Monday, August 10, 2009

Video of Shadegg Healthcare Townhall

As I mentioned before, I attended, and recorded, the entire healthcare townhall which Congressman Shadegg hosted Saturday, August 8, 2009. I'll fill in more detail as time allows.

1 Before the Meeting. I see normal people
He makes it clear that he wants your input even if you don't want to share your personal contact information. Contrast this to Congressman Harry Mitchell who won't even take a phone call from you unless you live in his district.
He welcomes everyone regardless of what side of the debate they are on.
And, notice that the first order of business after the announcments, is The Pledge of Allegiance.
He honors his wife Shirley with an introduction.
There were dozens and dozens and dozens of amendments added to HR3200. Republicans added maybe half a dozen small amendments that the Democrats accetpted.
No one knows how long HR3200 really is because the approximate 500 pages of amendments has not been integrated into the 1026 page bill. Nor can you download the entire, intact bill from anyplace.
The bill does have an employer mandate and penalty. It has an individual mandate and penalty. It has a provision that every single plan sold in the USA within 5 years must comport wiht a number of new mandates dictating what must be covered up to and including a new appeals process. Further, any insurance company which wishes to advertise it's plans can only do so puruant to guidelines set by the Federal Govt.
He has indeed read the bill.
HR3200 will prevent insurance companies from selling their plans to anyone other than the dependents of their current customers. Hence. Nor can you change the plan or the premium in any way. This means, of course, that private health insurance will cease to exist.
He destroys the myth that the Republican party has offered no alternatives. There are up to 5 Republican alternatives currently in the house. They are all based on patient choice as opposed to all the majority bills which are based on government control.

He makes a very good point about The Improving Healthcare for all Americans Bill, which he wrote. Most of us get our health insurance through our employers. But, if you want to purchase health insurance outside the plan your employer offers, you get no tax deduction like your employer does when they buy if for you.

The ability to purchase our own private health insurance plans other than through our employers will introduce competition. Competition usually results in a reduction in costs. That is Capitalism at it's best. Entreprenuerial Americans finding a better way to deliver the same products and services for less money.
President Bush signed into law a bill which Congressman Shadegg wrote regarding pre-existing conditions. It put up money for every state in the country to create a state based high risk pool to offer insurance to people with pre-existing conditions such as cancer and other very expensive conditions. This high risk pool would charge between 100%-125% of a person without the condition would pay. BUT, only 22 states have implemented and Arizona is not one of them. (when he said the remaining, um 28 states, i almost shouted at "35" or whatever would add up to 57 - Kirls).
Current federal law requires that all be treated. No one turned away.
First question was about end of life counseling. Why do they want to pay for it when it's free right now?
You like your doctor and can keep him, read page 16 to see otherwise.
He commits to fighting this bill with everything he has! BUT, you must speak out! Talk to your friends, your nieghbors, your golf partner, your bridge partner, your hairdresser, your barber. Absent Americans speaking out, this bill will pass.
FireMarshall announcment of overflow crowd. Police need to clear the doors before the Fire Marshall arrives.
He makes a point which I translate as, ask them specific questions about specific language in the bill.
Second question is on TARP. Apparently this guy comes to every townhall and asks the same question. Shadegg said voting for TARP was a mistake! At the time of the vote, he had many constituents telling him to vote for it at the time as well as a republican secretary of the treasury.
Third person asked a question about the snitching white house email and also why is congress not included in it. Shadegg said no way in the world this plan should pass and NOT be required to apply to members of congress and the president. Republicans offered an amendment to do just that but the Democrats would not even allow it to be voted on. Another amendment was offered to apply it to all federal employees and again, it was not allowed to come to a vote. Another committee did get that amendment into their version. The Rules Committee will decide if that gets included in the final bill - WRITE TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE RULES COMMITTEE!

6 Q&A
Regarding the snitch email he says this is an outrage, it's probably illegal, and where is the ACLU. Everyone go home and write to the ACLU and ask why they didn't condemn this and why there isn't a criminal investigation.
Questions about John Podesta, SEIU, Federal Reserve (he signed on to a bill to require an audit.
Question from a young person (probably not old enough to drive) regarding what he would do to abolish other socialistic government run health care programs such as medicare and medicaid.
Great comments from a doctor at about 8 minutes in.

