Health Care Disruptions an Orchestrated Campaign

UPDATE: ‘Anti-Reform Group Takes Credit For Helping Gin Up Town Hall Rallies.’ Read it here.

Rick Scott of “Swift Boat” fame, heads “Conservatives for Patients’ Rights.”

Inside the Tea Partiers’ anti-health care organizing campaign

Though conservatives portray the tea bagger disruptions as symptoms of a populist rebellion… they have to a great extent been orchestrated by anti-health care reform groups financed by industry.

By Brian Beutler / August 4, 2009

See ‘Recess Watch: Conservatives Shout Down Health Care, Doggett In Austin,’ by Mark Ambinder, plus Video of Austin demonstration, Below.

These teabaggers disrupting congressional town halls is just a spontaneous groundswell of populist opposition to health care reform, right? Riiiight.

On Friday, July 24, a representative of Conservatives for Patients Rights — the anti-health care reform group run by disgraced hospital executive Rick Scott, in conjunction with the message men behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth — sent an email to a list serve (called the Tea Party Patriots Health Care Reform Committee) containing a spreadsheet that lists over one hundred congressional town halls from late July into September.

The email from CPR to tea baggers suggests that, though conservatives portray the tea bagger disruptions as symptoms of a populist rebellion roiling unprompted through key districts around the country, they have to a great extent been orchestrated by anti-health care reform groups financed by industry. (CPR did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

That email predates by about a week a recent flurry of events at which Democratic members of Congress [including Texas Democrat Lloyd Doggett of Austin] have been accosted and harassed by anti-health care reform tea party protesters. But beyond putting those spectacles, now receiving wide play on cable news, into a fresh light, it also provides a window into the tea party protesters’ organizing infrastructure, which, like so much political organizing today, occurs in private email list serves.

Earlier today [Monday], I reported that a Freedom Works volunteer, and tea party protester, named Robert MacGuffie had authored a strategy memo for his fellow activists — a playbook of sorts for protesters seeking to disrupt and harass members of Congress during town hall forums in their districts.

MacGuffie and four friends lead a group called Right Principles, described as “a communication and organizing platform so those for whom our core beliefs…ring true.” Despite his connection to Freedom Works, MacGuffie insisted to me that his group is unaffiliated with the wealthy conservative interest groups that have fronted the right wing tea party events.

But his memo nonetheless found its way to hundreds of tea party activists, including the very organizations MacGuffie insists he’s unaffiliated with.

Like many political movements in the country, the so-called Tea Party Patriots organize on a number of email list serves — an eponymous google group, one called Health Care Freedom Tea Party, the aforementioned Tea Party Patriots Health Care Reform Committee — where the broader community of tea baggers, including those working independently, co-ordinate.

MacGuffie’s memo was posted to the Tea Party Patriots’ list serve, which is hundreds of members large, and includes representatives from not just small protest groups, but also major anti-health reform organizations such as Conservatives for Patients Rights, and Patients First, Patients United Now (an affiliate of Americans for Prosperity), and, yes, Freedom Works.

With such broad and powerful memberships, the group is able to coordinate protests and counter protests at events hosted by members of Congress and pro-reform groups. And that’s just what they’ve been doing, and plan to do much more over the August congressional recess, during which many believe the fate of health care reform will be decided.

This isn’t the first time private correspondence on these list serves has opened a window into the tea bagger id. Last month, TPMMuckraker’s Zack Roth broke the story of Dr. David McKalip — a high profile anti-health care reformer who forwarded a racist email to fellow activists on what Zack described as a “Google listserv affiliated with the Tea Party movement.” Once exposed, McKalip withdrew from public activism, to the great, effusive dismay of his supporters on that list. In addition, then, to organizing shout downs at town halls, these list serves are used as a hub for those who like to guffaw at pictures of Barack Obama with a bone through his nose.

Late update: By what must be a complete coincidence, CPR’s website contains a list of the same town hall forums on its website, “provided as a resource for our visitors.” It also contains a separate page, where the group hosts videos of the same town hall disruptions which, behind the scenes, it’s doing whatever it can to encourage.

