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House Passes Partisan Medicare Payment Reform Bill

December 4, 2009 by  

House passes partisan Medicare payment reform bill Over the objections of all but one Republican, the House of Representatives passed the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act of 2009 which replaces the current Medicare physician payment formula with a new system.

H.R. 3961 would repeal a 21.2 percent fee reduction that is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2010, and replace the sustainable growth rate formula with a new system designed to end the cycle of increasingly larger annual fee cuts that Congress had to prevent with short-term legislation.

According to Representative Tom Perriello (D-VA), "[the] permanent reform of physician payments in Medicare will help guarantee that Medicare beneficiaries continue to enjoy the excellent access to care that they do today," quoted by Augusta Free Press.

However, Republicans have blasted the measure, with House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio suggesting it would add nearly $300 billion to the federal deficit.

"This irresponsible ‘doc fix’ proves once again that out-of-touch Washington Democrats simply cannot help themselves when it comes to piling debt on our kids and grandkids," he said.

The Senate must still approve the legislation before it can head to President Obama’s desk, and the chamber has already rejected one version due to its projected cost.

Representative Michael Burgess of Texas—a medical doctor—was the only GOP member who voted in favor of the act.
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  • Robert

    All I see are the politicians jockey for positions to cut deals. Neither parties care about us ordinary Americans. If they did, they would stop their insane spending and meddling in affairs they have no clue about. If you listen to the politicians our health care system is totally broken and we are all going to die unless we believe in only Government can deliver miracles. Seems to me we are getting closer every day to a total government takeover of our lives. I hope all these bums burn in hell.

    • marvin

      that is called voting just look at the party of thank they know what,s best for us stuped americans [the dem,s] they the soro,s and [acorn obama] and pelosie and reid and napolitano and holder all want to take over your life thru as john conley sang rose colored glass,s all liberals are of the mind set that they know what,s best and we as the uneducated know nothing voters can show them how stuped we are vote them OUT 2010/2012 AND DON,T FORGET NO TAX PAYING RANGEL AND GEITHNER

    • canadian alphie

      I have never met more paranoid (but nice) people than you Americans. Unlike you, I have travelled extensively in the US and know your history. I am aware of your fear of government. Why don’t you relax and look at the Canadian health care? Are you afraid because it’s so successful ? Each province (or state) runs its own basic health insurance. You can buy extra insurance from private insurance – eg semi-private or private accommodation. We don’t deal with any government authorities or ask for permission. They cannot disallow any procedure ordered by our family doctor. We don’t see any bills because the doctor or the hospital collect their fees directly from the provincial insurance plan. The doctors, etc love it because they don’t have to chase the patient to pay their bill. The system can be overcrowded because it’s free to all. So call us pincos or socialists – we care about our people and it’s cheaper because fewer people die prematurely or go bankrupt while raising money for medical care. That is wrong. We have all the freedoms you have and more. We finance the the health care partly by charging “sin” taxes on booze, cigarets, and the government take from casinos. I have successfuly lived under this system for 30 years to age 79. I had successful heart surgery and unlimited access to my doctor and hospital. Canadian life expectancy and health is better than that in the US. You let your insurance companies practice medicine without a licence in order to generate maximum profit for their shareholders.

      • Joe H.

        Canadian Alphie,
        If your health care is so great then why do so many of your people come here for treatment???? how long did you wait for that “successful” heart surgery? Also we will have a GOVERNMENT RUN health care!!! Also I was told by my cousin who lives there that they are only discussing the INSURANCE route for Canada!!! Are you SURE you are from there?

        • Curtis S

          You know if you’re gonna dispute something throw in a fact. You say “so many Canadians” travel to the US for medical treatments. How many is “so many”? That’s the Faux News trick, “people say that so many Canadians travel to the US for medical treatements.” Your statement is hearsay based on more hearsay. Qualify your facts or get a show on Faux News. And my question still stands, how many Canadians travel to the US in a year for medical treatments, and why?

          • DaveH

            Curtis,
            Here is a link to an organization which seems to have done a pretty good analysis on the subject:
            http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/21/3/19

            According to this article, the numbers are small, but then why are any coming across the border? If a health care system is going to be forced on unwilling participants it should be good enough that nobody needs to seek help elsewhere.

