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Sep-26-2007 10:26printcomments

Greg Walden Votes Against Oregon Kids

As men like Bush and Walden block a move to fund children's healthcare, the lifespan in the continental U.S. drops below Puerto Rico and Bosnia.

Oregon Congressman Greg Walden
Oregon Congressman Greg Walden
Courtesy: walden.house.gov/

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The annual cost of providing healthcare to 10 million children is equivalent to 41 days worth of funding for the war in Iraq. Congressman Greg Walden apparently believes funding the war in Iraq is a good investment of yout tax money, but he thinks our children aren't quite worth it.

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), protects existing health care coverage for 6.6 million children and extending coverage to 3.8 million kids who are currently uninsured. The bill will extend coverage to 36,000 additional children in Oregon alone.

For many residents of this NW state, this goes to the very root of what is wrong in this country, and clearly outlines the principles of most of our elected Republican leaders.

Waldon accuses the bill's creators of hiding costs, but that is all an assumption on his part, a suspicion,. Still, it is enough to cause him to join George Bush and turn his back on the ranks of uninsured children who live without proper medical care.

So let's look at the bigger picture. Americans by and large, still consider this country to be advanced in terms of medical research and practice, but our average lifespan is now 78 years.

Do you know who is ahead of us? Here's the list with respective ages:

Andorra 83.52, Macau 82.27, Japan 82.02, San Marino 81.80,Singapore 81.80, Hong Kong 81.68, Sweden 80.63, Australia 80.62, Switzerland 80.62, France 80.59, Guernsey 80.53, Iceland 80.43, Canada 80.34, Cayman Islands 80.20, Italy 79.94, Gibraltar 79.93, Monaco 79.82, Liechtenstein 79.81, Spain 79.78, Norway 79.67, Israel 79.59, Jersey 79.51, Faroe Islands 79.49, Greece 79.38, Austria 79.21, Virgin Islands 79.20, Malta 79.15, Netherlands 79.11, Luxembourg 79.03, Montserrat 79.00, New Zealand 78.96, Germany 78.95, Belgium 78.92, Guam 78.76, Saint Pierre and Miquelon 78.76, European Union 78.70, United Kingdom 78.70, Finland 78.66, Isle of Man 78.64, Jordan 78.55, Puerto Rico 78.54, Bosnia and Herzegovina 78.17, Bermuda 78.13, Saint Helena 78.09, United States 78.0.

Bosnia and Herzegovina? Puerto Rico? That's right, the U.S. has slipped below some of the world's most detached and even unknown countries and regions in length of life, and this figures are not from a liberal think tank, they are from the CIA. You can see the complete list by visiting this site: CIA World Factbook

So as Congressman Walden and President Bush make their political moves, they leave little doubt as to what their priorities and motivations are. In the meanwhile, third world nations are passing us up and our kids will not have as much coverage because they are not prioritized by today's elected leaders.

On the other hand, many of Oregon's representatives seem to believe that ten million kids are worth as much as 41 days of the Iraq War. That list includes U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Darlene Hooley and David Wu.

They were on the list of House members who voted Tuesday to expand health insurance for children, but the Democratic-led victory may prove short-lived because the margin was too small to override President Bush's promised veto.

Walden says one thing that concerns him, is that the SCHIP possibly would benefit children who are illegal aliens. Once again the health of a general populace is deterred by a politician who worries that the "wrong kids" will get healthcare. There are some family values for you.

While SCHIP is considered, "a successful and worthy program for children across the country," according to Walden, he raises unfounded suspicions about future funding.

“To hide the true cost of the measure, the bill cuts SCHIP funding by approximately 80 percent in FY 2013. It’s logical to presume that the supporters of the bill do not actually intend to cut SCHIP by 80 percent, which would force millions of children off the program."

Then Walden works around to the real issue: cost. "The real cost of the proposal is much more than advertised – likely more than $110 billion, which is more than a doubling of the cost of the current program. Children’s health care should not be predicated on budget gimmicks."

One point Walden cites that is troubling, suggests that the plan's sponsors deliberately delayed presentation of the bill until it was too late for GOP members to fully evaluate it, Walden says.

"The House Rules Committee did not receive text of the 299-page legislation until 6:30 PM last night, and that was the first time Republicans were allowed to view the proposal we voted on today. The bill came to the House floor without the opportunity to offer amendments or an alternative proposal and without a single hearing. This is no way to legislate."

Perhaps he has that point nailed, but it speaks to a larger picture, Democrats were concerned that the plan would not move forward, they are trying to see our children's healthcare advance. It is not a cheap or economic goal, unfortunately Walden and Bush only see it through the eyes of a bean counter, in spite of the fact that we are talking about American youth.

“The President has made it clear that he will veto this measure. So it is frustrating that children’s health care is caught in Washington’s political crosshairs. It’s time for Congress and the White House to sit down in good faith and work out a reauthorization plan for children’s health that can become the law of the land.”

