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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 10/24/2007

'Hillary Care' and 'Socialized Medicine'

By Michael Dobbs


Romney and Giuliani line up for Sunday's debate with other Republican candidates.

Republican Debate on Fox News, October 21, 2007:

MITT ROMNEY:

"We solved the problem of health care in our state not by having government take it over, the way Hillary Clinton would [but] with private, free-enterprise approaches...Hillary says the federal government's going to tell you what kind of insurance, and it's all government insurance."

RUDY GIULIANI:

"We only have 17 million people in America who buy their own health insurance. If we have 50 million or 60 million people who bought their own health insurance, the price of health insurance would be cut in more than half."

Republican candidates have been vying among themselves to denounce "Hillary Care" as tantamount to the introduction of "socialized medicine," and a government-run health system, similar to the British National Health system. The Clinton campaign argues that the senator's federal health care plan is very similar to a Massachusetts plan signed into law in April 2006 by then Governor Romney.

So who is right?

The Facts

According to MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber, who advised Romney on his health care reform law and has also advised Clinton, the Massachusetts law has a lot in common with the Clinton plan. Both plans mandate universal health care coverage and subsidize health care for people on low incomes. The main difference is that Clinton's proposal permits people to switch to a Medicare-type plan and increases taxes at higher income levels.

Contrary to claims by Romney and other Republicans, the Clinton plan does not force Americans to accept "government insurance." It offers people a choice. If they are happy with their present health plan, they can keep it. Otherwise, they can switch to the plans offered to members of Congress, or a government-run plan similar to Medicare.

"The only way this will lead to government health care is if Americans prefer government health care," said Gruber.

The Romney camp appears to be backing off the claim that Clinton's plan is tantamount to "all government insurance." According to his spokesman, Kevin Madden, Romney was "alluding to the belief that this [a government takeover] is an eventual outcome of Hillary Clinton's plan." Clinton may appear to offer a choice, Madden said, but "the reality of the marketplace is that everyone will end up in government-run coverage over time." He said in an e-mail that employers would lose the incentive to offer private plans to their workers.

Rudy Giuliani, meanwhile, argued in Sunday's debate that the way to solve the health care mess is to encourage Americans to take out their own private insurance. He claimed on Sunday that the "price of health insurance would be cut in more than half" if the numbers of people buying their own insurance increased from 17 million people at present to "50 or 60 million people."

The Giuliani campaign was unable to provide factual support for the mayor's assertion. Instead, they pointed to the "basic tenets of free market economics" and a Heritage Foundation study showing that the cost of laser eye surgery fell 47 percent in real terms between 1998 and 2004 as more and more people purchased the procedure.

The Pinocchio Test

The claim that "Hillary care" is tantamount to "socialized medicine" does not stand up to serious examination. The Clinton health care plan has more in common with the Massachusetts plan signed into law by Governor Mitt Romney than the British National Health system. We award three Pinocchios to Romney.

Giuliani, meanwhile, plucked a figure out of thin air when he claimed that the price of health insurance would be cut by more than half if more people bought their own policies. His only basis for the statement was faith in the power of free market economics. Since it is impossible to prove him wrong, we award him only one Pinocchio on this occasion.

(About our rating scale.)

By Michael Dobbs  | October 24, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  1 Pinocchio, 3 Pinocchios, Candidate Watch, Health  
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Next: Pinocchio Time for Al Gore

Comments

Regarding Giuliani- how can pulling facts out of thin air and having NO backup be worth only ONE Pinnochio- you need to rethink your rating scale!

Posted by: Phil from NY | October 24, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Shouldn't the Pinocchio standard be whether there is any factual basis for the statement? How does Giuliani get away with a completely made-up statement and get only one Pinocchio? Would a claim that little purple men live in the caves of West Virginia also receive only one Pinocchio? You can't disprove it, can you? Maybe Giuliani isn't lying (though that's doubtful), but he sure as heck can't prove his statement either.

Posted by: Jayne | October 24, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

A flat assertion based on absolutely nothing is one Pinocchio? So if I say "if elected Rudy Giuliani will lead the country to war with Iran and produce a record Federal deficit" I get at most one Pinocchio?

You better rethink your scale, my friend.

Posted by: Phil's right | October 24, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I would be curious to know what health insurance each Republican candidate has and how much they pay for it. It seems all the Republican candidates are out of touch on this huge health care crisis. The costs for basic family coverage is prohibitive to a majority of those not covered by employers and the costs for employers who do provide insurance is rapidly increasing.

Posted by: Ron from OR | October 24, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"is tantamount to" socialized medicine is the key phrase here. He did not say "is" socialized medicine.

Her plan is "tantamount" to socialized medicine (although maybe a better phrase is "would lead to" socialized medicine.

If employers do not offer health insurance options to their employees, then people will be forced to use government sponsored plans. If employers know that their employees have other options for health care, then there will be no incentive for them to continue to offer company healthcare benefits. A plan that established a national health care plan to "choose" would lead to a system where there eventually is no realistic choice.

To me, "tantamount" sounds just about right. I'd have given no more than 2 pinochio's

Posted by: Paul S | October 24, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

If anyone deserves the Pinocchio award, it's the Clintons

Posted by: Eric | October 24, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

So Guiliani gets a single pinocchio for making up facts out of thin air? Isn't that how we got into the Iraq mess? Pinocchio's nose grew when he *lied*, which is exactly what Guiliani does when he talks about Clinton's health plan. Let's call a pinocchio a pinocchio and give Rudi four of 'em!

Posted by: Carl I. | October 24, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

(Giuliani) claimed on Sunday that the "price of health insurance would be cut in more than half" if the numbers of people buying their own insurance increased...

Sure. Actually the profits to the insurance industry would probably triple, but the cost of health care would not decrease. There is only one answer to the crisis in healthc are costs, and that is to cut the insurance industry out of the picture completely.

As Dennis Kucinich points out, we are already spending so much on health care in this country that we could easily pay for a national health care system without raising additional revenue. In other words, we're already paying for it, we're just not getting it.

Why? Because the pols in Washington are protecting the profits of the people who donate to their campaigns, of course.

