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Letters: Liberal leaders want to control what we think and do

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  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 6:02 p.m.

    Haven't read any posts, but by the number I'd guess a lot of objection by liberals to this piece. I'll say one thing that makes the assertion true. The Fairness Doctrine. Thankfully it hasn't been passed by Congress, but if many liberals had their way, it would be.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Sept. 12, 2013 9:29 p.m.

    RedshirtMIT,

    Negotiating techniques are similar because we are humans. But the scenarios in which you negotiate are not similar at all. Principles of marksmanship are the same on the range or the battlefield but one is a whole lot more complex and messy.

    The mechanic’s shop is not an appropriate analogy. My mechanic gives me ONE bill no matter who works on it. He coordinates it (and it is far less complex).

    For healthcare you need one procedure but it is supplied by several unrelated entities. For a car, this would be like buying the chassis from one supplier, the motor from another, the transmission from another, and the interior from still another. And some only do Fords, others Chevys, etc. Then add HUGE time pressure and life or death circumstances. See? Not the same.

    As to insurance companies being the negotiators – that was my point. Healthcare is too complex for standard free market negotiation to work well.

    Auto brokerage is unlike insurance companies. Far less complex, little time pressure and no life/death pressure.

    I don't "understand the similarities between the two" because I have dealt extensively with both and know they are not the same.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 7:45 p.m.

    -Health care is the same as buying a car, or going to a mechanic? Nonsense.

    -The United Order was communism, pure and simple. From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.

    . . . thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken. . .And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the bishop of my church. . . that they cannot be taken from the church. . . every man shall be made . . . a steward over his own property, or that which he has received by consecration, as much as is sufficient for himself and family. . . And again, if there shall be properties in the hands of the church, or any individuals of it, more than is necessary for their support after this first consecration, which is a residue to be consecrated unto the bishop, it shall be kept to administer to those who have not, from time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied and receive according to his wants.

    Communism.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 12, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" Air Force, Argentina.

    Now, your favorite quotes, to once again remind us that Socialism and Communism are contrary to God's laws:

    "Remember that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not compatible with radicalism or communism or any other of the “isms.” There could be those who would profess to be your saviors." Our Paths Have Met Again – President Spencer W. Kimball

    D&C 134:2 "We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life." Communism and socialism do not allow private control ov property or the protection of life.

    "There are those in the Church who speak of themselves as liberals who, as one of our former presidents has said, “read by the lamp of their own conceit." Joseph F. Smith

    "Communism is not the United Order, and bears only the most superficial resemblance thereto." First Presidency 1942.

    Do you know something that the Prophets don't? They condemn communism and socialism, why don't you?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 1:51 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701
    Deep Space 9, Ut
    12:59 p.m. Sept. 11, 2013

    To "LDS Liberal" it doesn't take experience in those fields to know and understand what socialism is.

    You have the wrong idea that socialism is equal to the United Order.

    I don't think you really know what socialism is, just like so many of your ilk.

    I have served a mission, and serve the military...

    The biggest difference is ownership. God's plan is for us to maintain private ownership, socialism does not do that.

    =======

    ???

    What?
    5 years now you've been commenting, and NOW - suddenly - you claim to be a RM and veteran?

    So
    What LDS Mission, and what branch.

    [BTW - I'm calling you on this one as a bluff,
    So, you can expect to be quizzed.]

    And if God's plan is for us to have "ownership" and not Him "owning everything",
    then someone better explain that to Jesus -- because what you are saying was Lucifer's plan.

    BTW -
    Families are Socialist, if not outright Communist.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 12, 2013 1:01 p.m.

    To "Semi-Strong" you don't see that it is like cars and healthcare use the same negociating techniques. When you go to the mechanic shop, you may have 3 peopel work on your car, but you can still find the best deal in town to get the work done at a price you find acceptable.

    Now you are getting things confused. Auto brokers are like insurance companies, they are the ones who take care of the pressures, complexity, and suppliers.

    You don't seem to understand the similarities between the two.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Sept. 12, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    RedShirtMIT,

    Please reread my post. You don't negotiate four essential parts of the same car with four different suppliers under time pressure and with life or death consequences should you not be able to make the negotiations all work out.

    I have bought cars with autobrokers and myself. I buy one car. I deal with one person (at least for that one car) and I can walk away and take my sweet time. If it's not perfect, no biggie. There is always another car. For healthcare, I get ONE body and often just one chance for a procedure. The pressures, complexity, varying suppliers needed to create one operation, and the necessity of getting it perfect are simply not the same as buying anything else.

    Really.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 12, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    To "Semi-Strong" actually, the analogy does not fail here either.

    Replace "insurance company" with "auto broker", and you have the same thing.

    You are paying somebody to pre-negociate costs to benefit you the most.

    Admit it, buying goods and services is the same no matter what you are looking for.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Sept. 11, 2013 6:21 p.m.

    RedShirtMIT,

    I described it that way to show how unworkable it would be. You didn't pick up on that?

    I wish such circumstances were rare. Not so in my family. I would love to just deal with broken bones or whatever other relatively minor things.

