Unforgivable Mistakes of the Heart

While President Obama and his team have made a slew of mistakes in the rollout and promotion of the Affordable Care Act, their hearts are in the right place — trying to provide health insurance to all Americans. Their mistakes of the head pale in comparison to governors and other state leaders who are cynically and maliciously refusing to accept federal Medicaid funds intended to help lower income people get insured.

People will forgive mistakes, because mistakes are usually of the mind, mistakes of judgment. But people will not easily forgive the mistakes of the heart, the ill intention, the bad motives, the prideful justifying cover-up of the first mistake.”
― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Sen. Bernie Sanders attacks Sen. David Vitter over Louisiana’s decision to not accept Medicaid expansion.

source: American Medical Association

source: American Medical Association

64 thoughts on “Unforgivable Mistakes of the Heart

  1. It is no secret that I have small use for Gov. Brewer here in AZ.

    She bucked the political establishment here, and accepted the medic-aid expansion. Republicans here will never forgive her.

    I don’t care what her motives were, if she came up to me and asked me what I thought about it.
    I’d tell her that it was a gutsy move, and say well done.

  2. “You’ve taught him well, Grasshopper”


    He is my son and it goes without saying that I am proud of him.

    To his credit, he actually reads the books he buys whether for his collection or for resale.

    Makes him a Hell of a lot better read than his dad ever thought of being. ;-)

  3. jace, whenever I think of her, I see her with her finger in our President’s face. Then I contrast that image with our President with his arm around Governor Christie’s shoulder and then the Governor’s demeanor during the continuing reconstruction. I know which governor I’d rather have as a friend.

  4. Craig:
    Thanks for this wonderful posting. I’m sorry if I was a bit irritable yesterday.

    I said what I was thinking but you said what I was feeling.

  5. Jace:

    I agree with you.

    Any politician who can stand against their own party on a matter of principle deserves praise.

  6. “their hearts are in the right place — trying to provide health insurance to all Americans.”

    Aw, let’s give them a gold star and a big hug ‘cuz their “hearts” are in the “right place”. Silliness! Forcing one to do something isn’t “providing” it, either.

    Re: the “health sherpa” site referenced in the last thread:

    So, let me get this straight: 3 guys were able to solve a major problem with the exchange interface, where Sebelius’s team of the “best and brightest” couldn’t? That’s a rather damning castigation (for lack of a better word) of “big government” bureaucracy, wouldn’t you say? I would.

  7. I missed it when jan brewer expanded medicaid coverage in AZ. She certainly surprised me with that move.

  8. Dear, dear Craig,

    Let’s review (if it’s alright) the cancer care status that is unfortunately a seething mess.

    Obama and his now Treasury Secretary created the Sequester. Nothing has been done to undo it or repair destructive elements that were claimed to motivate The Other Party to act more productively or perhaps just cooperate from getting what they treated as a gift with more to follow.

    The Sequester denied coverage for many cancer patients with pre-existing conditions. More than a few lymphoma patients I know lost their treatments: one testified in the H of R about this with the support from the Leukemia/Lymphoma Foundation.

    Despite there being some coverage of this, nothing changed. There wasn’t a response from any member of the White House staff.

    Since 2008 there has been an effort to address what for increasing lymphoma patients has been a reliance they can’t afford on oral cancer treatments. As of four months ago there were over 400 global clinical trials for oral cancer treatments using related techniques that are believed to be the imminent future for not just blood but tumor-based cancers.

    And, yes, for some time there has been a vital piece of legislation in Congress to pretty much expand the laws that control the costs of infusion-based cancer treatments to the outrageous costs of oral cancers. As far as I know 58 members of the H of R support this.

    And that is it. Nothing moves.

    Unfortunately that is not because it is (or will be) taken care of in the six hundred or so pages of the ACA’s content.

    A simple way to start is that this is a mandatory healthcare provision.

    And, yes, it does eliminate laws that deny care to those with pre-existing conditions.

    There is a very, very significant difference (not just a distinction) between mandatory and comprehensive healthcare.

    Under mandatory healthcare our prescription drug coverage includes six specific, protected classes of medications — a limiting problem that makes surviving quite difficult for increasing patients who need oral treatments.

