Article Comment 

Scaring Ourselves Silly: a poem about health care




Forty seven million without health care. 


Millions more, to make a claim, don''t dare. 


Their high-paid insurance they might lose 


If they missed the small print of the Don''ts and Do''s. 




They just might have to foot the whole bill 


If they overlooked the run of the mill 


And didn''t divulge a condition unrelated 


Or an obscure problem understated. 




The lucky ones sign up at work 


They''re told that they''re getting a salary perk 


But there are co-pays, extra for children and spouse. 


There are deductibles, enough to bring down the house. 




Many dentists aren''t included, eye care either. 


Some drugs aren''t included, don''t get a fever. 


If you get sick, you might be dropped, 


You''ll never know until the benefit stops. 




Lose you job, the insurance goes 


To buy it now you''ll pay through the nose. 


You can''t afford it, going broke 


Your hard-fought savings up in smoke. 




Don''t get sick now, hang in awhile, 


Find another job, force a smile. 


Re-mortgage the home, that''s the ticket. 


Most bankruptcies are due to the health care thicket 




But all aren''t in such dire straits. 


Our seniors don''t have to meet these fates. 


The poor, the young, the vets have care. 


Almost half of us have single-payer. 




A better system all around, 


Low overhead and little down. 


Can''t be dropped if an emergency strikes. 


Can''t be hit with premium spikes. 




Can''t be denied for reasons inane. 


No paperwork to drive everyone insane. 


Those who use it say it''s the best. 


Don''t pay insurance companies to feather their nest. 




Why do we pay them? I''d like to ask. 


They get thirty percent, I''m aghast! 


Thirty percent of our dollar, for what? 


Collecting the premium, passing the buck? 




They have no doctors, no nurses, no care 


They provide nothing, but get their full share. 


If they didn''t exist we''d be better off. 


Take the savings and stop the rip-off. 




How can we afford it, you ask? 


Through proper management, it''s not a hard task. 


We''re paying more now than all other lands 


They''re getting it done while we wring our hands. 




Among wealthy countries we rank 36. 


For insurance based care, that''s quite the fix, 


When we spend double what the others do. 


Our life span is less than Londoners too. 




Opponents scream "Socialism," the term of the day. 


But we''re scaring ourselves silly, that''s what I say. 


We''ve got socialist roads, police, firemen too. 


Our military is socialist, their motto, "Can Do." 




If insurance were involved in these pursuits, 


There''d be more slick salesmen in three-piece suits 


Selling protection against these risks 


While they stuffed their pockets to get their kicks. 




Health care is basic to life''s moral needs. 


Insurance for necessity is equivalent to sleaze. 


The greed is astounding; the lies know no bounds 


The arguments baseless; they have no grounds. 




As premiums rise we''re all at fault 


For not stopping this robbery and calling a halt 


To the excess of companies taking all they can rake 


The public can do this; we all have a stake. 




We sorely need a government plan 


To ban together and defeat this scam. 


If not, we''ll be told, by insurance rendition 


That death itself is a pre-existing condition! 




Laird Bagnall 





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Reader Comments

Article Comment raymond commented at 8/25/2009 3:25:00 PM:

Very misleading numbers. Cute poem though, probably written be a poor mislead liberal mind, bless his heart. Truth is -only 12 to 15 million are not covered. Do a little math now, what percent of out country's total population is 15 million?? OK now, A major majority of us are already covered and happy with what we have, so what we really need to be doing is working on the 12 to 15 million not covered , which are just a small portion of out total population. Don't you think that would cost us much much less than the mind boggling Obamacare? What the Dems really need to be working on is tax reform, then fraud , waste and abuse in our medicade and medicare systems; and pork spending, pork spending and pork spending!!! Needs to be stopped, graveyard dead.
Raymond Gross


Article Comment Dew White commented at 8/26/2009 7:19:00 PM:

Sorry Raymond, I did a little math and some checking and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 47 Million of our citizens do not have any health care coverage as of Jan 2008. This figure is probably higher now that so many have lost good paying jobs with benefits since then. This figure represents 15.8% of our population.


Article Comment bear commented at 8/27/2009 8:27:00 AM:

Truth is, my bleeding heart friends, "Obamacare" is unconstitutional. That's the only fact that matters. Comrade Laird-if you love the idea of a socialist state so much-why don't you defect to Cuba? The answer is you won't because for all your misled bs, you know that God blessed you to live in the greatest country in man's history.


