Back in my Army days, my company commander had the above words in a frame on the wall behind his desk. Captain Edgerton told me that people spend way too much time thinking about how to handle a situation, talking about how to handle it, and arguing about how to handle it. He wanted his NCOs and enlisted men to take action to solve the problem instead of thinking and talking it to death!

I liked that sentiment so much that I had it in a frame in my own office during most of my years in the small town newspaper business, and I tried to instill that attitude in my employees.

Nothing ever gets resolved until somebody does something. In retrospect, what they do may not be the best solution to a problem, but it’s something! And something is almost always better than nothing.

If you can put your party politics and resentments aside, and leave the rhetoric behind, you have to admit that the health care system in our country has been broken for a long time. You may not like the new health care bill that President Obama’s administration pushed through, but at least it’s something. For years previous administrations have made promises and talked the issue to death, and never did a thing to fix it, while the little people continued to get screwed.

Now don’t start that familiar whining about welfare moms and illegal immigrants, what I’m talking about are working families that cannot afford health care, senior citizens who can’t afford their prescription medications, and people like my own wife, whose health insurance companies dropped them when they had a catastrophic illness. The health insurance industry has bankrupted more working class people in this nation than Bernie Madoff and his ilk ever came near.

I’ve heard people complaining about provisions in the plan that require Americans to have health insurance, claiming that it’s an infringement on their personal liberty. But how many of those same people complain that we all have to have automobile insurance? So it’s okay to be required to insure your car, but not your health? Talk about your misplaced priorities!

There are cries of socialism, but I don’t see any of these same people refusing to accept their Social Security checks. Their argument is that they paid into that system for years and they’re just getting their money back. The health care plan, they say, forces them to pay taxes to provide care for others.

Yeah, kind of like all of those disabled people on Social Security Income (SSI) supplemental disability who never paid as much into it as they have received, because illness or injury took them out of the workforce. Or the children whose parent passed away who receive benefits. Or the widows who draw benefits? Don’t tax dollars fund that program?

Personally, I’d much prefer to see my tax dollars going toward health care than to pay for yet another foreign war that will drag on year after year.

Do I agree with the new health care bill? Not 100%. But at least somebody finally did something! And anything is a step forward!

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32 Comments on Do Something, Even If it’s Wrong!

  1. George Stoltz says:

    Nick, I agree. Now, if we could just find a way to stop providing so many benefits to illegal immigrants.

  2. Nick,
    I totally agree. I have had a hard time as one of the 37 million Americans who cannot get Health Insurance trying to decide if I was for or against this bill. But something had to be done!

  3. MichaelG says:

    This bill is all benefits with no way to pay for them. The CBO estimates that showed otherwise are considered a joke, even by the CBO officials who prepared them. Congress writes “we’ll cut Medicare to pay for this” and CBO has to prepare an estimate as if that were true, even though they know it’s not going to happen.

    The bottom line is that at least a trillion dollars of government money, and another two trillion of private money (that insurance you or your employer are required to buy) have been shoveled into the health care industry every ten years going forwards. This is at a time when the boomer retirements will be sucking down even more money that we don’t have.

    This system will inevitably go bankrupt and they will start rationing. The only other way would have been some kind of Health Savings Account with catastrophic insurance. By passing that bill, we’ve guaranteed nothing like that can be purchased privately. The government will set (high) minimum levels of coverage and (low) maximum co-pays, making HSA plans illegal.

    So the country just got handed another unfunded entitlement (the kind of thing you normally complain about.) Enjoy it while it lasts.

  4. Dale says:

    To Michael G:

    How do you know what the government is going to do?

    When Medicare was passed, the public’s reaction was akin to what is going on now. It is to be remembered that during the town hall meetings this past summer, there were folks who stated that the government should keep its hands off their Medicare. Medicare is one of the most efficient medical insurance programs around and the government has been taking steps to decrease fraud that are working.

    Negativity gets us all nowhere. I agree with Nick – we have to start somewhere.