          • Joe H.

            DaveH,
            Pleas inform Curtis for me again as a German national he does not exist in this conversation!!! All he has done is dump on this country and I don’t intend to give credence to his tripe by answering!!!!

      • DaveH

        Alphie,
        You said “we care about our people”. Really?. So you believe it is right to force people to be in a system they don’t condone? That’s caring? And you have no idea of the costs. It is all swept under the Government rug where even the most persistant analysts would have trouble figuring the actual costs in money and human suffering.
        I’m glad you like your system, but butt out of our choices.

  • Denny

    HEalth care reform, yes, Health Care Destruction, no. This Medicare new plan will disrupt providers.

    The Health Care Plan being debated in the Senate is a Farce. It should be scraped and br re-written or forgotten.

    If re-written, we should include doctors to help write it, and not political activist doctors. But real doctors who have a practice and see patients.

    Tort refom should be on top of the list. Drug companies should have some pricing restrictions. I have a real hard time with the cost of drugs in the United States, when they can be purchased i Mexico and Canada for a fraction of the cost here. The drug manufactures make a profit at the prices in both countries, or they would not sell their drugs there.

    Last I agree with Robert above. The health care plan that exists now is a take over of our health care system. And will not benifit anyone.

  • Denny

    HEalth care reform, yes, Health Care Destruction, no. This Medicare new plan will disrupt providers.

    The Health Care Plan being debated in the Senate is a Farce. It should be scraped and be re-written or forgotten.

    If re-written, we should include doctors to help write it, and not political activist doctors. But real doctors who have a practice and see patients.

    Tort refom should be on top of the list. Drug companies should have some pricing restrictions. I have a real hard time with the cost of drugs in the United States, when they can be purchased in Mexico and Canada for a fraction of the cost here. The drug manufactures make a profit at the prices in both countries, or they would not sell their drugs there.

    Last I agree with Robert above. The health care plan that exists now is a take over of our health care system. And will not benifit anyone.

  • Joe H.

    People!!
    This is nothing except a grab for votes in 2010. See it for what it is!! They are very worried about reelection. Now is the time to start the calls, e-mails, and snail mails!!! Demand a return to conservative roots or lose their jobs!!!!! Now is the time!!!

    • Jana

      I heard a Senator speak the other day and he stated that although the Senators themselves don’t read the emails, they have staff that do and they analyze them and let the Senators know what the people are saying and how many said it, so sending the emails is extemly valuable to them.

  • Peggy S

    Seniors!

    We need to stop this madness. We have worked for years and paid in to the Medicare system, so we would have insurance. Now it will be gone and we will be put on a government run option plan. We will have no care at all.
    Drs. will not accept us, they will leave their practice. Hospital’s will turn us away. WE WILL BE DOOMED!
    I see no humility or compassion with these people. WHERE IS THEIR HEARTS?

    • Jana

      I have run into this problem with my mother. If she tries to change Dr.’s after she is on Medicare she is out of luck. Even if the Dr. is also on her supplemental insurance program. So she goes to the clinic where there are several Dr.s that will see her.
      I told my husband we had better go to several different Dr.s while we are young enough so when it comes our time, we will be able to pick and choose. If it’s still available for us.

      • DaveH

        Jana,
        My life-mate was recently told by her dermatologist that she (the doctor) would no longer accept Medicare patients because they (the government) were interfering too much in the doctor/patient relationship.

        • Jana

          Dave, now we can say we have been forewarned.

  • Sandy

    This “doc fix” is what was removed from the House version of Obamacare to keep the cost under 1 trillion dollars. They just removed it from the bill and passed it separately. This is nothing more than a shell game with our money. It’s worse than the worst Bernie Madoff did because this is scamming the entire country. I tell you, our worst enemy isn’t from outside our government, our worst enemy is sitting in the White House and the halls of Congress. Voting in 2010 will likely be the most important vote in our Nation for the last 40 years. Get Rid Of Them should be our motto!

