The continual scorched earth policy used on President Obama continues.  In a phone conference with multi-denominational  religious leaders Mr. Obama told listeners:

“I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness[F]abrications…have been put out there to stop people from meeting a core moral and ethical obligation that we look out for one another … that I am my brother’s keeper, my sister’s keeper, and in the wealthiest nation on earth we are neglecting to live up to that call.”

President Obama has been accused of playing the God card and the right wing argument has now turned to keeping church and state separate.   Every president has spoken with the religious leaders of the nation.  This behavior fits in with tradition. So what’s the beef?

Apparently President Obama made reference to scripture when he spoke of ‘his brother’s keeper.’ Sorry, that doesn’t cut it in the preaching department. The Bible is also literature and educated people use scriptural references continually in every day language. It is rarely confused with proselytizing.

The only thing left to pick at is when Obama speaks of moral and ethical obligations. Religion owns neither of these terms. Some of the most ethical and moral people in history have not been noted for their religious beliefs, if they even had any. An atheist can be moral and ethical.

The moral and ethical consideration of health care reform is a huge one. When millions do not have basic health care coverage, we need to look at ourselves as a nation. No, we don’t have to adopt Great Britain’s plan, Canada’s plan, France’s plan, or anyone’s plan for that matter. What we can do is look at the good parts of each, and see how we might work them into our own program.

The Republicans had 8 years to revamp health care. They did nothing. They need to stop their whining and their reindeer games. They need to stop obstructionist politics.

86 Thoughts to “Did President Obama Play the God Card?”

  1. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    I’d add tort reform like they do in Texas….as I understand it, you can still sue, but the rewards are capped. Allow competition in the insurance marketplace. Allow citizens to deal with health care insurers outside their state. And because we all pay for illegals that get free medical care at hospitals, find a way to end that mess. As far as “people dying on the sidewalks outside clinics” n such, the answer is as simple as “don’t break our immigration laws”. Problem solved.

  2. Moon-howler

    Regardless of how we feel about illegal immigrants, you cannot leave people outside of a hospital sick. That is not done on civilized societies. Slow, that sounds like a tough answer but implementing it is simply not possible. As long as you have people living outside the mainstream, which illegal immigrants must do in some fashion, you are going to have people who you cannot old accountable for medical bills. We are right back where we started. No court in the land is going to say it is ok to refuse medical treatment, I don’t think.

    As for tort reform, I would agree until you meet someone whose life has been ruined by Dr. Joe the Butcher. 99.9% of the medical people are good people. Its that fraction of a percent I don’t want to let off the hook. Its one thing if someone gets a botch job with elective surgery, but what about the life-critical things?

  3. Rick Bentley

    Okay but after treatment, they should be deported. That’s civilized enough for me.

  4. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Is Britain a “civilized” society, where a woman recently gave birth to her baby on the sidewalk in front of the hospital because she was refused an ambulance? Without tort reform, medical malpractice insurance makes everyone’s rates go sky-high. Tort reform doesn’t mean people who have been victimized by “Dr. Butcher” can’t get justice, but things like “loser pays” cuts down on abuse, and caps to keep awards from going outrageous help keep insurance down. Take a look at the Mennonites and how they do their health insurance, especially how they approach litigation. And you better believe I’ll sell out the .001 % to make health care affordable for everyone. Or is it only noble when it’s on the backs of the wealthy? Or, we can just keep things the way they are!! I’ll happily compromise on the illegal immigrant thing. One free treatment, then a one-way bus ride home. I’ll even buy them a lollipop to enjoy on the ride back! You want affordable health care? You need to cut costs. You don’t wanna cut costs? We keep what we got!

  5. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    And, Oh, by the way, we don’t need the Feds to do practically any health care reform, we can do it in Virginia! Feds have no Constitutional authority to screw with health care anyway. Of course, Congress had all of that “Constitution Toilet Paper” ordered up.

  6. Moon-howler

    I agree with you about Dr. Butcher. As far as Great Britain, of course they are civilized and things like that happen everywhere for a variety of reasons. I am unfamiliar with the Mennotite health care situation.

    As far as feds having anything to do with health care, were you planning on declining Medicare? I only have one major beef with them as far as my mother was concerned. most people I know love Medicare. It is expensive though to get full coverage, although not as expensive as regular health care paying out of pocket.

