Scott versus Scott

Welcome to our blog. Here we will debate the days most serious topics and allow users the chance to discuss the topics as well. The range of topics will vary, but one thing will remain certain, the debate will rage on. Scott Lesinski is a proud conservative and Scott Jones is a proud liberal. However, the roles will switch on some topics. Stay tuned.

Scott Lesinski is currently an actuarial associate for a large human resources and insurance consulting firm in Saint Louis. He is also an avid student of US history and enjoys following current events, with an eye to their contextual relationship to the past. He is also, in fact, a former student of Mr. Scott Jones. Scott is working toward his FSA credentials, which is akin to earning a PHD in Actuarial Science.

Scott Jones is currently a high school social studies teacher at a high school in suburban St. Louis, MO. He teaches World History, AP American Government and Senior American Foreign Policy. He has a BS. Ed. (Secondary Social Studies) from the University of Missouri - Columbia and a M.A. (History) from Southeast Missouri State University. He is currently working on a dissertation in character education to earn a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tonight is the night. Say goodbye to the American Dream.

It appears Pelosi and Reid have twisted enough arms, bribed enough congressmen, and lied enough to their respective caucuses to finally muscle up the 216 votes required to pass the Senate healthcare bill and with that, take the final plunge off the hill on which America has stood for 234 years.

If all goes as the conventional wisdom seems to suggest it might, we will be on the road to Universal, Single Payer, European style, government rationed healthcare by the end of the night.

I actually watched some of the debate on CSPAN today. It was absolutely ridiculous.

Paul Ryan, R Wisconsin, spent nearly 20 minutes exhaustively pointing out how this bill will absolutely destroy our budget. He pointed out that the initial, $940 billion 10 year cost estimate produced by the CBO was immediately caveated by the CBO as merely an estimate. He also pointed out how they said that if the Medicare Doctor Fix, which Pelosi has said the Congress will pass in April, passes, the combined bill will actually lead to an addition of $60Billion to the deficit, not the $130B reduction to the deficit we are promised by House Democrats. He then talked about how the Dems are double counting dollars everywhere in order to play accounting gimmicks. In all, the ten year forecast will add over $600B to the deficit, and that is based on the static estimates of the CBO, which are almost always underscored.

But its all details anyways. This bill never has been about improving access to healthcare. If it was, why does it take 2,700 pages? Why does it cost $2 Trillion? Why are there still 5-6 million people uninsured after ten years, (per the CBO)?

This healthcare bill, if passed, will put us on a road to the total government takeover of the healthcare sector of our economy. I know this because of two reasons; common sense and practical experience. Common sense tells us that if we offer employers a penalty option that is 50% less expensive than covering their employees with health insurance, they will drop employer health benefits in a heartbeat. Once that happens, many people will not be able to afford insurance in the current market since there are so many government regulations and no competition across state lines. Plus, this bill will do nothing to actually improve competition and quality while reducing cost, which the free market would, so costs will remain where they are or, more likely, increase with all the added demand. So a few years down the road, the public will be clammering for a solution and Obama or whoever will say the time for a public option has finally come. Then we get either a public option, or perhaps a full blown single payer implementation. This is the same way Canada got to their current healthcare situation.

In this way, the plan doesn’t have to have a public option to lead us to a total government takeover…but never believe for a second that this is not the explicit goal of this legislation.

Second, I work for a consulting firm. I won’t say which one and I can’t go into details (which would bore you anyways), but suffice to say, we will be advising clients to drop their retiree coverage because of the new beneficial tax structure (opting to pay a fine rather than pay for health insurance).

Our only hope for America is that the house and senate republicans are true to their word and raise holy hell about this healthcare bill from now until November with the intent to repeal it. They need to point out over and over that the taxes start immediately, but the benefits do not start until 2014. They need to point out that they have real, effective solutions for lowering costs, increasing competition, and improving portability and access to insurance. And they need to win big in 2010 and even bigger in 2012, with the expressed message that they will restore fiscal accountability and repeal this new entitlement. Because the fate of America depends on it.

If we do not stop or repeal Obamacare, we will lose the American dream.

