Free Markets, Free People

Demonization Time – Dems Target Insurance Companies

Why?  To take the heat off of them and to counter the Republican message about “government run health care”.

The message in the memo, though, won’t fit on a bumper sticker:

“Remove the insurance companies from between you and your doctor— capping what they can force you to pay in out of pocket expenses, co-pays and deductibles, and giving you the peace of mind you will be covered for the care you need, if get sick, or if you change or lose your job.”

Or, “replace the insurance companies with the government which is sure to do a much better job”.

Ye gods.

And the brains behind this message?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) brought out the new message in an exchange with reporters in the Capitol, when she said, “They are the villains in this.”

Ah demonization – one of Pelosi’s favorite tactics. Apparently she didn’t learn much when she did it to the CIA.


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39 Responses to Demonization Time – Dems Target Insurance Companies

  • But no one would demonize the government, liberals, or Pelosi, would they?   Oh wait, there are the “deathers.”  I guess some are demonizing the government!   Democrats don’t trust big insurance companies, Republicans don’t trust big government, and they both have a point.  Insurance companies, however, are in it just to make money, while the government can be held accountable by all citizens.    Given the demographics and the likely on going economic problems, health care will be rationed by someone, either the market, government or a mix of both.  Too many people come from a starting point which assumes their conclusion.  If one assumes that market driven insurance companies can’t ever be effective, they’ll assume we need government.  If one assumes that government won’t be able to do the job (though most people in Europe and Canada would never think of trading their coverage for our system), then they assume we need markets.    If both sides would question their assumptions, take a non-ideological look at the pragmatics and compromise, we might get something done.   Because neither side can prove they are right if the other side doesn’t share their starting assumptions.

    • But no one would demonize the government, liberals, or Pelosi, would they?

      That you are unable to distinguish the significant difference between a private citizen (even a clown like Rush Limbaugh) demonizing something, and the SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE of the Congress of the United States of America demonizing something comes, as usual, as no surprise.

  • The company I work for is self-insured …
    The Democrats’ call to the “Two Minute Hate” means nothing to me, so Nancy Pelosi should piss off.

  • And I thought at first that Big Oil was the Bad Guys of the 21st Century?  Aren’t they the ones defiling the land and pumping their crude out upon the virgin territories of the world.  We need to Cap & Trade them to death!

    And then Obama and Company told us the Rich were the Bad Guys – and they need to be put in their place by taxing them more! 
    And then we can help all of those who have nothing and will not lift a finger to do anything about it unless it is handed to them on a silver platter – because they deserve it!  You know – each according to his need and all that stuff.

     Then there were the bad old Israelis!  How dare they talk about defending their way of life?   Don’t they know Obama and Company is trying to save the world?  And how to do that?  Stop the expansion of all Jewish settlements – anywhere in the world!  Don’ they see the reason in this?

    And how bout those Hondurans?  How dare they have the utter gall to enforce their Constitution!  Who do they think they are – A Democracy?  Heh!  Why don’t they act more like our friends the Cubans or the Venezuelans?  We’ll show them – stop all aid to those brutes!

    And the same can be said of the Georgians or the Ukranians!  Don’t they realize that the US is just looking out for their better interests, just like the Russians?  NATO, my *ss!  And the same goes for you guys in Poland!  You can just forget about that missile shield!  We have a world to save.

    And who are we saving it for?  All the great people that don’t get the credit they deserve.  Like the Unions – God Bless Them!  They are just looking out for the little guy.  And the Black Panthers!  They weren’t intimidating potential voters by brandishing those nightsticks and verbally abusing voters, they were just helping people make the RIGHT decision with their votes!  And those poor guys being held without even being Mirandized down in GitMo.  They were just abducted from their local Mosque in the middle of prayers and for what – just three little numbers – 911.  What kind of justification is that?

    If both sides would question their assumptions, take a non-ideological look at the pragmatics and compromise, we might get something done.   Because neither side can prove they are right if the other side doesn’t share their starting assumptions.


  • “while the government can be held accountable by all citizens”
    ROTFLMAO – do you believe what you write or is it just diahrea of the mind?  Any healthcare run by the government will be run by beaurocrats who will NOT be accountble to anyone.

    • Yeah, isn’t he a hoot?  I guess he failed to notice how accountable the government that invaded and oppressed Iraq against his wishes and complaints was to him during the last 8 years.  Talk about cognitive dissonance.

