Friday, January 21, 2011

Idiotic Member of the GA Delegation of the Day.

Lest you get the impression that the entire Georgia Delegation is, shall we say, Gingresque, I should point out that my Congressman is Civil Rights Legend John Lewis (seen here in 1965 being so much cooler than your congressman will ever be.)

John Lewis (L), chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and Hosea Williams, of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), announce a campaign of demonstrations against segregation in Georgia, July 26, 1965. 

On the other hand, if you thought Phil Gingery  (the man who replaced Newt Gingrich, hence my coining of the super-clever adjective "Gingresqe") was an embarrassment, meet Paul Broun.

Paul Brown, besides being a Congressman, is also a Doctor. So he has some insight into the Healthcare Crisis:

From his website, the assault on grammar and syntax is his:

Health Care

Our current health care system, with a reliance on third party, or employer provided, insurance is a relic of the 1940’s. As time marches on we are finding that individual patients, which should be the primary concern in any health care system, are being relegated to the backseat in the decision making process, leaving it up to their physicians to try to obtain payment from insurance providers, with varying degrees of success.

So this is rather a promising start. Dr. Broun is at least willing to admit that our system sucks. That's actually a pretty big step away from the official right-wing position that the US has "the greatest healthcare system in the world."  So what's his solution?

We must also take steps to ensure a transparent and market-based billing process. If a patient knows what they are paying for and receiving for that payment, then they can not help but be an active and engaged participant throughout the entire process. 

Okay, two things.  First, this is the very next sentence, so I don't know what the "also" is in reference to. But more importantly, what the hell? I've been hospitalized. They gave me a very detailed breakdown of what all the charges were for and how much I was being charged for which service and it didn't help me one bit. If anything, it just pissed me off knowing, it didn't allow me to negotiate a lower bill. They charged some outrageous ammount, I forget, it was years ago, for a "surgical consult" which consisted of a surgeon coming into my room looking at an X-Ray for all of thirty seconds and declaring that surgery would not be necessary. Knowing how much I was paying for that didn't do me any good. 

The right choice is to focus all of our efforts on laying a ground work for the free market to establish universal access to affordable, patient-centered health care coverage. 

And there it is. Of course, that's the answer. Of course it is. What else could it possibly be? You know, Doc, the free market has had, according to your opening sentence, SEVENTY FUCKING YEARS to get this shit right, and guess what? They still haven't come close. They are never ever ever going to be interested in "universal access to affordable, patient centered healthcare." That would slightly reduce their profits, covering everyone. It's ridiculous to think that they would ever be willing to provide universal access. 
So, of course it follows that Broun would put out this press release:

Broun Introduces Bill to Repeal and Replace Obamacare
I have introduced a bill to repeal the health care law and replace it with four simple, commonsense solutions that would lower costs and increase accessibility without government interference

 Oh, I can't wait to hear these! "Commonsense Solutions," eh? Bring 'em on!

H.R. 299:
  • Allows all individuals and businesses to deduct 100 percent of their health care expenses, including insurance premiums; 
Oh, that's going to be a Huuuuuuuuge help to those of us who can not get insurance at any cost. Also very reassuring to know that if I get hit with a $50,000 or $100,000 hospital bill, I will be able to deduct that from my taxes. It's more than I earned last year, but the deduction should cover the shortfall.

  • Strengthens and expands new avenues for affordable health care for sick Americans through state high-risk pools; 

  • Ah, that makes sense. Let the insurance companies cover the low-risk/high-profit customers and let the state take the loss on the high-riskers. Now that's what I call  "Free-Market solution," in that the market is free of  any risk.

  • Expands choice and competition by allowing consumers to shop for health insurance across state lines; 

  • You know, if that were actually going to be good for consumers, the insurance companies wouldn't be drooling over it, which I'm pretty sure they are. I think that the point of the "crossing state lines" thing is to prevent any state from being able to effectively regulate the industry. This isn't so much a common-sense solution, as it is a way to exacerbate the existing problems. 

    And creates association health plans, which would allow businesses, individuals and any entity to form pools that will increase availability and allow their sheer size to negotiate lower costs for their employees or members.

    I think that is what most companies already do. I think it's called a "group health plan." Maybe an "association health plan" is different, but I can't imagine that this is much of an improvement.
     But anyway, healthcare disingenuousness is one thing. You pretty much expect that from a Republican. Today, Rep. Broun is in the news with a statement that approaches Michele Bachmann territory.

    Broun warns of dictatorship

    Congressman stays on message - freedom at risk

    Oh, here we go!

    MADISON - U.S. Rep. Paul Broun is again raising the specter of Democrats turning the United States into a totalitarian state.
    Broun, R-Athens, apparently has not changed his belief that President Obama may be a fascist since he made similar remarks in Augusta in November and then in an Associated Press 

    How can he be a fascist when he is clearly a Marxist?


    He told a meeting of the Morgan County Republicans on Wednesday night that Obama already has or will have the three things he needs to make himself a dictator: a national police force, gun control and control over the press.
    "He has the three things that are necessary to establish an authoritarian government," Broun said.

    Of course, of course, right this way, Mr. Broun. . . 
    As he did when comparing Obama to Hitler and the Soviets last year, Broun cited a speech Obama gave in Colorado during the campaign last July calling for "a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as the military.

     Yes, the imaginary fictional security force is terrifying

     Broun also said he thinks the national media is openly supporting Obama's policies. He also said he believes the president and Attorney General Eric Holder will enact new gun-control policies.

    Sure, they had to go to the mat to get medical care for 9/11 responders, but they'll have no trouble getting gun-control through both houses.

    Holder said in February that he wants to renew a Clinton-era ban on assault weapons, but Obama said in April that he is putting the issue on the back burner.

    And we all remember the tyrranny of the Clinton Years. Without our ak-47's, federal stormtroopers were kicking in our doors every other day.

    At a town hall meeting in Clarkesville last month, Broun called Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a "socialistic elite" and agreed with a constituent who said they might use a flu pandemic to declare martial law.
    "They're trying to develop an environment where they can take over," Broun said. "We've seen that historically."

    Jeezus Christ! When did we get to a point in our nation's history when someone who is clearly a delusional paranoid can be elected to public office and no one even blinks? If this nut actually believes half of this, he should be locked away where he can't hurt himself or anyone else.  A flu pandemic? Martial Law? Does this guy listen to himself? When has Obama displayed any totalitarian tendencies? Was it when he was getting steamrolled by Senate Republicans? When his judicial nominees were being filibustered? How would any sane person think that Obama might possibly be a threat to impose martial law? Wouldn't he be too busy imposing Sharia Law?

    Paul Broun, everybody! Give him a hand. He's the idiotic member of the Georgia Delegation of the Day!