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Speaker of the House John Boehner (L) listens to House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R) discussing the Balanced Budget Amendment, which is scheduled to be considered on the floor of the House next week, at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washingt
John Boehner wonders what Eric Cantor has gotten him into with this one. (Larry Downing/Reuters)
Undeterred by public opinion, House Republicans are spending today holding their breath and stamping their feet and voting on Rep. Eric Cantor's bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They say that there's nothing more important.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican who chairs the House Republican Conference, said on CNN’s "Starting Point." the series of votes on "the seminal issue of our time" was justified. Hensarling said previous landmark laws—including major civil rights legislation and welfare reform in the 1990s—faced repeated votes that went nowhere before finally passing.
Good to know that repealing universal access to health insurance is more important to Republicans than jobs. We've known that by the nearly three dozen votes they've had on it in the past 18 months, but this is the first time they've admitted that they consider it up there with civil rights. (Really?)

Of course, they keep twisting it to try to say their opposition has something to do with the economy, using the hook Chief Justice John Roberts gave them: it's a tax! To which Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) has the perfect answer:

Democrats countered that the penalty for not buying insurance was directed at people who could afford it.

"Otherwise you're passing the cost on to us," said Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash. "You're a freeloader. The Republicans are glorifying freeloaders."

Republicans used to call them freeloaders, too, back when the Heritage Foundation was crafting the whole idea of an individual mandate to buy health care, and Mitt Romney was touting it in Massachusetts. Next thing you know, those former Republican "freeloaders" are going to be come "freedom fighters."

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:20 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Generally, "freeloaders" only matter (26+ / 0-)

    to Republicans if they are people of color.  For example, Romney enjoys the protections of the nations military, has his contracts enforced in courts here, made a fortune protected by this legal system, but avoids taxes through various schemes.  If ever there was a "freeloader," it is Mitt Romney.

    I understand why the Dems are using the term, but it bothers me whnever we use terms that echo Republican themes based on racism or classism or both.  

    It is what it is.

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:24:00 AM PDT

    •  The goal should be to change the underlying (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, eps62, LuvSet

      assumptions of those terms. When republicans use the term "freeloader" to describe people who have no other resources, no other options, and who face an increasingly marginal existence, they apply their brand of morality to circumstances that defy morality. We need to redirect the term "freeloader" away from those who are merely trying to survive and back to a rightfully moral condemnation of those who have plenty of means to live quite comfortably but continue to milk society for all they can.

      A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. - Greek proverb

      by marleycat on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 10:02:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, if they can afford it... (0+ / 0-)
        Democrats countered that the penalty for not buying insurance was directed at people who could afford it.
        Why is it assumed that they are not actually paying for it?
        •  I don't understand your question. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eps62, MrJersey

          If they have insurance, no penalty. If they do not have insurance, and can afford it, then they pay a penalty. I guess the assumption would come if they can't produce evidence that they have insurance.

          A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. - Greek proverb

          by marleycat on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 10:42:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let me rephrase (0+ / 0-)

            Why is it assumed that someone is freeloading when they have the resources to pay their bills?

            •  Ah, I see. I think the problem is that they may (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              have the resources to pay for insurance premiums, but they become freeloaders only when they find they need to use medical services for which they have no insurance and suddenly find that they cannot pay the astronomical bills that often come with such services. You are correct, though, that those who can afford to pay those bills, and do so, are not freeloaders.  Not too many people in that category, I am willing to bet.

              A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. - Greek proverb

              by marleycat on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 12:37:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Jim McDermott said it all. (21+ / 0-)
    “As a psychiatrist, I’m qualified to say this,” said Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash. “One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The game is over. The referee, John Roberts, blew the whistle. It’s over, guys.”
  •  Gary Johnson, freeloader (17+ / 0-)

    He's not that important as Libertarian candidate for President, though some people like him over gay rights or - most of all - over legalizing marijuana.  And he does get to yammer on TV sometimes.  As a New Mexican who lived through his 2 terms as governor, trust me:  He ain't nothing but trouble.

    And he's also putting out BS on health care.  How unfair it is for him to have to pay $600/month premium because he's so healthy he hasn't been to the doctor for 5 years, leaving out the major injuries 6 years ago from a paragliding accident.  His premiums from then to Medicare won't begin to cover the costs of that one accident alone.

    And he has lots of other injuries incurred while climbing Mt. Everest, motorcycle accident, kayaking, falling on ice while jogging (2 broken vertebrae on that one) and most of all skiing.