7 Q&A - problem here with the audio.

First guy on this vid says he "comes from the health insurance industry". He makes some points about the unconstitutionality of alot of things being done in this country. He also says he's on the board of a bank. He goes on to say that the pharmaceuticals have donated over $150 million to the Obama Admin in the last 9 months. He points out the failures we know as Amtrak, USPS, and the American Auto Indisutry (except for Ford, at the moment - kirls). He's looking for assurance that it's not going to bankrupt the country.
Congressman Shadegg talks about ERISA which goversn 70% of health care in American including all employer provided health coverage.
Shadegg draws up a bill every year in congress to require every member of congress to recite in the first section of every bill they introduce the specific power of the Constitution granted to the Congress (and i can't hear this part - kirls).
We can't guarantee that it won't bankrupt the Federal Govt. What function has the Federal Govt has taken over which then cost less? NONE! This type of system is bankrupting France.
Marsha Blackburn... TennCare nearly bankrupted the state of Tennessee.
The drug companies... unload on the drug companies. Literally go home tonight and unload on the drug companies. They are running somewhere between $10 and $50 million worth of ads this month promoting Obamacare. You're paying for it. I'm paying for it.
The number one lobbyist for "pharma" is Billy Tauzin a former US Senator from Louisianna. First he was a blue dog dem, then he was a Republican. Unload on pharma! They stand to get rich under the government funding of healthcare. This is a conflict of interest. Those advertisements are an outrage! Go after their national sales people, their reps, company reps, your doctor, everyone!
The next guy tried to film himself AND ask a question. He was a little bit rude too. Wanted to know if Shadegg is "one of the crooks who is just taking bribes and trying to cover his ass".
Shadegg says he's right that there are corrupt Democrats and corrupt Republicans in Congress today. (Someone yells out from right behind me "John Shadegg is not one of them" and he jokes, that's my sister).
Do your own research on the issue that Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has made a single cause - the corruption of the earmark process in congress. tens to hundreds of millions of dollars of earmarks.

9 Q&A - (about a minute and a half of overlap from last segment; that's an error on my part; oh dear, you can hear me giggling like betty rubble! - kirls).
The Republicans need to say that they are against the corrupt system of earmarks or we'll never regain the high ground.
Economics 101 comment. Shadegg says we need to elect this guy to US Congress! Alot of people in the US Congress either do not understand free market economics or simply reject them and believe in some sort of government control / statism / socialism or maybe even communism. When you increase the demand for a given service or product and don't increase the supply, you drive the price up. This is exactly what HR3200 will do. The question was what are we doing to increase the supply. The answer is nothing. The President says the number one issue is cost, he's going to solve it by providing government control. That doesn't add up.
The current system where your employer pays where you consume encourages excess demand and therefore drives the price up. He tells an anecdotal story proving the point. (yes, that's me laughing again. And he might be a little bit mistaken here, my employer lets me know how much my healthcare is "worth" - kirls).
He points out that our employer doesn't buy our auto or home insurance so why should they buy our healthcare now. Right now, your employer stands between you and your doctor. The democrats plan is to take your employer out and put the government in there! You should hire your own insurance plan, your own doctor, your own hospital, and if they don't make you happy, fire 'em!
Fire Marshall warning!

Senior city talked about how she worked and she earned the right to her pension package. She wanted to know what would happen to her and retired people and handicapped people (she made good points but i was sitting there wondering if she could possible speak any slower! The audience growns when she said that's my first question! and yes that's me saying "speed it up, good lord!" - kirls).

Every single plan in America will either go away or will, at a minimum have to meet all kinds of dictates and standards in this new bill. There is no assurance that any plan that you have will remain in effect.

Next question was about tort reform. That would be because there isn't any even though Republicans offered multiple amendments to put it in. The same person asked about preventing fraud in the tax credit provisions in the Republican proposals. The only way to get the tax credit would be that your insurance company would have to certify that you actually paid for insurance (this would be like a 1099 or some such form - kirls).

Next guy wants to know what is going to happen to medicare under HR3200 and the military Tricare.

Shadegg says that all the things that are most individuals are most interested in are in the first 50 pages and it is not hard to understand. He followed that up with some wonderful snark that if John Conyers, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, can't understand it, he should get a new job!

(about 30 seconds of overlap here - kirls) Shadegg points out that NO member of Congress could have read the Cap & Trade Bill when it was voted on, they are a liar.

Medicare changes because they are doing away with Medicare Advantage.

VA is not protected under this bill, Tricare is allowed to remain in effect.

The next fellow is a disabled retired Veteran. He challenges us all to tell anyone who supports the single payer plan to spend a day with a Veteran at the VA! He also wants to know why he can't call the doctor and ask about specific prices of particular procedures.