Source / TPM

Lloyd Doggett teabagged in south Austin, Aug. 1, 2009

Recess Watch: Conservatives Shout Down Health Care, Doggett In Austin

By Mark Ambinder / August 4, 2009

It’s August, and lawmakers are back in their home states talking to constituents. Liberals and conservatives alike will show up to town-hall meetings and other events to question their elected officials–sometimes loudly–about health care and the rest of Washington’s business, as lawmakers make the case for their own agenda. When passions run high, debate can be spirited. We’ll be watching.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, the Democrat who represents Austin, Texas, has never won with less than 67 percent of the vote in his district. But that didn’t stop conservatives from shouting him down as he tried to talk to constituents about health care over the weekend.

Sign-waving conservatives chant, very loudly, “Just Say No,” making other conversations (including Doggett’s) inaudible. One protester has a sign that show’s Doggett with devil ears springing from his head. They follow Doggett from the event across a parking lot, where he tries to talk to some more people and then leaves. Politico, reporting on Doggett’s experience and others, notes that Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), a Blue Dog a former Army captain who served in Iraq, also had to deal with a shouting audience and urged them to “be respectful.”

Source The Atlantic

Thanks to Thomas Cleaver / The Rag Blog

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29 Responses to Health Care Disruptions an Orchestrated Campaign

  1. masterspork says:

    You know considering how many times groups like Code Pink has pulled such antic, like interrupting a 4 Star General in a Senate hearing that they would see the irony in complaining about it when other people do it.

  2. masterspork misunderstands or misrepresents what happened in this instance. When peace activists like Code Pink interrupt a speaker, they disrupt the proceedings for a few moments at most, then are escorted out of the hall by the sergeants-at-arms and the speech goes on. sometimes the activist gets arrested. at the Doggett event, as the news video shows, the tea-baggers were not escorted away by anyone (an unthinking choice of venue, imho, the disruptions continued despite appeals to let others also have a say and the democratically elected representative of the people of this congressional district was not able to speak to constituents who had come out to ask specific questions about the health care plan now on the table, about which he is particularly knowledgeable.

    so you see, there is really nothing ironic in this at all. in the one case, a brief disruption makes a point; in the other, a concerted disruption prevents any points from being made.

  3. What CodePink does is theater, designed to make a political statement in a dramatic way.

    On the other hand, this orchestrated right wing “teabagger” effort is intended to stifle speech, and it is done in the guise of some kind of organic uprising. (Right! About as organic as a PR hack can make it look.)

    On the health care issue, all of the polls show the public to be strongly in support of serious health care reform involving a public option with teeth. The reactionaries respond (fueled by the deep pockets of the insurance industry) with noise and lies.

    Thorne

  4. Anonymous says:

    I and several other I know were at the Bastrop meeting. None of us had anything to do with insurance companies, Republican groups or any ‘organized’ group. I spoke to a few who said they were urged to attend by one organization or another but ‘right wing teabagger conspiracy’ – BULL! Most were local folks from Austin and central Texas. It was a demonstration of free speech with no police action, no fights and no arrests – can the same be said for many liberal protests i.e. WTO – Iraq protests, etc.? The signs were homemade by the people, not pre-printed and handed out to bussed attendees like many liberal events, everyone came in personal vehicles.

    There was a ‘give and take’ until Doggett made a number of misstatements insulting many in attendance. His ‘tote the party line’ spins of the issue proffered a lot of mis and outright false information. When confronted with opposition, ran away like a coward. Doggett’s a Representative for ALL the people, not just those that agree with him. He disrespected those in attendance with his cowardly exit and refusal to have enough backbone to stand up for what he believes in.

    Regardless of ‘ginned’ up the event or attendees – ALL ARE AMERICAN CITIZENS WITH RIGHTS TO EXPRESS THEIR OPINION UNDER THE CONSTITUTION. To discredit any group, even one ginned up by an insurance lobby (A CLAIM FOR WHICH THERE IS NO PROOF), is to say no organized group like the ACLU, Unions, NAACP, Move-On, Center for American Progress, Public Citizen, etc. etc. are credible either! Those groups have full time PR HACKS on their payroll doing the tricks you claim to deplore. Because you don’t like the message doesn’t negate peoples right to state it or its validity. You should spend more time considering the message than demonizing the messenger.