If the Washington Post would like to check some facts, you might check how much money insurance companies donate to presidential candidates. Or astute readers can check for themselves on OpenSecrets.org. You may find that insurance interest have given Giuliani $506,810, that they have given Romney $612,980, and they have given Clinton $503,360. I can't tell you how much they have given to Kucinich, because the figure is too low to appear on his "top industries" chart, but I expect it's not much, if any.

Posted by: ancient_mariner | October 24, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

While I too have trouble with the "one pinocchio" for Giuliani's baseless and misleading claim, I will take this opportunity to commend the Fact Checker for this item. While not perfect, it's subject fits the concept of "fact checking" better than pretty much any of the preceding posts. By not perfect, I mean one ought to define "socialized medicine", then specify datapoints that support or refute the candidate's claim. This piece seems to imply government managed single payer health insurance IS socialized medicine. Is it? That would be a useful topic.

Posted by: david | October 24, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Paul S.:
""is tantamount to" socialized medicine is the key phrase here. He did not say "is" socialized medicine. "

Tantamount means the same, in effect. Fact Checker Guy says it is not the same, in effect. Maybe it's not as "key" as you believe.

"Her plan is "tantamount" to socialized medicine (although maybe a better phrase is "would lead to" socialized medicine."

Perhaps if he had said "would lead to" his statement would not have been as misleading and we would not be discussing it here. But, he didn't, so we are.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 24, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

RON PAUL 08

Posted by: Isaac | October 24, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I just can't believe the dirt bag republicans screaching about socialized health care when they know damn well we have government sponsored care for Medicare, Tricare, Government Employees Health Benefits,(Congress has this one) Active Duty Military, Veterans Health Care, SCHIP for kids and Medicade. Most of the health care in this country is already "socialized" where in hell have these people been for the last 50 years?

Posted by: David Crosby | October 24, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

ancient_mariner:

Hooray for you! I've been saying this for years. What in the world could we be thinking that we allow a for-profit company to be in charge of our health care? Aren't we - people who actually prosecute conflict of interest wherever we find it- just allowing the biggest conflict of interest of all time? How can the shareholders of private insurance have the same interest as patients who need medical care. Their profits are based in giving as little as possible. The consumer of health care is interested in getting whatever care is available to meet their needs.
Why do we allow this? This is a profound and deeply disturbing conflict. What if anyone who wanted to deal in health care had to be a non-profit. Our non-profit rules are good, stringent, and non-profits in this country do a lot of good. Could we just create an amazing health care system or what?

Fact checker, it seems to me that if you add the profits and bonuses of insurance company execs, you might be able to get a handle on the kind of savings we could experience. Also, please do something these politicians who continually say that we have the best health care system in the world. I've been cared for in a number of countries in the world for various things, and I can tell you that it certainly isn't the best. Sometimes the medicine is better here, but the health care is abominable.This is thanks to the insurance industry. It used to be the very best. That isn't true anymore.

Posted by: lak | October 24, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Eric said, "If anyone deserves the Pinocchio award, it's the Clintons." Supply some evidence to support this assertion and it might be worth paying attention to. But frankly, this is an example of the sort of discourse that's contributed to the need for features like the Fact Checker.

Posted by: estiv | October 24, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I hear no one complaining about the health coverage that is given to the members of Congress in this Country. Why do they deserve the opportunity to protect themselves,their families and their investments and the do not believe that other Americans do not deserve that opportunity. The self employed and small businesses are priced out of the health insurance market. I support the Clinton and plan that Romney got passed in Mass. Both offer choices! Both give Americans the opportunity to protect our families the same way elected politicians are allowed to do. That is the right thing to do. Small businesses and the self employed do not move to Mexico and India! Support them!

Posted by: Greg | October 24, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The government caused the problem with health care in America by over socializing medicine to the extent it is not completive, and we want to exacerbate the problem? See http://www.InteliOrg.com/

Posted by: Dr Coles | October 24, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Squirm, liars! SQUIRM!

Posted by: Mobedda | October 24, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The idea that everyone can purchase private insurance doesn't fly. I could, no problem, but what about the aged, obese, diabetic, alcoholic smoker. What would they have to pay. OK, they "Deserve it." Now what about my granddaughter, with a congenital heart defect requiring valve replacement (two so far). Where should she shop? Are there going to be assigned risk insurance policies like auto insurance? No for-profit company will touch them.

Posted by: lemon grover | October 24, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

This message is directed at in response to ancient_mariner's comment about cutting the insurance industry out of the picture totally. Hmmm, yeah let's do that! Then we can give you the responsibility of finding jobs for the hundreds of thousands of people that will then lose their jobs as a result of this brilliant idea. Wow you liberals are absolute morons!!! There are a lot of good ideas out there for fixing this broken health care system, however, Hilary Care and 'getting the insurance companies totally out of the picture' are tantamount to stupidity!

Posted by: glen | October 24, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for branding "Hillarycare" as "Socialized Medicine" with your gigantic headline, so that lazy readers who don't read the article won't have a clue that Giuliani and Romney are lying about her plan and offering nothing to back up their own gossamer thin ideas.

Terrific, can't wait for your next piece, "Is Al Gore the Creator of the Internet?" or "Bill Clinton: Hillbilly Romeo?"

Posted by: Pedropolis | October 24, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani's statement is as far-fetched as Romney's. The basic principles of free market economics are that more demand means higher prices, not lower.

The comparison with the high cost of a scarce new emerging technology, like laser eye surgery in 1998, is absurd. This is a case where the supply of machines to perform the procedure, and the supply of qualified surgeons, expanded dramatically. It's the additional supply which lowered the cost.

This doesn't apply at all to the health insurance market. There are already 17 million people insured. What possible additional economies of scale could there be if that becomes 50 million?

This kind of magical thinking, the ignorance displayed of the basics of economics, and the refusal to admit such an error, would all be a greater concern to me in a future president than Romney's exaggeration of Hillary's intentions.

Posted by: Brian Blake | October 24, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Using Senator Clinton as a punching bag and target for his far from substantiated attacks on her policy positions can, and hopefully will come to haunt Giuliania, if he should become the Republican nominee.
See more on this bully-in-chief at
http://www.reflectivepundit.com/reflectivepundit/2007/10/bully-in-chief-.html#more

Posted by: bn1123 | October 24, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Good fact checking although RG certainly deserved as many Pinocchios as Romney. I agree, though, that using the pejorative "Hillary Care" as a headline definitely runs counter to the spirit of being objective. How 'bout a headline that states "A Bunch of Grinning Liars Debate on Fox News?" That would be equally objective.

