By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

What health-care reform means to our family

In my latest for the Guardian, I write about what health-care reform means to our family — and, specifically, to our daughter, who will not have to worry being excluded from insurance because of her dwarfism.

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  1. Christian Avard

    Very moving article Dan.

    I am curious though. Maybe it’s just the skeptic in me, but what do you think will happen with premiums? How much will they be (for you or just in general) since the law allows people with pre-existing illnesses and/or who don’t meet wellness standards to be charged more? I fear this could be one of those unintended consequences of this bill. If so, I hope they change that fast.

    But still, this is a landmark piece of legislation.

  2. Davio Van Lombirk

    And become a nation of socialist dwarfism enablers? Never!

    That is to say, the reaction of the lunatic right to this legislation is truly disturbing. And I don’t think the Democrats have done enough to bring the message to the people. I’m actually encountering people – who will benefit from this bill – citing this as a good example of why it’s a good thing we got Scott Brown in there, to stop this kind of totalitarian, big government taking over our lives thing.

    And the MSM isn’t doing anything. The coverage is all about the venom and the anger and the distrust, not the facts.

  3. Mike Benedict

    My company’s initial analysis suggests we will cut our health care premiums by half. That is a huge, huge savings.

  4. Steve Stein

    @Davio – the MSM is doing something – cheerleading for Republicans! Why just this morning I heard WBZ report* that “Scott Brown has kept his promise and voted against HCR” when he had in fact cast no votes on HCR at all.

    *Deb Lawler at about 6:55 AM

  5. Davio Van Lombirk

    Steve – wow, that’s pretty bad. I guess what WBZ was trying to say was that SB got off the fence and decided to support repeal.

    And now that he’s done that, SOMEONE needs to present him a list of things that are in this legislation, and ask him which ones he thinks are bad and need to go. And WHY.

    And John Kerry needs to publicly address those same questions to him.

  6. Mary DeChillo

    Thanks, Dan, for making it personal to your family. I do believe that narratives about real people are most effective in helping the public understand public policy and the effects of policy change.

    My two sons are in college and I had already been afraid of what they would do if they didn’t get a job with benefits. I have “preexisting conditions” which would preclude me from getting insurance on my own. I have always said that were it not for my husband’s job as an academic at a state college,our family’s trajectory would have been very different. Some people have not been so lucky.

    When middle class people who have health insurance finally grasp “what’s in it for me and my family” they will see that this is not another “poor people’s entitlement”. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t see life in terms of the common good and don’t link how supporting what is good for the greater good will benefit them as well.

    Your link about how health care will free people with regards to employment opportunities is most apt. When workers begin to see how many more employment and educational opportunities are available to them when they are not tied to one job or locked into one profession, they will ultimately be living the American Dream! Can’t imagine any Republican taking issue with individual freedom and the free market!

  7. BP Myers

    Wonderful article, Dan. Amazed to see (at least yesterday) a similarly unanimous opinion among the usually cantankerous (and brilliant) Guardian commentators.

  8. You have to love the Federal Government. They’re trying to deliberately raise taxes and cut our pay. What do you think businesses will do when their expense per employee goes up?

  9. L.K.Collins

    Mr. Goldstein, according to some of the reports that I have seen since this weekend, the lunatic left has had some equally disturbing reactions to the passage of this bill.

    As has been amply demonstrated time-and-again, lunacy it the province of neither the right or the left.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @L.K.: I’m sorry, but your comment must have gotten cut off. I assume you meant to follow with a long list of death threats, incidents of vandalism, faxed nooses, spitting, racial and homophobic epithets and other incidents that left-wing lunatics have been directing toward members of Congress following passage of the health-care bill. Come on, L.K. — we know you can do it!

  10. Rich Kenney

    Dan, are you seriously saying that the left has never protested anything in the manners in which you describe? I believe that was L.K. Collins’ point. I believe he finished his post by saying: “As has been amply demonstrated time-and-again, lunacy is the province of neither the right or the left.”

    Please direct me to posts on your blog where you condemn the left for similar protests during the Bush years. Unless, of course, you deny that they occurred.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Rich: @L.K. tells us that “the lunatic left has had some equally disturbing reactions to the passage of this bill” [my emphasis]. I think I’ll wait to see if I get an answer to my question before I deal with yours.

  11. Davio Van Lombirk

    DK – What is up with Ron Goldstein’s comment? It’s an exact copy of what I wrote, above. If he’s making fun of me, that’s fine – it’s a badly written paragraph. But still.

    Is Ron a bot that invades blogs and regurgitates previously posted comments?

  12. Davio Van Lombirk

    Rich Kenney – Give us one documented example of similar behavior on the left during the HCR debate. ONE.

  13. Rich Kenney


    Breaking news: REPUBLICAN Eric Cantor’s office has been shot at. I believe he voted against the health care bill. This is the first bullet to fly as far as I know. I suspect it wasn’t the RIGHT that shot at the office.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Rich: This is indeed breaking news. Nothing directed at the right before today. No surprise — violence begets violence. “First bullet to fly”? No more or less serious than cutting a gas line to someone’s house.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Rich: Not to question the veracity of the esteemed congressman from Virginia, this story (by a former student of mine, @Peter) strikes me as rather odd. I would like to know if Cantor reported the shooting to police, and if there is an investigation under way.

