by HunterFRI NOV 14, 2014 AT 09:48 AM PST
I don't know what anti-healthcare conservatives suppose the "American Dream" to be, but I've yet to see one aspire to it themselves:
Defending his fellow Republican governors’ decision to block Medicaid expansion in their states, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Friday suggested that denying health coverage to additional low-income Americans helps more people “live the American Dream” because they won’t be “dependent on the American government.”Denying health coverage to any low-income American would run afoul of living the American Dream primarily because of the living part, of course. Denying the Medicaid expansion is expected to kill thousands of Americans outright, and it's difficult to live the "American Dream" as a plastic bag of burnt cinders tossed very respectfully to your next-of-kin. No "American Dream" I am familiar with involves being plunged into sudden bankruptcy by the slightest of accidents; I have never heard a child say when I grow up, I am going to get a medically treated condition but then not be able to treat it because my employer does not cover that.
“Beyond that, I just ask the basic question: Why is more people on Medicaid a good thing?” he said. “I’d rather find a way, particularly for able-bodied adults without children, I’d like to find a way to get them into the workforce. [...]Particularly able-bodied adults without children, and screw the rest of them. If you are poor and have a child you are out of luck, and had best hope your janitorial job will allow you to raise young Timmy in the mop bucket while you go about your shift; if you are poor and not able-bodied the American Dream dictates you suck it up, self-amputate whichever of your limbs is giving you the trouble using plastic utensils procured from the nearest fast-food restaurant, and apply for a job at that restaurant as soon as you have cauterized the wound on their industrial grill.
I think ideologically, that’s a better approach, not just as a conservative, but as an American. Have more people live the American dream if they’re not dependent on the American government.”Ideologically, it's a wonderful approach. Ideologically, it would be ideal if poor Americans rode unicorns to their fancy Wall Street jobs and got health insurance from the ghost of Ronald Reagan himself, who would smile as he helped them fill out the forms and would then quickly send them off to Jesus Christ to be processed. The chasm between ideologically andpracticality is wide, and at the bottom is a slow-moving river of Not Really Giving A Shit. If you are so determined to find an ideological solution to poor Americans dying from preventable diseases and not-poor Americans always one hospital visit away from becoming destitute, it is a clear announcement that the great vast sweep of those Americans and their problems is not concerning enough to bother with a non-ideological solution. Which would be, of course, the crux of the problem here.I suspect what Gov. Scott Walker really means is that denying healthcare coverage to low-income Americans is necessary for his own American Dream, which is to be a respected and powerful member of a government that would do such things. The American Dream for Scott Walker means rising to a position where you can tell The Poors that they do not really need health care, and if they did need health care they should have thought of that before becoming Poors. The American Dream for Scott Walker is being able to sit in a very nice office and opine on how all of the Americans who are not governors should be happy to die for the cause of Scott Walker's personal ideology, because we are all in this together, you and I, and if you are not willing to be buried in a pauper's grave in order to provide a slight boost to Scott Walker's planned run for the presidency then you are not really a part of the Scott Walker team, now, are you. You should consider your diabetes or heart disease or sick child from a more ideological perspective, and I am sure then you will be able to appreciate how your existence runs afoul of Scott Walker's American Dream.

President Obama is asking the FCC to keep the Internet open and free.
The President's Statement

An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.

“Net neutrality” has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.

When I was a candidate for this office, I made clear my commitment to a free and open Internet, and my commitment remains as strong as ever. Four years ago, the FCC tried to implement rules that would protect net neutrality with little to no impact on the telecommunications companies that make important investments in our economy. After the rules were challenged, the court reviewing the rules agreed with the FCC that net neutrality was essential for preserving an environment that encourages new investment in the network, new online services and content, and everything else that makes up the Internet as we now know it. Unfortunately, the court ultimately struck down the rules — not because it disagreed with the need to protect net neutrality, but because it believed the FCC had taken the wrong legal approach.

The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone. I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online. The rules I am asking for are simple, common-sense steps that reflect the Internet you and I use every day, and that some ISPs already observe. These bright-line rules include:

  • No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player — not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP — gets a fair shot at your business.
  • No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.
  • Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.
  • No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.
If carefully designed, these rules should not create any undue burden for ISPs, and can have clear, monitored exceptions for reasonable network management and for specialized services such as dedicated, mission-critical networks serving a hospital. But combined, these rules mean everything for preserving the Internet’s openness.

The rules also have to reflect the way people use the Internet today, which increasingly means on a mobile device. I believe the FCC should make these rules fully applicable to mobile broadband as well, while recognizing the special challenges that come with managing wireless networks.

To be current, these rules must also build on the lessons of the past. For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business. That is why a phone call from a customer of one phone company can reliably reach a customer of a different one, and why you will not be penalized solely for calling someone who is using another provider. It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information — whether a phone call, or a packet of data.

So the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do. To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services. This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone — not just one or two companies.

Investment in wired and wireless networks has supported jobs and made America the center of a vibrant ecosystem of digital devices, apps, and platforms that fuel growth and expand opportunity. Importantly, network investment remained strong under the previous net neutrality regime, before it was struck down by the court; in fact, the court agreed that protecting net neutrality helps foster more investment and innovation. If the FCC appropriately forbears from the Title II regulations that are not needed to implement the principles above — principles that most ISPs have followed for years — it will help ensure new rules are consistent with incentives for further investment in the infrastructure of the Internet.

The Internet has been one of the greatest gifts our economy — and our society — has ever known. The FCC was chartered to promote competition, innovation, and investment in our networks. In service of that mission, there is no higher calling than protecting an open, accessible, and free Internet. I thank the Commissioners for having served this cause with distinction and integrity, and I respectfully ask them to adopt the policies I have outlined here, to preserve this technology’s promise for today, and future generations to come.