the hate and racial intolerance of their constituents.

11 09 2009
dennis

the time has come for Americans to put the patell to the metal and stop the media / corporation- takeover of our Government :

when several insurance giants buy several nation wide newspapper chains then buys up several world wide TV broadcaststations and there Radio affiliates you got problems ;
but the insurance companies buy and sell lawmakers to rule in their favor everytime : insurance and drug giants never lose , its always on our backs to wait , its been over 47 years since real health reform -why ??? Because you keep putting republicans in office waiting on the media to come along and save you and report the news ” ( fair and balanced )” this is subverting our government and our children are the ones who will suffer and healthcare will be for the rich :
a public health care option might save this nation from a take over
by the mega-Rich media/bank-owners/insurance/drug companies :

11 09 2009
LORISNJ

They are now discussing triggers – the only way we should ever agree to a trigger is if/when the insurance companies don’t meet the trigger deadlines with affordable and fair insurance then instead of the public option kicking in, we go to a single payer system immediately and the trigger has to be no more than 3 years from the date the legislation is signed by the President.

11 09 2009
Jane

Here is a quote from Eugene Robinson (Washington Post) this morning … I thought this myself yesterday, but in my opinion, this pretty much sizes the whole incident up .. .

“You will note that I have not yet mentioned race. For the record, I suspect that Obama’s race leads some of his critics to feel they have permission to deny him the legitimacy, stature and common courtesy that are any president’s due. I can’t prove this, however. And if I’m right, what’s anybody supposed to do about it? There’s no way to compel people to search their souls for traces of conscious or unconscious racial bias. We could have an interesting discussion about the historical image of the black man in American society, but that wouldn’t get us any closer to universal health care. “

11 09 2009
Lydia

His opponent, Rob Miller, has gotten just under $700,000!!
http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraisers/19079

11 09 2009
toby knapp

R!

Good to talk to you in the halls today… here’s a blog I did tonight about this Joe Wilson dude. Crazy. Check this out and tell me what you think!

See you tomorrow at the office…

-t.

http://www.blogtobia.com/2009/09/what-is-joe-wilson-really-thinking-what.html

11 09 2009
Rod Wellman

So, how do people of reason, move on? I say we recognize the the immature violent mouth bullies for what they are. (ignorant hillbillies who believe Corporations are there spiritual and job creating friends,) and start drowning them in the truth about how they have been fooled into thinking the U.S. government is the enemy. When the truth is the U.S. govenment and unions are the only thing standing between them and the complete downfall of whats left of there freedom. Just like the rest of us who don’t want to end up like the Mexican Citizens. Thank God for Randi & The Katrina effect that inspired all of us passive peaceful types to stand up and make our voices heard. Propaganda is the most effective tool the Wicked rich have used to advance their cause. Eliminate the American public from its power and influence over the rights of the little people, around the world. Stay on task attack the Corporations and the Insurance industry. Being instigated, to childish arguments with the simple and roudy is just what the Corps. want.

11 09 2009
beverly

I don’t want to be rude because I can see in your statments the passion that you are feeling. However, my father came from West Virginia and he was very particular about language. On his behalf I share the following—Use “their” when speaking about something owned and “there” when speaking about a place.

What you have to say is important, don’t offer a sound thought where these right wing idiots can detract and point out something as inconsequential as I just did.

Sorry, I’m on my lunch break–and your comments caught my eye.

10 09 2009
Mugsy

Randi,

The next time some Right-winger talks about *allowing* insurance companies “to sell across state lines”, confront them with the “McCarran-Fergurson Act of 1945″, which is the law THE INSURANCE COMPANIES FOUGHT FOR to give them state-wide healthcare monopolies. “Allow” nothing. It makes it sound like the *government* is preventing them from doing something they want. In fact, the reason Republicans didn’t repeal the law when THEY were in charge is because the insurance companies WANTED THE LAW TO STAY IN PLACE.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarran-Ferguson_Act