Article Comment Laird commented at 8/27/2009 10:28:00 AM:

bear, I take it that your solution to anyone who disagrees with your position is to invite them to leave the country. Our founding fathers wouldn't agree with your undemocratic solution which would eventually lead to fascism. Being that I am a military veteran with 24 years honorable servivce, I have too much invested in this country and its democratic principles to accept your offer. Since I defended our right to express our opinions, I'll allow for yours, however ingracious it may be. BTW, How could anything be unconstitutional at this point? There are 5 bills before Congress, none of which is complete and none of which Obama has authored. Writing bills is the constitutional job of Congress. Calling health care reform "Obamacare" and "unconstitutional" stretches your credibility. Our separate opinions and solutions to solve the problems we face are what make our democracy work and make our country great. Don't undermine that effort with a closed mind.


Article Comment bear commented at 8/27/2009 10:58:00 AM:

Truth is, my bleeding heart friends, "Obamacare" is unconstitutional. That's the only fact that matters. Comrade Laird-if you love the idea of a socialist state so much-why don't you defect to Cuba? The answer is you won't because for all your misled bs, you know that God blessed you to live in the greatest country in man's history.


Article Comment bear commented at 8/27/2009 11:14:00 AM:

Comrade Laird I served in two war zones. You are an idiot, read the constitution. Most everythin your pin-up boy Barry has done in 6 months is a violation of it. You, sir, are the type of guy we called in the military - a slug.


Article Comment Raymond commented at 8/27/2009 1:48:00 PM:

Thanks for your feedback, Dew White. I take it that you agree with the rest of my comments since you only wanted to fuss about the uninsured numbers. Do you agree that it should cost less to work on covering the 15% than screwing up the 85% who are happy with what they have? Are you in the 15 or 85%?? If you are in the 85% , tell us how you think Obamacare will cost you less with more quality care than you have now, ok?
The 47 million citizens number is misleading and false. That number includes non citizens and those who prefer to not be covered. You know better than that!
Now, don't you think we should be fixing the tax system first of all to make it more fair? Surely you agree that all the fraud , waste and abuse is a priority to work on? The pork barrell stuff is a no brainer and the pay back to special interest groups, like ACORN, etc,etc.


Article Comment JC commented at 8/27/2009 2:50:00 PM:

Truth is, my bleeding heart friends, "Obamacare" is unconstitutional.

Then Medicare is unconstitutional too. Good luck selling that notion to the voters.


Article Comment will commented at 8/27/2009 8:11:00 PM:



Article Comment bear commented at 8/27/2009 8:24:00 PM:

Medicäre is unconstitutional-but Americans pay into it their entire working lives (check your next pay stub for "Medicare Tax". Conversely, the illegal immigrants you want to give health care to pay nothing into the system.
Firing the CEO of a corporation is also an unconstitutional executive act.Bowing before the king of a terrorist state is unPresidential and stupid.


Article Comment JC commented at 8/28/2009 9:01:00 AM:

Medicäre is unconstitutional...

Really? Then how has it survived for 44 years, through Republican and Democratic presidencies and Congresses? Did none of those lawmakers care about the Constitution?

Or do you not know what you're talking about?


Article Comment JC commented at 8/28/2009 12:09:00 PM:

melody, do you have anything to add to the constitutional discussion, or do you just like to see your "thoughts" in print?


Article Comment Neil Tentoni commented at 8/28/2009 1:16:00 PM:

Is there anyone here discussing this issue that is not an American? Bear, does everyone that disagrees with you really need to move to another country? Our country is in a mess right now!
Our country is being pillaged by politicians and corporate interests all too willing to squeeze the next buck out of you and me no matter what the cost. That's who we should all be angry at!
Can our country afford healthcare for everyone? Nope. Cash for clunkers? Nope. Bailouts for banks and GM? Nope. Nor can we afford wars based upon false information. The blame lies with crooked politicians and corporate greed who do not know when to keep their hands out of the cookie jar...meaning our wallet.
I am glad to see the outrage by citizens in the press. People are standing up for what they believe is right and being vocal. It is time to water the tree with the blood of tyrants who have run this country into bankruptcy (politicians) and the corporations who have sent our JOBS to a foreign land in the name of higher profit margins. We should be putting America first!
What can our country afford these days? Not much.
People who invest in our future and create jobs...priceless.