    When I get billed for a single procedure, I get it from the surgeon, the hospital, the anesthesiologist, and some others. If I negotiate with surgeon X, I then have to take Hospital X (because he is not admitted to practice at hospital Y). Same with the Anesthesiologist. He doesn't work everywhere or with every surgeon. It would be like negotiating under huge time pressure for a car with four different firms each of which only work with some of the others (and only some of the time) and that only begins the process.

    Health insurance provides much of that negotiation.

    Your analogy here simply fails. Please admit it.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 11, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    To "Semi-Strong" you are funny. You say that it isn't like buying a car, then you described looking for a surgeon exactly like buying a car.

    If I go to a surgeon or car dealer and want the the best I can begin to negociate the price. If the price is too high, I go to the next surgeon or car dealer (I wouldn't call him the number 2 guy because it could be an equally skilled doctor), and so on until I either get the price I want or else find that the market price for the surgeon or car is higher than what I thought.

    Outside of life or death emergencies (rare exception), when do you not have at least a few days to do your research?

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Sept. 11, 2013 3:35 p.m.

    RedShirt1701,

    Twin Lights here.

    For the easy (cheap) stuff, it matters less who I go to and price might be a consideration. For the harder stuff and emergencies it is not.

    I have had several important health issues in my family. Shopping for price was simply not an option. Even if I could have shopped, it would have been for the quality of the outcome. I was fortunate to have good insurance.

    You say you can negotiate. Your wife needs heart surgery and you go to the best (I assume) surgeon you can find and then begin to negotiate cost? If he is too high do you go to the number two guy? Down to number ten (until you get your price)? Do you given them a “not to exceed” figure (as in don't do more than $20,000 worth of operation)? Then there is the hospital, the anesthesiologist, etc.

    With cars and other purchases, I have time. I can walk away and wait for a week or maybe a month. Not true for much of healthcare. That and the absolutely critical nature of the decisions are the differences.

    It’s just not like buying a car.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 11, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" it doesn't take experience in those fields to know and understand what socialism is.

    You have the wrong idea that socialism is equal to the United Order.

    I don't think you really know what socialism is, just like so many of your ilk.

    I have served a mission, and serve the military, and I can tell you that neither is like socialism. The biggest difference is choice. Nobody is forced into a mission or is forced into military service (in the US). Socialism forces you to do service for others regardless of your desires. Socialism is the Devil's counterfit plan to Celestial Laws. Socialism is designed to oppress and requires tyrants for it to be implemented. The United Order allows people to decide for themselves how much they can contribute. The biggest difference is ownership. God's plan is for us to maintain private ownership, socialism does not do that.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 11, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    @the truth
    Holladay, UT

    Anyone who tries to equate socialism to religion, missionary work, the military, the anything the government does, or any communal or group activity,
    clearly demonstrates they do NOT know what socialism is.

    =======

    Yet someone who has NEVER served a LDS Mission, served in the U.S. Military, gone to college, or worked for the Government but listens to AM radio does?

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 5:10 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701 - I agree healthcare consumers have to do our homework.

    But, as consumers, most of us cannot rely on our own experience when making healthcare comparisons. If I get crappy service at one grocery store, I go to another. If someone tells me the old store has improved, I can check it out again. That's not the case for bypass surgery.

    Bear in mind that we can't predict when we'll need healthcare. And when we need it, it will very likely be ruiniously expensive. In an emergency, we won't have a choice about which hospital or doctor.

    When dealing with critical illnesses, most persons are so overwhelmed by the emotional demands of the illness that they cannot make choices. No matter how hungry I am, I can choose not to eat drive through. Not so when I'm sick. I need my care and I need it work.

    I'm not criticizing the free market as a concept. I'm arguing that healthcare is uniquely not amenable to normal free market behaviors and assumptions. That's not a function of insurance companies or hospitals or economics - it's the nature of healthcare itself.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 4:50 p.m.

    controlling what you think and do?? It's called being a "Progressive". Hilary has proclaimed openly to being a progressive and Obama has shown to be the poster child for progressivism. America today is just dummed-down enough as a majority to follow along.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 10, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    To "airnaut" I have lots of compassion. You should ask the elderly neighbors that I am helping out right now. What sort of compassion do you want me to learn about? Do you want me to learn forced "compassion" by using the tax code to force you to pay for my medical needs?

    To "Twin Lights" usually with emergencies or urgent needs I have already found doctors and care facilities. With non-urgent medical needs, you have the time to find the best deal. Since I have some idea what things cost, I can negociate the price myself, just like when buying a car. Do you hire somebody to negociate the price of a car when you buy one?

    Since you don't like to negociate price or find the best deal in town, do you typically pay asking price for homes, cars, and things at garage sales? If you clip coupons or shop sales, you have the skills to get less expensive care. You probably don't look for deals on healthcare because for most things you just pay your co-pay and the insurance company takes care of you.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 2:54 p.m.

    Anyone who tries to equate socialism to religion, missionary work, the military, the anything the government does, or any communal or group activity,

    clearly demonstrates they do NOT know what socialism is.

    True Christianity does not exercise thought control, it teaches agency and individual choice, and activity.

    And there are plenty non-religious organizations that exercise thought control.

