Sikh Perspectives on Health Care Reform

sikh_physician.jpgThe US Congress is on their August recess and most have returned to their home constituencies. The atmosphere throughout the country is becoming increasingly polarized over the issue of healthcare. From Palins stupidity in labeling Obamas plans downright evil (I almost dont know what is worse her attempt to inflame sections of the public through such incendiary language or the fact that she is still unaware that there is NO Obama plan Obama has left the process to the branch of the government that is suppose to make laws the Congressional legislative branch) to Obamas call for sanity and an end to outlandish claims against the process, the partisan hackery has already begun.

So now I open up a discussion here in The Langar Hall. What we are going to attempt to do is what, unfortunately, is not happening in the rest of the country an honest discussion. Instead, we have had partisan hacks yelling Socialism and others yelling Fascism with divisions based on well-known party allegiances, rather than real interests. Will we be successful in The Langar Hall?

Healthcare has been discussed before, but as the topic is taking center stage in the United States, it is an opportunity to use our community capital. In the United States, Sikhs are far over-represented in health services. From doctors to nurses to physical therapists and everything else, we occupy a broad expanse of the health care sector. What are our opinions on health care? What are the opinions of our brothers and sisters from UK, Canada, India and other countries, which have very different systems?

Some Background:

Ill begin with a basic sketch. Here are some numbers provided by the BBC:

  • 47 million uninsured, 25 million under-insured
  • Healthcare costs represent 16% of GDP, almost twice OECD average
  • Reform plans would require all Americans to get insurance
  • Some propose public insurance option to compete with private insurers

The system in the US currently is already a mixed public-private system. Most people fall under the private system where various companies provide healthcare as well as profits for their shareholders. Some nonprofit healthcare groups also exist, but those providing coverage the vast majority fall under the private systems. Premiums continue to go up with age. Companies have been largely profitable with large portions of peoples premiums being paid in executive salaries and corporate profits.
President Obama has called for a public option from the Congressional proposal in his push for health-insurance reform. The public option is to be a government-sponsored option that will compete with the various private and nonprofit packages, although it will not be available to all. Government programs already exist including Medicare (for the elderly), Medicaid (for low-income adults), and SCHIP (for low-income children). The public option is to keep the companies honest in terms of their competitiveness.

What has been largely left off the mainstream news networks corporate-financed debate is the push for a complete overhaul to a single-payer system, as seen in Canada and many other countries. Obama has mentioned in the past that he supports such a system, but does not believe that it a true possibility.

Everyone seems to agree that reform is needed. What it will like is still anyones guess. The basic problems are well-known, but the moneyed interest and special interest groups attached to the issue as well as partisan hackery serve to complicate the issue. A recent exposure by a whistleblower insurance insider, Wendell Potter, the former head of Public Relations for CIGNA, one of the nation’s largest insurers, is a MUST WATCH in understanding the current interests of various health insurance groups:

I didn’t intend to [speak out], until it became really clear to me that the industry is resorting to the same tactics they’ve used over the years, and particularly back in the early ’90s, when they were leading the effort to kill the Clinton plan.”

On efficiency

BILL MOYERS: Why is public insurance, a public option, so fiercely opposed by the industry?

WENDELL POTTER: The industry doesnt want to have any competitor. In fact, over the course of the last few years, has been shrinking the number of competitors through a lot of acquisitions and mergers. So first of all, they dont want any more competition period. They certainly dont want it from a government plan that might be operating more efficiently than they are, that they operate. The Medicare program that we have here is a government-run program that has administrative expenses that are like three percent or so.

BILL MOYERS: Compared to the industrys

WENDELL POTTER: They spend about 20 cents of every premium dollar on overhead, which is administrative expense or profit. So they dont want to compete against a more efficient competitor.

On profits above people

BILL MOYERS: You told Congress that the industry has hijacked our health care system and turned it into a giant ATM for Wall Street. You said, I saw how they confuse their customers and dump the sick, all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors. How do they satisfy their Wall Street investors?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, theres a measure of profitability that investors look to, and its called a medical loss ratio. And its unique to the health insurance industry. And by medical loss ratio, I mean that its a measure that tells investors or anyone else how much of a premium dollar is used by the insurance company to actually pay medical claims. And that has been shrinking, over the years, since the industrys been dominated by, or become dominated by for-profit insurance companies. Back in the early 90s, or back during the time that the Clinton plan was being debated, 95 cents out of every dollar was sent, you know, on average was used by the insurance companies to pay claims. Last year, it was down to just slightly above 80 percent.