Article Comment KJ commented at 8/28/2009 1:35:00 PM:

Health insurance reform with a public option isn't a freebie, any more than medicare is. A public insurance option is exactly that: an option for people to buy insurance through a government (public) agency. Insurance companies don't really care about your health and well-being. It's your wallet they care about. When your health interferes with their bottom line, you won't be insured or insurable. A public option will allow people who currently are not able to buy insurance to do so, and that collection of individuals will then be able to apply the same sorts of market pressure to the health care industry that big insurers currently do. They will also be able to apply market pressure to the big insurance companies by offering competing plans to the healthy people that can buy private insurance. That kind of competition sounds pretty capitalistic to me.

Insurance reform is about fixing something that is very obviously broken. It's even more obviously broken if you actually have insurance than if you don't. I'm not so worried about the possible constitutional ramifications of health insurance reform as I am about the continuing impact of the constitutional violations committed by the last administration (and continuing with this one) like the eradicating of habeas corpus, warrant-less wiretapping, Guantanimo, torture, etc.


Article Comment melody commented at 8/28/2009 3:59:00 PM:

Well, whoop tee do. The one liner, JC, is back from working in the yard. He's going to be upset at KC and NEIL for not staying on message(the constitution). Have you ever read it, JC? It's not that long, so give it a try. Then , you might have something constructive to add to the thread. First though, better go ahead and post another one liner about NEIL and KC or do you just pick on women.


Article Comment Neil Tentoni commented at 8/29/2009 12:36:00 AM:

Bear, I got it. You make some good points and I appreciate your service to this country and your views. It is also apparent that the author of the above poem, Mr. Bagnall, served our country for 24 years and makes several good points too. It would be more interesting and beneficial if folks like you and Mr. Bagnall (heroes & leaders)responded to each other's point/counterpoint with some additional viable debate and solutions. BUT...calling people socialists, ignorant, stupid, and inviting them to leave our country is the easy way out. Bear, you do make a lot of sense...but it's hard to agree with you when you mix sense with nonsense. Especially when you sign your name as "Bear" instead your real name...that's priceless too.


Article Comment Neil Tentoni commented at 8/29/2009 12:48:00 AM:

Hey Bear, I looked up the word "succinctly", so I will be concise and are right about what our founders meant.


Article Comment KJ commented at 8/30/2009 12:33:00 PM:

At the same time, the founders were pragmatic about taking advantage of the economies of scale available at all levels of government -- local, state, and national. Hence, we have public libraries, school systems, fire departments, state institutions of higher learning, and a postal service all of which compete to some degree with private enterprise. Given the nature of the current problem, health insurance reform with a public option plugs a very large gap created by the unwillingness of private insurance companies to undertake risk in good faith.


Article Comment Neil Tentoni commented at 8/30/2009 6:46:00 PM: make some interesting points. Something needs to be done by Congress to clean-up the insurance industry; not covering pre-exisiting conditions due to a change in insurer, unaffordable Cobra plans during times of unemployment, dropping people who become sick, and crazy loopholes are just a few issues that could be resolved. My problem with a public option is...who is going to pay for it and how? Our country is broke financially. Those who have insurance are satisfied with the quality of healthcare...just not the cost, which is becoming ridiculous. Better regulation could justifiably help thousands of employers, millions of citizens with and without insurance, and curb fraud; but raising taxes and scrapping a private enterprise should not be an option in this econmomy. I think the priority of our nation should be focused on how jobs could be created for the millions of citizens who are able-bodied, educated, experienced, and those willing to do "whatever it takes" in this economy to either get back on their feet or stay that way.


Article Comment bear commented at 8/30/2009 7:06:00 PM:

Yes, KJ, you are right. As Barry said, private businesses, are beating the pants off thw inefficient gov't run Postal Service. So even he admits that the gov't cannot sustain something such as health care as well as private industry. True, there needs to be tweaking to the current system, but let's be honest, how many of the 47 million are illegal aliens? How many are self insured? Let's ask another question. When you close down the insurance industry what will Barry do with the millions of insurance workers? Has anyone really thought this thing through? Obviously not. Noone can explain how it will be funded, much less the periphial issues. If the Hollywood mega-millionaires,Oprah, and George Soros want to provide health care for everyone-why don't they put their bucks and the power of private enterprise to work. Set up an annuity earning 5% to fund this thing. Why must it be an automatic tax burden for the entire country?