    So trying to falsely attack religion rather than bad men or bad organizations is silly indeed.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 2:26 p.m.

    @Counter Intelligence

    You could that the term "political;y correct" came from the far left, the communist (and the Nazis), as way to control political thought, they even had political officers whose job was control all political thought (That was one of the principle jobs of KGB and the SS and the secret police). They even used the children and indoctrinated them to report on their parents and others, a similar tactic employed by the liberals and left here.

    PC is now used by liberals to control all thoughts and words of the people.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Sept. 10, 2013 2:22 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701
    Deep Space 9, Ut

    =========

    I hope it doesn't take a heart attack, automobile accident or cancer for you to learn some compassion RedShirt.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 10, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    Redshirt1701,

    So when your wife or child is sick you go shopping? Compare prices? Wait and see if there is a better deal elsewhere?

    If your are wrong about the less expensive car, you suffer a financial setback. If you are wrong about the cheaper doctor, it may be the last choice you make.

    Where is the Consumer Reports or Edmunds data to help you shop?

    Who is the Sales Manager that you can negotiate your price with?

    I have bought a ton of healthcare and a bunch of cars. Not a lot alike.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 10, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    To "glendenbg" but healthcare does work exactly like buying a car.

    For example, if I need to have a tooth replaced with an implant I can search around for the best doctor that I can afford. I can go to Grantsville and pay an oral surgeon there $1800 for the implant, or I can go to a doctor in Layton and pay $3000 for the same procedure. I would have to educate my self on why they charge different amounts and so forth. The same can be said for Cancer Treatments. Just by adding robotic surgery or genetic tests, the cost of treatment can change by $20,000 or more from one treatment center to another. According to the SL Tribune if chemo can be administered in an office visit it can save 24% of the cost over a hospital.

    Apparently health care is like buying a car, assuming you do your homework for either purchase.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Interesting discussion.

    Healthcare isn't like any other product or service and the normal assumptions and behaviors about "free markets' don't apply.

    If I want to buy a car or hire some other service, I can do price and quality research, I can choose when I buy, I can inform myself about various options. Healthcare doesn't work like that. In any given year, 1% of the population consumes 22% of healthcare spending. 5% of the population consumes 50% of healthcare spending. Those people are there because of cancern, trauma, pulmonary disease, mood disorders and heart disease. IOW, major and usually unpredictable circumstances. 50% of the population accounts for 3% of healthcare spending. To put it simply, when I most need healthcare is also when I'm least able to research it - in a crisis or some sort or another.

    Healthcare is highly technical. There's a huge information imbalance between doctors and patients. As patients we lack the information to make informed decisions. This applies to routine and preventive care as well.

    Free market assumptions don't help with either providers or consumers in providing or purchasing healthcare.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 10, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    "Liberal leaders want to control what we think and what we do...."
    ______________________________

    And conservative leaders don't? Give me a break.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Sept. 10, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    To "airnaut" actually, you were not a socialist. First of all, the pay was not equal. An enlisted soldier makes much less than a General. Even between locations soldiers are paid differently. Wealth is not redistributed equally.

    You were not "given a house, a vehicle, clothes, chow, and HEALTHCARE". You worked for those. I know servicemen, and they have to buy their uniforms, pay rent (or else not get aa housing allowance), buy food, and they pay for healthcare. Back when you were in the military, it was common for private businesses to pay for healthcare.

    There are businesses that do the same thing for some employees, that does not make them socialist, it just really good benefits.

    Back when you were in the military it may have been top notch (it was equal to the average hospitals of the day), but healthcare in the military system isn't so great any more.

    But that is just a digression.

    If socialized healthcare are so great, why is it that the nations with socialized healthcare are moving more towards private insurance?

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    @RedShirt
    USS Enterprise, UT

    To "atl134" so then you agree that socialized medicine doesn't work.

    =========

    I was a LDS Missionary and US serviceman.

    LDS Missionaries are socialists.
    They all pay the same price regardless of where in the world they served.
    [that's called a redistribution of the cost/wealth].

    In the U.S. military --
    I was a Socialist.
    I was given a house, a vehicle, clothes, chow, and HEALTHCARE.
    and for the record -- the Government Healthcare I got in the US Military was hands-down, without a doubt the BEST healthcare I have ever experienced in the world.

    No out of pocket,
    No co-pay,
    No-deductible,
    No maximum,
    No percentage,
    NO INSURANCE COMPANIES,
    No appointments,
    No questions,
    No problems whatsoever!

    Speaking from actual, real-life experience [and not AM radio or your opinions],
    Socialist medicine was the Best Healthcare I have ever had in my life!

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    Nate.

    Exactly. All wars are fought for commercial economic reasons. Either to get an economic advantage or to hold on to the ones you have now. The war with Japan was all about sources of raw materials in the far east. The war with Germany was the revolt against the extreme punitive economic conditions imposed from WWI.

    Actually I was a sailor on a submarine and the only real fights I remember was in the White Hat club in Yokosuka.

    As for the rule of law, all laws are made by men. And every law, program or rule that comes out of government of any venue has the number one attribute of being financially profitable for the businessmen who control the government.

