Talk:Health care reform debate in the United States

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Withdrawal of support[edit]

The section was entirely anti-reform. It contained a conservative polling organization with no offset. Please balance and re-introduce. You could explain how Obama built an unprecedented 60 Senators behind the bill, but there recently was a high-level defection in Nelson. Who cares what Ahnold thinks; he is not in the Senate.Farcaster (talk) 07:33, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

The CNN poll showed 57% opposition, compared to Rasmussen's 55%. I'll add CNN since you object to Rasmussen, but the only way I know of balancing 57% opposition is to report (as Rasumussen does) around 40% support. Since you want Senators rather than Governors, I'll add Snowe too.[1] Maybe for balance you should add a section on "opponents who've changed their mind and decided to support the current bills," if you can find any. Also, with regard to your comment that "Obama built an unprecedented 60 Senators...", if you check his WP biography I think you'll find he's no longer a Senator, he's President now. Harry Reid is the Senate Majority leader.TVC 15 (talk) 08:43, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Public opinion (which according to many polls is declining) is notable here. Calling the section "Withdrawal of support" is a little bit loaded, though and it's really not clear what the opinion of uninvolved celebrities has to do with any of this. As for the people actually voting on this, a lot of what you cite as "withdrawal" is simply the sort of horse-trading and vote counting that goes along with any big controversial bill. Are you also going to add a "Withdrawal of opposition" section for those that got behind the bill after various concessions and compromises were made? If not, why? (and for the record, I think either such section is pretty weak structure for an encyclopedic article).
While we're on the subject, I'm not sure why you keep attempting to claim that Nelson withdrew his support for the bill. He voted for the bill (which, in the end, is probably a much better indicator of "support" than a couple out-of-context quotes ). The quote you cite makes it pretty clear that, while discussing the political miscalculation of bringing such a bill up now, he still supports it conditionally. He said he would (note the future, not present tense) withdraw his support if the final version has a public option (which is highly unlikely at this point). Rather than edit-war and declaring "no it's not!" to legitimate objections, try discussing this stuff first and gaining consensus. Remember, in content disputes, the burden for consensus is on the editor seeking to add material, not those removing it. --Loonymonkey (talk) 16:35, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

I've changed the section title for balance. Senator Nelson called the bill "a mistake" and "a bad bill" and said he'll vote against it if it continues to include a public option; the House bill has one and the Speaker of the House has said she couldn't pass a bill without one, and the Senate bill that got 60 votes also had one, so Nelson is opposed to the current bills. I do wish you would read more before deleting, but perhaps the two functions involve opposite instincts; at least it is refreshing to see you've found the discussion page. Regarding deletions, I did have to delete the bit about Obama passing a stimulus plan, since it had nothing to do with the subject of the article and (as I stated above) he is no longer a Senator; the Congress passed it, and the President signed it. Anyway some of the editors on this page seem to view this as 'let's do something nice for Obama and save healthcare from those ignorant Tea Partiers', which is a ridiculous oversimplification that shows remote inattention. If you take a moment to read this [2] and this [3] (bonus points for this [4]), you may begin to understand that Obama has done himself and his party no favors by 'changing his mind' and campaigning against the plan that got him elected. (Of course, now that Loonymonkey got the article on Obama's plan deleted, that information is harder to find.) The fact that the Massachusetts Senate race is even close should tell you something, in addition to the Democrats' loss of two Governors' races last year. Likewise it's puzzling why you would call the Governor of California an "uninvolved celebrity;" here in this country, governors tend to work closely with their states' Congressional delegations, and even appoint replacements if a representative or senator can't continue in office.TVC 15 (talk) 18:30, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Update: reports Coakley actually LOST the MA Senate race, and by 7 points.[5] That's a really wide margin but, in Coakley's defense, it's 10 points narrower than the national margin against the healthcare "reform" she had promised to vote for.TVC 15 (talk) 03:07, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Hauskalainen, the Ben Nelson speech that you linked to as evidence of support is from December, when he voted for the bill. The quote that you deleted is from January, and belongs in this section on changes in support and opposition.TVC 15 (talk) 22:21, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

The web site of the senator would have been updated had he really changed his opinion. I am afraid that the text in the article you quote from quite neatly fits the alternative interpretation that Nelson did not like the bill which was originally presented nut decided to vote for it after the abortion and public option clauses were amended. That fits the text and his own statement on the personal web site. Therefore I do not accept the interpretation you wish to make. I see no evidence that he would now change his vote if the same legislation he previously voted in favor of was presented before him again. To do this would be an admission that he had made a mistake and I see no evidence of this from him. --Hauskalainen (talk) 02:40, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Nelson's waffling all over the place now, probably because the bill he voted for is even more unpopular in his state than it is in the rest of the country, but we might as well omit him because otherwise the article might get distracted into the ever-changing statements of a single senator from a sparsely populated state. BTW, since you seem to think opposition to the bill is a function of ignorance, it might interest you to know that college graduates opposed it sooner and by a wider margin than the general public; you can read all about it in the newspaper that, since these bills were announced, has become the most widely read in the country.[6]TVC 15 (talk) 07:11, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

