Friday, January 15, 2010

Republican Excitement Grows

My in-box is overflowing with messages from friends about a number of developments, bad and good. My neighbor, a life long Democrat, just sent me this message about the Democrats' and Obama's yucky health care reform courtesy of Newsmax:

>Dear Reader:

>Time is critical. Americans all over the country are fed up with the Obama administration. They don't want his radical healthcare program.

Citizens from states like Massachusetts, Nebraska, Florida and others are rising up as never before.

Even in liberal states such as Massachusetts citizens are showing their outrage over the Obama-Pelosi-Reid alliance and it's dismal record at creating jobs and inability to protect us against terrorism...

...You can help this effort by Going Here Now.

The site to which you are directed shows this video:

The famously dynamic and lovely Raquel Okyay, congressional candidate and leader of southern Ulster County, reminds us that:

>A win on Tuesday for Scott Brown, needless to say, will be a big win for the Republican party and a win for those of us fighting against healthcare "reform".

I urge you to do whatever you can to help Scott Brown win.

>Read my commentary here.

In her blog Raquel notes:

>One does not have to be a political mastermind to see what is happening in America today. Glenn Beck’s claim that the Obama administration’s goal is to transform the Nation in a way that mirrors Hugo Chavez’ take- over of Venezuela, indeed, has validity. The amount of government control and over the top spending that the Obama White house and the Democrat controlled Congress have assumed in one year is unprecedented and will take many years to salvage...

>State Senator Scott Brown is running his campaign against “wasteful government spending and higher taxes.”

>...The American people are angry that the President promised that these negotiations would be aired on C-span at least eight times on the campaign trail, and so far, nothing. No one really knows what the final bill will entail, but everyone knows it will raise health insurance costs, and it will ration care.

Phil Orenstein, up and coming party leader of Queens County, New York forwarded a link to the Go West Blog, which "proudly supports Lt. Col. Allen West's candidacy for Congress." West is running in Florida and is a wonderful candidate.

Glenda McGee attended the Kingston, NY Tea Party meeting on Monday night and George Phillips's announcement of his congressional candidacy yesterday. McGee is fighting cap and trade and keeps getting her photo on newspaper covers. One article was about the Tea Party from Oklahoma and they put her picture on the cover even though she lives in the Town of Olive!

Even President Barbara Bowen of the left wing faculty union of the City University of New York, the Professional Staff Congress, and her lieutenant Mariah Berger, have sent around e-mails urging the union's left-to-liberal college faculty membership to make calls in opposition to the bogus health care bill's tax on union benefit plans:

>Dear Professor Langbert,

>Thank you for your response. In her email yesterday President Bowen urged PSC members to take action in support of fair health care reform and in opposition to the proposal to tax “Cadillac” health plans. This position on health care reform is that of the union as a collective, after debate, discussion and a democratic vote. We understand that not all individual members share these sentiments, however, and we appreciate your comments. We respect and value your views and Barbara Bowen thanks you for taking the time to share them.


>Moriah Berger

That e-mail really tickled me. I doubt that there are more than ten unions more left wing than the Professional Staff Congress. I also doubt that there was a higher Obama-to-McCain voting ratio in any union in the country than in the Professional Staff Congress. But even the Grasmcian Marxists are complaining about Obama now.

Here is the union president's, Barbara Bowen's, e-mail:

>Dear Colleague,

Today is the labor movement’s National Call-In Blitz to demand fairness to working people in health care legislation. I am asking you to take a minute or two to call your US Representative and Senator today. The AFL-CIO’s call-in line will connect you immediately: 1-877-323-5246. Tell your representative that you support fair health care reform but that you oppose the plan for a 40 percent excise tax on so-called “Cadillac” health plans.

Taxing benefits is bad policy and bad politics. Benefit cuts and increased consumer costs are NOT health care reform.

The Senate bill would impose an excise tax paid by employers on benefit plans exceeding $23,000 for family coverage and $8,500 for individuals. CUNY faculty and staff would not be immediately affected by the proposed excise tax, as our current healthcare benefits fall below the threshold in the Senate bill. But the benefits tax is designed to apply to more plans, and more people, every year. The cap on benefits grows much more slowly than the rate of medical inflation. A plan under the cap today could easily be over the cap tomorrow and subject to a 40 percent excise tax. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 20% of employee health plans would be affected within 3 years.

The theory underlying this provision is that employers will reduce benefits to avoid paying the excise tax and presumably pay their employees the balance that would have gone to insurance. These increased wages, taxed as regular income, would be used to finance health reform. Assuming employers would voluntarily pass on savings to their workers—a long shot at best—the most likely result will be a reduction in the quality of employee health benefits.

This is a critical week for influencing the final shape of the legislation. PSC members, like millions of other Americans, hoped and fought for single-payer health reform. But this is our chance to make the current bill as fair as we can make it. Please call or email today:

We are now closer to reform than we’ve been in generations. We can’t stop now.

In solidarity,
Barbara Bowen


Raquel Okyay said...

"One article was about the Tea Party from Oklahoma and they put her picture on the cover even though she lives in the Town of Olive!"

Congratulations Glenda!! Is it your first cover?

Anonymous said...

Do you think that Insurance companies deserve an exemption from the Sherman Antitrust Act? Do you think that Insurance companies can refuse or rescind coverage? Do you think that pre-existing conditions should be covered? Do you think that COBRA should be extended? Do you even have suggestions for the improvement of the lives of ordinary Americans. You are an excellent example of a nihilist right winger parading as a libertarian.

Mitchell Langbert said...

Dear Anonymous:

1. I think the Sherman Anti-trust act is part of a major subsidization of big business that began in the mid to late 19th century (the Civil War played a role as did the establishment of state regulation of insurance and the illegalization of Tontine Insurance at the behest of Met Life) and was accelerated by FDR's and the New Deal's freeing the Fed to print money that subsidizes Wall Street and corporate America.

2. I don't think that insurance companies should be exempt from any law, including the bogus Sherman Anti-trust Act.

3. I do think that private insurance companies that are not regulated and/or subsidized should have the right to refuse pre-existing conditions. I also think that Americans ought to be free to start their own cooperatives and other methods of coverage that are currently illegal under state insurance law.

4. The current medical system reflects extensive regulation that support provider interests that have caused the cost problems.

5. You can insult me all you like, but the answer is yes, I do have a number of suggestions for how to improve health care, and they have little to do with destructive, New Deal-and-ERISA-related crap like COBRA and the parroting of the provider groups and Wall Street that goes on in left-wing propaganda like NPR and the New York Times.

6. My suggestions for improving health care from here, given the massive damage that government intervention and regulation have done are:

a. de-regulation of high deductible plans. Currently, state law inhibits or prohibits affordable coverage by mandating elements of coverage that serve special interests like the psychiatric profession. High deductible plans play the normal role of insurance, of insuring high losses that are predictable.

These are currently illegal in most states. The "uninsurability" problem stems from the illegalization of plans that would normally play a pivotal role.

b. encouragement of international agreements whereby foreign health care providers can be utilized at low cost for a wide range of elective and chronic condition-related surgeries and other treatments if in a joint venture with US providers and subject to US quality standards. The foolish commitment to US-based care causes costs of a wide range of treatments, likely the majority, to be ten times what they ought to be.

c. De-regulation of licensure of health care providers.

Finally, I am not a nihilist. You are. You don't even know what a libertarian is. Why don't you do what makes you happiest: grab a banana, scratch your underarm, and swing from the nearest lamp post with your left wing colleagues.