The incredibly maddening truth is that there are real, effective ways to solve the problems our country faces, but they are not even being discussed or given any light.

The truth of the matter is that the best resource America has is our freedom and our people and that only through the mechanisms of individuals working for their own self-interest through the free marketplace can we achieve the levels of success I know we still can achieve.

One of the main reasons we maintained our status as The Last Best Hope for Man on Earth is that we DON”T look to Big Brother for all the answers. If you want to know where we are headed with this new healthcare takeover, just look at Greece.

We, the people of America, have the answers. We don’t need government. Government cannot solve our problems…government IS the problem.

We must overturn this bill if it is passed. Its never happened before; a new entitlement is always a new third rail. But this is different. This is ballgame. We lose control over our health decisions and we lose the American dream, its as simple as that.


  1. Scott, you have such wisdom. I am so sorry our world is turning this way.

  2. As you can guess...I completely disagree with you.

    Is the bill perfect? No, but that is something we can continue to work on into the future.

    Is the bill a tremendous step forward in making our country a more moral nation? YES!!

    Conservatives lost their moral high ground on this issue when they had control of the Presidency and both houses of Congress from 2002-2006 and did NOTHING!!

    Now it is just scare tactics based on red herrings and a meticulously created slippery slope.

    Just as conservatives were so proud when they rammed through the 2001 tax cuts (they used Senate reconciliation for that move, which they claim to hate now)...I am now proud of what the Democrats have begun moving us toward...A MORAL NATION.

    Scott - I know I made your skin crawl with this post, but we will never see eye-to-eye on this issue. Sure, we've hammered out some middle ground, but our compromise will never work in the current political climate. With that context, I support the Democratic plan over the non-plan scare tactics of the Republicans.

  3. Non-plan?!?! You've got to be kidding me man! All we threw at the democrats was ideas and facts and the ONLY thing they had was sob stories!!! Can you for a SECOND stop thinking with your bleeding heart?! The way this was handled was ANYTHING but moral. If this truly were to be a step in the right direction they would have given a lot more time to properly analyze the bill and make sure it's really going to lower our defecit. Obamas actuary said they didn't have enough time to assess the bill because it was so long and complex.

    When Boehner requested a call of the roll for a vote whoever was filling in for Pelosi while she was doing who knows what basically gave him the middle finger. And you know why?! Because if they did it by the call of the roll then the dems couldn't pick and choose who could still vote no and have the bill pass so they could get reelected. Why don't you brush up on your vocabulary before you start throwing this moral crap around. That's right, crap.

    We've been lied to about this bill the whole time and THIS SIR is the end of us being that shining light on the hill you always talk about us being.

  4. SJ,

    Why don't you stop and do some critical analysis of what is going on around you?

    On the economic side, we are already heading for cataclysmic bankrupcty as a nation. We are already on an unsustainable path of deficit spending. This bill, despite what the demagogues on your side say, will not reduce any deficit what-so-ever and the CBO was preempted before it could make that point.

    There were so many games played with this bill from a budgetary perspective it will make your head spin.

    Just ask yourself, why do the Democrats have to lie, so vociferously, about this bill to make it palatable?

    Why do we need 2700 pages of legislation? Why are we now going to be FORCED to buy insurance? That is unconstitutional and it will be challenged.

    But ask yourself this one last question:

    If you and I can come to a solution that will actually lead to increased competition, reduced costs to our government, increasing access and portability to health insurance, and an overall increase in the level of freedom shared by all Americans, why can't Congress?

    Its not about solving the problem Scott, its about power. Its always about power and it always will be about power. This bill grants unprecedented power to the Federal government over our lives. It places huge new tax burdens on all of us, businesses and individuals alike. It raids medicare and social security funds. It cuts payments to hospitals and doctors. This bill WILL NECESSARILY LEAD to government rationing of care, just like they have in Canada, the UK, France, and anywhere else where the government controls the healthcare system.

    But that's been the goal from the start Scott.

    You have been duped. You have been lied to. You have been made to believe that we are an unjust, immoral nation because we don't have this universal, government paid for "right". You, and those who truly believe this to be best for our nation, are useful pawns in the struggle for control over our country.

