Rally Against Dems’ Health Plan

Brent Finnegan -- July 31st, 2009

Americans For Prosperity Virginia, the conservative PAC instrumental in the organization of the Tea Party protests, stopped in Harrisonburg today. But the purpose of this visit wasn’t taxes or tea. It was to oppose Obama’s health care reform proposal. I spoke with AFP organizer Ben Marchi and Suzanne Kate Obenshain.

Addressing the gathering of local conservatives standing in the drizzle, Marchi called Obama’s plan “the biggest government power grab in history.” He urged the crowd to call senators Warner and Webb and ask them to vote against the plan. Marchi said AFP has a petition with over 5,000 signatures they plan to present to the senators.

Suzanne Kate Obenshain quoted a FOX News poll stating that 91 percent of Americans already have health care, and 84 percent of those covered like what they have. Those poll results are at odds with others that indicate support for Obama’s plan (although the context of satisfaction polls may be off point anyway).

Obenshain also put down the so-called co-op plans that some “blue dog” Democrats have floated, insisting on nothing less than an unadulterated free-market model. “God bless Milton Friedman,” she added.

Marchi said the AFP bus is zig-zagging its way across the state, making four of five stops per day.

139 Responses to “Rally Against Dems’ Health Plan”

  1. Deb SF says:

    From Why Markets Can’t Cure Health Care:

    There are two strongly distinctive aspects of health care. One is that you don’t know when or whether you’ll need care — but if you do, the care can be extremely expensive. The big bucks are in triple coronary bypass surgery, not routine visits to the doctor’s office; and very, very few people can afford to pay major medical costs out of pocket.

    This tells you right away that health care can’t be sold like bread. It must be largely paid for by some kind of insurance. And this in turn means that someone other than the patient ends up making decisions about what to buy. Consumer choice is nonsense when it comes to health care. This means both that insurers try to deny as many claims as possible, and that they try to avoid covering people who are actually likely to need care. Both of these strategies use a lot of resources, which is why private insurance has much higher administrative costs than single-payer systems.

    The second thing about health care is that it’s complicated, and you can’t rely on experience or comparison shopping. (“I hear they’ve got a real deal on stents over at St. Mary’s!”) That’s why doctors are supposed to follow an ethical code, why we expect more from them than from bakers or grocery store owners.

  2. Republitarian says:

    Lowell, Jesus never asked the governments to fulfill such charity, but each individual. God never wants us to give under compulsion….especially a politician using the treat of force to take it from us.

    The believers in the New Testament shared because they voluntarily wanted to. The church leaders did not forciblity collect. By using the government to take from one and give to another….you are forcing your values on others.

  3. Bubby Hussein, Hillbilly Sheikh says:

    And what are we to make of the motives of rich men like Charles Kock and other funders of this AFP anti-universal health care blitz? They will never face unaffordable health care insurance. And what of their retainers, and paid promoters? What is in their heart?

    Jesus made a habit of pointing out the self-serving hypocrisy of the elites…and in the end those same elites convinced his own flock to turn him over for a tortuous death.

  4. Republitarian says:

    Show me where Jesus EVER got anywhere close to suggesting that religious leaders forcibly take 10% from everyone to help the poor.

    He NEVER said one word about the Roman occupation and how they neglected the poor.

    Funny how people, usually liberals, who don’t even claim christianity, apply the teachings of Jesus to the government.

    I can’t imagine Jesus telling people that they should vote people into office, who by threat of deadly force, will take the posssesions of one, and give to someone who they deem as less fortunate. Can you?

  5. Jeremy Aldrich says:

    Is the threat of deadly force for not paying taxes worse than the threat of eternal fire for not caring for “the least of these” (Matthew 25)?

    Of course, the people in the Old and New Testaments didn’t elect their leaders so it’s a different context for understanding commands to individuals versus commands to people making government decisions. But when laying out his expectations for His people, He’s quite clear what He thinks about the poor and what He thinks about the greedy. Here’s a cool passage from Deuteronomy 15:

    “However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.

    If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: ‘The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,’ so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”

  6. Lowell Fulk says:

    The grudging heart is the real kicker for a whole crowd of people Jeremy.

    Then there is this from the Old Testament:

    Ezekeiel 16:49-50:
    “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”

    Fire and brimstone and destruction? Kinda sounds rather threatening of reprisal to me. But that’s just me.

    There seems to be repeated this theme throughout the Bible of God’s full expectation that we will treat well and take care of the “Widows, Orphans, and the Strangers among us” or else.
    It really doesn’t appear that God considers it an option.

    Jesus doesn’t force anyone to do anything, you’re right Myron, he just tells the fellow that if he wants to go to Heaven, that’s what he’s going to have to do. I think perhaps he’s trying to teach a lesson?

  7. Yeah, don’t be a Sodomite.

  8. Bubby Hussein, Hillbilly Sheikh says:

    You are the one connecting Jesus to the Government. I’m saying that Jesus warned us of the perils of being rich, and the related burden of possessions and funds to pursue vanities – like denying the less fortunate access to affordable health care.

