Wednesday, June 28, 2017


The right wing politicians that currently pollute the halls of congress are always surprising me. Whenever I come to the conclusion that they couldn't sink any further into the depths of the ideological sewer than they already have, they cheerfully lower the bar even further just for my benefit. Isn't that nice of them? Their current healthcare bill - which I don't think is going to pass, by the way - is nothing less than a scheme to be rid of Medicare and to provide a tax break for a class of people whom already possess more cash than they'll be able to possibly spend in three lifetimes. Most of them profess to be good and decent Christians, but I'm not buying that for a minute. In fact I think that most of them are atheists. It's obvious to me that not one of them have a fear of eternal damnation.
Which brings me to the subject of Mitch McConnell. Being a descendant of generations of Kentuckians, it floors me to even consider the fact that so many of them are as warped as they are when it comes to the subject of civic responsibility. Why they would continue to send to Washington a corrupt and hideous twit like old Mitch every six years is something I have yet to figure out. I've visited Kentucky many times over the course of my life and most of the people I encountered seemed to be real nice folks - Yes sir! - Fine, upstandin' Americans! But, EEK GADS! - A lot of them seem to be too heartbreakingly dumb to be left alone with pencils and other sharp objects.
It's a hell-of-a-lot more politically expedient to be against "Obamacare" then it is to be against "Affordable Care" (which is its real name, just in case it's slipped your mind). The Conservatives  won't call it by its proper name because to do so would expose their cruelty and greed. If they have their way, many innocent men, women and little children are going to die. If they have their way, the grief and despair of the survivors will be a million-fold.
"Blessed are the merciful
For they shall obtain mercy."
Jesus of Nazareth
The Progressives in Idiot Nation have been trying to achieve national health insurance for the American people since Theodore Roosevelt's campaign of 1912. The British have had it for damned-near seventy years! Not long ago, I signed up for Affordable Care (which I can barely afford). If these contemptible knuckleheads have their way, and I become seriously ill in the next five or six years (which is pretty bloody likely) I'm going to die. It's as simple as that, baby! NO MORE RANT! When you go to the polls at the mid-term elections next year, all you need to do is ask yourself just one, basic question:
"What would Tom Degan do?
Really, it isn't that difficult, kids!

My brother, Jeff Degan, has been living in Europe for the past quarter century. Way back in August of 2009 he used this site to write an open letter to his fellow Americans. I really need to republish it. It's a beaut:


"As an American who has been living in Europe for most of the last 20 years, one who has visited doctors numerous times in four different countries, whose two children were brought into this world in European hospitals (France and England), who has himself spent a week in a public British hospital, and who underwent an operation in a private British clinic, I think I can say a thing or two about health care in Europe.

"Our out of pocket expenses for the births? Zero. Even though in France my wife spent 5 days in the hospital after the birth of our first daughter, which is standard by the way.

"During the three years we lived in England, we never once paid for medicine for our children. Children get drugs for free in the UK. Visits to the GP are free for everybody.

"My expenses for the week in the NHS hospital? Zero.

"The cost of the operation in the private clinic? Zero, it was covered by my work insurance, as was the post-op physical therapy I needed.

"In Western Europe you would never be forced to sell your home in order to pay for your medical bills, as happens all too often in America when catastrophic illness strikes and the insurance company decides that your condition was 'pre-existing'.

"The quality of the care? Mostly good. French hospitals are excellent, even the food is decent. The food at the NHS hospital was beyond awful, but then again most English food is pretty bad (though they do have great Indian food). At night, they were understaffed, but I am guessing that, apart from that place where Dr. House works, most American hospitals are understaffed at night, too.

"In short, in the US, you pay more, get less, and die younger than we do in Europe. What part of that don't you understand?

"My fellow Americans, you have nothing to fear except those who would use fear to keep you enslaved to the myth of the might of the American health care system."

