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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

And Now For Someone Completely Different, Jake Towne

I've told you before about Nazareth resident Jake Towne, an independent Congressional candidate opposing both Democrat John Callahan and Republican Charlie Dent. This libertarian-leaning activist released a detailed health care platform yesterday. Here's his summary:

Summary: Our health care is simply too important to be left to bureaucrats in Washington, plus it is unconstitutional. I strongly disapprove of the Democrats' Obamacare and also the incumbent Republican's "Medical Rights and Reform Act" as both are simply matching strains of the same disease - socialized medicine.

Beyond establishing a framework of laws and acts for a competitive free market, running health care is simply not a duty of the federal government, and is best left to individuals and privatized insurance. While the federal government should do it's [sic] best to deliver the promised benefits from the current form of socialized medicine, Medicare, expanding this system is out of the question. Younger generations should be given the opportunity to opt out as Medicare's total unfunded liabilities were $85 trillion in 2008.

If elected, I will not enroll in Congress's elite health care plan. Citizens should be wary of politicians who plot to control their constituents' health care, but will not and do not enroll in it themselves.

Why You Should Oppose Government-Run Health Care

Government-run health care, also known as socialized medicine, also called ObamaCare, is an unsustainable idea and is an erosion of personal freedom. Health care is much too important to be run by the government. The services and products that are most abundant and affordable in America are those that are produced and exchanged in a free market. Health care is no different.
People who are concerned with their freedom, the cost of health care, the availability of health care in their community, and the truth, should never allow the government to control any part of health care delivery.

Really? Does that mean the government should not regulate drug quality, too? This laissez faire philosophy ended up killing millions of Irishmen during the Famine.


Anonymous said...

Laissez faire killed the Irish?

C'mon, Bernie. You can do better than that.

There was an abusive monarchy at the time (although the famine-era monarchy is not dissimilar to the current US monarchy you tearfully orgasmed over last November).

Equating libertarian ideas to the Irish potato family is vErY sOuNd aNaLyIsIs.

Ridiculous hyperbole is always a pick-me-up in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you're really out there on the potoato famine analogy. In fact, I'd hardly call the gov't of that time laissez faire, quite the contrary.

I agree w/ Jake Towne in principle. The problem is that Charlie Dent has consistently voted against the big gov't measures (stimulus, cap and trade, etc.). As a result, it's hard to argue that he represents the interests of big gov't.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 6:41,

The deaths following the famine are very much a result of the laissez faire principles practiced by the british government at the time. It had nothing to do w/ the British monarchy, which by then was little more than a figurehead. It has everything to do with the principle that people should be left alone to fend for themselves. England had the wherewithal to stop the starvation, but its government thought laissez faire instead.

It started in 1845. England's Liberal Party argued the Famine was an opportunity for the Irish to "better themselves", that it was a 'lesson', that Ireland had the resources to fend for itself.

That's about as laissez faure as you can get. That's the Libertarian philosophy. That's what led to so many new US citizens.

Read your history.

Anonymous said...

What an idiot.

Anonymous said...


I think a better analogy than the Potato Famine would be fire insurance in the "old days."

If you go to downtown Easton, Allentown, or Bethlehem, you will find fire insurance emblems on the sides of the some of the oldest houses.

Fire companies (to put out fires) were started by fire insurance companies not to save lives, but to save property and keep profits up by not having to pay out dividends for lost property.

Your fire insurance company would have its own local fire company and they gave you an emblem on the side of your house so the fire company could identify to which fire company you belonged. THere were many fire companies all over the place just like we have many different health insurance companies.

If your house caught fire, you had to wait for YOUR fire company to put it out. Other fire companies would pass right by and do nothing. Some fire companies would put barrels over fire plugs and fight with your fire company to keep your house from being saved in an effort to hurt the competition. People who couldn't afford fire insurance just would have their house burn down and the fire would spread, burning down adjacent houses until finally the fire spread to someone's house with fire insurance that had an emblem and that insurance company's firemen would finally act, though often by that time the fire was too big for one company to control.

Just like with single payer healthcare, it was the British and the French who first thought of the idea of starting municipal fire companies not . They began a system where taxpayers paid for municipal fire companies free of the control of insruance companies that would put out all fires everywhere in a city no matter if the house was upper or lower class, with our without insurance. There was great resistance in the U.S. to this system "The city handle putting out fires? Municipal controlled fire companies? Local government should stay out of the business of putting out fires. That's a private profit-based duty to be controlled by insruance companies." Of course eventually after enough Americans died and enough American houses burned that could have been saved and we saw that the Europeans weren't suffering the same staggering costs and loss of life, the idea caught on....just like it is now with public option healthcare.
It also caught on with the police, libraries, and post office which I assume this wingnut would like to see abolished too.