    Individual state laws, insurance companies, etc., make this understandably better or far worse. But the fundamental law is more than just worrisome for people with cancers.

    Twenty six states do have oral cancer parity laws approved. Perhaps state laws can address the restrictions on oral cancer drug providing by insurers in the ACA — as it happens Louisiana seems to have gone quite far in limiting monthly payments or co-payments to $100 per month.

    Given that the drug I took in my clinical trial now costs $20K each month… that is remarkable.

    My mother’s lymphoma has returned. Given the damnable excess of tacrolimus we are forced to take during transplants, mine will, too. My mother has been denied it despite our doctor being its main creator.

    For all we can discuss about legislation, the pharmaceutical companies have gone past merely excessive greed.

    While the owner of Pharmacyclics funded the first of this specific widening and deepening range of containing/controlling meds, it has made him a billionaire.

    Well, not only a billionaire. He’s becoming what so many of his peers already are — killionaires.

    Two weeks ago a cover story in the ever improving New York Magazine explored this other factor from the perspective of leukemia-based hematologists — great ones who aren’t the ones who are dying but are finding that companies that were at least helpish are now hellish.

    I know a few of those hema docs. I also know the people who founded and run the company that created Rituxan. That was (I believe) the first of the single monoclonal antibody treatments that relieved people of many cancers and eased other miserable conditions.

    For years they could not get any support for it. And people (like me) who chemos damaged and induced further cancers within them would not have had the ease and improvement it does for many.

    That happened because so many patients with suddenly active AIDS would be diagnosed with NHL. And many could not sustain the chemo.

    A very, very resistant Bill Clinton wound up supporting it.

    The people who made it were stunned by their wealth. I’m sure they hoped to make money: this was overwhelming.

    Immediately they began to supply Rituxan for free.

    Not only do they do that still, other treatments for other conditions they have developed they provide to people for free.

    All of that began 20 years ago.

    And now it might as well be 2000 years later — at least when it comes to the greed of too many pharma corps.

    Which leads to a very subjective and perhaps foolish concern in my damaged thoughts.

    All of these ACA and pharmaceutical factors can be as bad as cancer. One of the elements in my “massive and excessive” levels received (in the words of doctors) of chemo and tacro damaged mind are the meetings Barack Obama in 2007 had not with patients, not with doctors but with insurance companies and pharmaceutical executives and owners.

    Do I know what they discussed? Am I declaring hidden (or not so hidden) priorities?

    I’m not.

    However, Barack Obama’s refusal to consider quite sound and, yes, really sane and productive advice he was given AFTER the passage of a 600 or so page law that many of its supporters acknowledged they hadn’t read which has led to the stupid messes of management and execution of which we’ve only experienced one level --

    Along with the ACA obsession on mandatory over comprehensive coverages --

    The lack of federal legislation (despite the “D” Medicare provision for this that some say is finished by ACA) to effectively protect all patients needing oral cancer treatments --

    Barack Obama’s claim about preserving all existing insurance policies --

    And (for me particularly) his co-creation of the stupid Sequester act that has ruined so many lives that are not limited to only cancer patients --

    I really can’t concede much to the warmth and consideration of Mr. Obama’s medical heart.

    People are entitled to have a general and positive openness to the ACA and to Barack Obama.

    Yes, people are entitled. Unfortunately not as many of us as he declared aren’t in the messes within and around the ACA.

    From the onset I felt a lot of concern because of what can be described as his detachment from its planning and development. The stuff that’s emerged about his not atypical refusal to listen to people far more informed and devoted to all the issues patients and doctors must face keeps upsetting me.

    More and more damaging messes he is not inclined to improve seem ready to emerge.

    Craig, at least in Cancerland we seem to be feeling ever so much more hurt than heart.