    Mr. Dryer is incorrect that a PR hack was behind the Bastrop meeting. If I’m wrong; PLEASE SHOW US SOME PROOF TO BACK UP YOUR STATEMENT MR. DREYER. I was contacted by Doggetts office about the event. Is he also guilty of drumming up a crowd? IS HIS MESSAGE ALSO BOGUS?

    With regard to the statement “the public’s in strong support of health care reform”. Frankly, the public doesn’t even know what the health care reform is. Doggett didn’t provide any specifics, just stale, ambiguous talking points. Anyone who supports something they don’t even know what it is, is a blind fool. Polls more current than the Gallup poll (referenced by supporters), show support for an ‘Obama’ plan below 50%.

    There needs to be a real debate on specifics. Politicians are trying to rush a major expansion of taxes and government, without letting the public see or comment on the details. With 11T in national debt, 1T+ deficits and double digit un-employment, this isn’t the time to rush into a new multi Trillion dollar programs, without a thorough debate.

    Claims opposition is: “to a great extent been orchestrated by anti-health care reform groups financed by industry” are unfounded and a unfair attempt to sideline opposition. Forget the lame memo – we know where that got Dan Rather.

    Let’s stop discrediting and spinning, get the facts and have a real discussion.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I believe there was some kind of coordination of the protesters at the Doggett event. Too many came prepared with signs. However that’s irrelevant, it doesn’t negate their right to free speech, assembly and to make their opinions known to a legislator.

    The use of ‘tea-bagger’ offends me, it’s sophomoric attempt to de-humanize and sideline those with whom you don’t agree, by calling them names. It is by definition an attempt to stifle and undermine free speech. Are you so afraid of their message? Do you even know what the message is?

    I have to agree with an above anonymous, don’t shoot the messenger. Health care reform is too important to be done in the dark and in a rush. We have done without it for two hundred plus years, why can’t we take the time to fully understand it and get it right?

    If America is truly free, all people should have the right and respect to express their opinion and demonstrate. Name calling and focus on side issues illustrates a lack of confidence in your position. I support health care reform in theory, but want to know exactly what’s being proposed and how it will affect me, mine and the country. We need an open debate on this, let’s not stifle that debate with childish name calling.

  6. masterspork says:

    Except remember the times where Code Pink was given a set parking space to protest the Marines in Berkley. They went as far as obstructing the door and the cop near by did nothing.

    As far as the protesters on the Obama administration, the same thing was done with the Bush administration. So why act shocked now? So no I do not see how they are different.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dog-Gut is a partisan hack. We could eliminate his position and let Barney Frank vote twice – he, Pelosi and Dog-Gut’s vote is always the same. Mindless, lockstep, elitist, liberals who preach from their ivory towers how they know best, voting programs to help people by spending other peoples money. Ever wonder why these people are multi-millionares?

    Yes, trash your opponent with irrelevant criticism and name calling. Discredit their message because you cannot prevail on the facts. Keep them from exercising their Constitutional rights, because they disagree with you.

    There’s plenty of mis-information flying from both sides of the health issue, no side has the high ground. The travesty is that no one knows any details, the Obama regime in their rush to socialism want us to be like mushrooms; in the dark and fed a lot of manure.

    I don’t have a lot of money but I buy my health insurance. I’m quite satisfied with the status quo. If you truly believe this is a free country, then you cannot support programs that take from some by force, to give to others.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I see, Code Pink is political theatre to make a point, and people expressing opposition to Trillion dollar healthcare reform are P.R. hacks stifiling free speech.

    Amaaaaaaazing hypocracy.

  9. Do any (assuming “any” is applicable) of you have actual names?

  10. Sarito says:

    One anonymi (assuming there are more than one) said:

    > I don’t have a lot of money but I buy my health insurance. I’m quite satisfied with the status quo. If you truly believe this is a free country, then you cannot support programs that take from some by force, to give to others.

    I have heard and read nothing in any of the proposed reforms that will “take from some by force, to give to others.” Perhaps you would like to enlighten me as to what specific proposal you are referring to?

    Also – if you are “quite satisfied with the status quo” then either you are on Medicare (a notorious, government-run healthcare program) or you have more than a little money to keep paying your ever-escalating premiums, which will escalate even more in the years to come if the status quo is maintained.