Article Comment JC commented at 8/31/2009 11:02:00 AM:

I see bear and melody still haven't written anything substantive to support their theory that Medicare is "unconstitutional."

Because they can't.

Because Medicare is constitutional.

As is the currently proposed health care reform.


Article Comment melody commented at 8/31/2009 11:12:00 AM:

Have you read it yet, JC? Didn't think so cause you are still off message and bothreing people. Go read up on it and do your yard work. When you come up with something constructive to add to the thread, come on back.


Article Comment JC commented at 8/31/2009 11:26:00 AM:

melody, explain why Medicare, or the current health care plan, is unconstitutional.


Article Comment bear commented at 8/31/2009 12:29:00 PM:

JC-Desert Storm and Bosnia. Medicare is unconstitutional, the burden of proof is on you, and don't put up the Commerce Clause or "the general welfare" statement to support such. You should be smart enough to know that is grossly out of context.
The gov't cannot force a citizen to buy or sell anything, involuntarily.
You may be thinking about the Communist Manifesto to support your argument, that would make sense.


Article Comment JC commented at 8/31/2009 12:54:00 PM:

JC-Desert Storm and Bosnia.

Explain how our freedom was threatened in either of those conflicts. The burden of proof is on you, since you say you were defending our freedom.

Medicare is unconstitutional, the burden of proof is on you, and don't put up the Commerce Clause or "the general welfare" statement to support such.

I'm glad to see you aren't completely ignorant. Those are precisely the constitutional bases for Medicare and the public option.

The gov't cannot force a citizen to buy or sell anything, involuntarily.

As, indeed, it isn't under either Medicare or the public option.

I must say it is amusing watching conservatives trying to make the case to normal Americans that providing an affordable health care option for poor people is "tyranny." I hope you're enjoying the political wilderness because you're going to be tromping around in it for a long time.


Article Comment melody commented at 8/31/2009 2:45:00 PM:

JC is still bothering folks. He doesn't remember how it was slick willy who sent us to Bosnia. Senility setting in. Tell us how many wars you were in , JC, or were you like slick willy and BO? Too chicken to sign up. A jack rabbit could stare down all 3 of you at the same time. Why don't you ask the slickster for the real reason he sent us to Bosnia and if you think it was not the right thing to do, why weren't you protesting? This is my last post on this one. I'm tired of the one liner, JC. He actually squeezed out 3 lines in his last post just to try putting down 90% of real Americans. He thinks the other 10% are the normal ones. Ha Ha.
Thanks for the poem, Laird.


Article Comment bear commented at 8/31/2009 3:04:00 PM:

I think you just got beat up by a girl, JC. You're used to that, though. THe thing is JC, you are wrong-you don't have even an elementary grasp of consitutional precedent. You get your information from a hack comedian, "Mr. Tingles", and the rest of the MSLSD crowd. You are speaking out of ignorance, and it shows. I don't know at what point being a liberal made you believe that you were somehow intellectually superior-reality check-you sound like a moron on this page. You made sarcastic quips to antagonize anyone you assume is a conservative. You do not produce anything to support your arguments (you are dead wrong on the commerce clause, and here's the thing on that - my concentration in college was Constitutional Law. I just may know what I'm talking about.
If you want to make any further remarks about my military service, or any one else's we can get together and settle that face to face.


Article Comment JC commented at 8/31/2009 4:49:00 PM:

bear and melody, sorry to see you can't back up your arguments with, well, arguments, and not name-calling and empty boasts.

melody, I didn't say that Desert Storm and Bosnia were wrong, only that our freedoms weren't at stake in those conflicts. Which they weren't. If either of them had gone the other way we'd still have our freedoms.

bear, all I asked was what freedoms of ours were under attack in the Gulf War and Bosnia. I take your silence on the matter as recognition that none were. You may well have been defending American interests in those places, but that's not quite as catchy, is it? "Freedoms" sounds so much nicer, so much nobler.

Y'all let me know when you can make an actual argument that Medicare is unconstitutional (other than "shut up, that's why") and I'll be glad to help you see where you're wrong. Good luck!


Article Comment Matt commented at 8/31/2009 7:07:00 PM:

I think Bear told you way back that forcing Americans to buy anything is unconstitutional.
Get a brain, you idiot.