  9. jace,


    Send me an email jessied44 at gmail dot com with info on your son. Tell him the library system here is fantastic and all my previously read books go to Goodwill on 72nd ;-)

  10. Jamie: …the library system here is fantastic and all my previously read books go to Goodwill on 72nd

    For goodness sake, Jamie, you’re supposed to return the books to the darned library! It doesn’t even need be the same branch. But, puhleeze! :)

  11. Forty-three years ago today I left Travis AFB for Anchorage AFB, Yakota AFB, on to Bien Hoa AFB near Saigon to start a most remarkable journey around the country of South Vietnam. If not for the military draft I certainly never would’ve experienced anything like that. Life is strange. All is well. It all worked out OK. Sort of!
    Oddly, it happened close to Veterans Day.

  12. So, let me get this straight: 3 guys were able to solve a major problem with the exchange interface, where Sebelius’s team of the “best and brightest” couldn’t?


    that teckie trio had a good (and gracious) explanation you can hear in the vid from cbs i posted last thread. fewer (if any) burdensome meetings.

    many a well-meaning program has been mangled by the world’s oldest profession, nit picking lawyers in interminable conference. “i”s to be dotted and “t”s to be crossed when there was no need for the “i” and “t” in the 1st place

  13. blame in this instance probably can be spread to include the legal counsels from all parties to the fiasco. not just the bureaucratic lawyers and wh legal advisors but hired guns of the special interests and the in house counsel of the mighty contractors. all have blood on their hands.

  14. and flatus, how very right you were when you wrote:

    Let’s not be absurd. Who here believes that Mr Obama ever, in any way shape or form, encouraged anyone involved with ACA to:

    —Select a prime contractor blackballed, for cause, by the Canadian government?

    —Build the system on 1990s platforms using 1990s language and 1990s code designed for other, unrelated, projects?

    —Would have continued with the selected development team into this year if he had been briefed that they were incompetent and that the system they were fabricating was guaranteed to fail?

    There are incompetent self-serving fools who should be cashiered. And, where were the whistle blowers within the workforce? These are the areas where media efforts should focus. But I don’t like guilt by innuendo.

    so much so it needed to be said again.

  15. One distressing aspect of the Rand Paul plagiarism scandal is how all the media pundits are dissing Wikipedia.

    They say it’s not “reliable.”

    Unlike the “New York Times,” Wikipedia did not print as fact, Cheney’s fabricated “weapons of mass destruction intelligence reports” that got us into a war Iraq.

    Over the years, I’ve acquired all sorts of “reliable” information about various obscure topics. When I check Wikipedia, the entries are always 100% correct.

    I LOVE Wikipedia.

  16. Temporary sanity…. here on the trail. Yesterday.

    MQ, if you’re out there, hope things are going well. Whenever I hear some of the good music you used to link, I think of you.

  17. Craig,
    Thanks for adding the clip of Bernie giving it to Vitter and Republican’s for not expanding Medicaid.. Shameful on their part denying millions of poor people healthcare.. Ha, all the while talking about spending/debt, now that just depends on where the money is spent.. Republican’s and defense contractors, yes, Republican’s and poor people, NO.. Democrats and the President gave us a Republican healthcare plan, ugh, when will they ever learn?????? Still they made an effort to do something, ugh..

  18. Never mind that she would probably clean his clock on substance,just the optics of a debate between Ms. Grimes and old bug eyes would be devastating.

    My guess is that Ol’ Mitch and the boys will do their sniping form afar. They don’t want to be on the same stage with her.

  19. Jay Leno Calls Out Ted Cruz On Shutdown: ‘You Looked Like A Big Fan From Where I Was Standing’
    The Huffington Post

    About four minutes into the interview, Leno asked Cruz why the shutdown went through, posing the idea that if Obamacare would have been allowed to go forward, the early struggles with the law may have been seen in a different light.

    “Listen, Jay, I’m one of the many people who was not a fan of shutting down the government,” Cruz said. “Throughout this whole thing, I said…”

    “Well you looked like a big fan from where I was standing,” Leno interjected.

  20. Diaper Dave Vitter
    Why is he still in office
    He nothing but sleazy hypocrite
    first hookers and now he is texting young girls

  21. Tonyb: “Listen, Jay, I’m one of the many people who was not a fan of shutting down the government,”

    Cruz is right. He wasn’t a fan, he was the first and biggest fan.

    A genuine prick with ears. Why is he on any television?