    I believe that most of what you hear about President Obama is the same kind of thing. Obama was making promises to working people that the businessmen didn’t like.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    Mark (and others thinking I have insurance) lol...you are very mistaken! I decided to become self employed seven years ago due to my health and my family situation. I applied for a private insurance. I was denied for a pre-existing condition. I have been paying cash to go to the doctor and for medicine. I was told that I could apply for a state coverage for high risk individuals, but I could not afford it. As of January 2014 I have seen that I qualify for a reduced cost plan with no pre-existing conditions. Also, I am a previous health technician and know many of the "ins and outs" of insurance....so please don't try and tell me you know more.
    AN ACA Volunteer
    And former Health Technician

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 10, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    Redshirt,

    I was raising a family in the 1980s. That was not before health insurance (which my comment was targeted at). But to say the free market was working back then is disingenuous. First, if you think it worked - great. Please acknowledge that it was highly regulated even back then. But, I don't think it did work that well. There were significant gaps and problems with coverage back then.

    So, back to my original points:

    NO country has the free market system you propose. WE have the most free market oriented system and the most expensive. Other countries may be tweaking their systems but they are not looking to mimic us. Why?

    Shriners are great folks. But they depend on charity to make it run that way. This is not a more efficient system. Just one that transfers certain costs.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 7:52 a.m.

    To "Tyler D" so then you agree that Socialized care does not work since the nations that have socialized medicine are going towards private insurance. Actually, the free market does quite well when it comes to complex diseases. The Shriner's Charity hospital now accepts insurance. They treat complex diseases, and are now doing it for cheaper.

    The free market system worked in the US up until 1980's, why wouldn't it work again?

    To "Twin Lights" I don't know how old you are, but the 1980's were not that long ago. I know for a fact that insurance companies covered more people back then. You complain about the costs in the US, but no other country has the availability of medical procedures that we have here. We have better outcomes and faster response times to nearly every disease.

    To "atl134" so then you agree that socialized medicine doesn't work.

    To "mark" just because somebody doesn't know about a health insurance program that would have fit their needs that does not mean I was wrong. It is sad when people push through redundant regulations because the they are too lazy to find what they need.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 11:36 p.m.

    Okay counter inteligence lets look at what you are saying:

    "A truly open minded person would actually be able to consider that . . . "

    And you give three things that open minded people should consider dealing with racism, feminism and abortion, and homosexuality. Okay, I, being an open minded person, considered what you were saying, and then I dismissed it as being nothing more then hogwash.

    Then you say leftist believe this: "I am tolerant and anyone who disagrees with me is a bigot"

    Well, I, for one, don't believe that anyone that disagrees with me is a bigot, I believe that bigots are bigots. And what is this with conservatives claiming that liberals are supposed to be tolerant? I'm very intolerant of bigots, and racists, and homophobes, and religious extremists, and all such manner of people. I'm also very intolerant of people that refuse to think.

    - But we were talking about freedom, or rather the lack if it in this country. Someone mentioned East Germany. And they are right, that is what no freedom looks like. That conservatives think that what the USA has in anyway resembles that shows why conservatives cannot be taken serious.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 11:01 p.m.

    Theoretically being liberal means being open minded - but as with all things theoretical, the reality is much different. The term "politically correct" is used to mock those who think they are tolerant merely because they hate for all the fashionable reasons. Liberal posts on these threads prove daily that the left is often far more dogmatic, intolerant and rigid than any conservative I know. A truly open minded person would actually be able to consider that racialism has supplanted racism as the greatest threat to black America; misogynist feminists who passive aggressively manipulate victim power are not pro women, nor are those who empower abortion policies of Kermit Gosnell; or that homosexuality is defined by feelings and behavior, which is vastly different than physical character traits - and people have the right to disagree regarding behavior (the left does it all the time).

    The "I am tolerant and anyone who disagrees with me is a bigot" mentality of ideologically rigid leftists merely proves that they are wrong on both counts

    The actual dogmatic intolerant oppressive and spectacularly hypocritical actions of political liberalism speaks much louder than any words

  • Leftcoastrocky Los Angeles, CA
    Sept. 9, 2013 10:29 p.m.

    It's sad that people want to go back to pre-PPACA...

    - canceling coverage for pre-existing conditions
    - rescission
    - a lifetime or annual benefit maximum
    - no limits on administrative costs of for-profit insurance companies

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 8:45 p.m.

    to 2 bits 12:30p today...

    Yet, A large segment conservatives march hand-in-hand with the most thought controlling, guilt motivating, blind conformity required entity around.

    The entity I refer to is... Wait for it... organized religion.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    Kimber, redshirt tells us: "According to the HIPPA laws, all states must either have a state insurance pool or direct you to a federal program that provides insurance to uninsurable people. . . "

    So, obviously, you are mistaken when you say: "I have a pre-existing condition which prevents me from getting [insurance]."

    Clearly you have insurance. Just like a close friend of mine that claims he can't get insurance because of preexisting conditions. All these years he has obviously been deluding himself (just like you) because the insurance has been there available for him. Just ask Redshirt.