    So, despite how we may feel about this health care bill, how about we all work together for a change to help each other out?

  5. Jim Palm says:

    You used Soc Sec as an example, if Soc Sec had stay just the way it was when it was started as a retirement supplement it would be over funded today. But Congress kept adding crap to it because it was over funded and they wanted the money for other things that it wasn’t intended for, so today it’s going broke. The same thing will happen to the health bill, if anybody ever figures out what’s in it.

    Just a thought: This year Mexico will celebrate their holiday “Day of the Dead” on Nov 2nd, our election day, maybe we should combine the two.

  6. Trevor says:

    I agree with you Nick, but we really have to find some way to contain medical costs. This bill only nips at the edges of costs. I don’t have the solution, and my guess is that any solution will be painful. We just can’t avoid the “law of diminishing returns” when it comes to innovation and discovery in the health care field.

  7. Jay says:

    Nick I am a regular reader for both of your blogs. We are full timers that are presently parked in Windsor CA at our sons home and I am working on many projects here to help them out and release and share some of the years of knowledge that I have stored up over my 68 years.

    I definitely agree that doing something is always better than b—hing and moaning about the things we have complained about in the past. Nothing ever made into a law ever pleases everyone.

    Thats my story and I’m sticking to it.

  8. Pete Gray says:


    I appreciate your thoughtful comment on the health care issue. At some point in our lives we all need care. The insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and medical establishment have all conspired to bankrupt and eventually kill American citizens. My wife is a Canadian. Her care is excellent and mostly free. Yes, the taxes are a little higher. However she is not being ripped off by that insurance/pharmaceutical/medical estqablishment.

    The most annoying thing is that some politicians have used the term “Obama care.” They do not complete the sentence. It should be “Obama careS, we don’t”. Or “Obama cares for all Americans, we only care for the rich.”

    Thank God it has passed. Now the next job is to vote all those who voted against it OUT of office.

  9. We agree with you, Nick — even though it may have its many flaws, at least we now have something tangible to repair. At least our COngree finally did something. Yeah, one group says they are going to try to kill it again. But killing it isn’t the answer. Watch it, see what works well, what doesn’t work right, then fix it.

  10. Ken H says:

    OK BN. Sometimes we agree, other times not so much. Your analogy about forced insurance on our cars don’t wash. Driving is a privilege that we can opt for. This health care tax is not. The part that burns me is that the math is “fuzzy”. OK, they plan to “save” 500B by eliminating fraud and waste in Medicare. Fine, all waste and fraud should be stopped. No problem. But, you can’t use the “fuzzy money” to spend somewhere else, because you don’t have it. You just did not spend it. Remember Gracie Allen? She bought a dress on sale for 25, and she saved 10. C’mon George, give me my 10 dollars. What? he says. Give me my 10 dollars I saved. Same principle applies here. This boondoggle, and it is no more than that, is nothing more than a purchase order to propogate an undeserved entitlement.
    My wife’s surgeon told us that while he has been doing hip replacements at a loss, he must stop because the loss will become even greater under the bill. While he sees and orders 10 or so a week for VA, he is allowed to do nor more than 2 by VA. They tell him it will be less in the future under this law. Sad state of affairs.
    He likens it to paying a plumber a set amount to repair all plumbing issues in a neighborhood. However, if he uses pipe or replaces a toilet, it comes out of the set amount.

  11. Bill says:

    In my way of thinking our goverment sends a lot of our tax dollars to other countrys. At least they are going to start spending it to help our people. I have had to pay the full price of health insurance my whole life, and still paying at 62 it is costing 1300.00 a month for the wife and i. Most people never see the true cost of health insurance because there job pays most of it. Also we both have back problems so if i don’t stay with this insurance i would not be able to get any,it takes half our income. Every year they have rasied the price 150. amonth. WE are about to have to chose to have insurance or not.
    Change is good at least we are starting to do something about health care, good bad, at least we can have something that we can make better with time. just vote in some good people that can make those changes.