  22. Tonyb:
    Katherine Graham Cracker,

    My thoughts exactly when i saw the clip. My he’s for denying the poor people he supposedly represents health insurance but apparently doesn’t deny himself much..

    Ya right. He’ll expect his health insurance to pick up the tab for his STDs.

  23. I don’t really believe in heaven and hell but Vitter I’m hoping

    Pols from Louisiana are big characters — have any of you seen …The Governor’s Wife Edwin Edwards and his current wife — His children from earlier marriages all older then the current wife look and act like the evil step sisters from Cinderella

    My brother who did some bidding on government contracts said he would never bid in Louisiana considers it the most corrupt state and corrupt on every level

  24. Tony B:

    Leno is a Republican. My opinion of him just went up a couple of notches.


    It’s OK if Cruz is on TV if people like Leno have enough guts to call him out.

    Leno causing millions of people to laugh at Cruz does more damage than all the liberals on MSNBC.

    “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” (From “The Godfather.”)

    (Leno is Italian.)

  25. Nash 2.5,

    Ha, i didn’t know Leno was a Republican.. I never cared for his comedy though. I do however like how he called out Cruz.. I mean the guy saying he wasn’t for the Government shutdown, amazing..

  26. Tony B:

    Yes, Leno is a Republican and politicians know this, so Cruz probably felt safe.

    Those interviews are all carefully planned in advance so I think Leno “set him up.”

    I don’t think Leno knew exactly what he was going to say but he was looking for a chance to “zing” him.

    Carson was a master at this, and Leno learned from him.

  27. Nash 2.5,

    You and everybody can edit Wiki. I have corrected, updated and created many entries. If you have knowledge you share it. Wiki can be extremely reliable, or it can be a failure. You have to have knowledge to use Wiki correctly, it is only one source of many.

  28. Antarctica and Greenland are melting. The oceans will swamp our constructions in DC, NYC, Philadelphia, Newport, Cape Cod, Bar Harbor, Baltimore, NOLA, VA Beach, Honolulu, Biloxi, Mobile, Corpus & Galveston, Savanah, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and FL. Long Island shall be divided into two much smaller islands.

    Micronesia and a few other nations shall disappear entirely,as will Bermuda. The Netherlands shall probably not be able to keep up with the rising violence of the rising water. Bangla Desh shall disappear, and its hundred twenty million people shall be homeless wanderers, dependent entirely upon charity. Ancient Alexandria shall be submerged, and the Persian Gulf will once again reach north to ancient Ur.

    So, yeah, the government shutdown was a sideshow, just another fucking stupid amusement to keep us from getting done what is needed before it is too late. The republican pro-death cult is winning the contest to see if we can save our civilization and several B!LL!ON lives. And, we’ve just pissed away six years that could turn out to be critical.

  29. Sorry, craig this one rest right on Obama’s shoulders too.
    It was well known that many states do their best to restrict medicaid and medicaid payments. So much so that it is not uncommon to see hospitals putting up signs we don’t take medicaid. It was a broken system already and everybody knew it.
    this is a healthcare mess from top to bottom and it could all be foreseen. Many of the current problems cropping up were pointed out right here by various posters on this blog.
    Insurance companies would find a way to screw the world? Well who would have thunk it(insert eye roll) Texas would short change poor people and medicaid users. Wow that was a real surprise.

  30. Medi-care part D. Passed in the dead of night on a strong arm vote, with cost projections that came from some fantasy land.

    “If you like your prescriptions, we will pay for them, until you fall into the doughnut hole then you are f--king on your own”

    We never even got so much as a whoops from Bushco, much less a sorry.

    Like most other things, republican out rage over Obamacare, is too little, too late, and too phoney.

  31. Second update on the Philippines now that the storm has passed. While she and her family are safe the news from elsewhere in the islands is much more tragic

    One last word on our national tragedy here in the Philippines --

    Now that the picture seems to be getting clearer, it is becoming very heartbreaking! The casualty rate is going to be unbearable ( official figures are still not that high but the probability because of the observed conditions in affected areas, some say could reach over 10,000), the damage to natural wonders, property and infrastructure was not even in anyone’s speculations, the waiting to know how relatives and friends have fared in hometowns affected has been causing sleepless nights for many because communications have not been reestablished ( it was in total destruction status)….