That's OK, we know who put it in the crosshairs Congressman, and it wasn't the child health advocates, it was you and the President and others who gauge the value of today's youth as something not quite worth quite as much as 41 days in Iraq.

As insurance costs spiral out of control, Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio characterized the political moves of our national leader, who has threatened to veto the resolution if it passes.

"President Bush has threatened to veto the bill because he is ideologically opposed to extending health care to children through CHIP and instead believes in using the tax code to provide incentives for all families to shop for health care on their own."

DeFazio says Bush also complained about the cost of the bill, as his own spending creates a burden that this nation will have to work hard to recover from, if it ever can.

"Unlike his $200 billion request for Iraq that Congress will consider soon, and the $566 billion that has already been provided for the war in Iraq, H.R. 976 will not add a single penny to the federal deficit."

The benefit improvements proposed under the plan include dental coverage for all kids enrolled in CHIP and mental health coverage on par with coverage for physical ailments.

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with almost twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist and reporter. Today, in addition to his role as a war correspondent in Afghanistan where he spent the winter of 2006/07, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated only with Google News. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com

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Henry Ruark September 30, 2007 12:13 pm (Pacific time)

Bob et al: SO if you wish excruciating reality re whole "big picture" involved, here's extract, with, please note, URL built-in: The Crash is a Good Thing? by Dale Allen Pfeiffer Freefall 30/9/07 (www.mountainsentinel.com) Since Bernanke cut interest rates last Tuesday (Sept. 25th), the already weak dollar has gone into a tail spin. Bernanke's banker friends complained that they did not have enough money to cover their obligations and Bernanke responded by revving up the presses and printing up a slew of fresh funny money. In doing this he ignored the rest of the world, which was hoping that he would show some backbone and stand firm in support of the dollar. So now, everywhere you look, the dollar is losing its value against other currencies. The Saudi's unpegged their currency from the dollar for the first time since the oil dollar was established. They had no choice; it would have been suicide for them to follow Bernanke's move. And elsewhere, other countries will have to follow suit or the US will drag them down. Japan is scrambling for shore. Not long after the cut in interest rates, the dollar passed a key point against the Euro when it surpassed 1.41 dollars to one Euro. Since then the value of the dollar has continued to drop. The US dollar has been dropping against the Euro since January 2003. It now worth less than 59% of the value it had four years ago. At this point a dollar crash is nearly inevitable. US dollars may soon have as little value as confederate dollars. IF you wish further dialog re how this works, glad to oblige; just ID self to editor and we can continue. Bush economics mirrors Reagan's "supply-side", long ago proven dead and damaging failure anywhere tried in the world.

Henry Ruark September 30, 2007 11:56 am (Pacific time)

To all: Please note wire services out of D.C. now reporting even GOP leadership amazed how many R's have deserted Bush stand on this one to support consensus for the measure despite veto threat. One leader quoted:"See how we react when strangle-hold from WHouse removed." (Paraphrased.) Another: "Surprised there were 45 FOR the bill...had expected only 30". (Paraphrased. "See with own eyes" in Sunday editions of major dailies, reflecting national realities.)

Henry Ruark September 27, 2007 7:21 pm (Pacific time)