On a free market system

BILL MOYERS: So how can you object? How can we object when an insurance company wants to increase its profits? Thats a serious question. I mean, it sounds like a set-up but its a serious question.

WENDELL POTTER: Its a very serious question. And I think that people who are strong advocates of our health care system remaining as it is, very much a free market health care system, fail to realize that were really talking about human beings here. And it doesnt work as well as they would like it to. Yeah, theres nothing wrong. And Im a capitalist as well. I think its a wonderful thing that companies can make a profit. But when you do it in such a way that you are creating a situation in which these companies are adding to the number of people who are uninsured and creating a problem of the underinsured then thats when we have a problem with it, or at least I do.

It must be obvious by now what my opinion is. Although I cannot claim I have a Sikh opinion, my opinion is informed by my understanding of Sikhi. I do believe that the principal of sarbat da bhalla calls for insurance and proper care for everyone. Personally I, too, am an advocate for a single-payer system, but believe that a bonafide “public option” is the best way to go in the present political climate. If the “public option” proves successful, as the health insurance companies morbidly fear, then there will be progression towards a single-payer system. If they can honestly compete, then they have no reason to worry. Time will tell, however, I do encourage all of our readers to get inform themselves of the conversations and play a role in this necessary domestic conversation. I just hope we can go beyond slogans, hackery, name-calling, and fear-mongering (the always used ‘government bureaucrat’ that will supposedly decide whether your health care is rationed or that you will get necessary treatment, forgetting that in the present system a ‘corporate bureaucrat’ is already making that same decision).

As many in our own community have their own vested interests tied to the current state and profits, it will take special courage from them to see a possible reduction in their salaries in order to do what is best for the country. How many would be willing to do that? I would be interested to find out. So lets hear from the entire sangat inside the US and out as we gather here in The Langar Hall.


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27 Responses to “Sikh Perspectives on Health Care Reform”

  1. simran singh says:

    I am in the support of Universal health-care.

    85% or so bank-ruptcy cases are due to medical expenses in the US. We have a great emergency care department for the insured but when it comes to preventive measures it is minimal.

    It is faster and costs $0 to the uninsured to see a doctor in Emergency care right away than call & schedule an appointment to their primary care physicians because they can't pay the fees without insurance(can't afford insurance without a job and are not qualified if there is a pre-existing condition.

    Kaiser & the like would rather decline your claim for a injury-surgery and keep you on codine-enriched antibiotics till you disable yourself completely. 99.9% of patients have no means to fight a legal battle in the court to prove that the declined claim is legitimate nor are educated about the fact that they can appeal the declines.

    If everyone had healthcare the cost of saving human lives would be a lot less and we will be better off.

  2. simran singh says:

    I am in the support of Universal health-care.
    85% or so bank-ruptcy cases are due to medical expenses in the US. We have a great emergency care department for the insured but when it comes to preventive measures it is minimal.
    It is faster and costs $0 to the uninsured to see a doctor in Emergency care right away than call & schedule an appointment to their primary care physicians because they can’t pay the fees without insurance(can’t afford insurance without a job and are not qualified if there is a pre-existing condition.

    Kaiser & the like would rather decline your claim for a injury-surgery and keep you on codine-enriched antibiotics till you disable yourself completely. 99.9% of patients have no means to fight a legal battle in the court to prove that the declined claim is legitimate nor are educated about the fact that they can appeal the declines.

    If everyone had healthcare the cost of saving human lives would be a lot less and we will be better off.

  3. Rajinder Singh says:

    Govt. option needs to be on the table. The present system has been gamed to stifle competition through legislation. If hospitals and doctors' offices are "for profit" organizations like Toyota and Ford, then in the spirit of free market, the system needs to be totally deregulated. Open it up to competition.

    Private Insurers are unreliable counterparties. They withdraw coverage without notice. It happened to yours truly. Ok here are the details: My mother had passed away earlier at a fairly young age. Once my father retired, he travelled back and forth between India and US. He had an individual Health Insurance policy. I really believed in purchasing health insurance, and not taking "short cuts" that burden the system. He had worked punishingly hard, lived honestly, and was not the kind to seek benevolence – or special favors.