Article Comment JC commented at 9/1/2009 9:05:00 AM:

I think Bear told you way back that forcing Americans to buy anything is unconstitutional.

He did, but he was unable to explain the basis for this assertion. Perhaps you can help him out.


Article Comment bear commented at 9/1/2009 2:47:00 PM:

JC-my silence means that I have a life as a productive member of society. I think it's great that you have all day to sit on the Dispatch website.
Fact is YOU haven't proven how any of this IS constitutional. Why don't you show us your big brains.
The constitution, contrary to what you may think, does not in any way provide that the government owes you clothes, housing, health care, etc.
Tell us all where you think it does.


Article Comment JC commented at 9/1/2009 4:25:00 PM:

JC-my silence means that I have a life as a productive member of society.

I guarantee you that what I do all day is at least as important, and very likely more important, to society than what you do all day.

The constitution, contrary to what you may think, does not in any way provide that the government owes you clothes, housing, health care, etc.

Indeed it doesn't, and I didn't say it did. I merely pointed out that the Constitution empowers Congress to pass legislation like Medicare and "Obamacare." As you well know - you cited the sections yourself.

Simply put, your assertion that Medicare and Obamacare are unconstitutional is incorrect.


Article Comment bear commented at 9/2/2009 2:41:00 PM:

JC, I'd be cautious of making assumptions that you certainly can't back up.
You are wrong in claiming that the commerce clause is a catch all for whatever social engineering ca-ca you may fantasize about (when not drooling over your Barry magazine cover collection, or a hot tub session with Ketih Olberman).
We can get together anytime, anyplace, and I can give you a lesson on constitutional law (kinda my area of expertise - I have a degree in it).
By the way, you should probably call the White House and ask your Messiah what happened to his backbone- since he said today that he wasn't going to push the public option. And, since the AFLCIO came out quickly after refusing to support Democrats without a public option, looks like the team that's all about infanticide, sponsoring sexual deviance, and givng free stuff to people who don't work is quickly imploding.
Signing off, JC, ignoring your screeching from here on out. Got college football on my mind, not Barry's Pink Army.


Article Comment JC commented at 9/2/2009 3:28:00 PM:

bear, I'll put my JD and Mississippi bar license up against your "degree in constitutional law" any old time.

The general welfare clause is all the authority Congress needs to provide for the public option. Whether they will choose to do so remains to be seen, but nobody with any legitimacy is arguing that they lack the necessary constitutional authority.


Article Comment Matt commented at 9/2/2009 4:23:00 PM:

JC, do you mind using your real name, so I know who NOT get to represent me?....

plus I want to tell my friends too.


Article Comment bear commented at 9/2/2009 5:52:00 PM:

JC- this is absolutely the last time I indulge you, and since we're showing our cards I'll put my MBA against your dime a dozen JD (including all your wasteoid ACLU buddies-you really aren't impressing anyone with a JD pal, and you're probbly full of ca-ca since you haven't informed this field of that authoritative credential - or who would want to admit that they're a lawyer) that you are absolutely wrong - you have taken the general welfare clause out of context. Let me be frank, commerce and enterprise are the pillars of this republic - the molestation of the law by John Edwards types (he's a real winner, too) has caused most of the problems that you want to remedy. Yes, JC, frivilous lawsuits brought by students of the law who have no code of ethics have destroyed the fiscal side of health care. Yes, it's expensive, and your industry is the reason for it, in large, large part. Even further, if you are ready to hand a bunch of succubus lawyers like yourself in Congress the power to run your life and give up self determination - then you, sir, are a case study in ignorance. Does your mother still wipe your butt? Do you really want the government dictating to you every facet of your life? You're right, JC, you are very productive. Is it hanging out in the emergemcy room with a stack of business cards, or filing bankrupcies?


Article Comment JC commented at 9/3/2009 10:23:00 AM:

It's funny to hear someone talk about dime-a-dozen degrees in the same paragraph he refers to his own MBA. And then to berate lawyers, as if it were lawyers and not weaselly, amoral MBAs who created the current economic crisis.

There is a lot of rhetoric and blind supposition in your post but no legal argument. (Unless "does your mother still wipe your butt?" is a reference to a Supreme Court case I am unfamiliar with.) Perhaps you could explain how I've taken the general welfare clause - which is very clearly written - "out of context."


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