Anon et al: Thanks for correcting URL. I visited to discover an unabashedly conservative blog-site. Nothing wrong with that --but it surely does not compare in credibility with Parr’s Consortium, nor does your Captain pretend to anything but repetition of the familiar once-conservative/GOP/line, now straight neocon. So let’s apply “content analysis” to this one, a technique used in much more complex fashion by worldwide intelligence to dissect, analyze and report on messages. I make no bones of use here, as simple subjective off-cuff mirror of what real c/a might find, since full-scale c/a demands much time, skill and computer math. But basic approach applies, and here it is: “...the tax will hit the poor the hardest” That immediately assumes it will hit ALL of the poor. We know that only purchasers of cigs are affected. “...those it helps are not poor.” Same technique: Identify ALL by characteristis of ONLY PART of those helped; no reference to HOW MANY, or WHAT PART of all-affected, by percent or number, is supplied. The sample income figure --$83,000-- obviously NOT at bottom of scale, nor are we informed WHERE it falls among the group. “If this bill were targeted at the poor...” No claim made tht it was; it is precisely as described here “a radically expanded middle class entitlement” What is NOY mentioned is that the decision to fund it at that level, for this overall group, was a carefully-arrived/at decision by our Congress, such as it is, trying desperately to make up for ongoing neglect and under-funding already on record from this President --while kids at the real levels helped are, actually, dying without that help. The Stavros example cites $56,000 annually as if it were far, far above what most middle=class familes now make; did NOT check but will be amazed if it is even at the average. BUT we are not told if Mrs. S. works, too; if so, they will fall below the average. NOR are we told WHY they choose private school at some pains, surely an intriguing omission since th NJ location cannily NOT NAMED, so we cannot judge their school environment. BUT we can guess that if they so choose, with this income, there has to be some motivation driving that choice; we are left to assume, automatically it is hoped, that they presume beyond their income status, when just as probable there is real difficulty with schools near where they must live. Owning their home and driving two 2nd-hand cars surely would seem to point to “hard times and momma working, too”... All of which surely paints them as FAR FROM AVERAGE for this group; which is spin-techniqe, choosing UN-average example and using it AS IF it is truly representative. Lastly we return AGAIN to that inaccurate statement re who is actually paying the additional costs for cigs --NOT ALL the poor, but ONLY THOSE who SMOKE. THAT, TOO is decision by Congress --right or wrong-- made to offset the erroneous one into which these smokers have been trapped by ongtime exposure to Big Tobacco ads, finally controlled years ago by the largest court-declared settlement of damage suit then on record. Thar Congressional decision is essential in this Act designed to make it that much moee difficult for those whose health is directly at risk from a known poison, deplored for many years; heavily promoted by a corporate cabal with no regard for anything but profit --and with the costs of that hooked-addiction surely borne, by public record, very heavily by ALL TAXPAYERS, at local, state, and national levels; via sharply rising healthcare costs forced upon us all when those directly affected show up at Emergency Room facilities; not having medical insurance since their few dollars got to satisy the addiction imposed by that tobacco monopoly; seeking further profit from the hooked-slaves today, to make up for higher costs incurred since they no longer have the original slaves of Colonial days tied tightly to the poison-crop production, Is there spin involved here, in this analysis ? IF straightforward analysis of your proffered “authoritative” reference is spin, so be it. It is offered precisely for YOUR OWN thoughtful analysis on these points as suggested by this statement. IF, on the other hand, this is c/a done off-the-cuff, witout any solid basis in reasonable statement, you should be easily able to rebut every point-made herein. Again,thanks for the URL --but basic principles still apply, starting with “know your source”, UNpretending to be anything but conservative blogl and check statement for what it leaves out and why that is done. Hope this helps to focus a bit more on the essetial issues of why we must do such analysis, in open, honest dialog here, when our “free press” should be offering us accurate and probing analysis of the same kind. ============================ http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/013838.php - "Today, some 6.6 million kids are covered under SCHIP, at a cost of about $25 billion over five years. The new bill raises that to 9 million kids covered, at a cost of $60 billion. It pays for it with a 61-cent hike in the tobacco tax. Sounds good, except that tax will hit the poor hardest. And those it helps are not poor. Under the new bill, families earning $83,000 a year could be eligible. If this bill were targeted at the poor, President Bush and the Republicans wouldn't oppose it. But it isn't. It's a new, radically expanded middle-class entitlement. That, by the way, includes families like the Siravos of New Jersey, profiled recently by Bloomberg News. The Siravos earn $56,000 a year, own their own home and drive two used cars. They also pay $9,000 a year to send their only child to a private school. Yes, things are a bit tight for the Siravos, as with many American families. But should the working poor subsidize health care for the Siravos and other middle-class families?"

Anon September 27, 2007 9:07 am (Pacific time)

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/013838.php - "Today, some 6.6 million kids are covered under SCHIP, at a cost of about $25 billion over five years. The new bill raises that to 9 million kids covered, at a cost of $60 billion. It pays for it with a 61-cent hike in the tobacco tax. Sounds good, except that tax will hit the poor hardest. And those it helps are not poor. Under the new bill, families earning $83,000 a year could be eligible. If this bill were targeted at the poor, President Bush and the Republicans wouldn't oppose it. But it isn't. It's a new, radically expanded middle-class entitlement. That, by the way, includes families like the Siravos of New Jersey, profiled recently by Bloomberg News. The Siravos earn $56,000 a year, own their own home and drive two used cars. They also pay $9,000 a year to send their only child to a private school. Yes, things are a bit tight for the Siravos, as with many American families. But should the working poor subsidize health care for the Siravos and other middle-class families?"

Henry Ruark September 27, 2007 8:17 am (Pacific time)

Last "Anon": Yr URL produces only note "No longer available". This-to-you ONLY so you can share workable URL, if possible, in honest, open dialog here-for-all.

Anon September 27, 2007 7:40 am (Pacific time)

Take From The Poor, Give To The Middle Class: http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?secid=1501andstatus=articleandid=275698791178464andsecure=1andshow=1andrss=1

Henry Ruark September 27, 2007 7:35 am (Pacific time)

Hillary-C et al: Yr statement re funds in hand demands some hones, open documentation rather than yr own simple statement. Similar spin-applied in Big Tobacco ads, on examination, proves funds-involved simply wise set-aside by Legislative action. Would you have them do anything otherwise ? What Microsoft does entirely irrelevant since that's profit-seeking private enterprise, not known for ANY concern whatsoever for the commonweal interest. IF you have solid-source, share it here. Such spin-statements damage honest dialog, so prove up yrs or acknowledge lack of "see with own eyes" source. Yr continued silence, in and of itself, will constitute an answer for all concerned with facts on this painful issue. Nothing personal, you will understand; just inevitable necessity to supply checkable facts for open, honest dialog here.