  7. Elena

    From “Patty” on the dark screen, someone sent me the entire comment, here is only a little snippet:

    “’Do Unitarians believe the Bible is divinely inspired and infallible?’ This was one of the key questions addressed to the Unitarian Church, and received the following reply from Dr. Chorowsky:

    No. The doctrine of revelation of the absolute and indisputable authority of the Bible is alien to Unitarian faith and teaching.

    It is not necessary to point out that this view of the Scripture is the same view held by reformed Judaism, Christian Science, Unity and a host of other non-Christian cults, all of whom are content to utilize the Scriptures, but in a manner never intended by the authors.”

    The Bible itself claims that it is Divinely inspired and authoritative. 2Peter 3:14-16, 2Timothy 3:16-17.

    It’s interesting to me, someone who espouses such a deep faith has so little humanity,compassion, and kindness towards those that have a different belief. As a reformed Jew, I hardly consider my faith “cult” like and can’t believe that people, in the 21st century, choose to remain ignorant. In my belief, acts and good deeds are the ONLY things that matter in life. During Jesus Christs life, there was a famous prophet, Hillel, who explained of the Torah “you shall love your neighbor as thyself” and further explained ” THIS is the whole law (Torah), the rest is commentary, now go and learn.” Sounds like the Golden Rule. The message means, to me, one can learn all the words and all the laws, but if they miss THIS one CRUCIAL law, there is no foundation on which to build upon. I feel sorry for this person on the dark screen, it must feel very empty inside to be her.

  8. Elena

    On the subject at hand though, there was a great editorial in the Post today on healthcare. The premise was that kidney dialyisis, once very expensive, was doled out by a health care panel. The need was so great, and so many were denied this live saving treatment, that government stepped in and subsidised the treatment so that ALL who needed it to live would receive it!

  9. Moon-howler

    That was an excellent article on the kidney dialysis, Elena. I just read it a while ago.

    I am sorry you had to be subjected to that attitude that reformed Judaism is a cult. That is just rude. I until I read the above, I didn’t know anyone felt that way.

    I have always felt it brings bad karma to mock or disparage another person’s religion. No one KNOWS the answers, we only BELIEVE. That is why it is called FAITH.

  10. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    No, I won’t be declining Medicare, but ONLY because they’ve had their hand in my pocket since I was 16, and been taking the maximum amounts since I was 27. Ain’t Medicare Great!! They have, what, 4 trillion in debts they have no idea how to cover? No, the Feds don’t belong anywhere NEAR healthcare, or social security (oh, BTW, that’s major-broke too). The Federal government only has a couple of legitimate jobs, and they screw those up too (Border Protection). When are people going to learn that the federal government is NOT the answer, and they should concentrate on their core business (which is spelled out in the Constitution). If you look around, any organization that focuses on it’s CORE BUSINESS and masters that core business usually does pretty good!

  11. Elena

    Thanks Moon, yes it was very rude, but ultimately, just pathetic really.

    Did you read the op-ed on the history of dialysis? It’s pretty interesting. I think the panic is simply not realistic. Every year, we pay more and more for our healthcare, our deductible go up, our co-pays increase, etc etc. I have had to fight, tooth and nail, to get our insurance company to pay what they are legally and morally obligated to pay. I now have standard appeal letter “saved” in Word so that I can simply cut and paste to make the letter relevant. Many people just give up, don’t bother to fight for what they are duly owed by their insurance companies, that is what insurance companies are hoping for. We have a broken system and it has to be fixed or NONE of us will have insurance worth a damn or that pays for our medical needs.

  12. Moon-howler

    Every time I start thinking the govt is bad, I think about the millions of buffalo that were shot for their hides and left to rot on the plains. I then think of the giant, primal trees on the west coast (not necessarily redwoods) that were taken down and turned into paper, decks and other trivial things. That is what happens when capitalism is allowed to run amuck. Capitalism as often greedy and destructive as govt is considered inept. Yet govt intervention saved both of these entities from total annihilation.

    I believe in balance.

  13. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    And if there were competition in the marketplace (something the Feds won’t allow), then the first insurance company that figures out how to eek out a profit by providing good customer service knows that it will soon have more business and more profit than it knows what to do with!

  14. Moon-howler

    It hasn’t happened so far, Slow, and there have been many years to practice up and get it right.

    I don’t have an answer. My problem is, I can’t hear people’s ideas. They are drowned out by the sound-bite blowhards.