Shadegg points out that the current system does not allow competition.

Shadegg talks about why we have to pay for private insurance with after tax dollars but our employers are allowed to use pre-tax dollars (ie, it's a tax deductible expense) which results in the business being incentivized to provide insurance. This takes the choice away from the individual. If your employer gives you the cash and you spend it on health care benefits it's not taxable to your employer and it's not taxable to you. This situation also causes employers to not care about cost control.

Next question was assuming this passes, if we take the white house back in 2012 how easy is this easy to rescind. And would a few Republicans please stand up to Nancy Peloso.

Shadegg said absent an uprising by the American people, this will pass. It's extremely difficult to repeal any government program once it's put in place.

As for Nancy Pelosi, her vision of America is stunningly to the left.

Next guy exhorted us to stay engaged in this! Shadegg said tell your friends, your barber, your hair dresser, your bank teller, your checker. You all are informed Americans who are respected by people who know you. If you tell them this bill is terrible or that we should have a patient driven plan or that your employer shoudn't pick your health care plan....

The electronic transfer of funds...

Shadegg points out that it's true and begins on page 57 and continues on page 58. And he read it to us ... "Secretary shall adopt and regularly update standards consistent with the goals in paragraph 2" then there are goals for transactions for administrative transactions.... "real time or near real time determination of an individuals financial responsibility at the point of serve and at the extent possible prior to the service including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility which may include the use of a machine readable health plan beneficiary identification card". Many Americans are rightfully concerned that that means government access directly to your bank account to see if you qualify for discounted service. There is a provision later that says they can't misuse that information. (at this point someone yelled out, it sounds fishy! lol - kirls)
Next speaker was Gayle Plato of The Sonoran Alliance who is ProLife and wanted to know if she could sue to stop the funding of abortions. Absolutely she can but how successful will that be? The alleged compromise offered by the pro-choice members of the committee which was, of course, opposed by the Pro-Life members. Shadegg thinks we can beat the bill.
Next guy thanked him for reading the bill and wanted to know where the money was going to come from. Shadegg said that Dems are spending at unprecedented pace and every American ought to be deeply troubled. The culture of spending has to be broken.
He goes on to talk about SChip, DISH, Medicaid, etc.

(From this point the vids get a bit jumpy since I’m standing in line waiting my turn to speak – Kirls)

Shadegg says he’s doing everything he can. He will go anywhere at anytime to fight this. We can’t win this without you! What can you do? Reach out and pound on the Senate. Not a snowballs chance that either of our (AZ) senators will vote wrong on this bill. But there is a very good chance that some Republican Senators (like from Iowa) will vote for it. Write to them!
Ben Nelson Democrat from Nebraska – write to him! He doesn’t want to vote for this bill but the leftists are running ads attacking him. Write to him and other conservative democrats and encourage them to stand by their convictions!
Utah Republican might sign onto a compromise. Write to them too!
Next guy is State Representative John Cavanaugh. He lives in Harry Mitchells congressional district. His question … an attempt to prohibit the coverage of illegal immigrants under this bill was voted down. He said you think this room was crowded then wait until you see this country when the world figures out that we are giving away free health care.
Shadegg said proponents say it does not give free health care to illegals and will point to provisions which say you must be a US citizen and it replicates current law. BUT, there is no current mechanism by which citizenship is verified before care is provided. Those were the amendments which were defeated. Thus you need to point out that the provisions contained therein are unenforceable.This next woman I can barely hear on the vid although she was loud and clear in person. That guy in front of me with the red and blue hat turned out to be a nut who thought he was performing as a standup comedian (I don’t think I filmed him because I thought he was so incredibly stupid) – kirls)

This vid starts with people in the crowd asking about Congress and Senate supporting we the people.
Shadeggs staff got 50 emails in a single day for a townhall so they decided to hold one. (I can attest to this being true since I’m one of the people who called insisting he have one - Kirls)
Shadegg things that Kyl and McCain will fight this tooth and nail (frankly, I’m tired of calling and begging Kyls hired idiots to have a townhall! – kirls)
Next guy is a small business owner… protect and defend freedom from any threat military, economic, or political. He has achieved enough success that he has been able to provide insurance for all his employees. But the premiums go up every year. As an employer, he does get to shop the big companies.