  • Insurance companies, however, are in it just to make money, while the government can be held accountable by all citizens.

    Insurance companies must serve their customers, or they will soon be out of business.

    Government? Well what member of the Supreme Court is accountable to me? How about Nancy Pelosi? She doesn’t represent my district, how is she accountable to me? How about the President? I have no power to remove him from office, all I can do is vote against him in 3 years. Doesn’t sound too accountable to me. How about Chris Dodd? He’s not in my state, I can’t vote him out of office. And what about the tens of thousands of federal employees who just don’t answer to the voters?

    In truth, government is even less accountable to the voters than most businesses are to their customers. And government charges more for that lack of accountability than any one business charges me for its service.

    • To put an even finer point on it: I can usually take my business to another company. But I can’t do business with another government.

  • Oh yeah.  Those games of “moral relativism” as practiced by the good professor.
    I don’t need Obama, Reid or Pelosi to tell me what I need or should hate.

  • SanFran Nan railing against insurance companies sounds is like Don Coleone railing against the evil and wickedness of Don Barzini!

  • Looker, there is no logical reason that Nancy Pelosi should be held to a different standard than anyone speaking on issues just because of her position.  Demonization is demonization, and adding it to the discourse is just as effective (if not more so) from Limbaugh (who is hardly ‘just’ a private citizen)  as Pelosi.   In fact, your effort to rationalize why it’s OK to demonize her but not for her to demonize seems like a typical game of trying to justify a double standard.

    • Well there – you let me know when Rush Limbaugh can move a bill that has anything to do with insurance companies (or anything ELSE for that matter)  through the House, or a  House committee, or propose one, or prevent one from coming to the floor of the House for a vote .  M’okay?  Did Nancy’s constituents tell her that Insurance companies are villains?  or is that a conclusion that Nan reached on their behalf to get something she wants.
      Anybody here vote for Rush or award him power over his fellow citizens?
      And go ahead and pretend that joe citizen Rush has a much power and influence as Nancy, and I specifically picked a Rush as an example because while he might have some influence, he has no actual POWER.
      I don’t particularly care much for Rush (hence my heartfelt comment about him being a clown, you might have noticed me calling people that….).   Rush is a clown, so is Nancy, the difference between the two is Nancy is a very dangerous and spectacularly ignorant clown with power (did I say ignorant? sorry, I meant stupid, you can cure ignorance….).
      Oh, and hey you might want to try to practice the preachy stuff – “Insurance companies, however, are in it just to make money, while the government can be held accountable by all citizens. ”  when it comes to reaching the conclusion based on your starting point.
      And a funny thing about that statement, MOST companies are in it for the money.   Most people who do their jobs ARE in it for the money.  There’s just not a lot of us out there doin it for the luv dude, but yeah  I’m sure you’d continue on as a professor even if they cut your salary to $15,000 a year though, cuz you’re doin it all for the luv.

  • Pelosi, of course, has accepted campaign contributions from said villains this year and in the past, as have most of her Democratic colleagues. Pelosi’s campaign committee, for example, took $2,500 from AFLAC’s political action committee on April 13. But she’s not giving the money back just because she thinks the sources are immoral and villainous.

  • Compared to being run by insurance company bureaucrats who will try to deny claims if they can find an excuse, and think first about the bottom line?   OK, maybe  neither the insurance company bureaucrats nor the government bureaucrats inspire much confidence.   But you seem to see the government as somehow evil and totally inept.  If so, then you definitely shouldn’t give them the power to make war and kill people!

    • Erb,
      My immediate family has had a few hundred thousand in medical bills and never, not once, did we have a single problem with the insurance companies refusing to pay or denying a procedure.  Nor have I ever heard anyone complain about this in my extended family, and many of them have had monumental bills for serious illnesses. I don’t doubt that it happens, but the sophomoric, unprofessional smearing of all insurance companies by politicians like Pelosi is inexcusable and does nothing to solve any problem.  Insurance companies provide an extremely valuable service and most of the time behave honorably.  Frankly, I can’t say that about most (not all) politicians.  Grow up.

      • Ditto and THANK You Grim.  I have a son who had a rhizotomy back in the 90’s – not a cheap procedure, and covered largely by evil insurance companies but not the government.  And as I recall, the evil insurance company actually audited the bill from the nice hospital, and found about $10,000 in overcharges & billings…go figure…evil insurance villians!