    His "I'm so healthy I don't need a doctor, why should I have to pay for insurance shtick" is a load of crap.

    Grab all the joy you can. (exmearden 8/10/09)

    by Land of Enchantment on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:39:50 AM PDT

  •  Another symbolic, go nowhere vote from the 112th (9+ / 0-)

    Congress that has accomplished less than the "Do Nothing" Congress of 1948.

    Yesterday I sent an email to my Congressman, a Tea Party hack, about all this endless symbolic voting he is doing:

    SUBJ: Obamacare - Yet, Another Symbolic Vote

    Tomorrow the House will again hold another symbolic vote on legislation, Obamacare, that will never be enated into law. And, for the 31st time, on the the same subject legislation.

    The insanity of this endeavor is evident:

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
    ~~ Albert Einstein

    I know you will vote to repeal Obamacare.  

    I don't know why, since it is now the law of the land having been deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court.

    Symbolic votes seem to be the only activity that ever happens in the US House during the 112th Congress. Symbolic votes to make ideologues, like yourself, feel good about themselves, but does nothing for the general welfare of the nation.

    I can only regard your federal salary and benefits package as "symbolic" and unearned.

    If you can't abide with the law of the land and move on, I will gladly accept your resignation as my representative in the US House.

    I can only hope the general electorate wakes up to remove all "symbolic" legislators.

    Please, call, write, or email your member of Congress and tell them the insanity must end.

    *Austerity is the opposite of Prosperity*

    by josmndsn on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:50:24 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, the next signs at a Tea Party gathering: (10+ / 0-)

    "Proud Freeloader Here."

    I was seeing what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation - the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence. --The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley

    by Wildthumb on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:51:56 AM PDT

  •  On this vote - Democrats should walk out (7+ / 0-)

    All of them should just walk out on this 31st vote to repeal ACA.

    It's over - the court has ruled.  This has zero chance of becoming law.  100% Grandstanding.

    The Democrats should not have even shown up for debating this and should walk out on the vote to show the people they are not the ones wasting the time.

  •  fair to ask my Rep to take a competency test??... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ckntfld, shoeless, LuvSet

    "You can't think and surf at the same time" Yogi Surfdog

    by surfdog on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:53:52 AM PDT

  •  Republicans have wet dreams (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slippytoad, JML9999, eps62, Matt Z

    about large piles of dead Americans.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:55:32 AM PDT

  •  Freedom is good (8+ / 0-)

    Free is good.

    Free loaders seek free medical care, and free is good.

    Therefore free loaders are good, and we should all seek to become one.

    And Republicans will fight for your right to be free. Loading. Because it's all full of a load of awesome freedom.

    Oh, and BTW ... you only really deserve to free load if you're a corporation, which are people, also too.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:55:56 AM PDT

  •  HYPOCRISY is too mild a term of derision. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, eps62

    The Republicans are so over the top and so blatant in their disregard for the interests of the vast majority of Americans (WHERE ARE THE JOBS, CRYIN' JOHN??), that to call what they advocate hypocrisy is just inadequate.

    It is more than incompetence.


    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry

    by BornDuringWWII on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 09:57:18 AM PDT

  •  My own TeaParty Governor, Paul LePage, says that (7+ / 0-)

    the IRS will be the new Gestapo for forcing people to cough up money (they won't) to buy health insurance. Yet he has no problem, and would like to do the same, when Governor Rick Scott of Florida forces people to pee into a cup to recieve help they desperately need. There are no words to convey how much disgust I feel for these people.

  •  I think we can hit those folks pretty hard... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, eps62 which I mean the freeloaders.  The ones who have the means to pay and prefer not to, out of an ideology-addled or generically stupid inability to assess risk, don't vote Democratic anyway so there's no harm in calling them out.    

    Romney '12: Bully for America!

    by Rich in PA on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 10:00:10 AM PDT

  •  I'll bet anyone $10,000 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62, MKSinSA

    that they can sneak one more vote on repeal before the elections.  You know, after this one works about as well as the other 30.

    OMG! Socialism in the US! Time to move to Canada.

    by asm121 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 10:01:31 AM PDT

  •  Wasn't some congresscritter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, eps62, Matt Z

    just bragging about how dodging taxes was patriotic, or defending someone who was making excess use of tax loopholes? Same sort of thing to glorifying people who resist Obamacare.

