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Reuters: "Trump asked for options for attacking Iran last week, but held off" ...for now

firefox_vMk7NN8kG9.png

:p Didn't he already try this when he bombed one of their airports (and assassinated a...general or something in the process)?

Also, Georgian Secretary of State (who is Republican) says Senator Lindsey Graham is/was pressuring him to throw legitimate ballots out.

Edited by Bartimaeus

Put fascists and sociopaths on your ignore list.

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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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quick update on the recent redlined pennsylvania election case--

plaintiffs is on their third set o' lawyers in less than a week and the most recent team's request for a continuance 'cause they only joined today were denied by the fed court. with less than a full day o' prep, a legal team headed by marc scarinigi needs resuscitate the trump campaign's expiring efforts in pa.

third set o' lawyers? one week?

...

is no way we could imagine a charlie fox scenario like the one we are seeing evolve. 

what trump and his minions is doing is dangerous for democracy as +72 million people aren't aware o' the haphazard and crackpot nature o' the efforts to overturn election results. +72 million people believe trump and lindsey graham. at this moment there is reason to be concerned 'bout the lengths/depth trump loyalists will go to undermine faith in the electoral process. we have all witnessed how there is no rubicon which the trump campaign will refuse to cross, yes?

however, from a pure objective pov, the legal efforts to change the election results is comical. assuming gd does not get his wish o' the federal government imploding, it won't be long after january 20, 2021 before a bestselling book is written 'bout the 2020 Presidential election as well as the efforts o' trump and rudy giuliani to gaslight america and beat math. the book will be comic. farce. 

we simple need hold out a bit longer and perhaps pray harder... this is all gonna look hilarious in a few years and at such point is gonna be difficult to explain to people how real and reasonable were the fear. sure, we will be stuck with trumpism for some time to come, but is less than a month before the electoral college safe harbor deadline is reached.

the finish line is in sight.

HA! Good Fun!

 

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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6 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

I really hope it isn't +72 million that believe Trump. I mean, just because they voted for him, doesn't mean they are buying his 'cry fraud' act. *fingers crossed*

It's probably not all 72 million, but it's still a significant portion of that number. Furthermore a significant portion of the remainder don't believe it but would go along with it because they want Trump in office.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

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"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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I still have some fondness for the Duke, so I consider Obama's take pretty spot-on:

Em7CvJiXEAADL87?format=jpg&name=large

Why Obama Fears for Our Democracy

Edited by Agiel
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"Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as 'History,' harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.”

 

-Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

 

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54 minutes ago, Bartimaeus said:

Reuters: "Trump asked for options for attacking Iran last week, but held off" ...for now

firefox_vMk7NN8kG9.png

:p Didn't he already try this when he bombed one of their airports (and assassinated a...general or something in the process)?

Bombed the general (Soleimani) in Iraq, after asking the Iraqi PM to set up a meeting to discuss de-escalation, according to the Iraqi PM. Which was borderline if not outright Perfidy, if what the PM said was true.

I'm usually skeptical of rumours supported only by anonymous sources since there's zero accountability but there must be some reason he got rid of Esper, and it won't be because Trump wants to stage a military coup. Even money on whether he wants to attack Iran or pull all troops out of Iraq/ Afghanistan/ Syria arbitrarily, he probably won't actually do either but he is exactly the type to set the house on fire on his way out, if he has to leave.

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17 hours ago, Guard Dog said:

@Achilles& @ComradeMasterremind to explain to you guys again how libertarianism and free market economics is NOT anarchy. Also federalism is NOT anarchy. The 50 states, 14 territories, and DC do have governing powers and enumerated responsibilities and CAN function quite well without Leviathan-on-the-Potomac f----g everything up. 

I get what you're saying, strong centralized governments need to be checked on from time to time, but state and federal power should be complimentary rather than antagonistic. 

"America would be unrecognizable if it had ordered the separation of corporation and state like it orders separation of church and state."

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6 hours ago, Hurlshot said:

I really hope it isn't +72 million that believe Trump. I mean, just because they voted for him, doesn't mean they are buying his 'cry fraud' act. *fingers crossed*

I read something about 70% to 86% of Trump supporters believe that. 