  14. Rich Kenney

    Davio, see my previous post. That’s ONE, and the day is still young.

  15. Davio Van Lombirk

    Actually, I wouldn’t be at all surprised it it WAS the right who shot at his office.

    Dan, I’m still wondering why the commmenter Ron Goldstein posted a copied paragraph from my earlier comment, without adding anything of his own.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Davio: I didn’t pick up the Goldstein thing, so I don’t know. Maybe he was inspired by your brilliance.

  16. BP Myers

    MSNBC reports “Cantor said he had received threatening calls because he is Jewish, adding that a gun had been fired outside his Virginia office.”

    Because he is Jewish? Nice play, Mr. Representative.

  17. Rich Kenney

    My only point is that there are extremists on both sides. I think we can all agree on that. I don’t make assumptions about everyone on the left by the actions of the nuts on the left, nor should anyone make the same assumptions of people on the right. That’s a statement I think all rational people can agree with.

  18. Rich Kenney

    C’mon, Davio.

    OK; I bet that it was a far left plant in the Tea Party crowd that was spitting and using racial slurs, all to make the Tea party people look bad.

  19. BP Myers

    @Rich said: nor should anyone make the same assumptions of people on the right.

    People on the right are far more likely to have guns.

    But I take your larger point.

  20. Davio Van Lombirk

    Rich, we’re looking for a PATTERN here. Ok, so I asked for one example – I think the Cantor incident is highly suspect. He’s a Jewish congressman amdidst the HCR fallout in Virginia. It’s not so far fetched to think it was a bigot, or that it may have been a warning on how to vote. (Note: He says it happened Monday night, i.e., before the vote.)

    Dan, I’m not claiming brilliance or anything of the sort. I just think it’s weird for someone to post an exact copy of somone else’s comment, without adding anything himself.

  21. BP Myers

    @Davio said: it’s weird for someone to post an exact copy of somone else’s comment, without adding anything himself.

    Didn’t even notice it til you mentioned it, Davio. I suspect it could have been any one of us, and was merely an excuse to post the link to his website.

    As a result, I am now enrolled in CNA training. So at least there’s a happy ending!

  22. Davio Van Lombirk

    Wait, I guess there’s a chronological problem with what I just said. But still, the Cantor example is suspect. They got the other guy’s address wrong and sent the vandals to his brother’s house. You don’t think they maybe screwed up and shot at Cantor’s office by mistake?

    Meanwhile, the pattern established on the right is scary.

  23. Davio Van Lombirk

    Dan, BP Myers nailed it! It’s spam! Click on Ron Goldstein’s name and see where it takes you.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Davio: Been tons of WordPress spam lately, and I guess that one got by me. I’ll delete it.

  24. BP Myers

    @Davio: It’s spam!

    Now, now. Technically, given the thirty-million new people now with medical insurance, and the need for medical personnel to take care of those people, I think it’s about as on-topic as you get.

  25. Mary DeChillo

    Just listened to Terry Gross’s interview (today) with the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, which tracks hate groups. A new report is available on line: “Rage on the Right: A Year of Rage. . .” (couldn’t get the whole title)which states a huge uptake in militia activity and acts of violence in the last year, coinciding with the election of Obama. Quite eye-opening about what is happening out there across the country.

    Also mentioned was a Harris poll out this week which tracks the beliefs of Republicans and shows them to be almost identitical to those of the TeaParty. A new Quinnipiac (sp)poll this week shows that 70% of Tea Partiers identify themselves as Republican.

    It is curious to me that the Tea Party, after holding their first convention and having a calvacade of extremists like Tom Tancreo, speak can still can be viewed by some in the media and many voters as just a benign quirky group who doesn’t want to pay taxes. They are shilling for the Republican party and vice versa, while each claims to be independent. And they both will continue to be bystanders while these violent acts occurred as long as they can disavow any involvement.

  26. Mike Benedict

    @Rich Kenny: The Tea Baggers don’t need any help from the left in order to look bad. They do that quite well on their own.

  27. Davio Van Lombirk

    The police report on the incident says a bullet was fired into the air and hit the window as it was coming down. It had enough force to break the glass, but did not penetrate the blinds:

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Davio: And the Associated Press is now reporting that police say someone fired “randomly” into the air. The chances that Cantor’s office was the intended target seem to be near zero. Still waiting for the first example of a conservative being threatened over health-care reform.

  28. Davio Van Lombirk

    Still – it’s good to know people are going around with guns down there, randomly firing shots off into the sky, just to see where the bullets land, isn’t it? Oh, what we’re missing up here in this Bastion of Liberalism.

  29. Tom Underwood

    “the lunatic left has had some equally disturbing reactions to the passage of this bill.”

    Maybe you’re talking about Joe Biden’s F-Bomb?

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