    Unfortunately having health insurance was a false sense of security, because the Insurance company withdrew coverage the same month he fell ill. I got a letter regretting "any inconvenience this might have caused". This letter denying coverage arrived the first week of the following month along with the premium paid for that month . The Health Insurance company did not know that my father had already passed away during a "diagnostic procedure" on the last day of the prior month.

    "For profit" Private insurers are tricky/unreliable counter parties.

    Does anyone consider privatizing other essential services like defense, police, fire fighters, air traffic control ? Then How is health care so "special" ? (Just because there are too many "specialists" ?)

  4. Rajinder Singh says:

    Govt. option needs to be on the table. The present system has been gamed to stifle competition through legislation. If hospitals and doctors’ offices are “for profit” organizations like Toyota and Ford, then in the spirit of free market, the system needs to be totally deregulated. Open it up to competition.
    Private Insurers are unreliable counterparties. They withdraw coverage without notice. It happened to yours truly. Ok here are the details: My mother had passed away earlier at a fairly young age. Once my father retired, he travelled back and forth between India and US. He had an individual Health Insurance policy. I really believed in purchasing health insurance, and not taking “short cuts” that burden the system. He had worked punishingly hard, lived honestly, and was not the kind to seek benevolence – or special favors.
    Unfortunately having health insurance was a false sense of security, because the Insurance company withdrew coverage the same month he fell ill. I got a letter regretting “any inconvenience this might have caused”. This letter denying coverage arrived the first week of the following month along with the premium paid for that month . The Health Insurance company did not know that my father had already passed away during a “diagnostic procedure” on the last day of the prior month.
    “For profit” Private insurers are tricky/unreliable counter parties.
    Does anyone consider privatizing other essential services like defense, police, fire fighters, air traffic control ? Then How is health care so “special” ? (Just because there are too many “specialists” ?)

  5. sonny says:

    the whole concept of healthcare–which means life or death for people–being a for-profit industry is mind-boggling to me. it's unbelievable how single-payer universal healthcare is being totally left out of this debate on so-called reform. the reality is we need much more than reform, we need fundamental change — we need a new system of healthcare in this country all together, a system based on providing the human right of healthcare for ALL people, not one driven by insurance (and pharma) company profits. here's a good description of what single-payer is all about: http://www.healthcare-now.org/hr-676/whats-single

    (the group's founder, btw, marilyn clement, just died. she was a tireless activist who committed her life to pushing for real change of the healthcare system)

  6. sonny says:

    the whole concept of healthcare–which means life or death for people–being a for-profit industry is mind-boggling to me. it’s unbelievable how single-payer universal healthcare is being totally left out of this debate on so-called reform. the reality is we need much more than reform, we need fundamental change — we need a new system of healthcare in this country all together, a system based on providing the human right of healthcare for ALL people, not one driven by insurance (and pharma) company profits. here’s a good description of what single-payer is all about: http://www.healthcare-now.org/hr-676/whats-single-payer/
    (the group’s founder, btw, marilyn clement, just died. she was a tireless activist who committed her life to pushing for real change of the healthcare system)

  7. Gur Raman Singh says:

    The fact that you are calling Republicans "stupid" shows how meaningless your post is.

    I am a proud Sikh and a proud Capitalist. Having 50% of the population on welfare supported by the rest of us who are actually working is the real disgrace.

    The other disgrace is Obama who is a Socialist. His plan had Death Panels (which the media and people like you first denied, but then admitted as true) and has rationing.

    If you want Socialism go to freaking India and see how well that has worked. My grandfather died on the steps on PGI in Chandigarh, India because the doctors could not care less. Anyone worth their salt in India now goes to a private hospital

    Anyone on this board saying "free healthcare is a right" is either a moron or a socialist or both. The only right Waheguru gave us is to work hard and count on God and our OWN selves.

    The biggest difference that I see between the Sikhs of Panjab and the Sikhs of USA is that the Sikhs in the USA are becoming Socialist puppies who want quotas and set asides and socialism to succeed. In Panjab we have thrived despite complete discrimination by the Government and total lack of resources because we believe in Capitalism and looking out for own selves.

    We don't believe in the Obama/Democratic mantra of having 50% of the working population look out for the other 50% who live in Section 8 homes, have free healthcare with Medicad, free food and claim to live in poverty and yet when any TV station goes to their homes we find 2 cars, 2 flat screen TVs and fat people

  8. Jodha says:

    Palin = the Republican Party? Scary thought!