    Are you really interested in dialogue? I await the evidence.

  11. masterspork says:

    But here is the thing on why I have reservations about the governments plan.

    1. Was that this administration made a attempt at making wounded veterans pay for their own treatment.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03/10/veterans.health.insurance/

    2. Is that when talking about people voting on the bills say stuff like this.

    3. Lastly, where is the fund that are going to pay for all of this considering that we have pulled 900 billion out of think air? Who and how are we going to pay for all of this.

  12. Fed Up says:

    The EU and Canada have a much higher quality of health care and at ONE HALF the cost we do. Its that simple. All the rest of this is hot air and mirrors.

    My ex-husband married a German and went over there to live a few years ago. Here, he could not even get a job that had health coverage, and there, he got fixed up right away, within six months he’d had two surgeries. He told me there was no waiting, and you could go to any doctor you liked for anything.

    The “tea baggers” or whoever they are want to keep the status quo, and that is intolerable, it hurts the nation as a whole, small business, and manufacturing, especially auto.

    The tactics of the right wing are a lot like the tactics of the left…but the difference is that when the left was fighting for civil rights, they were fighting with and for the people. Code Pink opposed the Iraq war, did they not? Therefore, they opposed Chalabi and all the other creeps who LIED us into that war.

    The tea baggers are not fighting for the people. They are fighting for corporate greed and mega profits (I don’t mind a decent profit, but these insurance companies want bizillions).

    They whine about a trillion dollars, but Bush had the first trillion dollar budgent, and the price of the Iraq war was NEVER even in it! That sucker Iraq War cost US ONE BILLION a month!

    I didn’t hear these Republican Party suporters ranting about the cost then, to the contrary, they gave Bush every little thing he wanted.

    This investment in our health will cost, but in the long run, it will save us billions, even trillions. That’s the difference, too. The Iraq war and all the things the Republicans did for 8 long years cost us, we got nothing from it but a broken economy.

  13. masterspork says:

    Here is the thing first off. Left groups have done many protests, antic and other stunts while proclaiming freedom of speech. But when groups from the right do it it is foul play.

    With Code pink they where more then happy to make false claims against those who serve. Regardless of if you do not agree with the war, I would be willing to bet that most of America would not be for treating servicemembers like that.

    The original funding for the war, while should not have happened was almost seven years ago. This is now. Also why may people where frustrated with that fact.

    What happens when China does not loan us money any more? What then?

    It is government your talking about. The phrase “Good enough for government work” was not said without reason. Only it will be with your health.

  14. Jay D. Jurie says:

    Just saw a nightly news story from Tampa Bay, where this same stunt was pulled by right-wingers intent on shutting down a town hall organized by Democrats on health care reform.

    And hey, I’m not anonymous!

  15. Fed Up says:

    Masterpork, you can speak all day and all night if you like. But then so can I.

    I say you are a politico SPEAKING for corporate insurance companies to keep on being PIRATES and to keep our nation locked in economic crisis and to keep on hurting our small businesses with these OUTRAGEOUS insurance premiums.

    I work, and I know that normal people cannot take off work and trapse around bashing Democrats and shutting down meetings on work days! So someone is funding this.

    Who can afford a bus, especially these days? You have GOT to be kidding claiming this is “ordinary and spontaneous”. In my world, taking off work to go to the doctor is a big deal. We only have maybe 9 sick days a year, and most have maybe 2 weeks vacation for God’s sake, so who do you people think you are fooling? Ordinary people are at work on week days and doing the laundary and grocery shopping on weekends.

    And how come the police or security guards don’t arrive and escort you people out like they do Code Pink every time? Hmm? That is also very strange.

  16. masterspork says:

    When did I say that you could not.

    The reason that I am not that trusting is that this administration is the same one that tried to get veterans to pay for their own injuries that happened in combat. For example, we had a guy that had a three IED hits get a traumatic brain injury. But the plan was put it motion to save money.

    I work too, I have been off in Iraq for the past year, got back this July.

    Also once again did I not say there where not issues, but my concern is this plan is going to be the same if not worse.