    Jesus was constantly taunted by the Pharisees – whom he reviled for their pious hypocrisy, constantly hoping to have him arrested by the Roman authorities. After telling them to render to Caesar their money, he pushed harder and told these self-absorbed fools of the greatest commandments, second being to “Love your neighbor as yourself”. You have been commanded to lose your devotion to money, and treasure your neighbor – when will you obey His word?

  9. Republitarian says:

    I thought we weren’t supposed to cite the Old Testament since it also called for the death penalty for gays.


  10. Republitarian says:

    You all want to quote the bible when you want the government to force your political ideology….but choose to ignore the bible’s condemnation of sin.

    You’re assuming that all people do not give and it seems that you also want the government to dictate what is “worthwhile”.


    It is a fact that conservatives give away more of their money than liberal do….most don’t give to Planned Parenthood.(just as an example)

  11. JGFitzgerald says:

    I always worry when I see more than one comment in a row

  12. JGFitzgerald says:

    by the same person because then it makes me wonder

  13. JGFitzgerald says:

    if he has trouble completing a thought.

  14. Callie says:

    where did you get this “fact” : It is a fact that conservatives give away more of their money than liberal do…?

  15. Republitarian says:




    In other words, you all are a bunch of flaming hypocrites when it comes to giving…..YOU WANT SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT FOR YOU!

    Hey, you know what Jesus said about hypocrites don’t you…?

    Here again, when it comes to money you all are hypocrites, when it comes to sin…you like to wallow and justify. Same old song.

  16. Renee says:

    Ben, the problem is health care industry is not a ‘free market’ – the insurance and pharmaceutical industries pump millions of dollars into lobbying so votes go their way. Also, if you have an insurance plan, you are told which doctors are in your ‘network’. There are many arguments for how the current system is not free market.

    In addition, Obama’s plan doesn’t seem any less ‘free market’ than the current system to me – just a few rules to keep the private industry from harming citizens unnecessarily, and the addition of a public option – just a little more competition for the market.

    You could argue against the government subsidizing the public option – but the government already subsidizes all of those emergency-room head cold treatments for the uninsured, right?

    Anyway, it just seems to me that almost anything is better than the current broken system.

  17. JGFitzgerald says:

    No name-calling. In addition to be against the rules of the blog, it’s not very Christian. (As the Deteriorating Blog Thread Syndrome worsens mercilessly.)

  18. “You all want to quote the bible when you want the government to force your political ideology….but choose to ignore the bible’s condemnation of sin.”

    What’s weird about this comment is that if I didn’t see the name attached to it, I wouldn’t know whether it was attacking conservatives or liberals. Greed and neglecting the poor are definitely mentioned as sins in Scripture at least as often as abortion and homosexuality, if not more.

    Unlike the Valley Family Forum and the Christian Coalition, I’m not saying we should force our values onto the government. I’m just saying I don’t understand how a Christian could so consistently side with the rich and not the poor.

    The book of James says “Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?…Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.”

  19. zen says:

    Myron, you really ought to knock off the “you all” nonsense. It that type of broad brush absolutism that typically leads to trouble.

  20. Bubby Hussein, Hillbilly Sheikh says:

    Yeah Professor Brooks is a real darling with the self-satisfied rightwingers. You must have missed one of his key findings – secular conservatives give even less than secular liberals. Religion is his predictor for charitable giving.

    Is giving to a charity mission to convert people to your religious beliefs really charity?

  21. Lowell Fulk says:

    I’d say that Jeremy is getting it. Quite well.

  22. Republitarian says:

    So that leads us to the conclusion that Jesus wants us to vote for liberals so they can confiscate what the “rich” have and spread it around to the poor folk.

    I’ve got it now…..

  23. Lowell Fulk says:

    No Myron,
    What you should gather is that we have a responsibility to care for each other. I don’t think Jesus would have us vote, so much as simply do… I think He would wish us to simply act…

  24. Lowell Fulk says:

    Is this painful for you Myron? That’s o.k.
    Growth is sometimes not comfortable…

  25. BANDIT says:

    ….God has nothing to do with our possible “Health Care Plan”.
    You need to keep it REAL and in context.

  26. Karl says:

    Report in today’s Richmond Times Dispatch says Harrisonburg has the Commonwealth’s worst rate for uninsured residents…a staggering 28.5 percent without health insurance.

  27. Republitarian says:

    Lowell, where is it written in the Bill of Rights that we have the right(responsibility) to take care of someone else?

    We don’t govern under the auspices of the Bible, we govern under the framework of our founding documents.

  28. Bubby Hussein, Hillbilly Sheikh says:

    And when those estimated 12,500 uninsured Harrisonburgers are injured or need hospital care who do you think will pay for their care? Maybe Charles Koch and the “Americans for Prosperity, Virginia” can offer a solution. You still here Mr. Marchi?