Hilary Care Will Bankrupt America September 26, 2007 7:07 pm (Pacific time)

It was just published that Oregon has more money than Microsoft sitting in the coffers. Think about that for a minute and then consider who made the wrong vote. Temper that decision to the huge pay increases that were just approved. We went months hearing about how the state had no clue if they could swing the 3% raise for employees.

Vic September 26, 2007 7:05 pm (Pacific time)

According to a study commissioned by The Friends church (Quakers) ,ONE DAY of the money spent on the war would providehealth care for 423,529 children. I do not know for how long though. It would also pay for 34,904 four year college scholarships...this is ONE DAYS worth of war money.It would also pay for over one million , five hundred thousand kids to have school lunches for a year. Check out this breakdown of the money our govt is spending on the war , and what it would do here. http://www.afsc.org/cost/banners.htm

Henry Ruark September 26, 2007 6:36 pm (Pacific time)

Bill et al: Right on, William..so here's strictly factual reference to one of world's most authoritative reference sites, re real reasons involved here: Rockridge Institute at www.rockridgeinstitute.org/research/rockridge/could-you-explain-a-vote-against-childrens-health-to-the-children/?forPrint=1

Bill Salem September 26, 2007 4:32 pm (Pacific time)

Can we all stick to the subject without all the personal insults going back-and-forth. It's getting old! I like the debate, but the insults are getting a little bit old. Thanks

Henry Ruark September 26, 2007 4:12 pm (Pacific time)

To Steve: You destroy yr whole piece by unreasonable attack on Tim at end. His info tells us who he is, what he has done, and where he cometh from...all we know about YOU is "Steve" and irrational attack-attitude where you certainly sacrifice any "objectivity" and any "balance" while seeming to demand it from seasoned, proven writer --in Op Ed clearly labeled as "opinion". BUT Tim's is based on fact and study, while yrs, sir, for me, qualifies only on sure "belly-button" evaluation.

Liz September 26, 2007 3:55 pm (Pacific time)

You are right Steve. A perfect society would be equalized, each of us contributing, men and women. Mr. Bush could go home and go to bed for a _month--year, and his wife could take over. You could go home for six months and rest, and your wife could work. However, the laws, the rules never ever approached such a possibility. I would imagine it makes men upset not being appreciated and watching their wives take care of what seems the easy stuff, and spending their hard wages. I was raised on hard wages by my dad, and my husband earned hard wages, but both had less of a struggle because businessfelt responssible to their workers. I diverse; sorry, but the past 20 years have been harder on men than on women. Women start at the bottom so any step forward is a step up. Also I wouldn't have had to speak out like this 20 years ago. I probably should have...

License Procreation September 26, 2007 3:48 pm (Pacific time)

Here is the basic problem with America, ladies and gentlemen: You need a license to catch a fish, but we let anybody make a child.

jeannie September 26, 2007 3:08 pm (Pacific time)

While I would never pick Iraq War spending over caring for children (above nearly anything for that matter), I still think paying for health care is the wrong thing to do for the long run. It doesn't encourange parental responsibility. I don't favor any programs that allow people to knock out one kid after another without regard to how they are going to properly care for them and wait around for the government to bail them out of their delimma. I'm not sure what the specifics are on this plan so I can't comment on who exactly would be qualified to make use of it but in my circle of friends, peers and acquaintances there are many, many familes who claim to not have the money for insurance, claiming they can not justify it in their budget yet somehow find the funds for their new cars, trips to hawaii, the skiing most every winter weekend and the 4 times a year visit to Vegas. People need to act like adults and I think the only way some segments of our population will ever do so is when they are forced to pay the consequences of not doing so.

JB September 26, 2007 2:37 pm (Pacific time)

SMOKERS NEEDED: 22 million new smokers needed to pay for H.R. 976 The bill calls for a $0.61 federal tax increase on packs of cigarettes and taxes on cigars of up to $3 each to generate the billions needed to finance the SCHIP expansion in H.R. 976. The Heritage Foundation estimates that 22.4 million new smokers are needed to generate the revenue required to pay for the expansion voted on today. The cost of H.R. 976 does not figure in the additional medical costs to individuals and society for the 22 million new smokers. Congressman Greg Walden represents the Oregon’s Second Congressional District, which is comprised of 20 counties in eastern, southern, and central Oregon. He is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and a member of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Steve September 26, 2007 2:36 pm (Pacific time)

The biggest problem with this country is the "entitlement" philosophy and the "spend without worrying about the cost" mentality. This is where "Men" come in. It's a fact that most "MEN" earn most of the hardwages in this country. And it's mostly "MEN" that provide the money for the food, clothing, and shelter that children and women enjoy. And for the most part, these "MEN" don't have any issues with spending most, if not all, of their life's earnings on their family. It really chafes me when folks such as Liz reduces this topic to a "Men" issue.