    So if we kill the ACA you will be just fine, Kimber. Don't worry. Right, Redshirt?

  • Roger Terry Happy Valley, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 8:19 p.m.

    Hard to argue with Tyler D and Twin Lights.

    I think what scares me most is the thought of the GOP taking control of both halves of Congress and the White House. In order to preserve the version of reality they have concocted in recent years, they would have to exert extreme control over thinking people in society. Sort of like, well, Nazi Germany.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 7:09 p.m.

    @atl134

    The first amendment guarantees protection of political activity.

    Is that not main purpose of the first amendment?

    Any law against political activity in unconstitutional.

    You've simply proved the assertion of the writer:

    'Liberal leaders want to control what we think and do’

    and by extension not just the liberal leaders but all liberals.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 6:22 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal
    I have 800 words at the most between four posts on this thread, that's not enough to come up with thorough explanations to refute your 8 soundbite length assertions about liberal control so I picked the first one and gave a more thorough response.

    @Redshirt
    "The answer is less regulation, not more. If you look at the nations with socialized health insurance, they are now backing away from that plan and are headed towards private insurance. If socialized care was so great, why are they now moving towards private insurance?"

    They're all still way more socialist than we have and cheaper as a percent of GDP than what we have. There's some private insurance incorporation into systems like Germany but it's heavily regulated by the gov't.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 9, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    RedShirt,

    If we look into the distant past (that frankly, none of us remember) before health insurance, we see markets that were drastically underserved and folks who could not afford care.

    As Tyler D indicated, there have been drastic technological changes and rising costs. No, the diseases haven’t changed but the treatments sure have (as have the outcomes).

    Do you think we can pay for an MRI with a few chickens? Could you get heart surgery with for the price of a cow? Two cows?

    Please.

    His other point is equally cogent. No country has the magical free market system you propose. The one country with the most free system (ours) is the most expensive. The countries with single payer (which is not actually my preference) are demonstrably less expensive. They may be tweaking their systems but is anyone actually looking to mimic our system? Not that I am aware of.

    Depending on charitable hospitals to reduce cost is not indicative of a less expensive system – just one that transfers costs to others.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 9, 2013 5:08 p.m.

    @RedShirt – “If socialized care was so great, why are they now moving towards private insurance?”

    There are plenty of hybrid systems (not pure free market) out there which use private insurance (e.g., Germany & Switzerland), so enough of that red herring. Speaking of which, we could learn a lot from those two countries on how to create a healthcare system that works remarkably well (far better than ours).

    And your example (of healthcare functioning like toasters) only works for the most basic & routine care (and Lasik). Try using that model when you’ve had a severe accident or are suffering from a complex disease… that’s when the market failures rear their ugly heads.

    As for looking to the past you have to back to the days before the massive technology and Big Pharma driven cost spikes… and no amount of deregulation will return us to those days.

    You seem not to think so (perhaps due to ideological blinders?) but it should be readily apparent why no developed country in the world has a purely freely market healthcare system… it doesn’t work.

    Reached comment limit…

  • Demo Dave Holladay, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    If that's true, Russell, then why is that conservatives don't understand the concept of conservation; why are Republican congressmen owned by Big Oil (not one of them voted to repeal the public tax subsidy that Big Oil neither needs nor deserves); and why do Tea Party clowns chant "Drill, baby, drill" while staring at the undeniable evidence of global climate change?

    Liberals are far from perfect, but we're not the ones committed to destroying the planet for money. And we're not the ones demanding lockstep conformity to patently stupid individuals, corporations and ideologies for the sake of profits over people and planet.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 4:10 p.m.

    To "Tyler D" there are no countries that allow the free market to work for health insurance. If you want to see it working, you have to look into the past, before our politicians wanted to be like the other kids with socialized healthcare.

    During the 1980's we had about 1/10 the number of mandates and regulations that we currently have on insurance companies. During that time the insurance companies would cover more people than they do today. The diseases haven't change, just the regulations.

    Health Insurance and Care can function like toasters. A prime example is a few years ago one of the insurance companies set up "Grocery Store Clinics" to take care of routine care. A person without insurance could get see a doctor for $25. The more severe problems were referred to specialists and charitable hospitals. The charitable hospitals took care of many poor people.

    The answer is less regulation, not more. If you look at the nations with socialized health insurance, they are now backing away from that plan and are headed towards private insurance. If socialized care was so great, why are they now moving towards private insurance?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 3:56 p.m.

    I took the advice of someone above and looked up "liberal" in my dictionary. Here's what it says:

    1) favoring progress or reform
    2) free from prejudice; tolerant
    3) characterized by generosity
    4) ample or abundant
    5) not strict or literal
    6) of the liberal arts
    7) a person of liberal principles or views

    Based on that, I'm PROUD to be a liberal.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    Re: ". . . this isn't a matter of left wing groups gaining any sort of advantage."

    Facts are stubborn things, aren't they?

    There's simply NO getting around the FACT that the IRS admitted it went after and applied extra, time-robbing scrutiny, to conservative 501(c)(4) groups. That comparatively few left-leaning groups may have also been dragged into their illegal pre-election dragnet, only proves the fecklessness with which the deed was done.