    • Disgusted

      I agree. When Pelosi can actually lock the door behind which she is writing her health care bill, then present a 2,000+ page document and have it passed (voted on at 2am on a Saturday); we have lost! Her actions should be prosecutable and she should be removed from office – we the people and our representatives should have access to the document from the first word typed to the last word typed. Did our representatives even have time to read the thing before voting on it? How many concensions (byoffs)were added to it to get her votes? Their study says the plan won’t increase the cost of health insurance, but I don’t believe a single study or estimate they put out. All of them so far have proven to be inaccurate to the cost and detrimant of who? US – the American Tax Payer. VOTE THEM ALL OUT!

      • Joe H.

        Disgusted,
        No, that’s the problem they DIDN’T read it and half didn’t even care to!!!! Just pass, pass, pass!!!!

        • s c

          JoeH, at some point, people will understand that when it comes to Washington leadership, we don’t have any. The fact that they can get away with NOT reading legislation they pass means they DON”T care about their oaths. That means we are NOT represented. And that means taxes are illegal.
          We need a way to put things into new laws ‘for THEIR own good.’ I recommend we start with having our “leaders” neutered after one year in office (enforced, of course). Beyond that, their salaries should be taxed at 95%. How long do you think this non-reading insanity will continue when they realize that they’ve been ‘HAD’ with their own rope? Et tu needs to be a way of life in the US.
          SOLVE THE PROBLEM!

        • Curtis S

          How much of the bill have you read?

  • marvin

    i am of the mind set if it an,t broke don,t fix it you an,t got the money don,t spend it you can,t pay it back don,t borrow it if you don,t need it don,t buy it i am a simple man but not simple minded you fix whats broke you buy what you need and help them that need help but i don,t want or need anyone [GOVERMENT]telling or forcing me to buy or give under a unconstitutional law because we know what,s best for you .and on a nother mind set if the truth is found out and it will be that ACORN [crook,s] thru fake voters help put obama in office but what do i know i am just a stupid simple minded party of no[know] that can read and hear and see the reason for health care take over power and votes

  • Marilyn

    To vote all these crooked politicians out of office you need to vote. Make sure you are registered to vote in the Primary in March. Then go vote. Then vote again in November. Many think the primaries are just preliminary and you don’t need to vote in March. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many times redistricting results from March voter turnout. Many races are basically decided in March and the November elections are just a formality. So be sure you register, vote in March and vote in November. It’s the only way to get these irresponsible dip-sh@ts out of office.

    • Joe H.

      Marilyn,
      I started voting at 18. I am now 58 and have never skipped a primary, local or national vote in all that time!!!!

  • Barney

    …even in nations where leaders are elected, the financial and political forces that supply them with money and media support receive more loyalty than those who merely cast their votes. While most people are content to fill their lives with work and play, there are those who have much larger designs. They think of themselves as natural leaders who have a solemn responsibility to rule. They speak about democratic values and human rights, but they do not trust the common man with self-government. They have perfected the illusion that voters determine their own political destiny, but they also have created mechanisms for altering that destiny to fit their own agendas…

  • tomj

    Our system cannot be reformed. Medicare should be abolished. Obamacare should be defeated. One of the “problems” with our current system, recognized by the Dems, is a lack of competition, a condition which they set up with laws allowing cartels and the the inability to sell insurance across state lines. We need to start looking at a third party (at root, the Repubs are no better that the Dems)and eventually secession. Our country has been ruined by the two party system, public education, the MSM, and the welfare state. I doubt it can be reclaimed without drastic action such as secession, and then maybe reunification under a new enforceable Constitution.

    • Joe H.

      tomj,
      You be the one that tells all the seniors that are living month to month because they believed the lies these rats put out that there isn’t going to be any coverage from now on!!! What do you suggest they do, just crawl into a corner and die? Real thoughtful post!!!!

      • DaveH

        Joe,
        You’re right, but how much more good money do we throw after bad money? We should grandfather the seniors and get the government out of the health care business.
        http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=279

      • Robert

        Joe H. Your right about seniors and those of us who have paid into this system since it’s inception. I’m not about to throw the seniors under the bus or for that matter, myself in a few years. If the bums in Washington want to fix something, let them start with tort reform, prosecuting medicare and medicaid fraud, and allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines. But that would be too easy. They would be cutting off the golden gooses who provide all the kickbacks to them via campaign donations. Vote them all out in 2010/2012 is our only hope.