    Considering all the different protest videos that I have seen, I doubt that security is not there to take people away.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Avoid the issue, attack the messenger(s), throw in some slurs (teabaggers) to ‘de-humanize’ them then throw in some unsubstantiated ‘evil’ motives (“paid by insurance industry”) Good Plan. SHAME ON YOU

    Thorne wants to continue his ‘plan’ with his response conspicously absent of any of the ‘proof’ I requested to back up his claims/statements.

    To SARITO I’ll answer your question (or provide evidence as you ask): ANY single payer health care plan will be funded by tax dollars. It will include a huge number of people who don’t pay any taxes (currently about 50% of Americans). Don’t pay your taxes and see what happens. I wonder. do you pay for your own personal health insurance or expect someone else to?

    One last thing, everyone wants to cherry pick a comparison to Canada’s health care system – an O.K. system (if you don’t mind waiting). Canadian health care does however greatly benefit from the billions in drug and medical system R&D, paid for by the U.S. MOST IMPORTANTLY; Canada has about 1/10th our population, which is better educated, has a higher median income (with a higher participation in the tax base) and a tiny fraction of our illegal immigrant and perpetual welfare populations. It’s easy to fund a system when 90% are paying in instead of 50%. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/start-debut-eng.html Those quick to make ‘comparisons’ ALWAYS ignore the biggest single payer systems that cover the most people: China, India and Russia. The only reference you will hear is “all the industrialized countries have government run healthcare”. There’s a reason for that, while the differences in health metrics are subtle between Canada and the U.S., the biggest and more relative system are dismal failures. Proponents don’t want you to know that.

    Few, if any, know the specifics of proposed plans – yet they blindly support them. It’s fine to agree or disagree, but at least make your mind up on the FACTS. Wasting time attacking the messenger is unproductive and only distracts you from the FACTS. If your beliefs based on truth and sound reasoning, you should have no fear of hearing the ‘other side’.

  18. Sarito says:

    For Masterspork – I see nowhere in the cnn “veterans should pay for their own healthcare” report that there is any mention of WHO proposed this idea in the first place. Only that it was “an option under consideration.” Was it somebody within in the Obama administration itself who came up with the idea? Given their record on all other veteran’s issues, I doubt it. Maybe it was an opponent of “government run healthcare” since that’s what the current VA system is.

    And for Anonymous-previous – Those who pay taxes are already paying for treating the uninsured, but in a very inefficient and costly system known as “emergency room care.” I, for one, would rather have my taxes go toward a humane and sensible health care solution that allows everyone at least basic preventative care, and creates some competition for an insurance industry that somehow needs to raise premiums by 20% – 40% per year. Rather than have those taxes go to wars of choice, outdated weapons systems and big agribusiness subsidies. For instance.

    And no, I don’t have health insurance – I’m a freelancer and part time employee of a small business who can’t afford to provide it for me, and the combination of those activities doesn’t pay enough (especially in these times) that I can afford the premiums on my own. Just the sort of person who deserves to get sick and die, I reckon – free market driven survival of the fittest, and all that.

  19. masterspork says:

    I have one. This is from the American Legion that talked to the President about having veterans pay for third party health care. After it was scraped under fierce backlash then they changed there tone.

    The link is a screen save because the original story was updated with this.

    This is the line that gives me pause.

    “It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan,” said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. “He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.

    http://thisainthell.us/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/american-legion-statement.jpg

    The Stars and Strips had a smaller one about what happened after.

    http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=61312

    This was straight from the administration.

  20. Fed Up says:

    Masterpork, I read your links. Read this article: http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=61312

    The issue under conflict is whether veterans who have worked normal jobs for many years and are retired can charge the Medicare program as well as the VA so that more Vets can get VA care…I don’t see what the big moral problem is with that? This is not a plan to take from Vets, its a plan to give more to them.

    Personally, I wish we had a single payer system for all and this bean counting would end, and also the administrative costs of deciding who gets what would end. With the private insurors, my doctor told me his secretary has to spend 40 minutes a patient getting an OK from the PRIVATE bureaucrates for every little procedure. With Medicare, they don’t have to do that at all. But that is “off the table” unfortunately.

  21. masterspork says:

    The thing that we have to be careful of “yellow journalism” because how fast things can change it. It is the reason why I think that people were reluctant to believe what was happing to the Jews in the Camps. Because in WW1 a stray artillery round that killed a child turned into a whole German unit killing several families. Also think on how many times the phrase “remained unnamed because he/she was not authorized to speak to the press” comes up in news stories. So because of this sentence, it is really hard to come out with a official line of what happed.