  15. Rick Bentley

    I’ve been making an arguement, loudly and constantly, here and elsewhere, that “comprehensive” reform is a scheme to preserve lobbyists interests, and that real reform that benefits Americans can and should be done piecemeal.

    Nobody argues agsinst or acknowledges this simple truth.

  16. Moon-howler

    How would that work, Rick? What do you see as most critical?

    I have heard over the din that is has to be done all or nothing. Now I am not arguing either way. I have mixed feelings on it. All I do know is that regulations MUST happen that protect people with preexisting conditions, lose their jobs, max out, and some of the horrible stories one reads or hears about that happen to every day Americans.

    People say wonderful things about loving their health care if they are healthy and have not had to challenge the insurance companies. People tend to have more of a love affair also if their employer is footing the bill.

  17. GainesvilleResident


    It appears to me – reading that post on bvbl – any religion isn’t considered to be a “mainstream Christian” religion is a cult. That’s just ridiculous. I have never in my life before heard reform Judiasm referred to as a cult!

  18. GainesvilleResident

    Senator Lieberman gave a very interesting interview yesterday on healthcare reform – suggesting now is not the time for comprehensive reform due to the state the economy is in. I found one article about it at

  19. Elena

    thanks for the link. My concern though is that we are headed towards the cliff, do we wait till we go over the edge before we decide to turn the wheel. When will the time be right? Is there such a thing? Sort of reminds me of when me and the hubby were trying to decide the “right” time to have a baby. We decided there was no perfect time, there would always be some reason not to.

  20. Rick Bentley

    “What do you see as most critical?”

    Allow reimportation of drugs from canada and elsewhere – allow price normalization so that Americans aren’t paying 10 times more than others for the same drugs. Create a patient’s bill of rights that prevents this type of gouging, and this type of collusion between lobbyists and the US government that has stolen so much money from American citizens’s hands.

    In this bill of rights, or outside of it, stop insurance companies from charging different rates to uninsured Americans than they do to the insured – gouging. I favor mandating one common rate per provider.

    The “reforms” that DO NOT PAY FOR THEMSELVES and COST MONEY, let’s see a real-world cost analysis on and a realistic dialogue about whether we want to do them – increasing coverage and forcing companies not to deny based on pre-existing condition. They are noble goals but should not be disguised and forced down people’s throats. People didn’t want to pay for them in 1993. My guess is they still don’t. So should it be.

  21. ShellyB

    @Pagan Patty
    Thanks Patty. Is it just me or is the old blog just irrelevant now days? I can’t even get upset or worried about what five deranged people type to one another. Especially now that similar lunacy is becoming the Republican party platform for opposing Health Care. It’s not that shocking anymore that people being ugly about being angry in the course of being ignorant.

  22. GainesvilleResident

    Senator Lieberman appears to be more in favor of attacking some of the problem now – but the whole thing all at once. That to me sounds like a much better approach.

  23. ShellyB

    GR, that really is an informative article. Thanks! Both Lieberman and Grassly seem to be saying we should not try to tackle the big problems during a time when people are so easily frightened. But you know, a lot of the big achievements in American history came during times that were indeed frightening and required men and women of courage to step forward and lead us. Remember: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself?”

    We need President Obama to help Americans cope with their fears so that they are less likely to be exploited and so that we can move forward as a nation.

    The timing is not as important as overcoming our fears as a people and moving forward now that the economic melt down has been averted and the economy is on the mend.

  24. Moon-howler

    And Alex Baldwin might be challenging Senator Lieberman for his senate seat…and then things will really get ugly.

  25. An Ordinary Joe

    Elena :On the subject at hand though, there was a great editorial in the Post today on healthcare. The premise was that kidney dialyisis, once very expensive, was doled out by a health care panel. The need was so great, and so many were denied this live saving treatment, that government stepped in and subsidised the treatment so that ALL who needed it to live would receive it!

    I think it works both ways and that is the crux of the “death panels” stuff. Government can give more money or take it away. What is being set up may have one honorable purpose (giving everyone the benefit of the doubt) but when it is applied in future administrations, it may lose that honorable purpose. Then when funding gets reduced, decisions will need to be made.

    I think if anyone looks at how “No Child Left Behind”, which was a Ted Kennedy/George Bush initiative, ended up. It had great ideas but not enough funding and was not supported in later actions. It became a regulatory function of punishing schools rather than providing funding to help schools improve.