Sue September 26, 2007 2:14 pm (Pacific time)

All you need to know: So, the republicans had time to read the patriot act and vote yes? It is true that our legislators don't have enough time to read in full before voting, but this isn't the first time. They all knew what this was about. It has been in the media and our pres even commented that he was going to VETO. HAS HE READ IT? ha ha ha

Henry Ruark September 26, 2007 2:00 pm (Pacific time)

To all: For ANyone seeking strongly detailed, thoroughly documented factual overview of central issues, including approach to this one, "see also:" "The Shock Doctrine: Rise of Disaster Capitalism:' Naomi Klein; ISBN-10:0-8050-7983-1. "Impassioned,hugely informative,wonderfully controversial,and scary as hell." -- John LeCarre. "This is a brilliant book, one of the most important I have read in a long time." --Howard Zinn. To those-named, I dare you to read the book, then return and report...OR do you bother to read ANYthing ?

Liz September 26, 2007 1:56 pm (Pacific time)

Compassion lost out to money, again; actually I think the amount of the child health cost should be doubled, with the other half going to the health care of children in Iraq and Afganistan orphan assylums, where child abuse out ranks anything that happens in this country. Oh, yes, the constitution; out there wind blown, stuck through with rifle shot, being replaced by greedy men in love with power not human life. 100 billion for war vehicles in the budget... the Bush Walden preference...

Henry Ruark September 26, 2007 1:34 pm (Pacific time)

Purpose of any effective Op Ed is to bring on otherwise neglected cogitation. On that ground, this one working fine, smoking out many unfounded myths, dishonest denials, and other mental trash, while motivating some realistic, reasonable and rational comment also...on all sides of complex issue. Might even assist-all in learning a thing or two or three, one-from-the others, leading on to that essential but long-missing citizen participation that was the original goal of our Founding Fathers. Sure beats entertainment and tv-sked pages...and may well have much more important outcomes, too.

Sue September 26, 2007 1:27 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks, Fred. I knew you cared!

All You Need To Know September 26, 2007 1:12 pm (Pacific time)

"The House Rules Committee did not receive text of the 299-page legislation until 6:30 PM last night, and that was the first time Republicans were allowed to view the proposal we voted on today. The bill came to the House floor without the opportunity to offer amendments or an alternative proposal and without a single hearing. This is no way to legislate."

Fred September 26, 2007 1:04 pm (Pacific time)

What, and rights, as a construct, only exist in the Constitution? Were there rights prior to its being written? Of course. And, by the way, as for the Constitution, I'll cede that the "healthcare" is not specifically spelled out, along with driving, privacy, and assault-rifles. So, spare me your Constructionist piffle.

anonymous September 26, 2007 1:02 pm (Pacific time)

halfahamhock wrote, "I thought kids needs should be provided by their parents. Is that too much for you? Don't have kids." Are you recommending abortions for the uninsured? Whose going to pay for those procedures? I'm sure your answer will be abstainance. We all know how well that works. I believe Ted Haggard used to preach abstainance on his way to a Denver massage parlor.

Stacey September 26, 2007 1:00 pm (Pacific time)

Your logic is faulty! Overseas lifespan rates have more to do with lifestyle choices than healthcare. Maybe we should consider charging McDonald's et al with our healthcare bills! They are more culpable than the government. Still, even that would be misdirected. This "journalist" is so obviously biased. The DNC should hire him to further their cause -- Salem News shouldn't be paying him to do that.

Tom Davis September 26, 2007 12:57 pm (Pacific time)

The reason our average life span is less than other countries has nothing to do with our healthcare system. As of 2006, over 30% of the US population was classified as obese, and another 30% was "overweight." The rates of overweight and obesity have more than tripled in the US in the last 30 years. The prevalence of heart disease, diabetes and other obesity-related diseases have increased proportionally. How you can blame this on the healthcare system is beyond reason. If we want to live longer we need to exercise more and eat less -- just like they do in countries where they live longer. Stop blaming the healthcare system for a problem that's created by personal choices and behavior.

halfahamhock September 26, 2007 12:56 pm (Pacific time)

I thought kids needs should be provided by their parents. Is that too much for you? Don't have kids. I miss the US constitution.

Steve September 26, 2007 12:56 pm (Pacific time)

The problem with focusing specifically on the top numbers is that it distorts the argument. If you look at the CIA world fact book, you will see that these are estimates (first of all), and if you do the math without throwing away the outlyers, the US is 90th percentile in life expectancy, if you throw away the top and bottom 10% (outlyers) then the US is 96th percentile in world life expectancy. So it begs the question - why doesn't the US have the highest life expectancy given that it spends more per capita on health care - simply put "Money Alone does not extend Life Expectancy". It's strange how so many people simply think spending more money is the answer to all the problems of the world. The bigger issue with these give away programs is the graft and corruption that surround them. It's a sad fact of life that many people abuse privledges. It's also a shame that reporters routinely publish biased and shallow stories. But, this is a sign of our times. This guy geets paid to write stories. He has to produce something everyday. He doesn't have the time to exhaustively look up the facts or present a balanced view, so trash like this comes out. I especially like the bio at the end - exMarine blah blah blah...20 yrs blah blah blah...two dogs blah blah blah....here my picture in combat gear blah blah blah...what does this have to do with anything?