Jeffrey Rudd Degan
Brother Jeff
I know what you're thinking and you're right: The guy is a Communist-waiting-to-happen. Not only does he live in France, he actually likes it there! An eternal shame to the good name of the Degan family (or as it's pronounced over there: "Day-gaw"). But seriously, it cannot be denied that he makes an excellent point. As he says, "What part of that don't you understand?" And to imply that the quality of the care across the pond is far inferior to ours doesn't pass the stinky test. If that were truly the case, please explain to me why the infant mortality rate over there is so much better than it is over here? Think about that for a minute. And while you're at it, wake up.

They're not concerned with your well being; nor are they concerned with the well being of your children - or any of your loved ones and friends. They have spent the last eighty-four years trying to do away with the gains made by progressives: Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Equal Rights for Women, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance - I could go on.

Keep voting with the Conservatives. You'll deserve everything that happens to you.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

Sicko: A Film by Michael Moore

This excellent documentary came out a decade ago. It's as sadly relevant today as it was then.  Here's  link to watch it on YouTube:


Your insurance company wants you dead.

Enjoy your stay in Idiot Nation. Don't drink the Kool-Aid.


At 7:07 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Your insurance company wants you dead.

Profit over people is the operating "principle" of the corporate Right.

And the neo-fascists of the far Right would also just as soon see all liberals dead. The body count from US Right wing terrorists was higher that Jihadists from 2001 to 2016.

You want sane, lower cost, better outcome public healthcare?

Former North Carolina Democratic congressman Brad Miller said, “I asked the Tea Party delegation that visited me about the ACA what they would do about the uninsured who come to the emergency room with life-threatening illnesses or injuries. They said let them die.”

The hate is clear:

"It’s time that the evil forces of the left be legally destroyed. In this world that we live in today, it’s either them or us; the two of us cannot live side-by-side. One is going to have to go, legally, peacefully. But these people who are trying to destabilize the Trump presidency and not have this country be made great again, frankly, they need to be thrown in prison.” - Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch

And there is dark heart of American con-servatism. It is fascism and un-American.

But in their demented minds, they are the "Real Americans". Just like the goose-stepping SS were "Good Germans".

They are a dangerous, and a cult, in every sense of the word.

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

Is universal basic income a "human right"?

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Darrell Michaels said...

Mr. Degan, you convinced me. I too want to pay zero dollars for doctor and hospital visits. I too want the free lunch that those damned conservatives insisted just doesn't exist.

I want excellent French food served to me in the hospital.


To this day, most of the cutting edge medical technologies and pharmaceutical inventions still occur in the USA, despite government interference.

If we could unleash the free market forces and across the nation competition, we would see health care prices come down. Instead we want to mandate everything and make the red tape compliance even costlier to patients which inevitably pay the costs either directly or through taxes. I guarantee that, just like in France and England, health care is anything but free.

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Your brother's comments clearly point out that the only true health care for all is single payer. The grip that the insurance companies, drug companies and for-profit hospitals have over Congress leaves little chance for single payer in this country. That is why the ACA is so cobbled up. They have to have their blood money.

At 5:39 AM, Blogger CG said...

Health care as in the NHS in the UK and in other European nations is indeed not free. It is paid for out of taxes, which is why our taxes appear to be high to most Americans, leading to uninformed rants about us all being "socialists". It might be said to be free for the poorest as they do not pay income tax until they earn over about 11500UKP in the UK but it is free to everyone, rich or poor, "At the point of delivery." There is nothing to pay at the Doctor's surgery, nothing to pay at the hospital, no bills sent in the post. The NHS is the "jewel in the crown" of the British/UK social care system and treasured with pride by the majority of citizens here. It is a great shame that successive recent governments here have been doing their very best to "Americanise" it by starving it of funds and selling off parts to private for profit companies often linked to American companies and connections. There has been a wage freeze in effect for 8 years and BREXIT has brought about a 95 percent drop in applications for nursing positions from Europeans whom the NHS rely on. A few more years and we will have health "care" just like that in the US.