    And, by the way, nice attempt to divert attention from my list of seven other patent, proven, inarguable attempts to place controls on American freedoms by this regime. There are, of course, scores more, but . . . so many abuses, so little time [and space].

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    I can't help but get the feeling that most conservatives commenting here don't really understand what freedom is. Way back in 1984, I spent a day in communist East Berlin. Now, the East Germans knew something about taking freedoms away. They were more expert than their Soviet masters. And I can still remember how utterly ecstatic I was to return to the bright lights and bustling optimism of socialist West Berlin. The freedom there was like breathing fresh mountain air after sucking on the tailpipe of a Trabant.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 9, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    @RedShirt – “the people on the Right… are trying to get government out of the insurance business. If you look at various sectors of the economy, the most disfunctional sectors are also the most regulated.”

    True in some cases… but you’re argument presupposes that the market for healthcare will function just like the market for toasters and that if we just get government out of the way, getting heart surgery (differences in marginal cost aside) would be as simple & efficient as buying a toaster.

    Let’s assume you are correct and that there are not inherent market failures within the healthcare industry (even though there are). Please point to a 1st world (developed) country that has a purely free market healthcare system so we can have some idea of how it will work.

    Surely (sorry for calling you Shirley) if the free market is the best method for allocating the resources and benefits of healthcare, there will be one country we can look to to see this utopia in action… just one.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 3:06 p.m.

    Mr. Bender, I am someone that benefits greatly from the new Healthcare law. The fact that I haven't had any insurance for about seven years, plus the fact that I have a pre-existing condition which prevents me from getting it has made life tough. But starting Jan 2014 that changes. Do your homework...don't listen to the right extremists on this issue. healthcare.gov
    An ACA Volunteer

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    To "Tyler D" the people on the Right understand the dysfunction in the health insurance system. That is why they are trying to get government out of the insurance business. Health insurance is regulated nearly as much as banking. If you look at various sectors of the economy, the most disfunctional sectors are also the most regulated.

    The problem is government, not the lack of government oversight.

    I have a brother with diabetes, and in the 1980's my parents ran their own business and were able to get insurance to cover our entire family. Since then, there have been more regulations added to the business, so they have reacted to keep rates affordable. What you should be asking is why a diabetic could get insurance in the 1980's but couldn't get it 30 years later, eventhough government added all sorts of regulations and mandates.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal
    A 501c4 must be “primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the community.” These groups aren't following it on the left or right so they should not get tax exempt status at all but almost all of them have received it anyway. The reports clearly indicate that left wing groups were targeted too (funny how Issa told the Inspector General to only look at evidence of targeting of right wing groups, took a while to get the full story out when you intentionally leave out details like that). So no, this isn't a matter of left wing groups gaining any sort of advantage.

    Oh, and if you want the IRS to speed up the process of dealing with these applications... don't support cuts to the IRS budget, that would just slow things down even further.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 9, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    @ECR – “Because my 3 year old son had juvenile diabetes not one insurance company would cover our small business group.”

    Tough nookies!

    We live in a capitalist society based the values of Ayn Rand and Social Darwinism. If you’re not fit enough to survive… well… maybe the next life will be better.

    You don’t actually believe this country is full of people who claim to follow some hippie do-gooder who thinks we should love each other and help those in need, do you? Come on man… we’re the Tea Party not the We Party!

    *sarcasm off*

    I have yet to meet anyone on the Right who truly understands the dysfunction that is our healthcare system, let alone propose any solutions that would do anything other than make the rich (medical industrial complex) richer at the expense of folks like you and millions of others.

    Hope you son is doing OK…

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Sept. 9, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    Redshirt said, "Just a few years ago I had the choice to buy insurance or pay all my medical bills with cash. Now I have no choice."

    A few years ago I had no choice. Because my 3 year old son had juvenile diabetes not one insurance company would cover our small business group. Not one, regardless of what premium I offered to pay them.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 1:06 p.m.

    @Ultra Bob "There is no such thing as a free society."

    So, what exactly were you fighting for as a soldier? The right of a few elites to call the shots for everyone else?

    "...there has to be rules...."

    Of course. The rule of law, not of men. But the man in the White House today thinks he's above the law. And too many of our laws today leave it up to federal departments and agencies to make it up as they go. Obamacare, for example contains numerous provisions that begin with "the Secretary shall determine...." Furthermore, the administration is allowed to decide who gets a waiver and who doesn't. The you-know-what panels decide who receives expensive treatment and who doesn't. It's all so arbitrary, no one can really call it the rule of law.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    To the liberals out there, here are the things that the Federal Government (through liberal policies) has taken out of our hands:

    Education - First NCLB, and now Common Core. States and local districts give up most of the control of cirriculum in exchange for a few dollars.

    Retirement - Prior to SS, if you wanted to retire and relax in you old age, you had to make a plan for yourself, people are becoming more dependant on SS.

    Privacy - It used to be that we could email or call anybody and not have to be concerned about the government listening in. We have now lost that Constitutional freedom.

    Health Insurance - Just a few years ago I had the choice to buy insurance or pay all my medical bills with cash. Now I have no choice.