    I wonder: If we made it a law that patients had to be informed when they were getting care that was mandated by the ACA, would republicans stop going to the doctor?

  •  I cannot wait for these guys to be gone (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, eps62, Matt Z

    I know it will take a while for red areas to wake up and vote either Democrats or non-ideologically brain-addled Republicans to office.  

    But that day will come eventually, and our country will be so much better for it.

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 10:07:53 AM PDT

  •  Memo to Dems: Don't use any more GOP ideas (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar, cany, rabel, eps62, wsexson, Matt Z

    If you like it, Dems, Republicans will call it "Socialist," even if it was their idea to begin with.  Instead, be bold--please get behind things that people want, like Medicare for All.

  •  This freeloader talk is disgusting (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beelzebud, Shahryar, cany, wsexson, Matt Z

    especially out of Democrats.

  •  Listen here, Bozo Boehner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Mr. Boehner pretends that he is holding repeat votes because he is listening to the American people.  

    But if Mr. Boehner really listened, he'd have heard the phrase, "As American as baseball and apple pie..."

    And as we all know, when a team loses three games in the World Series, it does not say, "let's make it the majority of eight games, or nine games...or 31 games..."

    In holding vote after vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act, tone-deaf Mr. Boehner is not only wasting time and money and opportunities to actually help Americans, he is also demonstrating that he does not understand good sportsmanship or an American tradition such as baseball -- or anything the majority of honest-to-goodness Americans have to say.

  •  We're all Republicans now! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar, eps62, quince

    I absolutely hate that some Democrats seem to openly embrace the 1995 Republican party, as if should be a model of the 2012 Democratic party.


    The Patriot Act: IOKIYAD!

    by Beelzebud on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 10:16:06 AM PDT

    Recommended by:
    eps62, CTMET

    They should be taxed! Or at least penalized.

    Freeloader tax? Freeloader penalty? Who cares, just so long as the freeloaders pay!

    •  What The Fuck Does This Mean? (0+ / 0-)

      Who exactly are you defining as 'free loaders', what exactly are they 'cheating you out of' and what exactly would have them 'pay'?

      If someone has been healthy all of their lives and over the course of that life has chosen not to purchase health insurance that has somehow 'cheated you out of something'? What exactly?

      This has all gone over the edge and into the realm of Bizarro world.

      I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

      by superscalar on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 10:34:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        if that person who has refused to participate in the risk pool (which not only pays for services but also finances the research, medical infrastructure, training of medical and paramedical personnel, etc.), i.e. the freeloader, was to be denied access to care, then he/she wouldn't be a freeloader, but they would be screwed.

        However, a variety of federal laws dating back decades require hospitals to render emergency care without regard to the patients ability to pay for it. So they get treated and that's that.

        The system cost ends up about the same with or without the freeloaders, but freeloaders mean fewer of us pay so we pay proportionately more. So it is we, the insured and financially responsible, who are cheated. All of this should be rather obvious to anyone who has followed the debate.

  •  now we're as disdainful as they are!! yippee! (6+ / 0-)
    Republicans used to call them freeloaders, too, back when the Heritage Foundation was crafting the whole idea of an individual mandate to buy health care, and Mitt Romney was touting it in Massachusetts.
    Don't you see what's wrong here? The key isn't that the Republicans are wingnuts (which they are). It's that the Democrats are now 1990s Republicans, complete with demeaning insults to anyone who doesn't think like them.

    I mean hot dog!, we're now as ill-mannered as the Repubs used to be before they became totally unhinged.

    By the way, this whole "freeloader" talk, which is supposed to bring wingers into the fold, is a failure. So we're left with just the unappetizing sight of Democrats being closed minded and nasty.

  •  "teapartier" (0+ / 0-)

    I thought "teapartier" was the upstanding Republican name for "freeloader." It's perfectly acceptable for their protests to be subsidized by government assistance - aren't the protesters all already on disability or the recipients of small business tax credits or unemployment or social security or whatever? It might even be good public policy for that to be true. But if the same people were Occupy protesters they'd be shouted down by the same people who now praise them.

  •  I absolutely HATE this "freeloader" language, no (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar, wsexson, quince, Matt Z

    matter WHO uses it.

    By their terms, I am a "freeloader". Never mind I haven't had insurance since 1997 when I was laid off because I am in a high risk category. Even in CA, I can pay $1600/mo for "high risk" insurance, after staying on a waiting list, that is the shitty insurance.