Anonymous said...

As a Libertarian, I don't understand how this guy approves of the way insurance companies control our lives. This week alone, I heard five stories from friends about how profit-based insurance companies affect their lives:

1) A friend of mine wants to have a child with her husband but she lost her job and lost her insurance and can't afford insurance so she can't have a child yet. She's 39. The clock is ticking.

2) An 60+ couple wanted to move to Virginia to be closer to their grandchildren and help raise them but their insurance company told them that with the husband's pre-existing heart condition, he will be dropped from their insurance if he leaves PA for VA so they are staying and won't be close to their grandkids.

3) I know a couple who were both approved for gastric bypass surgery by the same insurance company. THey had their operations at the same time. The company paid for her operation but not his even though they pre-authorized it. Now they're in the hole for $45,000 for his operation but hers was paid in full and she has the pre-authorization in her hand. The collection agencies want to take them to court. Their stance is that there was a $2000 limit they "forgot" to tell him about. She can't complain to her insurance company because Aetna says "they're only the benefits company handling the self-insured employer, a major corporation. The major corporation says that they can't deal with it because Aetna makes all their decisions."

4) I know a girl who had to switch insruance companies because she got a new job and had to wait that three month period for the new insurance to kick in for her prescriptions to be covered. She let her birth control pills temprorarily lapse because of money and ended up getting pregnant and marrying the guy she might not have married had she had the pills for that three month period. It was surreal because I hadn't seen her in years and suddenly she was married with a baby. I asked her how it all happened and instead of hearing about love and romantic declaration and decisions to procreate, the story of her marriage and motherhood all revolved around terms like "copay, insurance, 3 month waiting period and CVS pharmacy." How romantic. The baby that Cigna made. Welcome to the 21st Century.

5) I know someone who was laid off and denied the Cobra discount because his old employer tried to say he left voluntarily. He fought with the benefits company showing documentation of severance, unemployment compensation, emails announcing his layoff, and nothing was fixed. He fought with them over and over until Specter's office suggested he call the PA State Commission of Insurance and when he told his old employer he was contacting the State, they miraculously realized that it was a "clerical error" and fixed the problem in 24 hours.

6) I was told that there was a man (I don't know who he was) running for Easton City Council gathering signatures earlier this year. When my friend asked him questions about Riverwalk and all the other issues that Eastonians hold so dear, he had no opinions. She asked him why he was running for City Council if he wasn't interested in municipal issues. His honest answer? "I need the health insurance. Now are you going to sign or not?"

And this is just this week....is this what a libertarian wants for our country? YOu hear millions of people wanting to single payer insurance but I never hear anyone clamoring to privatize libraries, post offices, police forces, firemen, Medicare or the VA. Why is that?

We are the only country in the world that has a trillion dollar industry based on death, sickness and suffering. Not everything in life has to make a profit. I hope at least that this Libertarian Larry supports the idea that Congressmen, especially Dent who opposed healthcare reform, should renounce THEIR healthcare which is taxpayer based, doesn't discriminate against pre-existing conditions, doesn't deny claims, etc... anyone who thinks our private payer insurance is so great should have it for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me the evil insurance companies that are opposing the Obama plans. They aren't.

"Big Insurance" is more than happy to let "Big Government" squeeze the American taxpayer to guarantee big profits for their companies.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:45 wrote: "The problem is that Charlie Dent has consistently voted against the big gov't measures (stimulus, cap and trade, etc.). As a result, it's hard to argue that he represents the interests of big gov't."

I like Charlie Dent, but I am very troubled by some of his other votes, such as the omnibus spending bill that funded ACORN. I don't enjoy worrying how Charlie and 29 other liberal Republicans will vote each time a big government issue comes up.

Anonymous said...

I have a Libertarian friend who I've known forever who is a no tax, keep govt. out of lives kind of guy....out of the blue I learn that he has a severely retarded older brother who has always been cared for by an aunt. The aunt can no longer care for the man because of job loss, loss of insurance, etc.... My friend says he can't pay for private care nor can he or anyone else in his family so now he wants to turn his brother over to COunty care. The county where he lives is in a budget crisis (apparently it costs hundreds of dollars to take care of a retarded person) and I guess they put the brother on a waiting list or something for care and my friend is outgraged and doesn't know know what to do. So he's still Libertarian except in regards to the care of his brother. Everything else? Stay out of my life! That's my favorite kind of Libertarian. I've known other like him too.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Interesting story. I'm sure many Libertarians will walk the walk. I'm sure Jake Towne's views are sincere and they are certainly well-researched. Some voters will buy into this, but I think most of us believe government does have a role and that one of its purposes is to take care of those who can't fend for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:24 wrote:

"We are the only country in the world that has a trillion dollar industry based on death, sickness and suffering."