    Hyperbole, name-calling, and fear-mongering. Thanks for the original contribution!

  9. Gur Raman Singh says:

    The fact that you are calling Republicans “stupid” shows how meaningless your post is.

    I am a proud Sikh and a proud Capitalist. Having 50% of the population on welfare supported by the rest of us who are actually working is the real disgrace.

    The other disgrace is Obama who is a Socialist. His plan had Death Panels (which the media and people like you first denied, but then admitted as true) and has rationing.

    If you want Socialism go to freaking India and see how well that has worked. My grandfather died on the steps on PGI in Chandigarh, India because the doctors could not care less. Anyone worth their salt in India now goes to a private hospital

    Anyone on this board saying “free healthcare is a right” is either a moron or a socialist or both. The only right Waheguru gave us is to work hard and count on God and our OWN selves.

    The biggest difference that I see between the Sikhs of Panjab and the Sikhs of USA is that the Sikhs in the USA are becoming Socialist puppies who want quotas and set asides and socialism to succeed. In Panjab we have thrived despite complete discrimination by the Government and total lack of resources because we believe in Capitalism and looking out for own selves.

    We don’t believe in the Obama/Democratic mantra of having 50% of the working population look out for the other 50% who live in Section 8 homes, have free healthcare with Medicad, free food and claim to live in poverty and yet when any TV station goes to their homes we find 2 cars, 2 flat screen TVs and fat people

  10. Jodha says:

    Palin = the Republican Party? Scary thought!

    Hyperbole, name-calling, and fear-mongering. Thanks for the original contribution!

  11. Rajinder Singh says:

    @Gur Raman Singh,

    The american healthcare system is like a big truck on a mountain, in reverse gear. Its about to roll backwards. If you are in the cab, stop admiring the panoramic scenery – look below.

  12. Rajinder Singh says:

    @Gur Raman Singh,

    The american healthcare system is like a big truck on a mountain, in reverse gear. Its about to roll backwards. If you are in the cab, stop admiring the panoramic scenery – look below.

  13. Gur Raman Singh says:

    Calling Republicans names by using code words is neither new nor unknown. Just like if you want to bash Jews you use "Neocon" or "Israel" and all is OK and you can pretend you are not an anti Semite. "Palin" by the OP was clearly a bash against all of us in the conservative movement

    I lived through a similar use of code words in Panjab in the 80s and 90s. Words like "separatists" and "extremists" and "minority community" were used and you could utter any epithet you wanted and bash Sikhs all day long and if anyone confronted you, all you had to do was say.. "but I never said Sikhs"

    The OP is an idiot. No two ways about it. He says that it is not Obama's plan. What??? Did the OP sleep through the election. Obama preached this stupid plan all through his election. Just one week ago we had the House and Senate Dems troop to the White House where Obama told them what "he wanted"

    I was born free thanks to the grace of my Waheguru. My faith taught me that evil regimes can try to oppress you and you should always fight them. I nearly died in Panjab and I feel lucky (and blessed) that I made it to the USA, the land of the free.

    Now you again have Socialists who want to take our rights away and take MY hard earned money and give it to losers who can't hold a job because it is "beneath them"

    I have private insurance. I came here penniless and I made it. So did lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of other Sikhs who came here with nothing but scars and mutilations on their backs.

    Fascism and Socialism as espoused by the Democratic party will never succeed. We were born free by the grace of Waheguru and we will die free.

    If this is a Sikhi site then let us stick to Sikhi. Don't bash us conservatives that work hard and earn our OWN income. I have NO desire to steal your money and your property. I would rather earn my own.

    Also, when I do charity I look for people who genuinely cannot help themselves. I give to places like Pingalwara where charity is needed. I do NOT give to an able bodied man hanging out on a street corner smoking bhang (marijuana) because he is "alienated" an "the man is out to get him"

  14. Jodha says:

    While before I wrote:

    Hyperbole, name-calling, and fear-mongering. Thanks for the original contribution!

    I must admit that while your hyperbole, name-calling, and fear-mongering has remained the same, there is a bit of an original contribution. Trying to pull the post-1984 emotional strings as if somehow it has anything to do with your argument is rather original. Fortunately, most can read through your appeal to emotions without any grounding in reality.