    It the reason that when something happens all communication is halted from and to home because of all the potential rumors that could come up. Because the military is the master at the rumor mill. One rumor about me was that I had active TB from Iraq. One thing that was really bad was I got a call that someone in my unit that had a mole removed came back positive for skin cancer. The problem was they did not have any info all on the person. No name, social, birth date, nothing. Then the rumors begin and it was chaos. Because there was one person that I knew about that had a mole removed and he was very concerned. He even asked me what was going on and I had nothing to tell him. The other medic and I had to call around and ask different people to find out the person in question. Also turned out not to be cancer at all and not the person that had the mole removed. So I am cautious when people talk off the record.

    Also on the side I read this about Iraq.

    After six years of war and terrorist bombings, Iraq is moving against a different killer in its midst — smoking. Sweeping curbs unveiled by the government Thursday suggest that as the violence subsides, authorities have more time to worry about normal quality-of-life issues. The legislation to go before parliament would ban smoking in public buildings, outlaw sales to under-18s, prohibit advertising, limit tar content and mandate health warnings on cigarette packs.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090806/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq_smoking

    You would think that they would have other things to worry about. I mean I always thought of Iraq as a smokers paradise.

  22. masterspork says:

    Wrong blog, disregard.

  23. masterspork says:

    But was not getting talked about in this article is that those that are injured in service related injuries that are caused by a enemy force. I would be less concerned about this type of propose if they it has not already been tried.

    Erik Roberts, an Army sergeant who was wounded in Iraq, underwent his 13th surgery recently to save his right leg from amputation. Imagine his shock when he got a bill for $3,000 for his treatment.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/03/26/wounded.warrior/index.html

    Now about the rest I understand having to pay a deductible for heath care if your service is done and not injured because of your service. I do not have a problem with that.

    “The dollar caps could result in family members losing access to care. When Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, committee chairman, asked how the Senate might close any funding gap left in the 2010 budget if it rejected the insurance reimbursement plan, Robertson had a ready reply. Congress, he said, should require Medicare to reimburse the VA for treatment of non-service-connected conditions of Medicare-eligible veterans. More than half of VA’s current patient population qualifies for Medicare, he said.”

    I do not have a problem with this.

    As far as finding a better way to do things with health care, just because there is not a third party insurer involved does not mean that it will eliminate the red tape. Because I have worked in a clinic that does sick call for soldiers. When you go to sick call it is a all day affair, and it really upsets me when people come in for the smallest thing that causes the person that really needs it to get seen faster. (Had one person come in because she had a blood blister) . Also there is just as much red tape, I am working issues that happened in February of this year. All of this while on a “one payment” plan.

    Is our system perfect. No, and it could be improved. But I think that people are placing too much faith in this new system being the answer to all our health care problems.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Some positive direction.

    Sarito correctly relates the taxpayer cost for treating the uninsured. This is the most crutial area for ‘health care reform’. Federal law mandates provision of critical, life saving care to all. This has subverted emergency rooms into public health care clinics, for no-paying parties, without true emergency need. We must stop this abuse.

    He also states: “an insurance industry that somehow needs to raise premiums by 20% – 40% per year” then says: “I don’t have health insurance”. If you don’t pay health care premiums how do you know how much they are raised? I’ve paid both group policy and personal plan premiums: Health insurance exists in a competitive market where you shop for the best rates. I’ve written checks to: Prudential/Prucare, Amil, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Scott/White. I’ve also deat with Medicare and private supplemental insurance for my 95yr old mother, so have considerable experience with public and private plans. A BCBS renewal letter sits on my desk as I write this, the increase is 9%. In over 28 years of writing premium checks, I’ve never had an increase like you claim. My largest increase (15%) was when I crossed the 55 age band. My ‘new’ increased premium is $243/month (no referral requirement, no proceedure gatekeeper [except for elective hospitalizations] and a moderate deductable). I don’t like paying premiums and deductables, but I don’t expect others to pay for my personal needs.