I do not track that much anymore, as chances of turning the result are near 0, or similar to an undected killer asteroid hitting earth next week. 

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21 hours ago, Achilles said:

Of course it is. Anyone who's taken their nose out of Atlas Shrugged long enough to see how the real world actually works knows this.

The final sentence in your post is the funniest thing I'll read today. Bravo.

EDIT

Consider this: you and I share a love of books. Based on some of the exchanges we've had, I think it's fair to say that our tastes even overlap at times. For the sake of argument, assume for a moment that you and I are the most well-read members of the forum (not likely, but we're having thought experiment time right now). The fact that you and I can't agree on the most important take aways from the same ****ing books should tell you a lot about how foolishly optimistic your post sounds. We can't even get people to not cheat on **** that doesn't matter, yet it's realistic to think that bad actors will somehow regulate themselves in a free market? Come on, man.

 

OK, think about a scale that runs from 0-100. Zero is state managed, heavily regulated capitalism. 100 is complete laissez faire, kill or be killed capitalism. No one in their right mind wants 0 or 100. 1-10 and 90-99 are not really desirable either. So what we are really debating is where on that scale we need to be. Right now we (the USA) are about a 48 to 55 depending on what industry you're looking at. The Democrats (most of them) want us in the mid to high 30's. The Republicans want us somewhere between 58 & 62. The US Green Party is around 25. Comrade Master sounds like a 21 to me. You, I figure, are 45.  The US Libertarian Party is about an 80. Personally I'm about a 75. 

I will repeat though... NO ONE wants 100 or 0. What you were describing was about a 99-100. So why is it when someone who wants the needle above 50 and starts bitching when it dips below is automatically assumed to want anarchy?  Is the idea of leaving people free to manage their own lives with minimal government supervision really so alien? Hardly. An no one is arguing that supervision should be done away with completely. That would be national suicide. So does this clarify my position a little better here? 

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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4 hours ago, ComradeMaster said:

I get what you're saying, strong centralized governments need to be checked on from time to time, but state and federal power should be complimentary rather than antagonistic. 

If Uncle Sam limited himself to those power enumerated to each branch in articles 1-3 I think it would be complimentary. Too bad that ship sailed a long time ago.

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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I'm cautiously optimistic that Biden can strike the right tone and return the office of the Presidency to where it belongs before Obama & Trump (and partially GWB) turned it into the monster it has become. He & Mitch McConnell have been friends for decades and likely can work with each other. He MIGHT be able to fend off the predations of the crazy lefties of his party (far less optimistic on that count) and while he s no better than any of the other pigs in Jones's Farmhouse at least he's no worse. Unlike his soon to be predecessor. 

I think this is the right move: Biden hopes to avoid divisive Trump investigations

 

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"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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20 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

@Guard Dog According to your scale, whereabout is the healthcare industry in this country? 

What about Education?

Education is primarily a government enterprise. LOL. Although given governments inability to get out of its own way you could probably say the government is interfering in education as well. Healthcare probably in the low 40s and heading in the wrong direction.


 

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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4 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

Education is primarily a government enterprise. LOL. Although given governments inability to get out of its own way you could probably say the government is interfering in education as well. Healthcare probably in the low 40s and heading in the wrong direction.

I feel like Healthcare is currently much higher, given the entire insurance industry makes a tremendous amount of money simply by acting as a middle man in the market. You also have big Pharma raking in tons of money, and even hospitals run on a healthy profit margin. My guess would be 50's-60's, although I guess you could separate the various parts of the medical industry out. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

I feel like Healthcare is currently much higher, given the entire insurance industry makes a tremendous amount of money simply by acting as a middle man in the market. You also have big Pharma raking in tons of money, and even hospitals run on a healthy profit margin. My guess would be 50's-60's, although I guess you could separate the various parts of the medical industry out. 