  15. Gur Raman Singh says:

    I remained amazed that the OP (Jodha) continues to call my postings "name calling" and "fear mongering" and yet is unable to notice that his original post is FULL of them. None of the facts in my post have been refuted.

    Look at Medi-Cal. By the California Governor's own admission it is full of abuse. Look at any single welfare program including Section 8 (which I mentioned in my first post) and the STATISTICS of fraud and waste are frightening. In one case they concluded that up-to half the Section 8 recipients had fraudulent data in their applications

    Socialism can never work. When you have half the population supporting the other half it just cannot work. We were put on this earth to WORK and not to whine and bitch about "the man" and the injustice of being born "brown" or "green" or whatever is trendy these days

    And my dear OP, NO, it is not an "emotional string". I lived the 80s in abject fear. My grandfather died in the early 90s due to the government and I barely escaped death. My decision to come to the USA was not voluntary but having reached here, I am very glad I did come. I saw fascism and socialism first hand. No amount of theory can ever teach anyone what it feels like when you are set up to die. NEVER! I lived through that once and I will not live through it again. Back then I was a teenager and scared. Now, I know better. I would rather be dead than be put again in socialist hell that Obama wants to put me in.

    At the end of the day, I don't give a flip if you are a socialist loonie who wants to sing Kayne West songs. I truly believe in "Live and Let Live". You live your life in your compound singing Commie songs and I will live in mine singing Lee Greenwood

    If I can support your right to be left alone, why can you not support mine. Socialism intrudes ON me. It takes what is mine. I can voluntarily give my money to whomsoever I choose. But you have no right to dictate how my life, my property and my livelihood is used

  16. Gur Raman Singh says:

    Calling Republicans names by using code words is neither new nor unknown. Just like if you want to bash Jews you use “Neocon” or “Israel” and all is OK and you can pretend you are not an anti Semite. “Palin” by the OP was clearly a bash against all of us in the conservative movement

    I lived through a similar use of code words in Panjab in the 80s and 90s. Words like “separatists” and “extremists” and “minority community” were used and you could utter any epithet you wanted and bash Sikhs all day long and if anyone confronted you, all you had to do was say.. “but I never said Sikhs”

    The OP is an idiot. No two ways about it. He says that it is not Obama’s plan. What??? Did the OP sleep through the election. Obama preached this stupid plan all through his election. Just one week ago we had the House and Senate Dems troop to the White House where Obama told them what “he wanted”

    I was born free thanks to the grace of my Waheguru. My faith taught me that evil regimes can try to oppress you and you should always fight them. I nearly died in Panjab and I feel lucky (and blessed) that I made it to the USA, the land of the free.

    Now you again have Socialists who want to take our rights away and take MY hard earned money and give it to losers who can’t hold a job because it is “beneath them”

    I have private insurance. I came here penniless and I made it. So did lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of other Sikhs who came here with nothing but scars and mutilations on their backs.

    Fascism and Socialism as espoused by the Democratic party will never succeed. We were born free by the grace of Waheguru and we will die free.

    If this is a Sikhi site then let us stick to Sikhi. Don’t bash us conservatives that work hard and earn our OWN income. I have NO desire to steal your money and your property. I would rather earn my own.

    Also, when I do charity I look for people who genuinely cannot help themselves. I give to places like Pingalwara where charity is needed. I do NOT give to an able bodied man hanging out on a street corner smoking bhang (marijuana) because he is “alienated” an “the man is out to get him”

  17. Jodha says:

    While before I wrote:

    Hyperbole, name-calling, and fear-mongering. Thanks for the original contribution!

    I must admit that while your hyperbole, name-calling, and fear-mongering has remained the same, there is a bit of an original contribution. Trying to pull the post-1984 emotional strings as if somehow it has anything to do with your argument is rather original. Fortunately, most can read through your appeal to emotions without any grounding in reality.

  18. Gur Raman Singh says:

    I remained amazed that the OP (Jodha) continues to call my postings “name calling” and “fear mongering” and yet is unable to notice that his original post is FULL of them. None of the facts in my post have been refuted.