NOT a right September 26, 2007 12:54 pm (Pacific time)

Kindly show me where the word "healthcare" appears in the Constitution. Thanks in advance.

Eric September 26, 2007 12:51 pm (Pacific time)

While I agree 100% that this is way more important than the war, I think it's rather insulting to think of any of those countries on the list ahead of us as being "third world." The cost should be the last thing on anyone's mind. How much was the Iraq war supposed to cost?

Fred September 26, 2007 12:46 pm (Pacific time)

I'm with you, Sue. Check my earlier posts.

Editor September 26, 2007 12:46 pm (Pacific time)

Editor: The CIA Factbook ranks Ruerto Rico as a nation as it is an independent region. Yes, it is an American territory, take it up with the CIA, we report, they decide.

And since we're on the subject, Guam and the Virgin Islands are territories also, that seems worthy of mention. Tim's point is that these are other places and they rate higher in longevity, surprisingly.

Cody September 26, 2007 12:41 pm (Pacific time)

So what do we expect these children without healthcare to do? Should they suffer through a health problem just because their parents don't provide them with healthcare? Not everyone is born into a family that provides all their needs. You don't choose your parents and you can't pay for your own insurance if you don't have an income. Children depend on us to provide for them until they can do it for themselves.

Henry Ruark September 26, 2007 12:41 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Honest,open dialog demands much more than simplegut (or "belly-button" !) feeling. Chad: Can you cite something and somebody other than yr belly-button ? Kevin: Noone stated lifespan was total measure, only one component in rational decision on what works and what is now surely failing, at high costs. Bryan: You evade issue here as well as historical record now making us laughingstock of the world. See any daily report on UN imbroglio ystdy. Dean: U repeat neocon myth now well-exploded, via long list of working U.S. and many international programs. Chad: Greenglass, Cheney, Wolfowitz all on record re real reason for ravishing Iraq planned in advance of arrival in WHouse: "It's the Oil, Stupid !" I await anything from all of you named except more of his "belly-button"-scratching. Set up URLs for yr sources, if you have any, so we can "see with own eyes", per what we do here as matter of commonsense, for all to see-and-check for own cogitation, and THEN decision.

Sue September 26, 2007 12:40 pm (Pacific time)

Chad--What is the purpose of the occupation in Iraq? The OUTCOME is death to innocent people. Fred--I can't believe that money in your pocket is more important than a child's health. I think you really are as caring as I am, come on, admit it!

Fred September 26, 2007 12:37 pm (Pacific time)

Newsflash: Healthcare is a right and certainly the most vulnerable of our citizenry deserve access to it. Here's your lesson in civics 101: it's called the common good. Plus, I gather you are also possessed of a rather bulky cranium, but I do not deny your right to forego healthcare, and simply opt out of CMS paying for your urgent surgery. But leave the children out of it... You really should that looked at...

Anonymous September 26, 2007 12:37 pm (Pacific time)

I am against socialized health care... Abolish the IRS! That said... I'd rather see my tax money go to that than the depopulation campaign the government is currently undertaking in Iraq

Wandering Pulse September 26, 2007 12:36 pm (Pacific time)

I think the More Healthy people the better. PS Dont use my money to kill people. Life is hard Dont be a a#$&*ole WAR OR GOOD HEALTH ? WAR ON GOOD HEALTH ?

Richard September 26, 2007 12:33 pm (Pacific time)

Jason: The flip-side of your argument is that the more money you make available, the more will be used. These types of taxpayer-funded systems always -- ALWAYS -- crumble under their own weight.

Larry September 26, 2007 12:32 pm (Pacific time)

And all this time, I thought Puerto Rico was America. Go figure.

Alene September 26, 2007 12:31 pm (Pacific time)

Bush and cronies are worried that this is a move to reduce another profit center for the rich... Healthcare should not be a profit center for anyone. Healthcare is a right for almost everyone in the world accept who.... Oh that's right..Greedy Rich Americans I dream of the day when the poor rise up and take control of the hospitals and health centers...Then when the rich cannot buy treatment at any price... who will support healthcare for all?

Ed - Waiting to die September 26, 2007 12:24 pm (Pacific time)

Most older Americans are no longer in the pool of workers, absorbing the government run social security disfunctional system. Keep the government out, and let our avarage age drop to 65 where it should be!

Lance September 26, 2007 12:21 pm (Pacific time)

It seems to me that if we want to live longer and more healthy, we should stop patronizing those corporations that have served our fat bodies and clogged arteries. When I look at the list, I see a lot of countries that don't have fast food restaurants on every corner. I think this has much less to do with heathcare than is does with lifestyle. And, yes, I would like extra large fries with that.

Jana K. September 26, 2007 12:20 pm (Pacific time)

Thank God Republicans are on the way out. Enjoy the moment, Neocons. The end is near!