  • http://Personallibertydigest R.Rupp

    I am a conservative, but HAVE YOU SEEN what your doctor gets paid when you receive your care, A doctors call is less than the plumber. We cannot afford to cut the doctors pay, no young people will want to go through the grueling process to be a doctor for what they get paid. I am not a doctor, but there is 100s of places that expenses could be cut. The main thing about this bill, it takes all of our freedoms. How about the congress and senate, ask them to take the same health care as we do. They would vote no in a heart beat. DID YOU KNOW THE CONGRESS AND SENATE HAVE THEIR OWN SPECIAL HEALTH CARE,my, my, my, what hypocrites.

    • Joe H.

      R.Rupp,
      Even more important, have you seen what the bills they have upon completion of med school? most have about 100,000 in loans to pay off and the specialists have MUCH more!!!

      • s c

        JoeH, NO ONE is forced to become a doctor. A future MD who doesn’t know about medical school bills will soon learn the hard way. WE get to pay for those bills. One of the many facets of that is the assembly-line approach that characterizes American ‘health care.’ No longer do patients have TIME to ask questions and get straight answers.
        This creates second-rate treatment, and we’re supposed to see government interference as one of our ‘many health care blessings.’ That is, from the perspective of a blood-sucking, career politician who spcializes in getting easy votes from robotic, dumbed-down voters.
        JoeH, life is too short to feel sorry for MDs who rack up medical school bills. How often do they feel sorry for us? Will your MD will attend your funeral? Will the scumbags we elect attend your funeral or mine?
        Americans must focus on streamlining health care, keeping government OUT of health care, keeping a short leash on Big Pharma, forcing the FDA to do its job, and making certain that NO politicians use health care as a springboard to the next election or ENSLAVE the American people and all future generations in the name of “hope and change” or any other braindead, prostituted, freedom-destroying UTOPIAN SCAMS.

        • Joe H.

          s c,
          I’m not feeling sorry for them, but I don’t understand how people can gripe about seeing a Dr. that costs them 50.00 but fork over 100.00 to a plumber to fix a toilet that they could fix themselves with a book and some parts!!!

          • s c

            JoeH, American plumbers haven’t been brainwashed by the AMA/FDA/Big Pharma cabal. Americans MDs have one, basic approach to health care (prescription drugs). American MDs have to look over their shoulders to make sure they haven’t ‘offended’ the medical demi-gods. American MDs don’t have the freedom of a plumber to do what it takes to do the job right the first time.
            In some instances, you’d be just as well off to trust a plumber. If that sounds upside down, it’s because the health care crowd relies on deception and ‘convenient’ science. Yes,
            that sounds strange, but American health care is also at the mercy of big business and manipulated science (AND politics).
            Plumbers don’t have to endure such crap. Besides, plumbers still make house calls (and I don’t have to suck-up to a politician to get “help”). I’ll spend the $100 on a plumber. Most American MDs can take a hike, and cry and moan to their
            demi-god controllers and lobbyists.

          • Joe H.

            s c,
            i have a very good relationship with my Dr. As I told you the other day, she is the one that suggested my vitamin D prescrip and it was a prescrip so it wouldn’t cost me anything as I have prescrip coverage!!! Also I will never pay ANYONE to do what I can do for myself!!!! Sure the Dr.s have cut out house calls just as they have cut out accepting pigs and chickens in payment!!! How’s that alternate medicine going to help you or your kid when your appendix goes bad? I take it you never eat in any restaurants, right? You could get something with botulism in it and a plumber isn’t going to be much care!!!

  • Dee

    While the Senate is debating ‘Reid’s Healthcare Bill’ on the Senate floor, another ‘diversion’ takes place in the House .. Amazing, how this Congress thinks that ALL AMERICANS ARE STUPID!!! Reid is keeping the Senators over Saturday & Sunday, and says they will vote on the ‘Healthcare’ bill before Christmas…to get it to ‘conference’.. That means that this bill will PASS, even with all the tax increases, $10 Billion to Unions (which they’re not telling us about!) and all the ‘PORK’ they can put into the bill ..putting more costs on Taxpayers, raising Insurance rates and you name it… American’s, it’s time to REVOLT against this Socialism Government!!! VOTE OUT ANY CONGRESSMAN that votes for this ‘massive’ bill.. in 2010 & 2012.. Do you really think that by the time this ‘bill’ is enacted, in 2013 or 2014, there will be any ‘money’ to pay for it, after they’ve taxed us to death? NO, they will SPEND IT like water for some other ’cause’ … It’s a SHAM and the Democrats know it!!!