10 09 2009
dennis waite

Randi – where have you been ????
this debate on health care is just now in the fight for its life !!!
the facts are not all clear bu Public health care is the only plan I want to see ; open it up to all employers and citizens to purchace as a way to bring the insurance companies into compliance with the rest of this nation ; medicare is a perfect example as to what should be covered in a basic plan:
then let our employers buy in to the government plan :
I KNOW insuance company’ lobbiest want this co-option plan of president obama proposed last night : thats a no-lose proprosition for them ; but if we dont win more elections we wont be able to keep this plan for the little guy……the republicans wont keep a strong public option it will get watered down in final passage :
this president cares too much for the republicans and what they think …me I want all republicans to do 20 years of hard labor in Gitmo- or some other federal jail >>>yes I hate republicans …they runied America , and have yet to pay a price for this awful crime :
the war and 9/11 KATRINIA/ the bank failures and so much more !!!

10 09 2009
Danielle

I wish we could post in the sky so EVERYONE could read this, because for the life of me, I can not believe that my fellow American citizens including congressman, do not know that an illegal alien would not go to a doctor’s office, and you know why? Because you have to fill out paperwork, that will ask for alot of information about oneself, like your social security number, your id, your insurance card etc. They would not get past the receptionist let alone see the doctor. THE DUMBING DOWN IN THIS COUNTRY IS CRIMINAL. Yes, they may get into an emergency room, but it would have to be an EMERGENCY, and still they would be on the hook to show some type of identification, and risk being deported. Rep. Joe Wilson needs to go off on his beloved corporations and even some small businesses that will illegally employ illegal aliens so they don’t have to pay them in a legal manner, but no – you won’t see that happening. MONEY TALKS and it talks pretty loud nowadays, and that’s the only talk Republicans hear, and some democrats as well. Heck, Rep. Wilson probably has some friends, if he doesn’t himself, that have illegal aliens as nannies or tending their lawns. I wouldn’t hold my breath if God told me too.

10 09 2009
Daniela

I feel bad for the residents of SC, I wanted to leave the Congressman a comment BUT they have taken down the website (temp).

10 09 2009
Gela

I think the liar is Joe Wilson. According to RawStory.com, he is one of the top recipients of political contributions from the healthcare industry. They list contributions reported on the OpenSecrets.org database

11 09 2009
Marcus

I don’t. They’ll send him back am sure.

10 09 2009
ve

I am really angered by the way many of the people of this country are treating the President. Last night Joe Wilson exemplified what I have seen since inauguratation day. I see complete disrespect for no reason and I can only guess is based solely on racism.

Has anyone noticed how seldom the President is referred to as President Obama? Listen to the media, read the articles. Over and Over again he is referred to as Mr. Obama. In my opinion, it seems as if many people are in denial. After all how can we have a black president? It is as if they are saying he is not President Obama and never will be. He is Mr. Obama.

10 09 2009
mike

Now you know how George W. Bush felt!

11 09 2009
Marcus

“Now you know how Bush felt”?? WTF?? Bush actually lied. Are you dumb or stupid? I think maybe both.

13 09 2009
rottmom

Of course you have a point, however my primary reason for not addressing Bush as pResident was that I believed he did not attain the office of President legally. Still, I admit it was not a good excuse.

That aside, while there were some who would advocate the arrest and detention of Bush and Cheney, rarely did anyone advocate violence against them. Considering how freely they, and their minions advocated violence toward others, you should admit that was rather noble on our part.

However, while Obama tries to be reasonable and bipartisan, the current members of the right seem obsessed with the concept of violence against the president and nothing is done.

We weren’t allowed to openly criticize the president when he had an (R) after his name, but now that he has a (D) (I’m sure being black has absolutely NOTHING to do with the references to lynching, right?) violence is not only ok, it is the norm.

Is this really how you want your side to be remembered? I worried, for more than 8 years, about being remembered as the generation that let the constitution be shredded and flushed. I see the right not even bat an eye about being remembered as some of the most violent people of the 21st century.

Glad to see they are so concerned about the example they are leaving their children.

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