OK, let's derail this into a debate on Obamacare, since Brad brought the issue up. :)
This is another issue on which the Republicans annoyed the hell out of me.
Obamacare was a minor modification of a plan originally proposed by a Republican and which most Republicans endorsed, yet the Republicans fought Obamacare tooth and nail just to make Obama fail. As it is, they crippled it, then gloated that it doesn't work and blamed Obama. Huh?
A big issue was whether or not a public healthcare option would be included. One of the Republican arguments against it was that government cannot POSSIBLY run such a program as efficiently as the market, and so everyone would buy (cheaper) private insurance anyway.
Then, they complained that a public option would drive private insurance companies out of business.
Well, which is it? You can't argue BOTH.
And, frankly, I'm all for screwing insurance companies at any opportunity, anyway, along with banks and credit card companies. back when ATMs first came out the banks started charging a fee to use them. Then they started charging a fee to use a human teller ?!? The banks make enough profit that they don't need fees like this- it was all a blatant attempt to screw people out of their money. I dropped them all like hot rocks and switched to credit unions as fast as I could. Now I'm solely with USAA- hallelujah. They even pay my ATM fees up to ten times a month if I use another bank's ATM.
Ok, I'll end that non sequitur, now...
My personal opinions on the healthcare issue are complex and still unformed, but this kind of crap by the Republicans annoys me. Clearly the writing is on the wall about public healthcare funding, just as it is about legalizing marijuana- by which I mean that it is obvious that it is going to come someday, it is just a matter of time and how long the Republicans can hold out- so I guess I'd better get used to the idea.
Also, there are some essentials that I think shouldn't be sales taxed- food, for instance, and tuition and textbooks. I'd probably include healthcare, too.
On the other hand and especially if healthcare gets funded with public money I'm all for taxing the hell out of things like sugary soda and Twinkies. Heck, we tax cigarettes, right? Then again, if we ended farm subsidies and farmer welfare in the form of the Bureau of Reclamation (as I would like to) then all that sugar and corn syrup wouldn't be so cheap and the soda would cost more, anyway. While we're at it, why do we subsidize oil companies that are making record profits? Grrr.
But then, this ALL gets back to my Australian voting and Citizens United amendment. I'd also prohibit for-profit companies from donating to politicians at all, or even donating to non-profit political advocacy organizations. A corporation is not a person and does NOT have the same rights that I do- this is an obvious legal fiction. A corporation cannot vote, for instance. This also does NOT inhibit anyone's freedom of speech, as the supreme court seems to think that it does. Every shareholder is free to donate to any politicians they like- individually. I just hate that, since I have an IRA and own some stock, that there are corporations out there giving my money to politicians whom I loathe.
So much of this special interest crap would go away with those changes...