        • Evil indeed! They are depriving a worthy health care facility of the means to provide desperately needed health care to The People, all in the name ofr greed.

    • But you seem to see the government as somehow evil and totally inept

      Must be straw season up in Maine.

      Stop arguing against the voices in your head, little boy.

  • Moral relativism?    But you can’t prove your moral beliefs to be true, can you?   Do you think you should have the power to enforce your beliefs on others because you believe them right?  That’s the making of authoritarianism or worse.   Democracy rests on the idea that different perspectives exist, that’s a good thing, and if we communicate, converse, LISTEN and compromise, we’ll come up with better results than just letting the strongest enforce their beliefs about morality.

    • That’s utter cow manure. You engage in moral relativism when it suits you, then accuse others of it for…trying to impose their belief of not imposing their beliefs on others.
      You’re nothing but a hypocrite, you slime, and I can’t imagine you were ever otherwise.

  • But you can’t prove your moral beliefs to be true, can you?
    No more than you can … so … it’s still bad to demonize those with “double standards” ?  By what standard ?

  • It seems that someone does not seem to understand that insurance companies are regulated both by the market and the various state and federal governments which already regulate them. If insurance companies were the evil, greedy misanthropes they are portrayed as, they would soon be put out of business, if not in jail. Unless, of course, the political hacks who are complaining about the insurance companies do not choose to enforce the current laws and regulations.

  • Pelosi spends $2,000,000 on a mouse and it’s habitat, millions that could have been spent on the poor for health insurance=not a villain ; insurance companies who do give insurance coverage to any who can afford= villains

    cognative dissonance? or just another teachable moment?

  • Scott Erb, as regards government competence:

    We’ve seen very recently that the “cash for clunkers” program had to be rescued with an infusion of cash after just two weeks because the government had underestimated the demand.

    If it had so much trouble estimating the demand and cost of a $1 billion project — relatively small, by any fair estimate of the government — what confidence do you have that it will properly estimate the demand and cost of 1/6 of the US economy?

  • He can’t and the reason is very simple – the Democratic Talking Points Paper he is reading from do not tell him how to answer that one – so he won’t.

  • Actually, Scott, all I have to do is read a history book. The more the government tries to run every aspect of its’ citizens lives (see Soviet Union; see Communist China; see Sharia Law) the worse the quality of life, and the more objective evil is done in its’ name (see Soviet Famines; see Cultural Revolution; see stoning of rape victims). My thesis on government as inept and evil is proved repeatedly by what really happened.

  • I just don’t trust markets like you do looker, and demonization is demonization no matter who does it.
    Markets are the reason why in the world you have massive amounts of marketing and money spent to create artificial needs for people who already have all their material needs taken care of — hyperconsumerism, marketing ‘lifestyles,’ etc.  Yet while this 20% of the planet gets things they don’t need, most of the planet is suffering in poverty, and often famine and real needs.   Quite often, their work is produce stuff for those who already have plenty.  Thanks to capitalism we have an utterly immoral economic structure whereby the rich stay rich (and that includes even most so-called ‘poor’ in the US) and massive energy is put into creating ways to get them to continue to consume, instead of in finding ways to help people with real needs get them fulfilled.
    Market capitalism on its own leads to immoral, even evil, results.   If people only do things for money, sooner or later only those with money will be taken care of.   Government is a way to prevent that (and capitalism was saved by the state — without state intervention the workers would have revolted).   The trick is to find the right balance, and to guide things in a way that actually helps people.   So far, governments haven’t been very good at that either, which is why we’re facing a major crisis now.

    • Immoral? Can you prove that moral belief to be true? No matter, because to paraphrase Churchill, Capitalism is the worst possible economic system–except for all the others. You might call that a pragmatic approach, something you might consider instead of your idealogically based anti-capitalism. Ask your wife and her family how well a non-capitalist economy works.

    • I’d like to introduce you to an economic concept that’s only, oh, just over two centuries old. People are not either consumers or producers. They are both, simultaneously, or at least ought to be.
      If these “markets” you vilify didn’t exist, then you wouldn’t have all these Americans whose jobs are all about providing these “unnecessary” goods and services to others. What would they do? Well, the same as in the Third World: subsistence farming for themselves. It’s the fact that people are able to specialize and trade with others that allows an economy to produce much more than if every family labored only for themselves.
      If you want to make a point, then ditch your house, cell phone, and everything else “unnecessary” to survival. Go live in a hut and farm your own food — after all, YOU as a professor have the single most laughably unnecessary job on the planet. Until then, you insufferable twit, go back to wallowing in your hypocrisy.