    I think that is the fear of many people when government program for health care is raised.

    It is also the reason that government subsidy of uninsured coupled with the pre-existing protection, portability and protection against being dropped from insurance is gaining some traction. Government would be out of the decisionmaking process.

  26. Moon-howler

    Joe, You make some good points. You are on one of my favorite themes which in Moon-ese is to beware of unintended consequences. However, should we never try anything?

    I don’t like the expression ‘death panel.’ I know you didn’t make it up but it is so …draconian. I think of Mickey Mantle needing a liver vs some kid. Well, if there are 2 people and one liver, someone has to decide. My friend who works for a urologist office says one month she was there, not one American got a kidney for transplant. Is that right?

    As far as end of life decisions, I am all about the person and his or her family, not the govt having final say so. What I find so odd is that most people who are horrified at the idea of death with dignity are the same people who want the government to restrict anyone chosing the end their life when they are terminally ill. This makes no sense to me.

  27. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Moon-howler :
    Every time I start thinking the govt is bad, I think about the millions of buffalo that were shot for their hides and left to rot on the plains. I then think of the giant, primal trees on the west coast (not necessarily redwoods) that were taken down and turned into paper, decks and other trivial things.

    So, Buffaloes/Buffali (yeah, I know) and trees. Well, I got nothing for a retort!

  28. An Ordinary Joe

    Moon-Howler, I don’t like it either but I used it because everyone would know what I am talking about without some elaborate explanation. It was shorthand so to speak.

    And unfortunately people could tell you in the end of life scenario, if you have government insurance and they have had the funding cut, it may be something a bad as “do what you and your doctor think is right, but we can’t fund it, sorry.” That is the same as making the decision.

  29. Moon-howler

    I would think that most people at the end of life would already be on govt insurance. Is that not what medicare is? It doesn’t matter what kind of supplemental you have. If medicare won’t pay, the bridge policy won’t pay either.

    Additionally, private insurance can refuse to pay for things also. It can and does pay for increasingly less each year. Additonally, co-pays have been creeping up. Very few people have a choice about the company they have if they have employer provided insurance.

  30. An Ordinary Joe

    I can’t make a blanket statement like “most are on Medicare” since I don’t know. I guess I won’t make a supposition by guessing. I was just identifying the issue over government involvement in medical decision making.

    I would prefer that government regulate insurance issues rather than trying to establish an new program.

    Because I think that insurance companies shouldn’t deny coverage arbitrarily, I don’t think it makes it better to have government doing the same thing.

  31. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Oh, man, was I wrong with my medicare/$4 trillion in unfunded mandates! It’s actually over 80 trillion in unfunded mandates. God, do we need more of that!!

  32. Moon-howler

    I think I probably agree with you. I would rather have the govt. regulate to get rid of the abuses that exist now, Joe. I only said most are on medicare thinking that most people die when they are older. If older, then on Medicare.

    Slowpoke, huh? Are you giving back your medicare when your big day comes (which might be when you are 80 if they keep upping the ceiling).

  33. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Add Medicare and Social Security together and you get 107 trillion dollars of unfunded liability. We have GOT to get health care into the government’s hands NOW!!

  34. Elena


    From WHO:

    “Health Care Performance Rating” U.S. is ranked 72 but in “total expenditure on health”, guess what folks, we are ranked 2nd! I don’t know how to fix this gargantuan problem, but, now this is just a thought, look at another country whose health care delivery is ranked near the top but expenditure is ranked much lower.

  35. Slowpoke Rodriguez


    Take a look at this article. Forget that it’s on Newsmax, the bill it’s talking about is bipartisan:

    All my needling aside…this is what irritates me. There are good ideas out there that get stomped. I read something like this and I wonder how anyone cannot see that what Obama is pushing for is nothing more than a power grab. I hate (nod to ShellyB) that anyone in the middle ground (where some good ideas are) get trashed by both sides. I’m curious to know what you think of this HAA plan (even though it’s not completely sketched out here, neither is Obamacare!)

  36. Moon-howler

    Slow, it sounds sound. I can relate to wyden. Being in the middle is a rough place to be. I do it daily on most topics.

    I would like to see this plan further explored. My grouse is not being able to hear anyone’s plan and there are no alternatives being offereed.

    Everyone needs to check out this website.

    Slowpoke, I gave it its own thread. It is a starting point that perhaps people can agree on or at least discuss.

Comments are closed.