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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

When Does the GOP Start Supporting Healthcare Reform?

It must be getting uncomfortable to be a Republican politician supporting Glenn Beck’s “Health Care Reform is Communist!” platform.   As congressman John Culberson (R-TX) is finding out, it’s all well and good until you start listening to the people who (might be) re-electing you.  Since only 1% of America watches Beck, simply parroting him may not be the wisest campaign strategy.

HT to BarbinMD at DailyKOS for so succinctly putting this one in her diary Culberson Push Polls A Tea Bag Full Of Fail

When asked if they support the Democratic Party efforts to reform the health insurance system, what do the voters in Congressman Culberson’s district have to say?

But, to be fair, the results of a poll don’t mean anything unless you look at the questions.  Perhaps the wording was such as to encourage the voters in Congressman Culberson’s home district to see President Obama’s health care initiative in a positive light.  Let’s see what actually asked his voters:

ahem…  well.  OK, short of “Do you think it is right for Obama to resurrect Hitler using his Evil Satanic Powers and instruct Adolf to come eat your childrens’ livers?” it would be hard to imagine a more slanted set of questions.  Of course, it doesn’t take any effort to click a poll, so maybe the people who took time to comment on the congressman’s site are a different mix.  

Of the sixteeen comments on the Health Care section of the congressman’s website, ten are in support of reform and six are against.  Of course, all of those for are probably just repeating Leftwing Socialist Talking Points, so let’s see what we have:

Mark Theilken says:

September 26, 2009 at 9:19 am

I’m totally in support of free market principles, and I don’t want the federal govt. to control healthcare in the US. But, we can’t ignore the need for reform.

The pre-existing condition issue and the ability to cease coverage after a period of time have to be addressed. I am in excellent health, but was declined coverage due to a condition that existed four years ago and has been addressed. I will end up paying 2X rates in the TX risk pool. My wife’s policy clearly states that the insurance company can cancel her policy if a condition persists for 12 months. The insurance co. can’t lose! Unfair practices like these have given Obama his mandate for reform.

hmmm, well, that’s not exactly Karl Marx, so let’s try another:

roxann blackburn says:

October 1, 2009 at 12:45 pm

A third of the people living in Harris County are living without health insurance. This is public health issue that effects everyone. A public option for health care is not going to interfere with individual choice. It is going to begin to address the indirect costs that effect everyone in our country who is paying for this shameful mess.

Yeah, cowardly Communists don’t even put their full names on their comments!  oh…

Craig says:

October 7, 2009 at 9:35 am

As a hospital business office director for 14 years I am amazed at the discussion on health care.

This is a joke to the republican party it seems. When my wife requested information from Mr. Culberson she received a form letter detailing talking points from Fox news having nothing to do with actual legislation. Does Mr. Culberson do any of his own research or just watches t.v.

Here’s a fact. A friends wife admitted to hospital for surgery. The doctor was approved provider from insurance company, however the hospital that he worked out of was not a network hospital. You figure if the doctor is approved why not the facility.

Guess what, The insurance company covered physician charges but denied the facility charges.

Guess who now is responsible for $38000 in hospital charges? This not an isolated instance.

Here’s a question you have to ask yourself, How can someone elected to represent us do so ethically and in our best interest when they accept millions of dollars of contributions from the industry they are supposed to reform?

Yeah, dumb old hospital administrators!  What do they know about things like administrating hospital, um, costs and things?

OK, let’s be fair and put up an alternative view.  What about one of the “against” voters in Congressman Culberson’s district?

John says:

October 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm

I keep hearing echoes that medicare is going to be cut. Is that correct? I am a 53 year old

man that worked and paid taxes for 31 years. Unfortunately, I had to stop working due to a health condition, and am now on SSD. I depend on my social security benefits and medicare and it would be devastating to me if my benefits were cut. This especially concerns me when I see so many people in this country illegally getting better benefits than I do when they have done absolutely nothing for this country. I am a registered Republican

OK, see?  There are voters in the Congressman’s district who see his side of things.  Concern that the Obamacare plan will wipe out Medicare are running rampant.  John goes on to rant against the Socialst Left coming to steal his benefits:

that has been forced to vote the Democratic party because of the lack of concern for the “little guys” and the lack of leadership by the Republican party regarding health care reform. PLEASE, can we see some cooperation to come up with reform that will be good for “We The People”.