Suggestion: unless a candidate's campaign uses the term to describe itself, don't use a term generated by that candidate's competitors. HRC's website calls it the "American Health Choices Plan," not "Hillary Care."

Also, why don't you assign Pinocchios based on who actually HAS a plan (HRC) and who doesn't (Romney and Guiliani)? Or maybe a Fact Checker that awards Glass Houses rather than Pinocchios would be more appropriate.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 24, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Railing against "socialized health care" may be good politics, but poor public policy. There are 47 million uninsured, an increase of 2,000,00 in the last year alone. We spend over twice the level of other developed countries, yet our mortality rates lag. Employer based health insurance is declining as U.S. companies try to compete with foreign companies who don't bear this cost. Our system isn't working and is only getting worse. We've got to get beyond politics, decide what our national health care goals are and design the most efficient delivery and financing systems we can to reach the goals. We've got to be honest about the facts, give more than lip service to preventative care and focus attention and resources on managing chronic diseases. From a management career in organ transplantation, I've seen things work and not work. I think we have the knowledge to vastly improve U.S. health care and lower costs, but we've got to be objective. Political pandering and special interest smoke get in the way.

Posted by: Michael Millhollen | October 24, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Would Reagan's classic line about "trees cause pollution" only rate one nose because it can't be disproven? There needs to be a higher burden of proof on the one making the statement, I think....

Posted by: Tom | October 24, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

What exactly is Rudy's health care proposal? He says let the market iron this issue out. Ok, what would that look like? Since he is opposed to any kind of government involvement, should the employer's shoulder the responsibility. If so, where would the incentive come from since the republicans want government completely out of the health care business. Should individual Americans foot 100% of the bill, even if every American were so incline to do so who would make the Insurance companies provide the coverage to those with pre-existing health problems that, yes, would be cost prohibitive to address.

It seems to me that the Republican's response to the health care issue is if you can't afford health care you should simply live or die peacefully with your ailment.

Democrats seem to have no boundaries to what they will have government pay for. However, given choice between the two parties, it appears to me that it is a lot easier to pull the Democrats position into more realistic boundaries than it is to get the Republicans to have some compassion for people besides the rich.

Posted by: SteelWheel | October 24, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Agree with previous posters that "one Pinocchio" is inappropriate for assertions with no factual basis. If the party spouting the nonsense cannot make any claim to authority, put it in a special category, but don't claim it is less egregious than what you call "shading the truth" or relying on legalisms- both criteria you list in your own description of what the terms mean. By your rationale, Bill Clinton's infamous "I did not have sex with that woman" would be less egregious than if he had said "I fought it with every fibre of my being, but I was possessed by the Devil, who is commanded by Newt Gingrich." Do you really want that rating system?

Posted by: skeptic | October 24, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

i agree with the others -- guilani pulling a number out of thin air doesn't constitute making a statement that can't be proved, it constitutes a "whopper," which should have gotten a 4, not a 1.

Ditto Romney's deliberate attempts to make hillary's program something it is not, but i guess a certain amount of leeway is allowed becasue you expect all politicians to lie, huh?

Posted by: ogden, utah | October 24, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Concerning Rudy only getting one Pinocchio..... It is a basic tenet of research that an assertion made without presenting or having any basis in facts to support it is called an "opinion". When you state your opinion with the intention of misleading or to discredit someone it is called a LIE. Of all media sources Fact Checker should KNOW this!

I've been a fan of the Fact Checker but if you keep doing these types of bogus measurements I will start discrediting its information.

Posted by: SteelWheel | October 24, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Attention Washington Post editors! Read the comments in this column for crying out loud and fix this joke or get rid of it. Note that numerous comments pertain to the column and how the writers stumble all over themselves as well as their logic, research methodology, common sense, basic writing, and.... This particular WP enterprise is plainly laughable. Get some adults to work in this department.

Posted by: 0nl00k3r | October 24, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"...Bill Clinton's infamous 'I did not have sex with that woman'... "

How would the Fact Checker rate that statement? After all, it depends on what the meaning of 'sex' is. The societal impression that a BJ is NOT really sex could be verified (within a certain percentage of the population) and would thus render Clinton's statement both more truthful and much more logical than Guiliani's "If we have 50 million or 60 million people who bought their own health insurance, the price of health insurance would be cut in more than half."

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 24, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

SteelWheel---I love your thinking on both of your posts. Although I don't trust Hillary, she has made an effort to address the health care issue that is of paramount importance to the country. Mitt Romney did a pretty good job with health care in Massachusetts but I'm perplexed as to why he is running pell-mell from his success.

I agree with your definition of political opinion and lying. I too was disappointed that Fact-Checker didn't lower the hammer on RG

Posted by: BetterWay2day | October 24, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Who cares?

Hillary will lose the general anyway, as 2008 will probably have the highest turn out of republican voters (and Hillary haters)- ever.

Posted by: julieds | October 24, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

OH Uniformed Candidates. HERE IS REALITY.
I am 48 years old, inbetween jobs, I had been covered by Kaiser HMO for 30 years. I tried to purchase my own coverage and they will not sell it to me because I am 48 years old. THATS REALITY, cheaper care would have me paying 200 a month,and a 1500 to 3000 dollar deductable befor they start paying. So if I got to the doctor and it costs 4000 dollars, I have to come up with 3 thousand out of pocket before they will treat me. MAYBE, Politicians should come back to reality, they do not get paid thier salary for life with medical. No American gets that after working one job. REMOVE that and put the cost savings into prescription drug coverage for seniors to start with.
We should not have let the FOx in the Henhouse for the last 40 years. The Politicians are only concerned with who gave them money to get elected and not the people. THE SYSTEM IS BROKE.

Posted by: Terrence Healy | October 24, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

another poorly done column. First the Hillarycare headline courtesy of "talk Radio". Then Only one Pinochio for statements that are baseless. In the old days (pre Nixon) they called those lies. I was happy when they said there would be fact checking. Didnt turn out so factual after all. Very disapointing. We could really use some facts now.