  29. Friendly Neighborhood Socialist says:

    Ah, yes.. The Americans for Prosperity.. A conserative “movement” that busses Fox news watching republicans who know absolutely nothing about the national health care plan around to areas and town halls with the agenda of “distrupting” and reading scripted papers on the “horrors of national health care”. Ironically, half of those very folks probably DON’T have health care or have a family member suffering without. Anybody who agrees with these tactics should follow this link and read the agenda these people have. They know nothing of health care, only what their republican masters tell them. Go here, stop listening to the media, enlighting yourself and learn something: http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/townhallactionmemo.pdf … Keep in mind as you read this smut that the United States of America, yes the country whom they claim has the “greatest health care in the world” is ranked 37th in the WORLD in health care, has the lowest life expectancy and is the ONLY industrialized nation in the world without a national plan that guarantees its citizens health care. This is very sad. After you read the above article, perhaps you should go to http://WWW.WHO.INT as well and see what the world health organization has to say about health care in the world.

  30. Republitarian says:

    I spoke with Karl this morning regarding those high numbers of uninsured in the city.

    They are a result of kids at the 3 universities. Nothing more.

  31. seth says:

    that number sounds high to me too, but it seems strange to accredit it to a group that i’d think would fall largely under their parents coverage.

  32. Karl says:

    I agree Seth and Myron brought up that point when we spoke. I was simply telling him what the report claimed. Of course I would be curious what the U-S Census uses to determine a Harrisonburg resident…some sort of real test or just enough to be a resident on election day.

  33. Jeremy Aldrich says:

    Hmm…a test to determine if you’re a Harrisonburg resident…sounds like a future Crocktown article.

    I think we’re the highEST because we have so many college kids, but that one fact doesn’t tell the whole story. Blacksburg is a smaller city with more students, so they should be number one, right? And I don’t see a lot of college kids hanging around the Free Clinic, either.

  34. zen says:

    Stop asking questions. Myron says, “nothing more.”

  35. seth says:

    zen, not necessary (or constructive).

    if you asked me to speculate off the top of my head, i’d say that having the large number of undocumented folks in our community would probably play a bigger role than the colleges.

    i’d also expect the fact that there are a limited number of white collar employment opportunities could have an effect.

    at any rate, to me the point is more that people seem willing to take a number like that and run with it rather than thoughtfully consider if it seems reasonable.

  36. JGFitzgerald says:

    Actual numbers posted on the other thread.

  37. clark smith says:

    we have a right, as tax payoers & citizens, to know what is in the obama health plan? what’s the rush? why isn’t it good enough for congress? why does obama mock us? we are tax payers and we have a right to protest wthout being called racist and mobs, ..when liberals protest we don’t call them names. obama is a divider and is showing what a lousy president he’ll be.

  38. I have a hard time understanding the “slow down, what’s the rush” line of thinking. Is health care reform really seen as a new issue? Isn’t the 16 years between the last attempt at health care reform and this current attempt a long enough pause to think?

  39. megan says:

    I could be wrong, but I think the “slow down and think” applies to the current legislation, not the concept in general. Too bad this was set aside for the previous eight years.

    I’m starting to think that some changes would be good, but we need to have a clear idea of the results we expect and how to go about achieving those them.

  40. David Miller says:

    I’ve been thinking about this issue my entire adult life and I know many senators and one president who share that experience. Just because you might have gotten around to doing so doesn’t mean that we should listen to your party of no and stop progress.

  41. David Miller says:

    Clark Smith

    Don’t know you and don’t care to but I believe the term outside agitator could apply to you, am I wrong?

  42. 16 years? Try 64. Truman proposed a single payer system in 1945.

    The American Medical Association (AMA) launched a spirited attack against the bill, capitalizing on fears of Communism in the public mind. The AMA characterized the bill as “socalized medicine”, and in a forerunner to the rhetoric of the McCarthy era, called Truman White House staffers “followers of the Moscow party line”

    The more things change…

  43. David Miller says:

    sorry for name calling. I’m a little perturbed

  44. Bubby Hussein, Hillbilly Sheikh says:

    Congress is creating health care reform legislation. Obama and the majority of Americans are demanding it. The Insurance companies have simply enrolled rightwing Obama-haters in their scheme to stop reform. They must think we are stupid.

  45. zen says:

    “when liberals protest we don’t call them names.”
    Megan, the problem is that the conservative/Republican side denies a problem exists. So, therefore they are unable to offer a solution to a problem they fail to recognize.

  46. BANDIT says:

    So…do you think this “Health Care Thing” is a bad idea?…Tell us how you really feel.

  47. megan says:

    zen, How silly of me. I forgot the party line. I take back my previous comment. Health care is fine as is. ::sarcasm::

  48. Jeremy Aldrich says:

    lol – health care for Republicans in 2009 is like Iraq for Democrats in 2007…they know something needs to be done but they have no idea what. But whatever the President proposes, they’re aggin’ it, dang nabbit!

  49. Lowell Fulk says:

    So Megan, all sarcasm aside, what do you think should be done?…

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