    • Robert

      You got that right. Just look at the TARP money that is being returned. These bums now want to spend in on job creation. Vote these lunatics out in 2010/2012.

  • s c

    How many years has Medicare been in existence? How long did it take to get this problem fixed? Who really benefits from this legislation?
    Once again, smoke-and-mirrors politics has been used against the American people. It is so hard to understand how or why the American people let themselves be abused by those who are SWORN to protect us.
    If our ‘leaders’ give a damn, then Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are good enough for EVERYONE.
    If Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid aren’t good enough for our ‘leaders,’ then it doesn’t take a doctorate in common sense who know who’s screwing whom.
    Make those miserable Washington sleazoids suffer right along with the rest of us. Let them ‘sacrifice’ FOR US. Call it ‘social justice.’

    • Joe H.

      s c,
      I agree 100% with the letting the sleezoids suffer right along with the elders like my 95 year old mother that was a waitress all of her life and contributed to Social security all those years and was told how it would be there all their lives right alongside medicare. I guess they meant if you only live to 65 years old!!!

    • Joe H.

      s c,
      you want to see the Dr. costs go down? Stop awarding 50,000,000 dollars for a minor medical mistake when the person goes right back to work and the person would have never made over 2,000,000 in his lifetime!!! That would drop medical costs overnight!!! Tarp Reform!!!!

      • eyeswideopen

        Joe, how about not subsidizing the Big Pharma companies? How about not subsidizing IBM with 400 million to cover their retired employees pharm needs? There is a study that shows that tort reform does not lower the amount lost on law suits, I wll see if I can find it for you.

        • Joe H.

          Eyes,
          I believe it was LA that did tort reform and it Has lowered health costs for them in the first year!!! Try looking that up instead!!

  • Mutantone

    Here is a good way to stop all the bickering and fraud. Give the American People the same health care program that our elected officials have, nothing more nothing less. If it is good enough for them then it should be good enough for us as well

    • DaveH

      We couldn’t afford that. Better that we make them be on the same health care plan that we are.

  • Charles

    The man told you what he was going to do if elected, he was elected and now he’s doing it. !!! surprise !! surprise !!! Surprise!!! I don’t think so, so now I think the people deserve to get what they voted for, now they need to get ready to shell out over half their wages and end up standing in line for a aspirin. And now the light comes on,,,,,

    • Joe H.

      Charles,
      Good Idea, now go out and make the ones that voted for him pay up. I didn’t so I don’t have to pay for it right? Gee, it doesn’t work that way does it?!?!?!?!?

  • s c

    An opinion is one thing. An open debate is another (WHEN will we get one?). An opinion supported with facts and REAL experts is something else. America being attacked by those who have NO clue what FREEDOM is (since when do REAL leaders ATTACK the American people?).
    The MAIN point of this non-debate is whether or not it is RIGHT or WRONG for Americans to get stuck with over 4,000 pages of freedom-destroying legislation that our “leaders” somehow “deserve,” but is TOO GOOD for the rest of us.
    HOW is it possible that we have people in America who DON’T
    understand what is SO WRONG with this? Is America infected with non-thinking, semi-human rejects? Are they so BRAINDEAD that they can live with the idea of being forced to have fifth-rate health care, when their “leaders’ will have America’s BEST health care?
    I defy ANYONE to make a rational argument for the idea that watered-down, inferior health care is an IMPROVEMENT. America will PAY FOREVER for this INSANITY. OUR GOVERNMENT NEVER PAYS FOR ANYTHING!

    • Joe H.

      s c,
      And I hate non-citizens trying to talk us into things that are NONE OF THEIR DAM BUSINESS!!!! Like our resident German and our resident Canadian!!!!