Posted by: george | October 25, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

To quote Paul S above: "If employers do not offer health insurance options to their employees, then people will be forced to use government sponsored plans."

First of all, people are already being forced into government plans because employers are just not able to afford health insurance without a large cost shift to its employees. The National Colaition on Health Care contends that employer-based premiums have risen 87 percent since 2000, and employee contributions to those plans have increased 145 percent. The cost of health care in this nation is rising at a rate several times higher than the rate of inflation. These things make the current employer-based system of health care unsustainable.

There needs to be a national, universal solution to the health care crisis in the United States. The insured are paying for the uninsured's visits to emergency rooms through higher premiums; and local, state and national entities are also burdened with reimbursing hospitals for uncompensated care with OUR tax dollars.

The whole free market argument just confounds me. I don't see the logic in assigning corporate entities, whose only reason for being is to generate profit, the immense responsibility that is insuring the American public with health coverage.

The free market might be a good solution if the delivery of health care were to those who don't really need it (aka the young, healthy, and/or non-smoking people of the United States), but when you start to look at the reality of the human condition you have to realize that we are FRAIL. We get older, fatter, more set in our ways - we're born with maladies that we can't help but have - we encouter life as it happens in real time and therefore may come across some unexpected circumstances that make us uninsurable within the free market. And those big corporations - THEY DON'T CARE!

Am I the only one here who sees this as an inherent oxymoron? That the very coporations who we rely upon to insure us against the devastating costs of health care are also the ones who gain the most from denying us coverage and denying us proceedures? They make us pay HUGE deductibles in addition to premiums, co-pays and co-insurance, and we just dole out the dough because "we don't want no commie, pinko, hippy government health care system."

I rather enjoy the idea that a person would be able to get the health care they need despite their socio-economic standing. Because even though we might not all be able to afford health insurance, and even though not everyone lives the healthiest of lifestyles - we all deserve to be able to go to the doctor and it not effect our ability to make the car payment that month - or our credit standing for the next seven years.

Health care is a RIGHT, not a privilege! There is no excuse - we are living in the richest, most powerful nation in the history of the world - everyone deserves to be covered.

Posted by: The Bizzle | October 25, 2007 3:13 AM | Report abuse

hey glen, Name calling is not a form of debate. Just because we see the gross inequities and have ideas does not make us liberals and does not make us wrong - I daresay it does not make us morons. If you have an idea, what is it?
Hey glen,one more thing. All those insurance jobs you are worried we'd lose (and therefore your reason for keeping the huge insurance industry involved in our healthcare) - many of them overseas.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 25, 2007 4:14 AM | Report abuse

With the cost of health care and health insurance increasing for companies, why would they be interested in continuing to be the primary vehicle for providing health care? Why would business and industry oppose a government backed program that offers universal coverage, when such a program would eliminate a growing and increasingly unmanageable cost?

The answer surely seems to be that they fear a work force no longer held in an indentured servitude that binds employees and their families to companies through the fear of a chronic or catastrophic illness. Such a system allows companies to offer lower pay and too often callous and abusive treatment in exchange for health insurance that all too frequently has gaps that still leave underpaid workers holding the bag when sickness occurs. The current system is simply exploitative, and favors business over the real needs of workers.

How many people would walk in the day the day after a univeral health plan was in effect and tell their emolyers goodbye, or demand better working conditions or more pay for the work that they do?

Could this be the real reason that employers are fighting so hard to keep the current system in place? My God, even Walmart is panicking. They are actually offering their employees health insurance!

This system is corrupt from the employer to the insurance industry right down to the health care industry that has learned to milk it for every penny it can get.

Someday, the American people will finally figure it out. A universal health plan has the potential to set them free from an oligarchy that enslaves them through the fear of illnes and bankruptcy.

Posted by: Colin Wright | October 25, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"Giuliani, meanwhile, plucked a figure out of thin air when he claimed that the price of health insurance would be cut by more than half if more people bought their own policies. His only basis for the statement was faith in the power of free market economics. Since it is impossible to prove him wrong, we award him only one Pinocchio on this occasion."

That's a fancy way of saying he made it up, right? So, one Pinocchio? I've long wished the media would take more interest in facts compared to "balance", but Fact Checker doesn't seem to have a firm grip on either.

Posted by: aleks | October 25, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Let's forget the immorality of the uninsured that lets poor people die. Forget the burden on businesses that make them less competitive. Just consider health care financing as a business decision. Develop statistics for measuring how we are doing. Look at the competitors (other countries). Look at their cost. If you are honest, you will become an advocate of a single payer system. Here are some facts. They can be checked at www.pnhp.org.

If you look at the 13 wealthiest countries and rank them according to the 16 basic public health statistics, the US ranks 12th or 13th in each one. Yet, yet we spend 2.5 TIMES as much per person as the average of these countries. Other countries get much better health care at much lower cost. (As a sanity check, WHO ranked the US 37th in the world in health care, above Bolivia , but below Slovenia.) All of these other countries use some form of single payer system. Of course, they have some problems, but most of these are because they are not spending enough. We would not have those problems. In spite of all these so-called problems, they get better care. Also Medicare is a single payer system, and it is one of the most popular programs in the history of our country. The plan I like simply gives Medicare (without limitations, co-pays or deductions) to everyone. We could do this without spending any more than we are now.

The reason for this is that we waste at least $200 Billion a year on excess paperwork by physicians and at least $100 Billion a year on high overhead (15% vs. 1.3% for Canadians) of private insurance. Look here is a simplified example of what we are doing.

Suppose you have 100 dollars to give to 10 people. You could give $10 to each person. Alternatively, you could develop criteria that determine who is deserving, and then investigate each person. You might find that according to your criteria, only 5 people deserve the money. You spent, however $75, on your investigations, so now you can only give $5 to the 5 deserving ones. We spend much too much money denying people health care.

The basic problem is that the rules are made by private insurance companies whose only goal is to make money, not efficiency or good health care. If they can save a buck by having a physician fill out a 40 page form, they will do so.

What about choice? I am 69 years old and retired. During my career I had 5 HMO's and 5 indemnity health plans. I have much more freedom of choice under Medicare than I had under any of the private insurance plans. I have no more referrals, no more in plan - out of plan nonsense. As for choice of insurance plan, why would anyone want choice if everyone had a plan that covered everything? In any case, you could still have private insurance for those who can afford it as most European countries still do.