    Look at Medi-Cal. By the California Governor’s own admission it is full of abuse. Look at any single welfare program including Section 8 (which I mentioned in my first post) and the STATISTICS of fraud and waste are frightening. In one case they concluded that up-to half the Section 8 recipients had fraudulent data in their applications

    Socialism can never work. When you have half the population supporting the other half it just cannot work. We were put on this earth to WORK and not to whine and bitch about “the man” and the injustice of being born “brown” or “green” or whatever is trendy these days

    And my dear OP, NO, it is not an “emotional string”. I lived the 80s in abject fear. My grandfather died in the early 90s due to the government and I barely escaped death. My decision to come to the USA was not voluntary but having reached here, I am very glad I did come. I saw fascism and socialism first hand. No amount of theory can ever teach anyone what it feels like when you are set up to die. NEVER! I lived through that once and I will not live through it again. Back then I was a teenager and scared. Now, I know better. I would rather be dead than be put again in socialist hell that Obama wants to put me in.

    At the end of the day, I don’t give a flip if you are a socialist loonie who wants to sing Kayne West songs. I truly believe in “Live and Let Live”. You live your life in your compound singing Commie songs and I will live in mine singing Lee Greenwood

    If I can support your right to be left alone, why can you not support mine. Socialism intrudes ON me. It takes what is mine. I can voluntarily give my money to whomsoever I choose. But you have no right to dictate how my life, my property and my livelihood is used

  19. Jodha says:

    Gur Raman,

    I end our exchange with this last message as, unfortunately, we are not really discussing as I had hoped. Feel free to continue as you please.

    With regards to my name-calling, I went through my post and while, like you, I have an opinion, I did not engage in name-calling, with the exception of 'Palin's stupidity.' I did call an end for partisan hackery, but unfortunately that call seemed to fall on a pair of deaf ears.

    Yes, Medi-cal is full of abuse. So is the current system of private for-profit healthcare that we have too. The current system, in order to continue to post profits for its Wall Street investors, dumps the sickest, when they need it most. Fraud in the private and public sector are hardly new things. It does occur. I hope for better systems to minimize it, but as the banking meltdown revealed – in order to maximize profits, many in the private sector also have no scruples in 'fudging' their numbers.

    Using labels like 'fascist' and 'socialist' are just hyperbole. This country has a mixed system, just as many European countries have. This is a red-herring, partisan hyperbole, and fear mongering to play upon the old 'red hysteria.'

    The fact that you use socialism and fascism in the same sentence shows that you really don't have a strong understanding of these terms. Your grandfather may have died at the hands of a fascist state that sought to impose its hegemony upon the Sikh body politic; he was not killed by a 'socialist' state that was trying to force Medicare upon him.

    Yes, yes, I will listen to 'commie' music. I thought Rush Limbaugh used the term 'pink-o'? Again not understanding the difference between communism and socialism reveals that you are only engaging in hyperbole and fear-mongering without adequate knowledge of real definitions and their applications.

    On your final point, I think that is where you and I differ, Gur Raman. We live in a completely connected world. The idea of being 'left' alone does not exist in this globalized world we live in. When a corporation pollutes the environment in its effort to make profits, it does effect me and all the rest of us. It may be a matter of what we believe is in the nation's interest. I do believe that the health of the nation is in the national interest. We share costs for the police, fire department, etc. These are 'shared' expenses and we get a shared 'benefit.'

  20. Jodha says:

    Gur Raman,

    I end our exchange with this last message as, unfortunately, we are not really discussing as I had hoped. Feel free to continue as you please.

    With regards to my name-calling, I went through my post and while, like you, I have an opinion, I did not engage in name-calling, with the exception of ‘Palin’s stupidity.’ I did call an end for partisan hackery, but unfortunately that call seemed to fall on a pair of deaf ears.

    Yes, Medi-cal is full of abuse. So is the current system of private for-profit healthcare that we have too. The current system, in order to continue to post profits for its Wall Street investors, dumps the sickest, when they need it most. Fraud in the private and public sector are hardly new things. It does occur. I hope for better systems to minimize it, but as the banking meltdown revealed – in order to maximize profits, many in the private sector also have no scruples in ‘fudging’ their numbers.

    Using labels like ‘fascist’ and ‘socialist’ are just hyperbole. This country has a mixed system, just as many European countries have. This is a red-herring, partisan hyperbole, and fear mongering to play upon the old ‘red hysteria.’

    The fact that you use socialism and fascism in the same sentence shows that you really don’t have a strong understanding of these terms. Your grandfather may have died at the hands of a fascist state that sought to impose its hegemony upon the Sikh body politic; he was not killed by a ‘socialist’ state that was trying to force Medicare upon him.