At 6:04 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

A living wage is a basic human right.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Majormajor said...


So does that mean you agree with Face Book founder Mark Zuckenberg's idea of universal basic income—in which the government unconditionally pays all citizens a small amount of money to cover basic needs?

And single payer health insurance?

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

T.Paine: "I too want to pay zero dollars for doctor and hospital visits."

Then move to the UK, or France, or any civilized western industrialized nation. But you sure as hell will not find single-payer universal healthcare here. And why is that? Greed. Purely greed.

"I too want the free lunch that those damned conservatives insisted just doesn't exist."

"Free lunch". I love how conservatives are full of quaint phrases and sound bites, but always fall short when it comes to analytical and critical thinking. Tell me, Mr. Paine, have you ever passed on a "free lunch" in your life?...actual or theoretical? How about the "free lunch" healthcare that comes with your status as a retired navel officer? Does that kind of "free lunch" not count?

It seems the real "free lunch" is currently enjoyed by the CEOs of the oligarchical health insurers in this country and the obscene profits their firms make in the current "sick-care" industry they lord over. After all, isn't the true definition of "free lunch" used to describe anything purportedly received for free? From this, "free lunch" became an investment slang term referring to unlimited riskless profits. Seems more fitting of Wall Street than Main Street, wouldn't you say Mr. Paine?

"I want excellent French food served to me in the hospital."

Nope, not here. In this country you're more likely to get McDonald's or KFC while being ravaged in the hospital. After all, the "sickcare" industry in this country took a few pages from the playbook of the M-I-C. Create your own markets. Repeat business assures revenue flow; revenue flow creates profits -- obscene profits. Remember that word I used above? Greed.

No, you'll have to go to France for exquisite French cuisine -- or Quebec.

"To this day, most of the cutting edge medical technologies and pharmaceutical inventions still occur in the USA, despite government interference."

Maybe, but certainly not without the benefit of corporate subsidies ("corporate welfare") from the government, or the research from acclaimed government facilities such as NIH or the CDC. Let's also not forget the price gouging from those makers of "pharmaceutical inventions", as you called it. In days past it would have been called highway robbery.

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

T. Paine: "If we could unleash the free market forces and across the nation competition, we would see health care prices come down."

Free market forces only work when there are many sellers and many buyers, as in Adam Smith's day. (Well, except for the East India Company, but we'll save this for another discussion.) In today's hyper- and mega-multinational oligarchic and monopolistic business atmosphere, where there are only a few sellers (or maybe only one), the "free market forces" evaporate like a puddle of water in the hot Phoenix sun.

Nice try, but I'll still give you one point for the effort.

"Instead we want to mandate everything and make the red tape compliance even costlier to patients which inevitably pay the costs either directly or through taxes."

The "red tape" (another quaint conservative phrase), or more appropriately, the administrative costs for health insurance are astronomically higher when provided by private insurers as opposed to single payer systems. If you truly want to unwrap yourself from "red tape", unbind yourself from the notion that mammoth "sickcare" insurers have your best interests in mind. They don't.

"I guarantee that, just like in France and England, health care is anything but free."

And neither is the "sickcare" paid through private insurers, or automobile insurance, or your benefits derived from being a military retiree, or anything else on this beautiful planet that was devised by humankind for profit or motive.

Clean air used to be free, actually used to exist, as did pollution-free oceans, rivers and lakes. But not any longer. Once industry externalized those true costs of manufacturing chemicals, petrochemicals, refined products, etc., all those free earthly wonders were not only taken away, but the costs that should have been borne by industry were passed along to us in the forms of cancer, Hepatitis, lead poisoning, and a whole host of respiratory diseases. The list goes on and on. But you already knew this, didn't you Mr. Paine?

No, nothing is free -- unless you work on Wall Street, or Big Pharma, or Big Oil. You get the idea.

At 11:07 PM, Blogger Ed said...

Thank you Jefferson's Guardian. Well said.