Competition!!!! That is the answer to lowering costs!
Shadeggs bill says you can choose the plan offered by your employer or you can pick your own. It also creates “pools” of individuals. His bill allows the creation of more pooling mechanisms. Why is it only employers who can form a pool? Why can’t any organization be able to create a pool? Like the Daughters of American Revolution, or the University of Arizona Alumni association, or the Kiwanis, or ANY organization.
Benefit mandates come from CONGRESS and state government and they are the same entities which then scream about the cost of health care! It’s the government which says to the insurance industry that you cannot sell a scaled down plan which might be all that you can afford. So, it’s the government which has driven up
The cost of auto insurance, life insurance, home owners insurance, the cost of shirts (!) isn’t going up at 3x the rest of the economy. But the cost of health care insurance is, WHY!??! There is no competition! We should be able to buy insurance on the same tax advantage basis as employers.
Shadegg’s staffer brought a note to him… John McCain is having a townhall on August 25th. Location TBD.
(And here we have one of the only supporters of a public option. Note how Shadegg destroyed his arguments without being the least bit unpleasant even though the guys points were so simplistic, shallow, uninformed – kirls)
The guy says…. When I went to school, that was a public option. We have a public option police force, military, fire fighters, how come health care is that much more or less important than either of those things?
Shadegg said… public safety and national defense are the first obligation of the government (per the founding fathers). This country also has a tradition believing in universal education. But, if we need a public option to keep the health insurance/care industry honest then do we need one for fast food, the automobile industry (laughter), suits, shirts, etc? It is a slippery slope to say we need a public option. Do we need a public option for life insurance, homeowners insurance, auto insurance.
Old guy yelled at those are all voluntary.

Applause after the old guy said those things are all voluntary.
Richard Gross, card holder of medicare, Korean Vet, wants to know what these plans will do to the cost of Medicare insurance? He’s quite happy with his medicare insurance and wants it left alone.
Shadegg says he doesn’t know the answer but they are going to change medicare at least by doing away with medicare advantage and you will get end of life counseling services.
Seller of health insurance and health savings accounts. He created his own solution and handed it to Congressman Shadegg. (That’s cool! Citizens inventing solutions. I love this guy! – Kirls) Not just Premiums should be deductible. Copays, co-insurance, deductibles, eye wear, doctor visits, dental, all these items should be tax deductible! (applause). He asks can these items be made deductible. Shadeggs answer, Not under THIS congress.
Child psychologist and mother of an autistic. Wants to talk about mental health parity and possible discriminatory practices that insurance companies may be doing against mental health providers and consumers.
Shadegg said mental health parity is debated in congress a lot. There may be a societal bias. People need to demand the right to decide if they can buy this type of coverage themselves!
Next comment about vaccinations… The H1N1 contains squaline which was contained in the anthrax vaccinations given to our Gulf War Veterans. Our Federal Government makes the pharmaceuticals or anyone who engages in the vaccination process unaccountabl; we cannot sue them.
Shadegg is aware of the issue and asked the lady to go to his staff in the back for more detailed discussions.
How does your bill or Representative Ryan’s bill address tort reform?
All of the Republican bills address embrace the concept of tort reform… because the vast majority of Republicans believe that the tort system is a big factor in the cost of medical care because doctor’s pay high malpractice premiums and they practice defensive medicine. Shadeggs bill was not written as a comprehensive bill including tort reform; it would be paired with a tort reform Bill. Shadeggs bill is focused on patient choice; putting you in the drivers seat behind your own health care.
Who wrote this atrocity?
I don’t know. Often on legislation, the chairmen of a committee will draft a bill then ask the ranking (minority, in this case Republican) member for input. In this case, Chairman Waxmen never, never, ever, EVER once, to my knowledge, invited Joe Barton (the ranking minority member) or Nathan Deal (ranking member of the health subcommittee) into the room or even gave them a copy to comment on or make any change to. There was NO bipartisanship.

The protest you saw by blue dogs… they weren’t invited into the room. So this bill was written by a pretty narrow group of the most liberal democrats on the congress committee and/or in the house.
But, do the congressmen actually write it?
I don’t know how much Mr. Waxman’s staff, or Miller’s staff, or Rangel’s staff wrote the bill. I do know that there is some evidence that lobbyists for the insurance industry wrote parts of the bill. 70% of health care in USA is governed by ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act of ~ 1987). After it was written, the SCOTUS ruled that if you get your health care from your employer under an ERISA plan and that plan wrongfully denies you care you cannot sue the plan for damages. You can sue doctors for malpractice but not the plan even if it intentionally denies you care that you are entitled to. This is the law in America today and it is a moral outrage. Shadegg followed this up with a true story of this exact thing happening already thanks to United Health Care denying a pregnant woman hospitalization even though her doctor and the insurance company’s doctor both said that if she was not hospitalized she and her baby may very well die. The baby did die. Now, read page … Page 49 lines 19-22
In this bill, the ruling of ERISA saying that insurance companies that sell ERISA plans are immune, are applied to employer provided plans going forward.
Shadegg confronted Waxman about that point. Waxman turned as red as the red stripe on that flag. Last week Pelosi called the health insurance industry crooks, evil and that Pelosi was going to destroy them and that their day of ruling America is over in a bill where she cut, what Shadegg thinks, is a secret backroom deal to give them immunity when they kill or hurt somebody in insurance coverage denials.
But, if you’re in a government run healthcare plan, this doesn’t apply. Is that an outrage or what?