    It’s clear you have an agenda with regard to health care reform (similar to many other supporters). You’d like someone else to pay. Your statement ‘the sort of person who deserves to get sick and die’ unfairly demonizes those who would impress personal responsibility on you. The fact is, you could afford premiums, but choose not to – you’d rather spend your money on other things rather than make the sacrifices for something, you likely find at this point in your life, ‘optional’. If you have a crisis, you’ll become another non-payer in the emergency room expecting others to pay the bill. This probably leaves you somewhat aprehensive, an aprehension you would like the federal government to resolve. Do you have a computer? internet service? cable t.v.? cell phone? Do you go out to eat? to bars? – All non-essentials you find money for, while you play roulette with your health care. Insurance is not a priority for you and you don’t want to make any sacrifices for it. If it was you’d get a full time job or make sacrifices. These are your choices, don’t try to blame those who oppose sinking the country deeper into debt. I strongly suggest you have a good daily workout routine, watch your weight, eat lots of fibre/fresh fruits/vegetables and wear your seatbelt.

    I also notice Mr. Dryer has yet to prove his allegations.

    Let’s stop demonizing the messengers and start addressing the facts.

    “when the rich are cleaned out by our Dependent Society; who will we depend on?”

  25. What I noticed was a piece of text on the video – something like ‘they are dressed casually, so they must be sincere’. I’d have to replay it to quote it exactly, but I can’t stand to listen to that ‘chant’ that clearly doesn’t do a damned thing!

    How can one ascertain that because someone is dressed casually, they are sincere – this is completely absurd!

    Anyone bored? Anyone ready to take $10 to wander around with a group of people; carry a sign, and chant 3 little words over and over????

    Gad, where I live we’ve got enough unemployed people dressed casual; dressed pretty shabby, who’d grab the money and spend their day ‘demonstrating’ until the postal carrier arrived in the afternoon with their unemployment check.

    I’m always amazed there just happens to be someone with a video camera ever so ‘handy’, but when the bottled water runs out; the sun gets hot – the stomach calls for food, most of these people will disband. By the way, did you notice the number of people who are over-weight in this video? Hmmmm – health-care begins with prevention; tell them to cut out eating like pigs, and with the money they save on food, they might be able to afford an insurance policy.

    I wish anonymous has left a name; I particularly liked what he/she said here:

    Do you have a computer? internet service? cable t.v.? cell phone? Do you go out to eat? to bars? – All non-essentials you find money for, while you play roulette with your health care. Insurance is not a priority for you and you don’t want to make any sacrifices for it. If it was you’d get a full time job or make sacrifices. These are your choices, don’t try to blame those who oppose sinking the country deeper into debt. I strongly suggest you have a good daily workout routine, watch your weight, eat lots of fibre/fresh fruits/vegetables and wear your seatbelt.

    PRECISELY!!!!!!!!

  26. masterspork says:

    The reason that is brought up is that there has been a claim that because there are too well dress that they are not real.

    I thought that is what Code Pink and Answer does going around and disruption anything and everything

  27. dospesentas says:

    In about the third post Torne Dryer claimed the protesters were fakes. (and called them ‘teabaggers’, knowing that’s a term for oral sex with a man’s testicles – sophmoric and insulting). Dryer stated: “orchestrated right wing “teabagger” effort is intended to stifle speech, and it is done in the guise of some kind of organic uprising. (Right! About as organic as a PR hack can make it look.)….fueled by the deep pockets of the insurance industry) with noise and lies.”

    He avoided the protesters issue to make personal attacks and slurs to sideline those who’s opinion he opposes. A later poster chastized him for being off topic and requested he provide proof of his allegation(s).

    Mr. Dryer has yet to provide any substantiation of his charge. I for one would like to see what his proof is as well, particularly in light of investigations of these anti-healthplan protesters that show them, for the most part, to be local folks unpaid by an lobby group (unlike the AFL-CIO, ACORN and other hacks sent in by the ‘pro’ side with their neatly ‘union’ printed signage). Was Mr. Dryer in attendance in Bastrop? Did he gather a list of the protesters he denounces to validate his claim?

    If you cannot provide substantiation of your charges Mr. Dryer, why should we believe anything you say?

  28. After reading the Rag Blog for a year now, I'd say this article generated the greatest number of comments; it seems to have really 'struck a chord' with many readers.

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