      • s c

        Right again, JoeH. The GOVERNMENT is the chief CULPRIT in this half-@$$#& circus. Divide and conquer is their motto. Toss in regular doses of ‘the ends justify the means,’ and you have a
        formula for disaster that far too many people refuse to understand.
        They know how to blame others for what they’ve done. They NEVER admit what they’ve done. We have a congress full of would-be Neros. They are truly out-of-touch with America.
        Our government is a 2-ton rotting hog that has been allowed to do very little, while growing all-powerful at our expense. It is not our friend, and we have very little time left to solve the problem. If I ever saw a government (and an administration) that needs to be out-sourced for the good of the country, it’s THIS ONE. PERIOD!

        • Joe H.

          s c,
          just what do you mean by out sourced? Not what it sounds like I hope?

  • James

    The Democratic insistence on everyone having health-care insurance is not a magnanimous gesture, it’s a ruse. Health-care insurance companies do not provide health care, they’re in business to make a profit on illnesses. They charge their members more than the health-care will cost, then pocket millions. After we all have health-care insurance, Democrats will increase their regulations of these companies then have control over the health-care industry.

  • Darrel

    Canadian Alphie – Apparently you have drank the socialist kool aid. I am A US Citizen with a business interest in Canada. My business has Canadian citizens as employees. It is a great arrangement. However, we have experienced first hand the results of the “socialized health care” system. We have one employee that lost his life because of delayed treatment. We have another that suffered and now has worse problems because of delayed cancer treatments. There are others. In NO WAY do I want these wonderful folks to suffer like they have to under your system. And I DEFINITELY do not want this disasterous system here in the USA.

    • eyeswideopen

      Darrel, hey we lose 45,000 each year, that’s almost the amount that died in Viet Nam war from the 60′s thru the mid 70′s. Yup, in just one year we have 45,000 people die from lack of insurance. That static says alot about this country and how we value life.

  • Joe H.

    Darrel,
    how could that be??? Alphie assures us it’s so fine it would be fit for a king!!!! Yeah right!!!!

  • http://www.stanelaine.com Stan B

    My heart goes out to Peggy S and anyone else who cares about the last remaining ‘Gems” in our society….the elderly.
    Peggy S asks where is their humility and compassion. Well Peggy S, let’s try the easy version of why you cannot expect compassion or humility from the government.
    At the top of the food chain, there is a group of extremely powerful people, which we can call, for the want of a better word, the “Inner Circle”
    This group consists of a multi-national banking network that has been controlling governments and leaders for many years. They do this because they virtually control the banking systems of the world, especially in capitalisic nations.
    Their intention is to slowly takeover government and implement their own rules and completely dispose of the Constitution.
    Their ideology is a Socialistically controlled society, or if you will, a dictatorship, where the masses of people, like you and I, will conform to their rules. These people do not think the way we do. This group of elitists do not see people as we do. They have a particular mindset of their own. When you observe their behaviour and character traits, and listen to their rhetoric, you’ll notice they have the same cold objectivity. They are basically immune to national sovereignty and focused primarily on their self seeking agenda. To them, people are seen as items, or commodities, even worse, disposable commodities! They see younger people as commodities that are productive and will benefit society…..they view the elderly as having served their purpose, and, hidden in the deviously crafted Healthcare Bill, there is something about “Palliative Care Councelling” In Germany the sick and elderly were called ‘Nutzlosen-
    esser” (Useless eaters) and they were also considered disposable.
    No, you cannot expect compassion from such people. I do hope this helps you. To be fair, it would need a small book to cover these issues more fully.
    StanB

    • Joe H.

      Stan B,
      these animals don’t give a tinkers dam about the elderly. They were the ones that built this great nation to what it was before the downfall brought on by the politicians. They have more life learning than any of these young mental pipsqueaks in office and that bothers them so their answer is get rid of them!!!

  • http://www.stanelaine.com Stan B

    Joe H.
    That’s right Joe and I happen to be one of those seniors. I wish more of the youth could have been educated and learned to appreciate that it is the seniors who fought and died to keep America free.
    The younger generations owe a debt of gratitude to all our veterans.
    The Grandmas and Grandpas have given them freedom & opportunities to go to College and drive their own car at 16….these blessings did not exist in my youth in my home country, nor do they exist in many other parts of the world.
    All Americans should thank God to have been born in the USA, and be grateful for all the things they have taken for granted for so long.
    It is still the greatest country in the world. It is tragic that we are on the verge of losing everything.

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