Page 49 lines 19-22 says the immunity that ERISA plans now enjoy if they negligently or intentionally wrongfully deny you care, you can recover nothing. Now, how did Pelosi let that sneak into the bill. Congress should have repealed that section. Why should the insurance companies enjoy immunity when they kill someone?
Canadians. Walk on Washington September 12. Who should we contact/see about this issue? What happens when you’re 65? Doctor’s do not get paid as much if you’re 65 than if you’re 64.
They get paid less because it’s government provided health care and the government cheats the providers.
Hospice nurse is appalled at the plan. What else can we do? Speak out!
This comment about the FDA was a bit strange. Woman said that we should be able to take herbs and nutrition for prevention and cures instead of just popping pills. (duh! I can take all the herbs and good nutrition that I want). The FDA is a big government bureaucracy that abuses people.
(At this point they asked me to give up my turn to a woman with a severe disorder which I di, of course, without question). Woman has a rare disorder, problems since birth, formerly more functional, need one more surgery and would like to have the chance to have it and not have some board tell me I’m not worth saving (applause). My parents worked all their lives to save me. My dad worked two jobs. They didn’t get government help. He paid for it.
Shadegg said God Bless You! Retold her story and said I think everyone in this room believes she ought to have that surgery. This is why we need to reform health care. Every American believes this young lady should have that shot and we can do it but we can do it without creating a system which says that at a certain age in life you’re no longer worth caring for. Her concern was that at some point some government board would say to her keeping you alive or giving you greater functionality is not worth it to some board. (yes, that’s me you hear sniffling. Not a dry eye in the house! - Kirls)
Locally elected official said go to Questioned how this bill would affect state legtislators. This bill massively moves authority over health care from the state government to the federal government.
(First person here is me – Kirls)
Thanks for coming today I really appreciate you educating me that you really are on the right side of this issue. I really appreciate that. My medical care, my health insurance, my doctors, my medication (what I do and don’t take), and my procedures (what I do and don’t have done) will never under any circumstance be the business of the federal government.
Shadegg said “There you go!” followed by applause.
Weird suggestion to write a bill that no one can use private money for medical care “to spite the democrats”.
Comment about getting the word out! The Republicans are not the party of NO but the party of KNOW. Mainstream media won’t cover what the Republicans are offering. It’s patient choice! You make your health care decisions. If you want your employers plan, take it. If you don’t, go buy your own but do so with the same tax advantaged basis.
Where is the RNC putting out these details about these Republican alternatives? The RNC has spoken out. You can help fill that gap. Shadegg promises to pressure Michael Steele but you go on his website and download the bill and give it to your friends.
Last comment was would you support a bill to automatically impeach anyone who votes for a bailout. Shadegg obviously had seen this fellow before. (Turns out he was a staunch libertarian and I heard him talking up Ron Paul as I left – Kirls)


Rose said...

Nice work!

READERS: Send us your town hall videos Washington Times

Rose said...

The info from that article, fyi:
Now that Congress is in recess, many lawmakers are conducting town hall meetings to discuss health care with their constituents. Are you planning to attend any of the town hall meetings in your area? If so, please send us your YouTube video for consideration.

We'll need the following information from you:
• Name:
• E-mail:
• Daytime telephone number:
• YouTube URL:
• YouTube embed code:

Send this information to Do NOT send the actual video file (mov., wmd. or flv.) please. The information above will suffice. Thank you.

Kirly said...

Rose! thanks for the info. I have transmitted the info. Of course, my incredibly tenuous anonymity may cease to exist. LOL

Holger Awakens said...


You've really done an exceptional job with these videos. Congrats!

Kirly said...

Thanks Holger. I think that those of us who can do this, should be doing it and making it available to others.