    Sorry to state it so plainly and in what I'm sure you will view to be an insulting way, but Scott, we know we can do better and we know we can have a system that works for everyone, that brings down costs (actual costs, through competition and innovation, not just lowering payments through the forced medicare cuts to doctors). This being the case, why do the Democrats want the opposite? Why this bill, in all of its largess, in all of its new bureacracy, in all of its new taxes and penalties?

    Do you really think not owning health insurance should be a crime punishable by a prison sentence? For the love of god, wake up!

  5. We're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Nothing you say will change my mind and nothing I say will change yours.

    What I would like to say is that calling me names (bleeding heart) and questioning my ability to analyze the issue (critical thinking) does not advance anything.

    When the Republicans had control of the Presidency and BOTH houses of Congress, they did not address health care. Too late now. You ask for more amount of time would satisfy them. You say we are no longer the light on the hill...I say we joined other lights on the hill in making our country's access to life a moral victory that the European have long done well.

    I know you don't agree here, but that is not the point. I am not here to convince you that we took a step in the right direction because you're already entrenched on the opposite. I am here to simply say I wish we would've done more. The bill is good, but we had the chance for perfect. And it is not the end of America as we know it. We just made America better.

  6. There is nothing moral about the healthcare bill. It is immoral without a doubt to force people to buy into a monopolized system that thrives on keeping people diseased and ignorant. If everyone was healthy, we wouldn’t need “health care” or possibly more correctly termed “sick care.” Why can't people get their heads out of the sand?

    It could possibly be the end of America as we know it because we can't finance our healthcare. We can't pay for the level of disease we have in this country. We don't have the funds to foot this bill.

  7. "Nothing you say will change my mind and nothing I say will change yours."

    Why? What's the point of this blog? What's the point of discussing anything ever?

    Change my mind Scott. Give me your facts and reasons for this bill and how this just made America better.

    You effectively have said nothing in either of your posts.
    -Making our country a "moral" country is not a reason.
    -A step in the right direction is not a reason.
    -Being a light on the hill is not a reason.
    -Telling me a sob story is not a reason.

    Again, back to the facts. Show me. Teach me. Why should I like this bill.

    Scott has given tons of facts and reasons why this is not good.

    Answer some of his questions!

    I challenge you, change our minds!

  8. All I was saying is that we've exhausted this topic on the blog. I've stated my factual and philosophical views on the issue in many posts and comments over the past year. You've done the same. So has Scott. You don't see my premises and interpretations of the facts as valid and I see the shortcomings in your views as well. No need to continue to beat the proverbial dead horse.

    I will post a view of the health care bill later in the week, which you will see has invalid and factually incorrect based on your interpretations of the facts and world perspective.

    Sometimes I do wonder what the purpose of the blog is. I've not moved one-inch to the right nor have you moved one-inch to the left. Like the actual and true meaning of life that I've been contemplating heavily in recent months and what matters and what doesn't, I am wondering if all the political rhetoric is worth it and if any of it actually matters.

    Sorry for the philosophical rambling.

  9. I don't see this blog as so much an attempt for you and I (and others) to necessarily try to pull each other to the left or right; rather it is to lay out the arguments for both sides. If one happens to make arguments that resonate, perhaps there is a chance of some moving toward common ground.

    However, the fact remains that you and I represent two very different ideologies. We can see this very clearly in the healthcare debate. You may look at various facts I point out that show a logical succession of events that will lead to the destruction of private insurance, however you overlook that as unimportant when the ultimate goal is getting everyone some base level of "coverage".

    But there has been some common ground. You seem to acknowledge the fact that the environmental movement has been hijacked. I have agreed with a more libertarian view of homosexual unions, that I feel I don't want the government involved at all, and let the Church do what it will.

    The point is, this blog serves a good purpose and it does matter. I'll be interested to see what you find so great about the healthcare bill. But I agree with Jon; I would really like to see specifics not just platitudes about being a moral country. Because what you define as moral, I see a flip side to and claim as immoral. But I digress.