  12. Darrell says:

    We’ve shoved over 3 trillion dollars into the Iraq war which is now being realized as an unnecessary war. That money would have been far better spent on solving the health care issues that have been hanging out there since FDR. I’m sure there are going to be a lot of provisions in the Health Care bill that I’m not going to like but, I’m also sure that there is going to be a lot of provisions in that bill that I will like. I agree, it is way pass time to take action and make a decision. We the people have been raped and pillaged by the hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and insurances for long enough. At least this is a start.

  13. Mike & Janna says:

    We totally agree with everything you said this time–you are right on about health care! Most of the people in my group of friends who are complaining about the healthcare bill have work provided insurance or are on Medicare! Love your writing!

  14. Dan says:

    I think we can all pretty much agree that health care reform is long overdue. There are actually some good changes in this 2,700 page law, like forcing the insurance industry to stop using pre-existing conditions, as a loophole for not paying claims. Here’s the problem that everyone except Ken H seems to be missing.
    The U.S. Government is on the verge of bankruptcy! We simply can not afford another multi trillion dollar program. Adding thousands of IRS agents to enforce the provision of this law, that will require everyone to purchase health insurance, is not my idea of reform. Meaningful health care reform can be achieved without this huge cost, that is placing the burden of payment on future generations.

  15. Jim@HiTek says:

    Nick, you are absolutely right.

  16. Nina Seibel says:

    I completely agree with you. We are close to the “fence” between AZ and Mexico and these”aginers” didn’t seem to worry about that funding and what has the cost for that been? I prefer to take care of our own people and allow the law to prosecute the illegals that are here instead of pampering them. We have the laws, abide by them. Also, we have sick people here in the US and they should have good care. Politics is necessary, but people just go nuts when they don’t get their way like little children. No, this bill isn’t perfect, but work together to make it better.

  17. Bob Derivan says:

    If this health care bill is so great why does it EXEMPT the President, Congress, and their families? If it is so great for us, why not them? Could it be for the same reason they have their own retirement plan? Why were so many under the table deals made to get it passed? Why couldn’t it stand on its own merits? If its so great, why did my health insurance premiums go up 83% on January 1 in anticipation of its passage? We needed health care reform but not a government takeover of the healthcare industry. There isn’t a country where its been tried where its working including Canada!! Anyone in Canada with REAL medical problems and the money to do so, comes HERE for treatment (used to come here but that will end now). Just remember people, the Department of Energy was created by Jimmy Carter to reduce our dependence on 30% foreign oil. Now 16,000 employees, 100,000+ contract employees, and $24.2 BILLION annual budget later, we have a 70% dependence on foreign oil. THE GOVERNMENT REALLY FIXED THAT DIDN’T THEY. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!

  18. Carey McConnell says:

    We ARE awake! Yes it’s a crappy bill. But at least it is something. Nick is right. Being a bleeding heart liberal, I think the bill didn’t go far enough. I think to really save money, we need to go single payer or medicare for all. One giant pool with everyone in it is mathematically and statistically cheaper. A whole lot cheaper. Not only that, but the government CAN do things right and well under the right circumstances and with the right leadership. Our VA, the military, Medicare, Medicaid, the nations libraries, fire departments, police forces and public schools are all socialistic programs paid for by our taxes and they are some of the finest programs in the world. Personally, I wouldn’t do away with any of them. And, if you think people in countries with socialized medicine don’t like it, you’re watching FOX.

    Sure, there’s people who are lazy or criminal that will take advantage. Always will be. Should the rest of the country suffer because of them? I think not. Thank goodness there are no criminals in the free market place, no? Sorry, got to go, my bank needs me to bend over again.

  19. Sonny Desmond says:

    Bob Derivan, in case you are not aware of it, NO bill ever gets passed without a lot of time and energy wasted making side agreements and under the table deals. That’s the way the political system has been forever. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

    Why don’t we get the same health care as Congress? Because they make the laws, and take care of themselves first, and to hell with the rest of us. That’s like saying some movie star drives a Porsche, and I drive a Chevy, so I just won’t drive. If you don’t like who’s in office, forget partisan politics and vote their ass out!