    Bankruptcy - just a few years ago if I could no longer afford my house, I would lose it to bankruptcy, now the Feds have all sorts of programs to prevent "failure". Corporations that failed were allowed to die. Now, they get micromanaged by the Feds.

    There are countless ways in which the Feds have taken control of what we do.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    Re: ". . . get better informed, or quit lying."

    I could say the same, but DN censors only permit that to left-leaning posters.

    But, speaking to the issue -- remember, we're talking here about groups organized under Section 501(c)(4) of the IRS Code, NOT Section 501(c)(3). While (c)(3)'s may not engage in partisan political activity, at all, (c)(4)'s are different, and may, under some pretty vague rules, engage in politics.

    It's funny how democrats like Max Baucus suddenly "discovered" that there may be problems with (c)(4)'s only after the IRS admitted it targeted conservatives for special scrutiny, while leftist (c)(4)'s, such as the heavily partisan Move-On and Media Matters organizations -- indeed, nearly all Soros-funded front organizations -- were and are seen as hunky-dory.

    Of course Baucus tried to excuse left-leaning (c)(4)'s, noting that the "code does not even provide a clear definition of what qualifies as political activity."

    Bottom line -- the IRS WAS used to aid the left, while disadvantaging conservatives.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 12:30 p.m.

    You hit on the basis for the philosophy or the Left... it's that THEY are superior to the population, and the general population is too stupid to solve their own problems and need THEM to fix their problems for them.

    Conservatives trust the people to solve their own problems (and if they don't they suffer, learn their lesson, and make changes until they do). The Liberal trusts the Government to solve the people's problems for them (with no suffering or learning).

    The right's philosophy is based on giving people more liberty, and responsibility, and expect them to fix their own problems. The left is based on the belief that most people are too stupid to figure it out, so they (AKA Government) have to fix it for them.

    Nobody said the Federal Government "Controls" us. They just "Regulate" us. And that's what Government is for. Some just think we need LESS "regulation"... while others think we need MORE regulation. It's just a difference of philosophy.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    @procuradorfiscal
    "a government that "protects that right" by using the IRS to control and stifle dissenting organizations"

    First off... the law forbids tax exempt status from going to organizations that engage in political activity (this has been interpreted as "primarily" for some reason). A lot of the organizations scrutinized were primarily engaged in political activity and NONE of those should've gotten tax exempt status. Secondly, it wasn't just conservative groups either, words like "progressive" were keywords used for scrutiny. The only groups to be denied tax exempt status were 3 (connected) liberal groups. So... your little IRS scandal is actually not a scandal (other than the scandalous idea that these groups on both sides of the aisle are getting tax exempt status when they shouldn't). I guess your news sources of choice are so slanted to the right that they didn't bother noting these details. The truth is just too inconvenient for their purposes.

    So you really have two options, get better informed, or quit lying.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    @Mountanman
    "The only freedom left in America is that of dissent and you want that to go away too?"

    Nobody is saying you can't dissent... just that if you're going to dissent it'd be helpful to actually provide evidence for the claims made (which the letter writer didn't do, he just throws out agency names and leaves it to us to assume that he wants dirtier air since he criticizes the EPA).

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 9, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    Mountanman,

    "The only freedom left in America is that of dissent . . . "

    Come on.

  • dobberdobber Ivins, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    "It has become apparent that government programs such as Obamacare are not as much about providing health care for more people as they are about control of what doctors we can see, what treatments we can receive, etc."

    Really? My experience has been that it has been my insurance company that has been doing that. Questioning my doctors order, refusing to pay for prescriptions, telling me what Dr. and hospital I can go to, refusing to pay for treatment when I have been traveling. Actually since being on medicare things have been much better. My experience is that the controls of government have been much better(there are some) than those imposed by my insurance companies over the years. Oh, and much more efficient.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Sept. 9, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    JoeCap2 - Thanks for your attempts to give examples. But nothing you pointed to controls "what we think and what we do" as Mr. Bender suggested. Oh, if you're talking about making a choice between paying your taxes or not, then the IRS tax code would have some relevence to this argument. But then how would our essential government functions operate if you didn't pay your taxes. And just a note - the so-called "47%" that Mr. Bender refers to actually pay taxes, just not income taxes and in many cases their taxes take a higher percentage of their income than the poor zillionaires who pay lower rates on their income thanks to the votes they have bought in Congress.

    And if you think you can write a comprehensive healthcare bill on paper that "fits in your shirt pocket" then you must be advising Herman Caine. If any of us think our government is limiting the things we think and do then we are not taking advantage of all the freedomes that we have that were paid for by the blood of others.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Sept. 9, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    If "Control" of what one does, eats, drinks, sleeps, lives with, worships, ect. is the litmus test for being "Liberal",
    then
    Utah has got to be the most "Liberal" state in the Union!

    And for the record -- try looking up the definition of "Liberal" in a dictionary.
    It's better English than what the college drop outs on the radio are telling.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    This complaint by Mister Bender, and some of the comments posted are surreal. They complain about a lack of freedom. In fact one poster lists China, Cuba, and North Korea, seemingly implying that they are the few countries with less freedom? But frankly I don't know what his point is. The same poster says, "The only freedom left in America is that of dissent . . ." That's the ONLY freedom left in this country? Like I said absolutely surreal. Never mind the fact that the freedom to dissent is absolutely huge. But to think that that is the only freedom left?