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Darrell Michaels said...

JG, I have no desire to move to the increasingly dangerous U.K. and certainly not to France, especially so I can partake in their “free” health care. We need to fix what is wrong with our system and not emulate other broken systems. I know… I know… our system is run on greed, as you so told me. There is nothing wrong with profit. Profit provides motivation for businesses and services to improve upon themselves. When there is limited or no competition, like we currently have in the U.S. for health care providers, then there are no market forces to encourage innovation and better customer service. They have a captive audience of customers, thanks to the regulations of the ever-intrusive federal government. Simply allowing health care insurers to compete across state lines would bring most markets from one or two providers to dozens of providers all competing for your health insurance needs. Those that are bloated and expensive and poorly attuned to patient needs would improve or die as a company in order to maintain market share with their competitors.

I know that you already know this and therefore this is nothing new that I am telling you. I do wonder, however, why you think a single payer federal healthcare system would provide for better care and coverage? When you eliminate ALL competition for insuring and caring for the health of Americans, you will end up with a broken system emulating the Veteran’s Administration coverage and hospital providers. The federal government is absolutely necessary for some basic services, but please tell me, Jefferson’s Guardian, where you see the government being efficient and responsive to ANY of its current duties? Do you want a federal single payer health care system that is run as efficiently as the U.S. postal service?

I would rather suffer with the “greed” of an insurer making a reasonable profit, then the benevolence of our federal government “caring” for me with poorer access, waiting lines, fewer doctors, and overall worse care, sir.

Further, if we would remove regulations and allow competition, many of those bloated and greedy insurers would have to become leaner to compete. I think you would see the largess and exorbitant bonuses etc. become more “reasonable” by your standards quite quickly.
Oh, and to clarify, I served in the Navy but did not do a full twenty years thereby reaching retirement. If I had, then I think I should have been given continued health care like I received when I was in the military, just as many corporations offer pensions or continued health care for retirees from their companies. Let me assure you, serving as I did was not just so I could get “free” health care and there certainly was nothing about a “free lunch” I ever saw in my line of work, sir.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Darrell Michaels said...

Further, I agree that the government should not be subsidizing businesses for R&D or anything else. Corporate welfare should indeed be eliminated. I am not holding my breath though.

"I guarantee that, just like in France and England, health care is anything but free." ~ Paine

“And neither is the ‘sickcare’ paid through private insurers, or automobile insurance, or your benefits derived from being a military retiree, or anything else on this beautiful planet that was devised by humankind for profit or motive.” ~ Jefferson’s Guardian

Jefferson’s Guardian, how I do wish that all good folks could come together, work, provide, and help each other out of altruistic reasons. While there are indeed a small handful of folks that are indeed like this, billions of others are not. Profit, motive, and self-interest, history has shown, provide the greatest chances of prosperity for the most people. Look at the history of our nation. Even most of our poor have a roof over their heads, a TV, and maybe even a car. Our poor are quite wealthy by world standards. That did not come about by emulating socialist regimes. It came about by the United States of America providing the liberties and freedoms to grow and achieve through one’s own hard work to better one’s life for himself and his family. There exists little to no such motivation in most socialistic regimes whereby the sweat of one’s brow goes to benefit everyone else instead of you and your loved ones. It is human nature to not to want to work as hard if you are not the one that is benefitting from the work. This is even more true when ones sees those that don’t want to work at all because they know that the government will still provide for them.

Yes, there is corruption in our capitalistic system, but that is because of the corruption of our governing officials allowing it and not stamping down on monopolies and oligarchies. We need to fix our current system, because despite its problems, it has still created the largest and most dynamic economic prosperity and innovative creations for the most citizens of any nation on the earth. We are losing that now because we are staring at our navels and wanting to revamp things to be like Scandinavian nations or Western Europe. That will NOT solve our problem. Returning to capitalism without the cronyism and corruption and unleashing our economic engine will solve it; “greed” and all, my friend.


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