Some opposition to a single payer system is that it is pie-in-the-sky; we will never get it through. Maybe so. That's what they said about Social Security and Medicare. One thing is for sure. We will never get a rational effcient health care system if we do not try.

Posted by: Leonard S. Charlap | October 25, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

A number of people seem to keep pointing out that "tantamount" is means "would lead to", as if that's a bad thing. Why would it lead to government run health care?

If every employer dropped employer sponsored medical insurance and everyone had to choose between private self funded insurance and a government plan, why would everyone choose the government plan? The only market driven reasons are that it was cheaper or it's was better?! Since when were either of these bad for Americans? Maybe it's just bad for insurance companies!

Posted by: Adam | October 25, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

It's funny how people scream about 'Socialized Medicine' even though that is EXPRESSLY not what folks are after. But let's suppose it IS.

How badly is our socialized military working out? Pretty well, huh?

How about socialized law enforcement? Not too shabby there either.

Socialized education? Could use some work, but overall, more good than evil.

Socialized infrastructure? Roads, electricity, pipelines? Also pretty darn well, though a bit of a hybrid system, with government and business sharing much of the expense.

Hey wait a minute. A hybrid system? One that allows for ANYONE to get healthcare, yet still has pieces that remain capitalistic? That sounds better. Still have monetary incentives to find and produce new miracle drugs, still offer people choice, but no matter what, if you're sick, you get help?

I know, pipe dream. After all, so was our Declaration of Independence, and the RIGHT TO LIFE it called for. Why would we want to live up to our founding father's vision of what America could be?

Posted by: Fred Evil | October 25, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

It's unbeleavble Guliani only Pinocchio, your fact check need cheking Mr, where have you being living for the last 7 years, The free market really worked for the thiefs and the powerfull, and all of us have being paying big price.

Posted by: tony | October 25, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

To "Dr" Coles, et al.

Free market principles only work when there is a market. However, there is obviously no free market for healthcare, as the laws of supply and demand don't apply. You can't shop around for the best price when your kid breaks an arm. You have no way of knowing the quality of care your kid will receive. And in most cases, you won't even know the cost of the care in advance of the purchase.

The fact is you typically know more about the restaurant or movie you are going to than your doctor or hospital. Without the ability to make rational purchase decisions, competition simply doesn't work.

Government has no place in markets that work. But when there is no market, there is no way to keep government out. It is simply a necessary evil. That isn't "socialism" but common sense.

The key is minimizing government intrusion, which is where our current system fails miserably. All the bureaucratic evils of your so-called "socialized medicine" are already here in the form of managed care. And we already ration care, but simply do it by cost instead of medical necessity (i.e. waiting lists.) If you can afford care in America you get it, otherwise you don't, even if it means your life.

Our current system is far more onerous and heavy handed than any European-style system or the choice-based Massachusetts model that has been copied in several states and proposed by Edwards, Hillary, etc. And we get far less "bang for the buck" ( highest % of spending, 17% uninsured, health outcomes worse than several underdeveloped countries.)

The Mass model is so popular for one simple reason. Big business wants it. They are tired of spending exorbitant sums on employee healthcare. The Massachusetts model reduces government intrusion while introducing competition by allowing people to chose among health plans that compete based on price and the level of benefits they provide over the minimum mandated by government...similar to how the Federal employee health plan and Medicare drug plans already work.

Mandating everyone buy health insurance also isn't "socialism" any more than requiring everyone go to school, get vaccinated, get a driver's license, or buy auto insurance....all of which you apparently have no problem with? And such a mandate lowers costs by getting healthy people into the risk pool and spreading the cost among both the sick and healthy. Most economists agree this is necessary. It now costs you and I far more to have to pay more on our hospital bills to cover the costs of treating all the uninsured.

So as you can see, if you actually take the time to sift through all the nonsense, our current system is far closer to socialized medicine than Hillarycare, which is just a near copy of the popular Mass model supported by Republican Gov. Romney. Any politician who relies on the "socialized medicine" scare tactic when it clearly does not apply deserves far more than three Pinnochios. Especially when their only alternative plan is simply "don't get sick."

Posted by: Mark Hobratschk | October 25, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The government caused the problem with health care in America by over socializing medicine to the extent it is not completive, and we want to exacerbate the problem? U.S. Capitalism refers to an economic system in which the means of production are all owned and operated for profit, and in which investments, distribution, income, production and pricing of goods and services are determined through the operation of a market economy. It is the right of individuals and groups of individuals acting as "legal persons" or corporations to trade capital goods, labor, land and money (see finance and credit). See http://www.InteliOrg.com/

Posted by: Dr Coles | October 25, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Pennsylvania is not named the Keystone state for any insignificant reason. Without the the sacrifices made by Pennsylvania we would not have a country. Pennsylvania Avenue connects the Whitehouse to the Capital building. Pennsylvania railroad steel and bridging connected "Manifest destiny". Whenever people are on Pennsylvania Avenue they remember, for had it not been for hard fighting, level headed, and stubborn Pennsylvania musketry at the "Battle of Long Island" in August of 1776, Washington's forces might well have lost everything. As a Brodhead, I am very proud of the (3 ) Brodhead brothers Col. Daniel Brodhead III, Captain Luke Brodhead, and Lt. Garrett Brodhead ( My great plus grand father). Their regiment, the 8th Pennsylvania regiment (Thompson's rifles) ,although heavily outnumbered, went toe to toe with Howe's regulars and covered the withdrawal of Washington's forces across the East river from Brooklyn heights.. They stood up, as all Pennsylvanians do, when this country needs patriots. Pennsylvanians never run from a fight. Well, our way of life is again being attacked by forces that want to abolish our Republican values.. All the things that Americans have fought for these 232 years is in jeopardy. Its seems that our Democratic Party has morphed into the Socialist/ Democratic Party. May I call on all Pennsylvanians to again rally the musketry of Republican values and fight against socialism? You might look at Duncan Hunter as our very best candidate for president?. His website is www.GoHunter08.com. Please give to the campaign, because he is a good, hardworking and honest statesman, and we need him in this race to uphold Conservative Republican values. We need him as president.. Please read on.