    Canadian health care? How about this. Turn off Fox news, drive around to any RV park in the southwest or south, stop at RVs with Canadian license plats and ask them what they think of their health care system. Bad Nick wrote about asking Canadians last year, so I have been dong that all winter long here in Mission Texas. And guises what? They LOVE their health care system! Yeah, they pay more in taxes. Then again, they don’t waste billions on foreign wars like we do. As Nick said, if we put our tax dollars into health care instead of wars that drag out forever, we’d be better off!

  20. Ron Chandler says:

    I’ll tell you what, I was 100% opposed to this bill going in. I was a long time listener, and I kept listening to Rush and the Fox News crowd who were saying how bad it was, predicting death squads, and on and on.

    Then something hit me. At the same time, they were also saying that the bill was so large that nobody could understand it. That’s when the light went on. If it’s too big to understand, how do they know it’s so bad? They don’t, it was just right wing rhetoric.

    So I did something unique. I decided to do my own thinking for a change. And after doing so, I decided that like Bad Nick said, this is not a perfect plan, and I do not agree with it. I think that it could have been done much better.

    However, I also do not agree with the way the insurance, pharmaceutical, and health care industries have screwed us for generations. My sister did in 1999 because her HMO refused treatment for her cancer. My mother died in 2003 because her health insurance company decided that she did not need a procedure that even their own doctor recommended! So much for your death squads. We’ve had them all along.

    My father worked hard all of his life, and my mother’s illness bankrupted my parents, in spite of having health insurance. The company found and every way to get out of paying for her care. So now my dad lives with my wife and me, and gets a tiny Social Security check. His home and retirement nest egg were gone so fast taking care of Mom that it was like pissing into a forest fire.

    So while I don’t like the new plan, at least it’s a plan. As Bad Nick said, do something, even if it is wrong. For decades we have twiddled our thumbs and let the situation get worse, and now finally somebody has taken a step toward fixing it. As for government bureaucracy overloading the program with pork barrel politics and over budget schemes (i.e., our dependency on foreign oil after the Energy Bill), again, the same good old boy network has been in place in Washington. Maybe a new way of thinking will change that. So far, I see movement for a change, instead of stagnation. That’s a good thing.

  21. ken t says:

    Our biggest problem with all of the things you are all talking about are freeloaders, those who do not,have not and will not pay their fair share! There are Thousands of workers who have
    never paid one cent in fed. and state taxes,have never paid into
    social security medicare or any other program that the documented
    worker must pay for year in and year out! You and I both know many of them,I have at least a dozen in my family! You ask who are these people? Many are in construction,small self employed
    businesses, Lawn care,house painters,roofers,fishermen, handyman, I buy junk cars and scrap metal,and many many more.
    Some make 50.000 or more a year many make less. Some are seasonal
    and can make enough in 3-4 mos to last a year. As far as the government is conserned they don’t exist. What happens if they need some sort of help? You guessed it the government steps in and asks very little from them. How have you survived the last
    30 years? My granny took care of us or we were homeless! Instant
    food stamps,SSI Payments that are more than you will get from
    social security, and medical cards for all in your tribe and it covers dental. I guess, it will now just get better. Thanks to Harry and his gang,they made it so nothing can be changed!EVER

  22. Right on the money Nick! There is no way to make everyone happy, but a quick poll after the bill passed showed app 58% of Americans pleased that it passed.

    I plan on sharing this blog with a number of my hard core, negative friends, well put in plain language even they will understand!

    Thank You!

  23. Gary says:

    Guess I need to put in my 2 cents here. Regardless of the cost I do believe it could be al paid for if the government stop giving away the billions of dollars to other unappreciated third world countries. Stop sending arms to them as well so that we don’t find them coming back to shoot us in the back as has occurred way to many times.
    While the Republicans complain I have yet to hear any plan come out of there mouth. Why is that?