Jason Odhner September 26, 2007 12:20 pm (Pacific time)

The irony is, that we end up spending this money anyway. If people do not have access to primary care, they are forced to forgoe medical attention until their condition degrades to the point where emergency services are warrented. Society then pays for their emergency room visit through taxes or increased costs passed on to the paying consumer. In the end, it is cheaper to give them insurance so they can seek treatment through non-emergent care. It is, incidentally, also the ethical thing to do.

kathie September 26, 2007 12:18 pm (Pacific time)

We all have an obligation to look after our own health. Paying for each others doctor visits and medicines is an entirely different matter. This doesn't even translate into longer lifespans or better health. It is about money in whose pocket. I prefer mine left in my pocket, thank you.

M. Englander September 26, 2007 12:14 pm (Pacific time)

Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory. Puerto Ricans are U.S. Citizens. Puerto Ricans are "Americans." A simple, 10 seconds search (Google or Wikipedia), reveals these simple facts.

Henry Ruark September 26, 2007 12:08 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Thank you for your typically American rapid-responses to those assailing solid --and Constitutionally-derived-- new action to improve and rapidly strengthen our healthcare, so abysmally failing most of us via desperately-escalating costs...many brought on by survivors-so-far from tobacco addiction. "Should have known" many sensible, sensitive, also constantly cogitating fellow Americans were watching--and waiting, too--ready to add their strengths to the unchallengable array of facts now prevalent for anyone who will but read.

Chad September 26, 2007 12:06 pm (Pacific time)

Sue said, "You people amaze me! We are spending Trillions to kill innocent people in Iraq ." Right, Sue, that's the purpose of the war in Iraq. How stupid are you?

Chad September 26, 2007 12:05 pm (Pacific time)

Problem: Too many people out there think it is a human RIGHT to have health insurance. NEWSFLASH: It's not. The idea that all people DESERVE health care is completely ridiculous. Get it through your thick heads.

Harry September 26, 2007 12:02 pm (Pacific time)

You know, trickle down economics works to some degeree, but if pushed too far is socially irresponsible. Sometimes you just have to help the guy, in this case the little guy, with a leg up. Healthcare is a right and not a luxury in a developed county. A society that doesn't care for its young and its aged is not civil. We need to do the right thing here, Messrs. Walden and Bush.

Preston Girl September 26, 2007 12:02 pm (Pacific time)

So he voted against a bill, it needs more work. Big deal. I personally am sick and tired of paying taxes on illegals getting free medical support and welfare, so call me heartless but part of taking care of our children is making sure it is them that is getting taken care of and not those who come here illegally and want a free ride. The bill just needs to be re-worked and it would probably gain the support of us "heartless" republicans. We all want the best for our kids but we need to make sure the bill we pass has covered all it's bases. (Bryan - could not agree with you more)

Fred September 26, 2007 12:00 pm (Pacific time)

Sue, you are much more caring than I am...

Washington Reader September 26, 2007 11:59 am (Pacific time)

Of course there is more to the story, there always will be no matter what story is. The key issue I think is that even if it doubled the cost of 41 days in Iraq, are you saying we shouldn't spend money on healthcare for our kids? Yes, we should spend more, and I am sure the math is a little more complex, but having healthy kids means a possibilty of a healthier future in politics, science, healthcare and education. and as far of the "other" kids go (illegal aliens) who can tell me you care more about one that was born here and one that wasn't? Explain that to me in a way that I will agree with you, but I won't be holding my breath.

Royce September 26, 2007 11:59 am (Pacific time)

Some people actually believe their tax money should only benefit themselves and no one else? How republican.

Fred September 26, 2007 11:56 am (Pacific time)

Ahh, Kevin...The classic canard trotted out by those of diminished intellect: "Uh, like, if you don't like it here, then, um, you should go somewhere else." Life span IS a primary indicator of the overall health of a population, including the effectiveness of the healthcare delivery system. But, alas, I presume that most people have at least an intuitive grasp of public health metrics. My bad.

Sue September 26, 2007 11:55 am (Pacific time)

You people amaze me! We are spending Trillions to kill innocent people in Iraq and you are afraid that you might have to give up a new TV so that CHILDREN can have proper care. CHILDREN cannot go out and get their own insurance. Bush and Waldon are sick in the head not to care about children. It sounds like many of you are too. Kevin, I assume you are an adult. You would not qualify. I do hope that you never sick. I care about ignorant people too.

garret September 26, 2007 11:53 am (Pacific time)

you people act as if there is no other civilized nation which cares for its civilians through a successfully implemented nation healthcare plan. our nation is built on debt which undermines the value of everything we think we've "earned" - it's all bogus and the profiteers of this economy will lead us all into ruin as they sail off into the sunset to the next great financial frontier. what an empty existence... and you're buying into it hook, line and sinker.

Shawn September 26, 2007 11:52 am (Pacific time)

"Puerto Rico? That's right, the U.S. has slipped below some of the world's most detached and even unknown countries in length of life..." I stopped reading right there.