    • One more thing, on demonization. You just don’t get it and probably never will. You could (and do) blabber about evil capitalists until you’re blue in the face, but you have no actual power to do it. Pelosi will “demonize” a company, and she has the ability to force her way of thinking.
      Will you ever understand?

  • SDN: all government is bad; no government is bad.   The trick is finding the right balance.  Ideologies that lead one to see “markets are all bad, so governments should do everything” will fail, as communism did.  The idea that markets can do everything is so absurd that few seriously propose it (and those that do, when confronted with a history book where no government equals no chaos and no progress get bizarre — one guy tried to use 11th century Iceland as an example of how it can work, thereby making himself look ridiculous!)   So if history shows us both extremes fail, we need to figure out the right balance and compromise, and reject the ideological extremists as being utterly irrational — from the left and from the right.

  • Neo, you miss my point.   I have very strong moral and ethical beliefs.  I know I can’t prove them, but I try to live by them.  I know that I can’t enforce my views on others since others have different perspectives, so I embrace democracy as the best method to work through issues, compromise, and learn form each other.  To do that one has to listen to the other side.  That’s one reason I vote for my Republican Senators — they prove they listen to both sides and even when I disagree with them, I don’ t think they’re just following a weird ideological script.

    • LOL.

      “I have very strong ….beliefs….I try to live by them”.

      H*ll’s bells, you can’t even be consistent about them. It must be dreadfully confusing trying to live by all those strongly held but contradictory beliefs.

      And, by the way, listening to someone elses beliefs and opinions does not require one to accept them as true or valid. It is still perfectly acceptable in this country to disagree with them. This seems to be something you reserve to yourself.

  • If both sides would question their assumptions, take a non-ideological look at the pragmatics and compromise, we might get something done.   Because neither side can prove they are right if the other side doesn’t share their starting assumptions.

  • Perry, do you feel really good about yourself when you simply hurl an insult?  I “engage in moral relativism when it suits me”?   What on earth do you mean by that?  And your second line is bizarre…then name calling…I mean, one can almost see you sputtering with anger as you write.  It’s amusing.

  • Oh, Perry, Perry, Perry…you’re doing very simple economics and have a naive view of the market.   I’m certainly not against markets, I just note that markets aren’t perfect and need to be regulated, and at times action to fix harm done by the markets is necessary.  I’m teaching a course this fall about Globalization where we go over the real way that power differential, time lags, misinformation and control over information can distort markets and allow them to be manipulated by powerful actors (both governmental and non-governmental).  It’s important to dispell people of the naive myth that somehow markets are magic and if only they would operate on their own everything would turn out best.  Power is real, and those with power twist markets to their advantage.
    Of course, you think teaching is an unnecessary job (which explains a lot about why your posts are mixed with very little content but a lot of venom).   No one I know of wants to ditch markets or demonize capitalists.   We just aren’t going to let them run amok.    Pelosi also doesn’t have the power to force her way of thinking.    Again, you need to learn more about how the system works.

  • What beliefs do you think I have that are inconsistent?   My core beliefs and principles have been pretty consistent for decades.

  • Well Steverino, Jon Stewart mocked that argument on the conservative talking points about “Cash for Clunkers.”  After all, should government be given the power to kill people and make war?   The fact is the program was more successful than people expected.   To use that to criticize the government is laughably surreal.

  • I believe it is bad to demonize others and better to listen to them.  I believe that the kind of name calling and mocking done by some against those with whom they disagree is silly emotion, like sports fans yelling at fans of the other team.  Its amusing (and driving some of my current research, looking in part at the psychology behind that sort of thingt), but in terms of actual political dialogue it’s utterly useless.   It’s a way for people to bolster their already held beliefs, and feel superior to those with “wrong” beliefs.  My opinion is that prevents people from learning more and better understanding a situation.  I try not to demonize, and I certainly hold no grudges, and try as hard as I can to treat anyone who makes an argument with respect, focusing on the argument, and not using a person’s opinions as cause for insulting them.
    But blogs, it seems, have become the ‘yellow journalism’ of the early 21st century.   Like talk radio, it’s an appeal to emotion.