    Yes, yes, I will listen to ‘commie’ music. I thought Rush Limbaugh used the term ‘pink-o’? Again not understanding the difference between communism and socialism reveals that you are only engaging in hyperbole and fear-mongering without adequate knowledge of real definitions and their applications.

    On your final point, I think that is where you and I differ, Gur Raman. We live in a completely connected world. The idea of being ‘left’ alone does not exist in this globalized world we live in. When a corporation pollutes the environment in its effort to make profits, it does effect me and all the rest of us. It may be a matter of what we believe is in the nation’s interest. I do believe that the health of the nation is in the national interest. We share costs for the police, fire department, etc. These are ‘shared’ expenses and we get a shared ‘benefit.’

  21. fire on ice says:

    The only reason this is an issue for card caring republicans is that they have written their party out of the process and they are trying to find their own way back in. Initially it seems to have started when they could not stand up to dick cheney.

    The American citizens took note and voted enough republicans out of power to give the control of the senate to the Democratic agenda, and along the way they elected the first black president. If you want to call that socialism, that’s not much of a purposeful mistake to keep making to others.

    The Ron Paul independents and libertarian minority are really the ones out there banging on garbage cans, the republicans are using the rattling as card 53 the ‘fear card’ from their deck of 52, oddly enough the republicans ignored the same people during their own G.O.P primary and then during the presidential election.

    It will be unlikely the protestors will want to become third class citizens in the nation they were brought up in, so they’ll probably start tailgating at these events, and oddly enough the events will become social….isms.

    Healthcare reform is really about the Insurance Industry. It gives the less than handful powerful Insurance companies the opportunity to release a major liability known as high-risk patients. All this comes during a time period that the Government (republican/democrat) decided to bail out the private sector banking industry. The Insurance industry is just asking for what its due under the current construct.

    The man made capitalist model works without flaw (sarcasm, learned it from xoxo Reema, more sarcasm ).

    The insurance industry is probably the biggest proponent of the public option. As long as the government makes it mandatory for everyone to have insurance coverage, then the Insurance industry will make up in volume what its losing from the high risk consumers, those in the high risk category should end up under the public option.

    But none of this really matters. Its like ‘playing house’, or more like ‘playing government’, more of an elaborate show/hoax as the magic starts to make sense.

    Karl Marx was constructively wrong, socialism will not be the end all, the Oligarchy will reign, maybe some will toast the local dungeon master in their hemisphere, ‘may that person or persons have a heart’.

    In terms of what Sikhs should do, same as the Guru has been telling us, perform Sewa, find cures, if you work in the hospitals try to sincerely care and help others. A one world government can only do so much, with or without it, WaheguruJi Exists.

  22. fire on ice says:

    The only reason this is an issue for card caring republicans is that they have written their party out of the process and they are trying to find their own way back in. Initially it seems to have started when they could not stand up to dick cheney.

    The American citizens took note and voted enough republicans out of power to give the control of the senate to the Democratic agenda, and along the way they elected the first black president. If you want to call that socialism, thats not much of a purposeful mistake to keep making to others.

    The Ron Paul independents and libertarian minority are really the ones out there banging on garbage cans, the republicans are using the rattling as card 53 the fear card from their deck of 52, oddly enough the republicans ignored the same people during their own G.O.P primary and then during the presidential election.

    It will be unlikely the protestors will want to become third class citizens in the nation they were brought up in, so theyll probably start tailgating at these events, and oddly enough the events will become social.isms.

    Healthcare reform is really about the Insurance Industry. It gives the less than handful powerful Insurance companies the opportunity to release a major liability known as high-risk patients. All this comes during a time period that the Government (republican/democrat) decided to bail out the private sector banking industry. The Insurance industry is just asking for what its due under the current construct.

    The man made capitalist model works without flaw (sarcasm, learned it from xoxo Reema, more sarcasm ).

    The insurance industry is probably the biggest proponent of the public option. As long as the government makes it mandatory for everyone to have insurance coverage, then the Insurance industry will make up in volume what its losing from the high risk consumers, those in the high risk category should end up under the public option.

    But none of this really matters. Its like playing house, or more like playing government, more of an elaborate show/hoax as the magic starts to make sense.

    Karl Marx was constructively wrong, socialism will not be the end all, the Oligarchy will reign, maybe some will toast the local dungeon master in their hemisphere, may that person or persons have a heart.