  24. John Brown says:

    Great blog Bad Nick. I agree with most everything you have said. It won’t affect me, I’m Canadian. Do I think our healthcare system is perfect, no way. Can it be better, you bet. Would I like to get rid of it, Not a chance. I have spent 57 years here and I only know of one fellow, personally, who chose to avail himself of the American system, and although we aren’t all filthy rich “Blue Eyed Shieks, up here I do know a lot of people who could chose to have their heath looked after anywhere in the world and they all chose to do it at home. It is one of the reasons that Canada is my home, well that and the fact that it is also one of the most beautiful spots on earth, and has some of the best neighbours in the world. Your program ain’t perfect either but work with it and it will get better all the time. Meanwhile 30 odd million folks will be able to sleep a little better at night knowing somebody cares.

  25. Kenneth says:

    You are right.
    Let’s help the American people, all of the American people.
    I have very little but I will share.

  26. Pam says:

    You commie-nazi-socialist you! HaHa just kidding. I agree with you completely. I was very excited that this bill passed.

    Thanks for speaking out about this. I think a lot of people wanted this but were afraid to speak out because the hatriot movement was monopolizing the conversation. I’m surprised you didn’t get a lot of nasty responses. The folks who were so rabidly against reform are really showing themselves-threatening congresscritters and even their families. It’s crazy time.

  27. Tom Doyle says:

    The best indication that this bill is good for us is that the insurance industry fought so hard against it. Now if we can only contain the greed of the medical profession. True example; Many years ago I needed some dental work that would cost me $200.00. My UAW rep advised me to wait 6 months as we would be getting dental coverage in our next contract. We did get dental coverage, but that same dentists price went up to $400.00 for the same procedure. I had to pay a 50% co-pay.
    The only way to make this work is to contain the greed.

  28. Susan Cameron says:

    Nick — Thank you for the outstanding post. I’ll be passing it on.

    For those who think the health care bill is a good start, but doesn’t quite go far enough, here’s something interesting from Rep. Alan Grayson in Florida: “Our Medicare You Can Buy Into Act now has over 80 cosponsors in the House and over 40,000 citizen cosponsors at It’s a simple bill, to let you and me buy into Medicare. You want it, you buy it, you got it.” Check it out if you’re interested.

  29. Allan Webster says:

    Doing something, anything no matter how bad it is does not sound like good logic. I think most everyone would like something done to regulate abuses of insurance companies but I don’t believe this was a good bill. I do believe that congress could have come up with a much better bill. Our country is struggling through a tough economy and congress keeps adding to the deficit. I believe that congress is not listening to most America citizens. I hope that America will vote out people in congress that have not listened to the people they are supposed to be representing.

  30. Tim Lawler says:

    I don’t agree with Bad Nick on this one. The argument about auto insurance doesn’t cut it because autos are optional. Rvers are part of the mobile society, where cars are a necessity,but there are many city dwellers who don’t own autos and therefor don’t buy auto insurance.
    I think we do need certain aspects of this bill but this bill is too invasive, too controlling, and too expensive.
    There is also pork or earmarks that are unacceptable in my humble opinion.

  31. Ben says:

    Why not pass a bill that curbs the insurance company abuses, instead of a behemoth that will break our backs in 10 years? Pass a law that makes it illegal to drop a subscriber after 6 months. Or, a law that limits pre-existing condition denials to 6 months. Eliminate groups and make the entire population the group.

    Regarding mandatory insurance, I can choose not to own a car, but I can’t choose not to live!

  32. Cindy says:

    Anyone who thinks they should be able to choose not to have health insurance should be willing to pay their own way in an emergency health situation. If you have a heart attack in this country you are not denied minimal care. This care costs way more than most people can afford. If you choose not to have health insurance and are faced with a catastrophic health issue are you willing to choose to die. Our health insurance costs are sky-rocketing because those who do have insurance are right now paying for medical care for those who do not have or can not afford health insurance. You are guaranteed minimal care in a life threatening circumstance, is it so wrong to require people to pay for this benefit they are receiving.

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