The last three Republican administrations have been something to be extremely proud of. Reagan helped us overcome the Carter administration, deplorable interest rates, and the Nixon debacle. He restored faith in the presidency, and pride in our country. We won the Cold war, and our economy grew. George Herbert Walker Bush restored the pride in our Armed Services. Desert storm brought a national healing for our Vietnam Veterans. George Walker Bush has conducted a first class presidency and has continued the Reagan legacy of strength and Republican core values. I feel that he did a wonderful job considering, the previous administration, the 2000 dangling chad fiasco election, the stock market crash, and 911. I am proud of George Bush and proud to be a Republican.
The Iraq event has yet to be completely remedied, however great strides have been made by General Patreus and his steadfast troops.

Duncan Hunter was elected the House of Representatives California 52nd district in 1980 the same year Ronald Reagan took office. Duncan Hunter is a Reagan protégé and our best Conservative Republican choice for the presidency.

Duncan Hunter has represented California's 52nd congressional district for some 26 years. He authored the border fence bill which mandates 854 miles of double row fence across the southern borders of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The bill was passed, but the mandated fence has yet to be built. When Duncan is president he will build that fence in 6 months with American steel. DHS had the audacity to build a portion of the fence with steel made in China. Duncan came down on them immediately. He wants American steel building that fence. He and all Americans want are steel industry back in places like Bethlehem Pennsylvania. (The Saucona Iron works as it was called in the beginning was established by Charles Brodhead and Augustus Wolle who are considered the fathers of Bethlehem steel). He has already built a 60 plus mile fence between Mexico and his district located in the San Diego county California. The steel to build the fence was hauled by American truckers, built from American steel, and built by American workers. This segment of fence alone has reduced drug smuggling and crime in the area by 90 percent. As most Americans, Duncan feels strongly that we need to secure our borders first, and then enforce the immigration laws that are presently on the books. Secure borders and stopping illegal immigration is part of our homeland security. This country has always welcomed legal immigrants. Our current illegal alien population refuses to legalize their status here, learn English and fully assimilate into this great country. They lower the overall wage for all Americans, use billions in human services, and send their money back to Mexico.

Duncan is a Vietnam Veteran who served as a combat officer in the U.S. Army. His Son Duncan D Hunter is in the Marine Corps and has already served two tours in Iraq, and is currently serving another tour in Afghanistan. Duncan Hunter served on the House Armed Services Committee for some 26 years and as its chairman for 4 years. He is now its ranking member. As a 22 year Air Force Veteran, I witnessed first hand how much "the quality of life for our troops" increased while Duncan Hunter was on the House "Armed Services Committee". I saw how our services regained the pride to be in Uniform. Unlike the current Democrats, he will not allow our defeatists and political opportunists to undermine our troops and their pride to be patriot Americans.

Duncan Hunter wants to win in Iraq. He understands that a win for us, will be a win for the Iraqi people, as well as, the region, and the world. He understands that we must battle harden the 130 plus Iraqi Army battalions and provide them with a thorough combat operations experience so we can stand the Iraqi battalions up as we rotate our heavy units out. Duncan Hunter supports our troops. As president of the United States of America he will continue to ensure that our troops are the best trained, best fed and best equipped military in the world. We will fight and defeat terror anywhere on earth. We will further freedom and democracy in the world and protect America. Peace through Strength.

Duncan Hunter believes in the Arsenal of democracy. He feels that some of our current trade deals are one sided and that countries like China devalue their currency in order to be more competitive. Their trade practices, taxing structure; currency devaluation is gutting our country's manufacturing base. Good manufacturing jobs are going off shore and are being replaced with low paying service jobs. Duncan is still a free trader; all he wants are mirror trade deals. American workers and entrepreneurs are the hardest working and most efficient in the world. No country in the world can compete with the American worker on a level playing field. Mirror trade deals will level the playing field and help restore our manufacturing base. This will create new jobs for our children. It will ensure our children have a better world and the same opportunities we have had. We owe it to future generations to put America first. Our tax base and way of life will be unsustainable given the trend to off shore American jobs otherwise.

Duncan Hunter wants Safe American trucks driven by Safe American truckers on our American highways. He is working hard to ensure that truckers from our Southern neighbor do not have the opportunity to take American trucking jobs, reduce the overall truckers wage or smuggle drugs and illegals into America in unsafe Mexican trucks. Under his tenure, he puts the American trucker first. American roads, American Trucks, and American Truckers.

Let us look at the current "Let them eat cake" Democratic/Socialist platform:
It is clear that the democrats want to socialize medicine. They want our already taxed to death Small business owners to pay for it. If these tax and spend liberals had ever ran a small business, they would understand as jobs go to China, and we transition to a service economy, revenue becomes harder and harder to generate. Conventional brick and mortar, as well as, fixed costs increase. All the while profits, and, hence wages stagnate. Then throw in a country with a negative savings rate, credit card debt, and outrageous housing costs, supported by low paying service jobs. Under this market model the revenue to support national government, entitlements, and the military will dwindle. We cannot pass this economic model and present government debt onto our next generations.

Healthcare belongs in the private sector. Consider the billions lost from corruption in medicare/medicaide system. Add the huge Baby boomer generation, and the corruption and costs will out pace public revenue. Eliminating the government accounting aspect of our "Great Society" healthcare plan would eliminate corruption and save billions. We must encourage the public to buy their own insurance. Duncan Hunter wants the population to have the ability to buy insurance coverage across state lines. This would lower medical premiums for untold millions. Just as we have a separation of Church and State, we should have separation of health care and state. We cannot expect our next generation to pay for entitlements, government spending, military, exorbitant housing costs, etc. etc. They won't be able to. We are selling our next generation out. Why sanction the middleclass and small business for a health care program? Why sanction the American people. We will not be able to sustain layer upon layer of government programs and expect to have a growing economy.

The Democrats want to tax the middle and upper financial classes, even though; they pay most of the taxes in this country. They figure if they tell a lie long enough that everyone will believe it. They want to repeal the Bush tax cut also. Now they want everyone to have 401ks in this country. In addition, the government will match $1000 from revenue taken from the estates of the rich. This is utter stupidity and silly political posturing. They are taking freewill and determinism versus environment to a whole new level. They need the entrepreneurs and self starters to create business that provide jobs for most of this country. Then they want to take revenue from these same individuals that create jobs to fund the 401ks of people who can not save for themselves. Sanction the Republican value of freewill, and limited government to support a failed policy of environment. Or lack of policy. Lack of policy on illegal immigration, right to life, family values, education, achievement, limited Government, fiscal responsibility, limited taxation, entrepreneurial spirit etc. Tax the middleclass for achievement and hard work and payoff another segment of society for political gain.