 

The healthcare system we have is the product of well-intentioned government meddling. Look at what the affordable care act did. It told us “thou shall buy health insurance“. Furthermore it said “thou shall buy health insurance only from companies we allow to sell to you”. It reinforced an existing practice of giving insurance companies regional exclusivity to markets. And so the price goes up. Because of course it does. If the government decides everyone must buy widgets and decides only certain companies get to sell widgets and those companies are not in competition with each other what happens to the price of widgets? Furthermore if you cannot afford a widget other people will have to pay more for their widgets to help you buy yours. Is there anything in this that would make you think the price of healthcare would go down? This could all be fixed in one way: any insurance company can sell any policy to anyone anywhere from sea to shining sea. When they actually start competing with each other prices will drop. That of course is only for the cost of health coverage. Reducing the cost of healthcare itself is a whole horse of another color. And that will require a big government step back. As opposed to the little one I just suggested

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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Healthcare prices were already skyrocketing before ACA though. As you said, insurance companies were already using regional exclusivity, the government just reinforced that. I totally agree that the government should not have got involved the way they did, because they basically just joined the already broken medical insurance business. We need a completely different system, and there are a number of more successful models out there for us to look at internationally.

The trouble with these widgets is everyone needs them. They are a necessity for any country that wants to claim to be great. Just like providing an education to every young person is a necessity for any great country, health care should be treated similarly. It should not be considered a widget any more than teaching kids to read and write.

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48 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

Healthcare prices were already skyrocketing before ACA though. As you said, insurance companies were already using regional exclusivity, the government just reinforced that. I totally agree that the government should not have got involved the way they did, because they basically just joined the already broken medical insurance business. We need a completely different system, and there are a number of more successful models out there for us to look at internationally.

The trouble with these widgets is everyone needs them. They are a necessity for any country that wants to claim to be great. Just like providing an education to every young person is a necessity for any great country, health care should be treated similarly. It should not be considered a widget any more than teaching kids to read and write.

OK so you're talking about single payer health care. Well, the problems with applying that to the US have been discussed at length on this forum and elsewhere. How do you control cost. How do you pay for it. How do you avoid the pitfalls. Ever been treated in a VA hospital or clinic? I have. It's s--t. There are real hurdles that make that kind of thing impossible in the US.

But there ARE things that can be done easier. Instead of swinging for the fences we should be looking to hit a bloop single or two. National Catastrophic healthcare. Instead of covering everything from band aids to brain surgery focus a public provided heath care only for big ticket illnesses and injury. Oh you have cancer? Come on in. we'll help. Oh you need stiches, got a cold, broke your wrist? The clinic is right over there. Bring your checkbook.  

Another way to go, in the vein of treating healthcare like education would be single payer coverage for all children up to age 18 for example. Typically speaking kids are healthy. It will likely be a much lower cost than covering a mixed age adult population of the same size and take a lot of the burden of cost off of families. 

Those ideas MIGHT be workable. But we'll never do it. We'll keep letting perfect be the enemy of good and do nothing.

Now, if it were up to me I'd go a completely different way. But you've heard those arguments many times before.  

 

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"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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1 hour ago, Guard Dog said:

The healthcare system we have is the product of well-intentioned government meddling. Look at what the affordable care act did. It told us “thou shall buy health insurance“. Furthermore it said “thou shall buy health insurance only from companies we allow to sell to you”. It reinforced an existing practice of giving insurance companies regional exclusivity to markets. And so the price goes up. Because of course it does. If the government decides everyone must buy widgets and decides only certain companies get to sell widgets and those companies are not in competition with each other what happens to the price of widgets? Furthermore if you cannot afford a widget other people will have to pay more for their widgets to help you buy yours. Is there anything in this that would make you think the price of healthcare would go down? This could all be fixed in one way: any insurance company can sell any policy to anyone anywhere from sea to shining sea. When they actually start competing with each other prices will drop. That of course is only for the cost of health coverage. Reducing the cost of healthcare itself is a whole horse of another color. And that will require a big government step back. As opposed to the little one I just suggested

As far as I am aware the ACA as implemented in Massachusetts before 2010 worked ok. The main issue with the ACA as implemented was (and is) malicious (as opposed to well intentioned) interference by the GOP. The real main-main problem though is that the wondrous invisible hand of the free market was allowed to run rampant on US's healthcare systems for, I guess, decades.