    It is impossible for me.

    I have never been a "freeloader" in my life and disparaging me and others in my position is the most abusive approach to a broken system imaginable.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 10:29:07 AM PDT

    •  To Dems, Freeloader = one who can pay but won't. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      to the 'Pubs, Freeloader = anyone who can't pay, and receives a subsidy.

      We need to maintain that distinction.

      Have you noticed?
      Politicians who promise LESS government
      only deliver BAD government.

      by jjohnjj on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 10:44:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It doesn't matter. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The term shouldn't be used. No one bothers to define it before using it.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 11:28:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, You're Going To Make A Lot Of Converts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar, Matt Z

    To your cause by labeling them all as 'free loaders'.

    I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

    by superscalar on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 10:30:58 AM PDT

  •  I wonder what would happen if..... (0+ / 0-)

    the Democrats said okay we will repeal Obamacare if all of those people voting for repeal will also repeal their own government subsidized health insurance.  Then they can go out into the free market place and purchase their own insurance and if they have a pre-existing condition.....oh, too bad, I guess you'll just have to pay for that out of your own pocket.  Would there be any takers?

    The first thing lost in war is truth.

    by KatHart on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 11:22:05 AM PDT

  •  Not sure I like the righwing framing (Freeloader) (0+ / 0-)

    But it sure is effective. It's taking away the right's oldest talking point.

    I don't really mind Dems using rightwing language so much. It's when they enact rightwing policies that I get mad. Unfortunately, using language like this makes it less easier for Dem voters to make an informed choice. We need some dogwhistles to the left if Dems are going to be using this kind of talk.

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 11:25:15 AM PDT

  •  All the Democrats have to say every time they rise (0+ / 0-) IT'S YOUR PLAN. OWN IT. They should say nothing more, they should repeat it and they should say it very, very loud.

  •  The real issue isn't health care. (0+ / 0-)

    You know how I know this?  Because Republicans crafted and passed the Medicare Part D law under a Republican President.  They don't mind if people get more, better health care.

    And it's not about deficit spending.  You know how I know?  Same reason.  Plus, Obamacare will save the nation a ton of money.

    The real reason this legislation is do-or-die for them is because a black Democratic President did what Clinton couldn't do, what Ted Kennedy couldn't do, hell I think Truman talked about it.  If Republicans did repeal Obamacare, they would immediately ram through an identical law the second a Republican President was inaugurated.

    I wonder if we could cut them a deal.  If they would just STFU and pass some jobs bills, we promise to call it Romneycare.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 12:08:58 PM PDT

  •  The only free loaders here (0+ / 0-)

    are the GOP congressmen who get gold plated health care for life courtesy of our tax dollars.

  •  This is some (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quince, Shahryar

    seriously nasty double speak coming from the Dems. Jim McDermit in Washington may be able to afford it but this 'freeloader' can't and resents this insult to injury. I pay when I go the ER or see a dentist or doctor. Lately since I'm not insured they give me a discount if I pay my bill in full in a timely manner.  I know what the Republicans are about but have a hard time swallowing Democratic representatives bickering with the R lunatics, over freeloading, irresponsible people who regardless of what these rich twit's both R's and D's think, cannot afford 'health insurance'.  If I had it it would be junk and then I would not be able to go to the doctor or dentist or even the expensive ER.

     I calculated what it would cost for coverage as were a self proprietorship b to b even in a pool, 1,200 a month. Not affordable unless I had no home or quit eating or quit paying my Fed quarterlies. What is with the Democtat's it's like watching a bunch of  sociopaths arguing with each other about how many angel's are on the head of a pin.  Maybe they should take to arguing what kind of cake we need to be eating. Then  fine the freeloaders who can't afford crappy corporate cake mandate. Surreal at a time like this almost as surreal as calling this Bill, Affordable or Care.      

  •  I think when everything kicks in it will be (0+ / 0-)

    affordable to everyone depending on their income. If not it can be fixed so that it becomes affordable.

    I think the freeloader framing is great, practically Rovian in accusing your adversary of what they accuse you of.

    Its also true.

    If you

    can afford it
    don't buy it
    get treated in the hospital at the governments expense...

    you are a free loader.

    The system isn't set up that way today, but under ACA thats how it will be.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Wed Jul 11, 2012 at 02:53:25 PM PDT

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