"Arguments" section needs clean-up.[edit]

For stylistic and NPOV reasons, I've combined the "Liberal arguments" and "Conservative arguments" into one section, but left all of the paragraphs in place. Reading through it though, it's pretty apparent that this whole section needs some serious clean-up. It's not a collection of arguments in the Health care reform debate so much as it is just random collection of quotes about the current bill (almost every single one of which is negative). It's primarily a coatrack of quotes slamming the Senate bill. There's the obvious WP:NPOV and WP:WEIGHT issues that this raises, but more to the point, what is this section meant to convey? Before we can fix it, we should agree on what it should be, if anything. Is it supposed to be summarizing arguments for and against the current bill? (if so, it fails because it's so lopsided) Is it even supposed to be about the current bill or Health care reform in general? (if about the current bill, we should lose the historic stuff, if about Health care reform in general we're giving too much weight to the current bill). Also, there is a section further down the article giving arguments for and against the current bill. This is clearly redundant so we either need to merge this section into that section or remove the overlap (depending on, again, whether we even need this section. --Loonymonkey (talk) 00:48, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Instead of only deleting and complaining, why don't you try contributing something? For organizational and NPOV reasons, the article has always included arguments from liberal and conservative sources; as the debate has progressed, liberal sources have turned increasingly against. (Conservative sources were always against.) The new sections on post-passage tactics have to do with electoral political strategy rather than substantive policy; these are two different parts of the debate, so they are in separate sections. When one side has more and better arguments than the other, NPOV does not require suppressing those arguments to make the debate seem more ambiguous than it really is.TVC 15 (talk) 02:40, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
(sigh) really, please back off from the battleground mentality. First of all, I didn't delete any of the quotes, it was an organizational question. Whether any particular paragraph belongs or should be deleted has nothing to do with what I'm discussing here. As for one side having "better arguments" that may be your opinion, but it's hardly WP:NPOV. I'm pretty familiar with your point of view (and your feelings about me personally) but I'm hoping to get input from other editors here. --Loonymonkey (talk) 03:41, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Alas America is deeply polarized between liberal and conservative camps, and this polarization affects nearly every debate. This article has always made a point of including expressly liberal and conservative sources. You recently deleted the liberal category (leaving the conservative category - perhaps that was an oversight?), even though you had left it previously. Since it's been part of the structure for so long, you might consider discussing _before_ deleting it. As for whose arguments are better, or at least winning, that question is decided by hundreds of millions of people; I am only one. Somehow you don't (want to) understand that a fair trial does not always result in a hung jury, or a level playing field does not always result in a tied game, or pick your metaphor for a debate in which one side persuades more people than the other. In reply to your comment regarding my feelings about you personally: my sadness at your unwillingness to contribute, and my frustration at your insistence on deleting and tagging instead, are not really germane to the article. One thing I will say for you though: you have taught me to appreciate Hauskalainen, who at least does some research.TVC 15 (talk) 09:18, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, leaving the "Conservative" section was a mistake. I meant to merge the two sections. As for the rest, well....I actually bet a friend of mine that you were incapable of responding without going into a long attack rant against me personally. Looks like I won. --Loonymonkey (talk) 22:08, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually, you lost. My reply to your personal comment was about the same length as your comment, and not a "long attack rant." At least you managed to admit a mistake - first time I've seen you do that - and I hope your bet was that if you lost you'd start contributing instead of deleting.TVC 15 (talk) 23:07, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
In this case distinguishing between the arguments on both sides is quite useful. Whether the best terms for describing the two sides are "liberal" versus "conservative", "Democratic" versus "Republican", "Pro" versus "Con" may be worth discussing, but there are generally two widely recognized sides to this debate. EastTN (talk) 20:20, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I fully agree. Arguments for and against are a necessity here and there's no problem with dividing sections into "Democratic" and "Republican." The problem is in arbitrary designations like "Liberal" and "Conservative" which don't really have anything to do with the argument so much as the person making the argument. It gets particularly POV when these designations are based simply on the opinion of the editor adding the quotes, yet stated factually (such at the New York Times). And obviously using ridiculous language like "Proud liberal..." and "Other prominent liberals...." has nothing at all to do with the arguments being made (and really, is just bad writing. We try not to spoon-feed the readers here). --Loonymonkey (talk) 22:17, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
The "proud liberal" label that you object to was added primarily because without it Hauskalainen deleted Bob Herbert saying he had no place among liberal arguments, so it was about spoon-feeding Hauskalainen not the reader generally. Another reason was because of your "who" tags, to help you see that your question had already been answered in the text (rather than repeating every person's name in every sentence). If Hauskalainen will leave Bob Herbert in without the label, that's fine with me. However, "Democratic" and "Republican" are not necessarily better labels, because those happen to be the names of the two largest (but certainly not the only) political parties, and they should only be applied to arguments endorsed by those parties. Also, as I recall, Michael Moore supports the Green Party, which campaigns for single-payer healthcare (their nominee for President in 2008 was Cynthia McKinney, who had previously been a Democratic Representative in Congress, but she campaigned against both the Democrats and Republicans in 2008). So, switching to Democratic and Republican labels would impute arguments to the parties that they have not endorsed, and would assign people to parties that they are not members of.TVC 15 (talk) 23:12, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
You're putting the horse before the cart there. You're saying we can't call it a Democratic and Republican section because Michael Moore doesn't fit in there. But why do we need a Michael Moore quote at all (as opposed to the thousands of other pundits that have commented). Or more to the point, why would we even need to divide arguments into two sections based on the perceived ideology of the person making the argument (which are often arbitrarily and incorrectly applied, as mentioned above). The root issue is what is the purpose of this section. What are we trying to convey with this? If we decide what the section should be, we can easily make the text conform to that, but right now it's just a jumble of quotes with no clear purpose. That's the coatrack issue described above, in that the section is primarily just a collection of quotations against the current proposals with none in favor. --Loonymonkey (talk) 23:38, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
[outdent] The horse always goes before the cart; if you look at some old photos, you'll see that. Also, if you read the text, you'll see it does contain arguments in favor, e.g. Krugman. Your removal of the liberal/conservative labels reduced the degree of organization; prior to that, there were two clearly identified sections to organize what most people would call the two sides of the debate.TVC 15 (talk) 00:36, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
So I mistyped the metaphor. Not really that big of a deal. But now we're getting somewhere. Contrary to what you say, this was not divided into "two sides of the debate." Both sections (liberal and conservative) were primarily quotes against the legislation (or reform in general). I have no problem with, and would actually favor, dividing this by position, arguments for and arguments against. That's what I suggested above. If you and other editors feel this is appropriate then we can begin reorganizing it to conform to that. This would mean that the "against" section would contain many of the quotes already in this section and the "for" section would need to be created (there is very little in the way of "for" in this section as noted above). Is that what you favor?--Loonymonkey (talk) 20:31, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
"For" and "Against" works for me. If absolutely necessary, I would not object to an "other views" section for the miscellaneous stuff. EastTN (talk) 22:23, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Republican Ideas[edit]