Actual universal health care, as implemented in most industrialized countries, is much cheaper per capita, and delivers better health outcomes than whatever Frankenstein's monster that can reasonably be put in place in the US, be it the ACA or whatever hybrid replacement legislators can come up with. The blame for the current and worsening state of affairs can be laid squarely on the free market and the federal government's consistent laissez faire attitude.

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23 minutes ago, Gfted1 said:

Whos got two thumbs and wants some sweet sweet UHC? This guy! *points to self with both thumbs*

If only you used one of those thumbs to vote for it. :p

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24 minutes ago, Pidesco said:

As far as I am aware the ACA as implemented in Massachusetts before 2010 worked ok. The main issue with the ACA as implemented was (and is) malicious (as opposed to well intentioned) interference by the GOP. The real main-main problem though is that the wondrous invisible hand of the free market was allowed to run rampant on US's healthcare systems for, I guess, decades.

Actual universal health care, as implemented in most industrialized countries, is much cheaper per capita, and delivers better health outcomes than whatever Frankenstein's monster that can reasonably be put in place in the US, be it the ACA or whatever hybrid replacement legislators can come up with. The blame for the current and worsening state of affairs can be laid squarely on the free market and the federal government's consistent laissez faire attitude.

The ACA is not health CARE. It's health INSURANCE. It compels everyone to BUY insurance and makes some people pay more for it so some can pay less. It does nothing  to address the problem of why health insurance is even needed: out of control costs of health CARE. 

The problem most Republicans had with the ACA was the "thou shalt buy insurance, and only from who we say. And thou shalt pay for the insurance of the people who would never vote for thee!"

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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4 hours ago, Guard Dog said:

OK, think about a scale that runs from 0-100. Zero is state managed, heavily regulated capitalism. 100 is complete laissez faire, kill or be killed capitalism. No one in their right mind wants 0 or 100. 1-10 and 90-99 are not really desirable either.

<snip>

Personally I'm about a 75.

So "small enough to drown in a bathtub" should have instinctively triggered 75 for me, not 90-99. Got it ;)

Quote

What you were describing was about a 99-100. So why is it when someone who wants the needle above 50 and starts bitching when it dips below is automatically assumed to want anarchy?  Is the idea of leaving people free to manage their own lives with minimal government supervision really so alien? Hardly. An no one is arguing that supervision should be done away with completely. That would be national suicide. So does this clarify my position a little better here? 

What I am describing is every experiment in libertarianism that I've encountered (ala the link @Pidesco provided on the previous page). Even now it's difficult to understand what it is that you want.

"Small enough to drown in a bathtub"

"minimal government supervision"

All this sounds like 90-99 to me, so no, it doesn't clarify your position at all. You can't beat the drum of "government bad" at every opportunity and then expect the rest of us to assume that there's nuance in your position.

1 hour ago, Guard Dog said:

The healthcare system we have is the product of well-intentioned government meddling. Look at what the affordable care act did. It told us “thou shall buy health insurance“. Furthermore it said “thou shall buy health insurance only from companies we allow to sell to you”. It reinforced an existing practice of giving insurance companies regional exclusivity to markets. And so the price goes up. Because of course it does. If the government decides everyone must buy widgets and decides only certain companies get to sell widgets and those companies are not in competition with each other what happens to the price of widgets? Furthermore if you cannot afford a widget other people will have to pay more for their widgets to help you buy yours. Is there anything in this that would make you think the price of healthcare would go down? This could all be fixed in one way: any insurance company can sell any policy to anyone anywhere from sea to shining sea. When they actually start competing with each other prices will drop. That of course is only for the cost of health coverage. Reducing the cost of healthcare itself is a whole horse of another color. And that will require a big government step back. As opposed to the little one I just suggested

So, had the government not placed restrictions on who could sell insurance, what would have prevented bad actors from creating sham insurance companies and selling crap policies to people who don't know better?

As more people got access to healthcare and then immediately started using it, what would have been the impact on smaller insurance companies that don't have as much capital as larger ones? What risk would that pose to policy holders trying to get more healthcare as their insurance company quietly goes out of business?