Then there is the baby bond of $5,000. How will the democrats fund this scheme? Will they raise our capital gains from 15 to 80 percent or higher? It seems that the Democrats not only want to expand government, they want to experiment with social engineering ( A sort of Hillary's Lebensborn) to overcome industrial disease and fund future democratic tax and spend schemes. Wasn't it the Clinton's who rented out rooms in the Whitehouse to Chinese businessmen? Her agenda and platforms are insulting and ridiculous to Americans. The Democrats have a platform of socialism and defeatism..

When our troops defeated fascism and socialism during WW2, they came home to a GDP of 300 billion ( England's was 13 billion). They came home to a ticker tape parade, jobs, educational opportunity, and prosperity. It took one income to support a family. We still had the "extended family". One income, would pay for that new house, that new American made washer, dryer, and fridge, that new American made Car, and that new American education for your children. It also paid for a retirement, a condo in Florida, and a cruise once a year.

When our patriotic troops helped defeat communism and the domino affect in Vietnam, they came home to "Baby killer". They had no ticker tape parade. They came home to drug addiction, PTSD, Nixon and Watergate, oil crisis, race riots etc. And after Jimmy Carter, it now took two incomes to support a household. We now had the "Nuclear Family". Divide and conquer. The government adjusted and expanded its budget to accommodate the two income family. LBJ would take care of our elderly.

When our dedicated American patriots come home from Iraq what will they find? Under "The Great socialist society lebensborn" platform of the current Democratic/Socialist party, they will find that it takes three service economy incomes to rent an apartment and buy a Chinese made car. They will come home to Tax and spend programs and bilingual school systems. In addition, they will not only have to pay for themselves on a service economy wage, they will have to pay for burgeoning medicare/medicaide entitlements, Social security, illegal alien social services, all manner of government spending, credit card debt, national healthcare, and military budget.
Housing and transportation costs are 10 times larger than in 1973. That $30,000 dollar house your folks paid for working at a GM plant now costs $300,000. Forget getting a loan from the parents, for they, along with the rest of America lost 70 percent of their 401ks at the end of the Clinton administration. 6 Trillion was lost to the 401ks of our citizens. How is it that Hillary made $100,000 on $10,000 during the same time period? Oh, and forget the equity in your parent's home that they have paid on for 30 years., Under Hillarycare, Hillary education, and Hillarylebensborn, your equity is spoken for. She will get that too. Don't worry, a part time job will be you coping strategy. Its called a working retirement in a service economy. Then there will be the Hillary death tax to support the education and social services for 15 million illegal aliens that they have done nothing about so as not to offend the Latino voter. Well that 10th through 1st generation (legal) American Latino family will just have to "suck it up" and pay like the rest of us.
One more thing, that war you fought in Iraq to create a free society and rid a country of a killing dictator, your president didn't believe in it. She also didn't believe in your wounded fellow soldiers. The lives your friends gave on the "field of Battle" furthering the Democratic way of life means nothing to Hillary Clinton. She is to busy destroying our Republic here at home.

This is the society our next generations have to look forward to under the liberal left.
Hillary considers her self a supporter of children's rights. Her demonstrated lack of understanding of current business trends will do extreme harm to our next generations right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The United Sates has the finest Universities and vocational schools in the world. The United States has the greatest opportunity for work, advancement and capital gain in the world. Republicans understand that if the individual takes full advantage of these institutions and the resources available in these great United States, one can develop the skills necessary to achieve the American dream. Republicans understand that keeping high paying manufacturing jobs in this country ensures a strong economy and viable tax base for the future. It is the responsibility of every individual to make and pay their own way. We reward education, vision, family and hard work. We do not encourage empathy. We do not reward lack luster goal setting, decadent values, and not taking advantage of what the U.S. has to offer. We defeated communism and we will not become communists... Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Socialist party want to change this country into a socialist country. They want to redistribute wealth in this country. They reward mediocrity, lack of initiative, and undisciplined behavior. They want to legislate, tax, and control every aspect of the human endeavor. The founders wanted limited government. Republicans want limited government and unlimited opportunity.

Duncan Hunter is a conservative Republican who supports freewill and determinism, limited government, limited taxes, privatized medicine, family values, right to life, peace through strength, America first, American Jobs. We have come full circle on what the Democrats are all about. It's the same story. Tax and spend and let them eat cake. While Duncan is doing all he can to bring back high paying Manufacturing jobs such as "The steel Industry", our Democratic/Socialists want to reward undisciplined behavior. Instead of rewarding strong family values, faith based organizations, right to life, education, work ethic, vision, goal setting, and limited government; they are trying to put band aids on the failed policies of decadence and Marxism.

Duncan Hunter has a platform for the future. A platform that takes advantage of our strengths. We will win for the Iraqi people. Then we will get back to the Republican Hallmark of fiscal responsibility, strong efficient military and family values. Unlike Carters transition from "Guns and Butter", Republicans will see that we invest in infrastructure, Fair trade, and limited government. We have never been a people that take hand outs. We will give a "hand up" but not a "hand out". If a person wants health care he or she can pay for it themselves. That is how it has always been in our system of government and capitalism. In fact that is how it is in 95 percent of the world. The Democratic /Socialist are taking advantage of our weaknesses. They are trying to expand the "Great Society" into the "Great Socialist Society". It is the same story of silly unnecessary programs, tax, and spend! Hillary Clinton is saying more government, while Republicans are saying less. Duncan Hunter is our real choice here.
Please look at www.GoHunter08.com

By
Stephan Andrew Brodhead
Retired Air force Reservist, entrepreneur, and real estate investor
Hillsboro, Oregon

www.Iraqeraveterangibill.com


Posted by: Stephan Andrew Brodhead | October 25, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

My experience with private health insurers is certainly not what the Republicans are espousing. I had an individual policy ($370 monthly premiums in 2002) with United Health Care (one of the nation's largest). They decided to DISCONTINUE individual policies, so I and 75000 Arizona policyholders were kicked out. Trouble is, I could not purchase any insurance because of previous health problems. The simple fact is: Private Health Insurance companies are motivated by profit, not caring for peoples' health needs. So only the young and healthy need apply.