That's not going to change because government is running the show. There is nothing in the current bill to control or reduce costs.

Anyone with a kindergarten education realizes that you can't magically add 47 million more people (if those figures are real) to the system without increasing costs or RATIONING. There's a reason seniors will be getting end-of-life counseling.

Anon 10:24 also wrote:

"I hope at least that this Libertarian Larry supports the idea that Congressmen, especially Dent who opposed healthcare reform, should renounce THEIR healthcare which is taxpayer based"

Now here's something we can actually agree on. Only Obama's health care proposal doesn't require Congress (and other federal employees) to live with the plan that they've created for us.

I wonder why that is?

Anonymous said...

Bernie said:

"but I think most of us believe government does have a role and that one of its purposes is to take care of those who can't fend for themselves."

Agreed! Unfortunately, all I see is a government that wants to make everyone dependent on government support.

Anonymous said...

"health care is simply too important to be left to bureaucrats in Washington"

So we leave it to somebody whose job is to actually save a company money and deny people access to their health care. Bureaucrats exist in DC, Harrisburg, boro halls and the private sector.

Jake, the Champion of the Constitution said...

Bernie -
I had thought a blight wiped out the potato crop, but perhaps when we meet you can explain this to me a bit more. At any rate, I doubt those Irish had health insurance.

All -

In reply to some of the comments on the current cost of health care and the behavior of current insurance companies - I don't like these either and agree with the sentiments expressed - my point is we do NOT HAVE privatized health care right now.

Medicaid/care is already like the candy store analogy expressed in the below, and many of the insurance companies - Cigna, Aetna, Humana, United HealthCare, etc - would NOT EXIST IN THEIR PRESENT FORMS if the gov't did not pass the HMO Act of 1973, which I also cover in the below post - feel free to drop in any feedback there as well.


Thank you all for commenting, for the record Bernie is aware I don't agree with the "libertarian" label (for one, I am not and never have been an LP party member), but I have no issues with allowing others free speech :)

I do stand for liberty, the Rule of Law, sound currency, peace, and accountability however, and I oppose their polar opposites.

My principles are outlined here, and if anyone decides to label me whatever based on them, that's their decision.


Jake Towne

Bernie O'Hare said...


Blight was certainly the proximate cause of the great famine, but that's a very simplistic view of what was going on in that country.

At the time in question, Ireland was under England's thumb. In the forty years that preceded the famine, no less than 111 commissions reported that the country was on the brink of starvation. Most of the Irish were not allowed to own land, instead renting small parcels. The only crop that could feed them on such small amounts of land was the potato.

In the meantime, most of them were forced to farm larger tracts for food that was shipped to England.

At this time, England was doing very well and could easily have sent food to the Irish. The English let the Irish starve, while the Irish watched ships full of corn grown on their own soil, leave for England. The English allowed their fellow subjects to starve to death.

One Irishman wrote, "The Almighty, indeed, sent the potato blight, but the English created the Famine." For uttering that truth, he was imprisoned for 14 years.

In the end, 1/4 of Ireland's population was dead or gone.

You'll excuse me if I view any laissez faire philospohy like yours with skepticism. I view the Great Famine a little more seriously than you do.

ironpigpen said...

Government is supposed to take care of people who cannot fend for themselves?



"To each according to their needs from each according to their ability." --- KARL MARX

Bernie O'Hare said...

I oppose a nannny state, but no government should let its people starve or let them die because they cannot afford health insurance.

Anonymous said...

Bernie said:

"Most of the Irish were not allowed to own land,..."

Wouldn't that be socialized land ownership? :)

Bernie O'Hare said...

No, and I don't consider geocide a laughing matter, but that's me.

Anonymous said...

Bernie said: "I oppose a nannny state, but no government should let its people starve or let them die because they cannot afford health insurance."

Which is what makes the rhetoric coming from proponents of nationalized health care so frustrating. I constantly hear that people without insurance ARE being treated, and that this is driving up the cost of insurance for everybody.

Should there be reforms to health insurance? Of course. But before going down the same, failed path other countries have taken, let's take some common sense steps:

1) Tort-reform: To limit the frivilous lawsuits that drive up the cost of both health care and insurance.

2) Portability: To keep health insurance with individuals and not dependent on employment.

3) Competitive: Allow health insurance to be sold across state lines to increase competition and reduce the cost of insurance.

None of those require a takeover by government. But the first would require political courage for democrats to stand up to the trial lawyers.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To this, you could add a tax credit for the cost of health insurance. You could provide for more pooling, which reduces costs.