Is it possible that rather than maliciously throwing a bone to greedy insurance companies, the government took reasonable steps to ensure that the new system didn't collapse under it's own weight immediately after roll out?

36 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

Instead of swinging for the fences we should be looking to hit a bloop single or two. National Catastrophic healthcare. Instead of covering everything from band aids to brain surgery focus a public provided heath care only for big ticket illnesses and injury. Oh you have cancer? Come on in. we'll help. Oh you need stiches, got a cold, broke your wrist? The clinic is right over there. Bring your checkbook.  

Another way to go, in the vein of treating healthcare like education would be single payer coverage for all children up to age 18 for example. Typically speaking kids are healthy. It will likely be a much lower cost than covering a mixed age adult population of the same size and take a lot of the burden of cost off of families. 

Those ideas MIGHT be workable. But we'll never do it. We'll keep letting perfect be the enemy of good and do nothing.

ACA was a single bloop. Had Mitch McConnell not been working so hard to make Obama a one-term president, had the GOP not turned it into a boogeyman to rile the tea party, had Kennedy not died in the 11th hour, it would have been a better bloop.

We have a national catastrophic healthcare system; it's called "emergency rooms". That bloop would have accomplished nothing.

Expecting low income families who write checks on wednesday, praying that they don't hit the bank until friday, to just belly up to the bar for non-emergency health care is unrealistic.

Counting on luck to give you healthy kids...

Let me tell you a tale of two pregnancies: In the first one, a couple makes the sexy time and ends up getting pregnant. Wasn't trying. Just kinda happened. Ok, fine, let's make a baby. Second trimester, mom finds out that she's not having one baby, she's having three. Doc says, "quit work, quit school. Hop into this bed and don't get off until you're not pregnant anymore". Mom goes on welfare because she can't work anymore. Babies are born premature (as is typical with multiples). Mom needs months to recover before she can go back to work and school. Second story: couple makes sexy time and ends up getting pregnant. Was trying. Second trimester, mom finds out that she's not having one baby, she's having two. Bonus! Again, babies are born premature (typical with multiples). One of the babies has a genetic disorder. Has to go to a different hospital. Needs a lot more care. Expensive care. Multiple surgeries in the first few years of life. Nurse screws up a thing after one of them. Kid now needs more surgeries to fix that thing.

So why the stories? Because sometimes life throws you curve balls. "Let's have a baby" sounds great until life throws you multiples, or genetic disorders, or special needs. "Bring your checkbook" on the topic of healthcare, sounds an awful lot like "let them eat cake". I don't care whether that's for alheimers or band-aids.

15 minutes ago, Pidesco said:

As far as I am aware the ACA as implemented in Massachusetts before 2010 worked ok. The main issue with the ACA as implemented was (and is) malicious (as opposed to well intentioned) interference by the GOP. The real main-main problem though is that the wondrous invisible hand of the free market was allowed to run rampant on US's healthcare systems for, I guess, decades.

Actual universal health care, as implemented in most industrialized countries, is much cheaper per capita, and delivers better health outcomes than whatever Frankenstein's monster that can reasonably be put in place in the US, be it the ACA or whatever hybrid replacement legislators can come up with. The blame can be laid squarely on the free market and the federal government's consistent laissez faire attitude.

This

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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22 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

The ACA is not health CARE. It's health INSURANCE. It compels everyone to BUY insurance and makes some people pay more for it so some can pay less. It does nothing  to address the problem of why health insurance is even needed: out of control costs of health CARE. 

The problem most Republicans had with the ACA was the "thou shalt buy insurance, and only from who we say. And thou shalt pay for the insurance of the people who would never vote for thee!"

Republicans didn't have a problem with it when it was their idea.

The out of control cost of health CARE is largely a function of providers being able to charge health INSURANCE whatever they want. The part of the ACA that was supposed to help correct this was gutted from the program. Single bloop.

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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54 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

If only you used one of those thumbs to vote for it. :p

That makes me wonder if IL has/had such a candidate. If so I might have overcome my inertia for the "down vote" candidate that was advocating for UHC. Papa getting old and will need a UHC golden parachute to ease me into my golden year. That and UBI.

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