    In terms of what Sikhs should do, same as the Guru has been telling us, perform Sewa, find cures, if you work in the hospitals try to sincerely care and help others. A one world government can only do so much, with or without it, WaheguruJi Exists.

  23. simran says:

    WJKK! WJKF!

    I was speaking to friends in Canada who've waited for 6-9 months for a hip surgery or a back surgery which is unthinkable for most of us in US who are employed with insurance coverage. US insurance for people who are covered care is much better.

    There is no such thing as 9 month wait time and things happen fast. Problems occur here when you have no insurance ( insurance company disqualify for pre-existing condition ) and endup hurting us big time even if we are in the middle class insurance premium paying populations. This example might help:

    My travel agent's mom broke her arm in the back-yard on her visit to see her grand-kids. He took her to the hospital and got her into a cast right away when the medical bills arrived they were over $30,000 to $50,000. If the insurance was there and were to pay for the treat-ment the cost would've less because of pre-existing agreements. However, for an average american with a $50,000 bill.. filling bankruptcy is advertised as an easier option.

    I feel capitalism entails that poor people will always have to exploited, abused and neglected for selected upper middle class and high class to maintain status quo. Question is would I want to experience what they have to go through?

    I've seen a lot of people living in povery in India, Mexico, very less in US but it is there. Poor in India don't seem to suffer from obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, eating disorders, however poor in the US do from personal observation.

    I feel people in Canada are more discriminating in their choices and are fitness conscious however obesity if a problem for Canada, UK as well with Universal healthcare. However, UK gurdwaras offer YOGA classes which every Gurdwara in US could use with our buttery, 7 item langar(buffet) served twice a week if not daily.

    Perhaps Universal Healthcare with manadatory 1.5 hours of Cardio and PT excercises daily for the poor US citizen and others can pay for their premiums privately if they choose not to participate.

    What do you think Gur Raman Singh ji?

  24. Harinder says:

    "SIX" Tips to avoid a doctor :-

    1) Stamina : Cylce /Run/swim/ski 30 minutes every day

    2) Strength : Exercise army style or in a Gymnasium

    3) Elasticity : Do yoga

    4) Mental : Learn new language may be even a machine,solve puzzes

    5) Be Romantic

    6) Say your prayers daily

  25. simran says:

    WJKK! WJKF!

    I was speaking to friends in Canada who’ve waited for 6-9 months for a hip surgery or a back surgery which is unthinkable for most of us in US who are employed with insurance coverage. US insurance for people who are covered care is much better.

    There is no such thing as 9 month wait time and things happen fast. Problems occur here when you have no insurance ( insurance company disqualify for pre-existing condition ) and endup hurting us big time even if we are in the middle class insurance premium paying populations. This example might help:

    My travel agent’s mom broke her arm in the back-yard on her visit to see her grand-kids. He took her to the hospital and got her into a cast right away when the medical bills arrived they were over $30,000 to $50,000. If the insurance was there and were to pay for the treat-ment the cost would’ve less because of pre-existing agreements. However, for an average american with a $50,000 bill.. filling bankruptcy is advertised as an easier option.

    I feel capitalism entails that poor people will always have to exploited, abused and neglected for selected upper middle class and high class to maintain status quo. Question is would I want to experience what they have to go through?

    I’ve seen a lot of people living in povery in India, Mexico, very less in US but it is there. Poor in India don’t seem to suffer from obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, eating disorders, however poor in the US do from personal observation.

    I feel people in Canada are more discriminating in their choices and are fitness conscious however obesity if a problem for Canada, UK as well with Universal healthcare. However, UK gurdwaras offer YOGA classes which every Gurdwara in US could use with our buttery, 7 item langar(buffet) served twice a week if not daily.

    Perhaps Universal Healthcare with manadatory 1.5 hours of Cardio and PT excercises daily for the poor US citizen and others can pay for their premiums privately if they choose not to participate.

    What do you think Gur Raman Singh ji?

  26. Harinder says:

    “SIX” Tips to avoid a doctor :-

    1) Stamina : Cylce /Run/swim/ski 30 minutes every day
    2) Strength : Exercise army style or in a Gymnasium
    3) Elasticity : Do yoga
    4) Mental : Learn new language may be even a machine,solve puzzes
    5) Be Romantic
    6) Say your prayers daily

  27. Some propose public insurance Semi lettering Bronx option to compete with private insurers