Posted by: Joy | October 30, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

What do you think companies are going to do if Hillarycare is instituted? Dump everyone onto the back of the government. You will have a choice between government healthcare or pay for everything yourself.

Posted by: Geoff | October 30, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

If employers do not offer health insurance options to their employees, then people will be forced to use government sponsored plans. If employers know that their employees have other options for health care, then there will be no incentive for them to continue to offer company healthcare benefits. A plan that established a national health care plan to "choose" would lead to a system where there eventually is no realistic choice.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Very good analysis in my view. But Hillarycare always offers each citizen to choose a non-government plan (if it exists) or the governement plan. If the government plan puts the private plans out of business because of its efficient, non-profit, patient/doctor nature then it wins in a free market kinda way and represents the realistic choice. Bring it on!

Posted by: Rich Rosenthal | October 30, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, yeah let's do that! Then we can give you the responsibility of finding jobs for the hundreds of thousands of people that will then lose their jobs as a result of this brilliant idea. Wow you liberals are absolute morons!!!
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
They can always do the work Americans won't when we finally get the border fence built. Maybe the "liberals" are not absolute morons after all! The thought of those insurance clowns who have forced us to fill out millions of forms and endure clerical mumbo jumbo, unemployed, and lining up to pick vegetables is sweet justice.

Posted by: r | October 30, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"Very good analysis in my view. But Hillarycare always offers each citizen to choose a non-government plan (if it exists) or the governement plan. If the government plan puts the private plans out of business because of its efficient, non-profit, patient/doctor nature then it wins in a free market kinda way and represents the realistic choice. Bring it on!"

If it wins because companies just want to offload a cost, that isn't good.

I would also add that if government keeps paying for health care but does not help solve the causes of the underlying cost increases, you will run into major problems.

Posted by: Geoff | October 30, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

We do not need any health care program run by the Federal Government. What we need is for people to get off their fat asses and get healthy and stop eating the processed foods that cause and kill the majority of our population. We need each state to put in place a "fat tax" penalty on people who are overweight and a larger one for obese people. Then let us see how the health of this country improves. It is time that people stop depending upon the government to bail them out of their health conditions. It is not any person "due" to be taken care of by our government, for if that is what they want then they had best give up and vote for Hillary and kiss the USA goodbye.

Posted by: Ben Midulla | October 31, 2007 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Whether one is for or against Clinton's plan, Giuliani's claim has to rate at least three or even four Pinochio's because he made an assertion as fact--or at least, as if backed up by study and analysis--when he just made it up.

Posted by: John | November 1, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Hello! Quality content! Regards,

Posted by: Nicole | November 6, 2007 1:40 AM | Report abuse

The most interesting "fact" is Guiliani's assertion that having 50 to 60 million people in the individual market would cut health care costs in half.

How could that be? Health insurance is not a production good, and therefore, there is no economies of scale. Presumably, most of those 50 to 60 million people would be transfers from employer-sponsored or government plans. Employers and government plans have size, and therefore, leverage in the marketplace, which they do use today. So what is it that individuals would do so differently that would result in such huge reductions in health care costs? The 17 million in the indivdiual market today sounds like a big number. Why hasn't that had any effect on prices?

If he is right, then there may well be an answer to rising health care costs. But before we all jump ship to the individual market, maybe someone, perhaps Guiliani, should explain more precisely the dynamics that would cause such a huge reduction in costs to occur.

Posted by: Stephen | November 7, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Hmm... One Pinocchio for not being able to disprove a statement. Weird. It's incumbent on the speaker to prove their assertion, not the fact checker to prove otherwise.

Notice that none of the Repubs are actually offering solutions to very real problems (illegal immigration, millions of Americans without health insurance, etc.); they prefer to simply say that their opponents' solutions won't work. Great.

By the way, I really like hearing the millionaire say that we should just all buy our own health insurance. Good idea. Millions of people can't afford to pay for insurance offered through their work (or don't have it available), and the solution is... buy insurance. I'm amazed. How does this get only one Pinocchio? Does this former-mayor-blowhard ever hear what comes out of his mouth?

Posted by: Bill | November 7, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

SO GO AHEAD AMERICANS BE WEAK, THIS IS COMMING....IT IS TIME FOR A REVOLUTION,TIME TO STOP BUSH/CHENEY


The violence broke out after an estimated 80,000 ant-iBUSH demonstrators - led by university students - marched peacefully to the Supreme Court to protest constitutional changes that would greatly expand BUSH/CHENEY power if voters agree to the changes in December. Unrest, if it continues, could mar a Dec. 2 referendum on the controversial reforms
The amendments being protested would abolish presidential term limits, give the president control over the Central Bank and let him create new provinces governed by handpicked officials.
The protesters demand the referendum be suspended, saying the amendments would weaken civil liberties and give BUSH AND CHENEY unprecedented power to declare states of emergency.
``Don''''t allow AMERICA to go down a path that nobody wants to cross , during the march to the Supreme Court.
BUSH, who was first elected in2000, denies the reforms threaten freedom. He says they would instead move AMERICA toward what he calls ``21st century socialism.''''''''
In televised comments prior to the unrest, BUSH urged ALL AMERICANS to turn out en masse to vote for the reforms. In reference to the opposition, he said: ``Don''''t go crazy.''''''''

SO GO AHEAD AND VOTE HER IN AMERICA, AND SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT...

WITH 250 MILLION AMERICANS THEY CANT KILL US ALL..TIME FOR A REVOLUTION.

Posted by: david a belanger,veteran | November 8, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Romney, the weird Mormon is a pathological liar !

Posted by: DanglingWrangler | November 8, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

what a moronic statement " the price of health insurance would be cut by more than half if more people bought their own policies." the problem is their are millions of people that can't afford health insurance. That's like saying if more people bought hybred cars we would'nt be so dependant on oil. The fact is their is too many people living in poverty in this country the rich get richer while the poor and the middle class get poorer. Get in touch with the real world and then maybe you would be a great leader.

Posted by: steve | November 19, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

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