Oh.  Um, ok, let’s find someone who really is against health care reform.  I’m sure there are voters in the congressman’s district with arguments against health care reform that will resonate with large numbers of normal people.  How about this one:

Dora says:

October 8, 2009 at 5:49 pm

I agree that we need some kind of reform even for Long Term Care policies. I had a long term care policy and had paid them 10,000 and they went up so much I could no longer afford it and had to drop the policy. I think when we put that much money into a policy and they raise the rates so much we can no longer afford it, some of that money should be reimbursed. The insurance company never spent one red cent on me and they have my 10,000. I don’t think that is FAIR. However, I don’t want a socialist/communist government controlled health plan. I think the government has ulterior plans for those that object to this communist/marxist ideologies. We need to EXPOSE all those in Congress that belong to Socialist Democrats of America and to the Progressive Caucus and vote them OUT. I read ALL that HR3200 and it is written in such a way it can be interpreted any way the government wants to interpret it.

hmmm, that is definitely against “communist/marxist ideologies”, but it actually kinda shows why everyone should support the plan being offered so far by the Democrats.  There has to be a good argument in favor of congressman Culberson here somewhere.  

How about this one?

Bellaire resident says:

September 29, 2009 at 9:38 pm

If anyone thinks that a plan with government management will cover everything then they should look at Britain , France, Canada or other advanced countries. In Britain, they tell people, sorry no kidney dialysis for you because of a list of guidelines (no kidneys, no life) also the number of women surviving breast cancer is much lower in Britain because the time to wait for biopsy is long. And this is a beatable cancer in US. We won’t even discuss Canada. Even their government recently released report that their system has been so terrible
that they are going to allow doctors to have private practices again (for the rich). Also countries in Europe have tax rates that are 50% or more and this is everyone. So be careful what you wish for.

Good old “Bellaire resident”!  How brave of him/her to come out there and stand by his/her opinion  If the points he/she is making about countries with real socialized medicine were true that would be compelling!  Unfortunately, they aren’t.  The “high taxes in Europe” part does have some truth to it, but if you counted what we are all paying (or not getting paid, because our employers are buying insurance for us) then our taxes would be just as high and we don’t have the truckloads of other social services that are common in the EU.

OK, one more try to find a sane and reasonable voice among the “against” crowd.  How about Renee?

Renee’ says:

October 1, 2009 at 8:48 am


Showing compassion is an individual’s choice. We are always free to choose whatever forms of charity we believe in. What you are talking about is forcing some of us to work for the benefit of others: when free will is taken out of the equation and the rest of us are FORCED TO LABOR to cover the ENTITLEMENT of others, we become SLAVES.

Aha!  See?  Renee and Ayn Rand are speaking to the mainstream of American voter opinion!  Out with public education, police, fire, roads, military, trade regulation, disease control and food testing!  “Every man, woman and child for themselves” is what Americans really want!

Um, congressman Culberson?  You may want to rethink your position unless you want to turn your Red district Blue…


  1. HappyinVT

    it was posted at Daily Kos.  But only slightly.  If there isn’t a way to limited the voting to folks in the district then the Rep. shouldn’t have posted the poll in the first place.  The last I heard last night was that it was up to 81% for.

    That reminds me of the NC state senator who took a pile of surveys to Gov. Perdue from “prespective Republicans” only to find out that the survey results didn’t say what they thought.  And, there was a donation check for $50 to that senator.

  2. – right-handed radio in general, but not Limbaugh/Beck crazy (in fact they mock those guys more than they mock Obama) – I think I’m seeing a trend.  Most people are seriously unhappy with healthcare.  Almost everyone has a story, either their own or someone close to them, of serious medical woe.

    I am beginning to believe the line about 2/3 or American supporting public option (or even Single Payer).  The poll on the Culberson site was 72% in favor of reform before the DKOS story was posted, and I’d bet it is not far off an accurate number for his district.  If 20% of people still identify as Republican and 1% of people watch Glenn Beck, there isn’t necessarily a large percentage of people supporting the actual Tea Bagging agenda.


    that the Republicans are attempting to create an American aristocracy.  I’d never thought of that before but it stuck in my mind.  When I look at their actions I always hold them up to that notion…will the result of these actions help create an aristocracy?  

  4. creamer

     The one thing the GOP has done exceptionaly well is overiding message managment, big government bad. Since President Reagan that has been their central theme and public face. It’s easy to frame and sell to a large part of the electorate that might not be plugged in politicly. Now that they are faced with issues that require the Federal government to solve they have no where to go. If they aknowledge the need they admit that the central theme of their idealology is flawed.

     The bailout of Bush and the Democrats saved them from having to aknowledge the limits of small government, just as Obama and the Democrats on congress will save them from having to aknowledge that capitalism by itself doesn’t provide healthcare effectivley on a national scale. Without government intervention in healthcare, at some point the Republican party would either have to tell people their health depended on their income and it wasn’t their problem, or aknowledge that government needed to fix it.


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