Editor: The CIA Factbook ranks Ruerto Rico as a nation as it is an independent region. Yes, it is an American territory, take it up with the CIA, we report, they decide.

And since we're on the subject, Guam and the Virgin Islands are territories also, why didn't you mention that? Tim's point is that these are other places and they rate higher in longevity, surprisingly

Steve Simmons September 26, 2007 11:51 am (Pacific time)

Maybe when Bush leaves office, Walden can go with him.

Henry Ruark September 26, 2007 11:49 am (Pacific time)

To all: General tone here defies realities. We pay MORE for healthcare, with greater and growing cost problems, than any other major or minor nation; and we are the ONLY one with the pattern we patronize, now built on erroneous "free market" economics, widely recognized as in degradation due to corporate distortion and perversion. Those are immutable facts, as also is the truth re tobacco as poison, so recognized for centuries even before main slave-crop in the South from colonial days. Re P/R ref., it is entirely irrelevant; re "marginally fractional", ditto - when you are dead, you are DEAD, nothing marginal about THAT; re "biased", that applies to story-content, NOT to Op Ed, as stated here; and is always, without fail, matter of personal feeling re content. Professional opinion is NOT "personal gut feeling" but solid statement built on study of factual information, including public reaction to Walden position. IF can do so, why not submit "UNbiased", fully-documented "objective" and "balanced" story covering EVERY PART OF WHOLE COMPLEX issue-pile here, so we can have model to "see with own eyes" ? Anyone out there volunteering ? Easier-said-than-done, you will discover, if you have guts enough to try... Disclosure: Been writing in this area since early '50s, after consulting on early nationally-used visual report by unique national healthcare association serving hospitals and whole industry. Report emphasized strong trends even then for distortion and imbalance in healthcare costs. But this is as-expected from only-partially/informed but ready-to-yell group --wonder how many are smokers, "hurting a bit" due to further cost for continuing addiction ?? Big-T counts on precisely that half-blind common reaction from personal interest, overriding solid, sensible, rational, reasonable citizen consideration. (Documentation on request for every statement.

Yeah, bob.... September 26, 2007 11:34 am (Pacific time)

It says "Op-Ed Piece." what's so misleading about it? More code in your response(s): "one sided." which means, he doesn't tow the line with Bushies. "Journalists are so biased..." yes, the left wing media right? NO challenges to the Bush line, or you are "biased." "Go get your healthcare there.." whoa!! I'm back in the 60's!!

Dean September 26, 2007 11:31 am (Pacific time)

You do gloss over the fact that this bill probably does have hidden costs and pork attached. Most if not all bills do. It would be irresponsible to vote yes on something you have not read. If it was a clean bill they would not have to drop it in at the last minute. We all want everyone to have health insurance. If we can get people on private health care it is much better in the long run. Gov Programs are not an answer we have already proven that.

Bryan September 26, 2007 11:24 am (Pacific time)

As this piece shows, there is nothing that Bush can do that will ever please liberals. If he cured cancer tomorrow, Tim would berate him for putting thousands of oncologists out of work.

Kevin September 26, 2007 11:23 am (Pacific time)

If I were selfish, I would ask other taxpayers to pay for my insurance.

Destiny September 26, 2007 11:23 am (Pacific time)

Why are we having to talk about this? We have a war that shouldn't have been stated and we can't take care of our own kids, what's the argument?

Anonymous September 26, 2007 11:21 am (Pacific time)

Thanks Tim for telling it like it is, keep going man and don't let the words of these these selfish as%$#les mean anything.

Kevin C September 26, 2007 11:20 am (Pacific time)

I can't believe that lifespan is a perfect measure of healthcare. If you think these countries are so much better, then go get your healthcare there. Better yet, just move there. I do not have health insurance and I do not think it is others responsibility to give insurance to me.

Concerned mom September 26, 2007 11:19 am (Pacific time)

Is this the country I gew up in? Our heart has turned black through the actions of these men like Bush and Walden, God help us!

Ed September 26, 2007 11:18 am (Pacific time)

Last time I checked, Puerto Rico was a U.S. territory. I believe this piece is too slanted and doesn't address all the issues at hand.

Kevin September 26, 2007 11:17 am (Pacific time)

I agree with Bob. You journalist are so biased it is laughable. No, it is not funny at all.

YourHilariousGreg September 26, 2007 11:16 am (Pacific time)

Greg, you're hurting, man. With all that experience, you'd think the subject/verb agreement in your article might be accurate. Unreal, buddy. And why do you think those nations have a MARGINALLY FRACTIONAL advantage over the USA? Oh, right, it's because they nationalize healthcare for children. You're an idiot.

Bob September 26, 2007 11:00 am (Pacific time)

Talking about a misleading headline, this was the granddaddy of them. If someone proposed all income be seized and given to poor people and I voted against it, you would have a headline which read "Bob Votes Against Poor People". Quit being so one sided if you want to be taken seriously.

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