Needs stand points of conservatives not just of Obama. Richiebf (talk) 01:41, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Feel free to offer a proposed alternative in your sandbox, maybe? Debate isn't what is needed in this discussion text, action is needed. (talk) 17:46, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Is it constitutional? The commerce clause[edit]

My personal belief is that this new healthcare reform is constitutional...but I am aware of the contentious debate on this issue. As the article currently states, "The government argues that this is covered under the Commerce Clause, whereas detractors argue that this is wrong. As of 2010, this matter is still before the courts."

There certainly should be a sub-section of this article that examines this issue, fairly describing the various points of view on this issue. However, we would need to take care to prevent this from becoming a right versus left flameware. RK (talk) 13:41, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

move big chunks to PPACA article[edit]

Roughly the second half of this article is really about PPACA's legislative history and not about the health care reform debate in general. In the period before PPACA was passed it made sense to keep this history in this article because there were a lot of proposals floating around, but now I believe it's time to move it over. The first half of the article should stay here because it is about the health care reform debate in general and could apply equally to some future legislation. Any thoughts? --Nstrauss (talk) 19:30, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

This Wiki Entry is a Mess of Partisan Platitudes.[edit]

In preparation for writing an article on the subject of PPACA, I started reading this wiki entry. I made it to the section describing Medicare Advantage as a "scheme" when I could no longer keep myself from making corrections.

Medicare (dis)Advantage?[edit]

In addition to being an unwieldy string of awful clauses, the mentioned sentence evinced a complete lack of understanding concerning Medicare Advantage and its intentions. I left most of the awful structure of the sentence intact, but I had to correct the more egregious errors.

Against my better judgment, I left the idiotic ending of that sentence mostly untouched. The sentence seems to suggest that insurers profiting from the sale of Medicare Advantage was an unforeseen consequence--rather than the entire point.

You don't have to agree with Medicare Advantage, but if you're going to pretend to discuss it, you should probably have the barest inkling about it--to say nothing of insurance or health care. The Bush administration intended to use the profit motive to increase efficiency. That is the entire point of privatization. I'm not suggesting you have to agree with it. I am, however, suggesting you shouldn't call it a "scheme" and then promptly demonstrate you haven't the slightest clue.

I'll probably go back and rewrite it again to read: "Much debate surrounded Medicare Advantage and the insurers profiting from its sale." Not only is that a better sentence, but it also stops short of pinning my partisan credentials to the page.

The Rest of the Story[edit]

The difference between that sentence and the rest of this horrible article is one of degree, rather than category. I suppose trashing the whole thing and starting over is out of the question. As it stands, the article reads mostly as liberal pandering punctuated with conservative rejoinders.

Although the article contains facts, the authors lack the understanding of the central issues required to arrange those facts cogently. Most of what is written here seems culled arbitrarily from MSNBC or Fox. A real reference might have discussed aspects of central planning and market forces and how they relate to things like the Medical Loss Ratio, mandated benefits and extraordinary compulsions for insurers, this one compiles disjointed quotes into a useless pile of propaganda.

I suppose that's just how Wikipedia works.

Or is it?