Tort reform might decrease defensive medicine, but I think it is important that doctors be held accountable, so I'm not persuaded by that suggestion. I'm willing to listen.

Anonymous said...

Bernie said: "No, and I don't consider geocide a laughing matter, but that's me."

Bernie -

I don't either.

But I do think that our country is exceptional in the history of the world. The freedoms that we enjoy are the exception in human history - slavery and oppression are the norm.

And I think it's the freedoms articulated in our founding documents and capitalism that have made our country great.

To allow those freedoms to be compromised, for whatever purpose (no matter how noble sounding) is economic (and national) suicide.

We know we can't afford to pay for national health care, yet some are willing to enslave ourselves, our children and grandchildren to oppressive debt and overbearing government to have it.

That's the height of irresponsibility and selfishness.

Anonymous said...

Bernie said - "To this, you could add a tax credit for the cost of health insurance. You could provide for more pooling, which reduces costs."

Good suggestions, and I'm sure that people much smarter than I could add a few more solutions that would solve the problem and wouldn't involve a government takeover of health care.

Why can't our politicians in Washington do this?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Those are some of the suggestions Dent made at the Nazareth Town Hall. Jake was there.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I should re-phrase:

Why can't A MAJORITY of our politicians in Washington do this?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what's happened to the Republicans and the Libs. They used to be for not wasting money and being mindful of finances, etc.. and now they are fighting tooth and nail for us to continue with an overpriced, under-performing health system that makes us unable to compete with foreign businesses. We have the most expensive health sytem in teh world but #37 for effectiveness, thanks to the insurance companies. Our businesses can't compete with the price they have to pay when other countries have better healthcare at cheaper costs paid by tax money. Why are Reps ad Libs so gung-ho about us throwing our money down the gutter?

Anonymous said...

Health insurance compared to buying a car:

France, the US, England, and all the Western democracies went to buy cars one day. Everyone got a Lexus for around $40k, France got a fancier Lexus with more options for a little higher, Turkey with less options for a little less than $40k. The US bought a used KIA for $100,000 and drove away with pieces of the car falling off in the road, screaming, "I have the best car in the world! I have the best car in the world!" while the other countries shook their heads. That's us. We're stupid. We don't have the best car in the world. We have the best doctors and hospitals, but we have the 37th best health system in the world, after Cyprus even.

Anonymous said...

And you think the government is going to make that better? If so, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

Anonymous said...

Who is starving and who is going without medical attention? Even illegals get it as required by law.

And an earlier poster used the example of a selfish, career-driven 39 year-old who's suddenly afraid of going barren? Cry me a frickin' river.

The larger problem with all of the is that a welfare state with open borders cannot be economically sustained. It's what's wrong with things now. It's about to get exponentially worse.

We shall all be Calcuttans soon. Enjoy your change.

Bernie O'Hare said...


Anonymous said...

If you like the VA, you'll love Obamacare.

I'm from the government; I'm hear to help!

Anonymous said...

Torte reform anybody?


I know. It's easier to vilify insurance companies.

And we all know lawyers bear no responsibility for the current mess.

Anonymous said...

Bullshit on the laissez faire nonsense re: the Irish Famine. It's a tired old chimera of lefties who prefer handouts in the name of social justice to toil in the name of self preservation.

The culprit was a combination of things, the least of which was any semblence of free market structures.

England's political plundering of the Irish (who were made tenant farmers on their own land) left critical farming decisions to absentee overseer landlords - many who'd never even seen the stolen land they were given.

Also, TOO MUCH government interference in English agricultural policy to control prices led to disastrous consequences throughout the country. The 1801 expansion of English Corn (read: all grains) Laws was a crushing blow that prevented Irish farmers from making free market decisions in their best interests.

Anonymous said...

Great joke told by an Irishman about the Potato famine.

He said do you know why the Irish are consiered the white trash of Europe. They were all all starving to death and no one could remember they lived on a small Island surronded by tons of fish. Throw a dman net in the water and you can feed your family for a week.

Maybe politically incorrect but rather amusing.

Jesus said...

The first two rings of hell are reserved for the insurance companies.

Anonymous said...

When you go to your favorite take out restaurant, you place your order, have a seat and wait for your food. Has the waitstaff ever come back and told you that your order was denied but they are keeping the money? So why is it okay that I pay years of insurance premiums for them to turn around and say "no, we are not going to provide you the service we promised or you paid for!"

Anonymous said...

Agreed, no-fault health insurance should be the least of the reforms.

Problem is after you cut away all the "free enterprise" horse hockey from the Health Care debate, it all comes down to basics. The Insurance companies make money by collecting premiums and not paying out whenever possible. Health Insurance has nothing to do with health and everyting to do with profit. It isn't rocket science folks. If you are OK with that so be it.