    And you have people stating that having to pay taxes indicates a lack of freedom. These people think we should have no laws in place? That the mere exsistance of laws (or laws they disagree with?) indicate we are a country with no freedom left?

    I mean, this is really strange thinking. Does having to drive on the right side of the road mean you have lost freedom? Sure. The freedom of being able to drive on the left side.

    But so what? It is how we are able to have relatively smoth traffic flow.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    Irony Guy - part of the irony is that almost all the things cited in this letter and other conservative rants are things that were really created by conservatives themselves. They just can't recognize it because they have allowed themselves to become submissive to conservative thought control.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    OK, let's get rid of EPA, public schools, Medicare, and all that "controlling stuff." Then we can choke on our own pollution, create a permanent underclass, and bankrupt ourselves paying for mom's heart problems. The society conservatives envision would be a true nightmare.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    RE: Dave Park City: Indeed. Utah is the locus of thought control.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    Paranoia is alive and well in Utah.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    In order for a government to accomplish its primary mission of protecting the citizens, it must be able to exercise control over the actions of those citizens.
    The leaders we elect to lead us exercise control over us by controlling what we do and try to control what we think.

    There is no such thing as a free society. Any time you have a group of human beings brought together for some common purpose there has to be rules and a means of enforcing those rules.

    The desire to control people is only partially due to the needs of government. The majority of leaders are businessmen who would like to control the minds and actions of people to buy their products. It is this latter motive that causes most of the problems of society.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    @Mountanman – “If you don't believe the government controls you, just don't pay your taxes… and you will learn who controls you!”

    Is that the connection – taxes = Orwell’s dystopia?

    If so, should we all be flocking to tax-free countries to live the Utopian dream? I hear if you book a flight to Mogadishu far enough in advance they include a free bullet proof vest.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    Re: ". . . we just got your opinion, which you are welcome to express anytime, thanks to a government that protects that right."

    Yeah, a government that "protects that right" by using the IRS to control and stifle dissenting organizations, uses the Department of Labor to punish religious dissent among businesses, uses the NSA to track dissent, uses the EPA to reward compliant cronies, while penalizing and criminalizing dissenting practices, uses its controlled media arm to label dissent as racism or craziness, uses the military chain of command to punish constitutionally protected dissent on social issues within it ranks, attempts to use police agencies to collect the tools of dissent [though it's not going so well for them in Colorado, at present], and uses propaganda blitzes, funded by taxpayers' own dollars, in vain attempts to respond to reasoned, widely-held dissenting views.

    With that kind of protection, who needs attackers?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    The exact opposite is true. Conservatives cannot stand a person with an open mind. Conservatives cannot believe the their narrow world view isn't the only way to look at things.
    Liberals are the group that carries society forward.
    When it's Progressives vs regressives, I'll take progressives every time.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    ECR: How about this as "evidence" - a set of tax code regulations that makes the encyclopedia set my parents bought years ago, look small.

    The US Constitution fits in your shirt pocket. Today, nearly every bill that goes through Congress needs an army of staffers just to read it. Those who vote on the stuff, don't even know what is in it. Obamacare was something like 2000 pages long and didn't include half the "regulations" that would come later.

    If that isn't evidence of "control", I don't know what is.

  • dave Park City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    How ironic. Utah is the poster child for control. Let's fix our house before we go after bigger things.

  • Eli Tesecular PhD Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    Mr. Bender,
    Yes, it is our job to control your choices in life. But, rather than putting a negative spin on it, try thinking of it as compassionate concern for your well-being. Someone has to take care of you; it might as well be us enlightened liberals. Try not worrying so much about "freedom" and other antiquated notions of government limits. Relax, come with us. You too will grow to love the comforting embrace of the State.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Sept. 9, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    My only reation?
    ...roll my eyes, and shake my head...[hahaha, LOL, and ROTFL]

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 9, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    @ Hutterite. As opposed to Cuba, China or N. Korea you mean? The only freedom left in America is that of dissent and you want that to go away too? And you NEVER criticized the government when GWB was in the White House, did you? Liberals are only tolerant of other liberals. Furthermore, liberals demand EVERYONE to kiss the ring of other liberals in the White HOUSE or be silenced, sort of like N. Korea, China or Cuba, liberal paradises all.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    No, it has not become apparent. The only thing apparent is how easy it is to put a few sentences together to say bad things about government, and get them published.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 9, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    Its all about control. If you don't believe the government controls you, just don't pay your taxes (if you are not one of the 47%) and you will learn who controls you!

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Sept. 9, 2013 6:00 a.m.

    Mr. Bender - Thank you for expressing your opinion. Now can you provide just a small bit of evidence to support your theory? I suppose if you had some evidence you would have included that in your letter. But we just got your opinion, which you are welcome to express anytime, thanks to a government that protects that right.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 4:40 a.m.

    And yet I don't feel controlled by the federal government. And I don't feel sad.