    It seems that the so-called storm surges ( mini-tsunamis, like the New Orleans storm surges except we don’t have the levees) have caused the unthinkable damage and the incredible loss of lives! On top of the impact of the fiercest of winds on everything.

    But the nation is coming together, and even our international friends have already extended helping hands!

    So, thanks to everyone who have thought of us in these very distressful moments.

  32. I stopped by the Barnes & Nobles at the Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids yesterday. Guess who is doing a book signing there this Wednesday? Sarah Palin. I guess she has a Christmas book coming out. I’ll be sure to miss her visit.

  33. “Everywhere it seems that faith, religious freedom is under attack,” Palin said.

    many a muslim would agree with you, sister sarah.


    this from cnn covering her tour/primary run salvo in iowa

    Those same topics are discussed in a new book Palin wrote called “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas,” a book for which she is currently on a national tour and that she discussed Saturday.

  34. 2016 prez primaries? christmas?
    what happened to veteran’s day and thanksgiving? two extinct commerce-wise holidays which are more inclusive and more in need of protection from being forgotten.

  35. The newsreaders are now saying that the dead in one particular Philippino town could exceed 10,000.

  36. There’s no clean water. Expect a massive epidemic of typhoid fever, amoebic dysentery, and cholera too, perhaps.

  37. Sunday Serendipity.
    For our veterans everywhere, but especially here on the Trail. Thank you! The ‘Eroica’ Finale.

  38. For Obama, and Democrats, it’s crunch time
    by Dan Balz

    A month ago, political Washington was transfixed by the errors committed by congressional Republicans. Those missteps led to a partial shutdown of the government, which in turn has brought approval of the GOP to record lows in many public opinion surveys.

    Nothing about that has changed. But today, it’s Obama in the spotlight. A president famous for his unflappability, he is now struggling to square assurances that he is on top of the problems confronting his administration with assertions that he was unaware of the problems as they were developing.

  39. Veterans Day already ? It’s a strange holiday, Vets Day is. You could even call it weird, spooky, and even ghastly. Can you say ‘Happy Veterans Day’ as if it’s a cheery celebration? Especially for vets ? Especially, for combat vets ? Especially for wounded combat vets ? Especially, especially, for permanently disabled combat vets ?

    I don’t feel comfortable with it, and never did. Like Memorial Day, this is always a sad, a dreadful holiday for me.

  40. I heard on NPR Friday that if there were categories above 5 for hurricanes or cyclones… the one that hit the Philippines would probably have been a 7. Very, very sad.

    Corey…. sounds like a smart plan.

  41. I grew-up when Nov 11th was known as Armistice Day. It was never a holiday. At 11 o’clock everything would stop, seemingly of its own accord, for a couple of minutes of pensive silence in remembrance of those who tragically lost their lives in the war to end all wars, the Great War.

    Sometime in the ?60s merchants decided they needed to sell more stuff. So they got congress to redesignate it as Veterans Day--kind of a phoney holiday.

    It’ll be Veterans Day when all the back claims are taken care of and those needing help and their families are brought in from the cold, and families on their own learn that they really aren’t on their own. That will be Veterans Day.

    Until then, park it.

  42. And Veterans Day parades
    what has happened to the American parade?

    Excellent post and point Flatus
    Thank you for your service

  43. Flatus,

    Armistice Day was a very important day in my family. One living great uncle was in the AEF WWI, he had “issues”, what we now term PTSD. One great uncle WWI, died on board the ship he was on was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of spain. WWII my father in the Army, other great uncles in various branches, one of them disappeared and he was never heard from again.
    Later, after I left home, I became the last in my family history to become a veteran.

  44. BB, I sensed that the male teachers that I had thought that they had missed something when they hadn’t gone to war. They didn’t miss shit. Stravinsky pretty well captures the experience. (I changed the L’Histoire to a more understandable version).

  45. Yes, I know it’s Monday but I just have to send along my enjoyment for the Danish National Symphony’s rendition of the Eroica posted by Jace. Very moving.

Comments are closed.