My curious nature leads me to wonder when Obama or any of his supporters will
ever accept blame for the failings of HIS policies and stop trying to affix that
blame to others who are no longer in office
Probably when he's been in office long enough for anything to have had an
Bush was still blaming Clinton 3 years in.
I should add to this that he was probably right to do so too. Anyone who thinks
that a country's economy, budget, deficit, etc. will turn around in a matter of
months is plain naive. Things like that take years to change the current trends
and as such EVERY administration inherits the leftovers from the one before
Clinton inherited a big deficit and the leftovers of a war. He did turn the
economy around but in turn let some foreign policy issues slide.
Bush inherited a budget surplus, the beginnings of a mild recession, and a poor
security policy. He got blindsided by 9/11 which wasn't his fault. He in turn
beefed up the country's security but completely tanked the economy in the
process. At the end of it don't forget he drafted the initial stimulus
Obama in turn inherited a tanked economy that was on a fast downhill slide and
that isn't going to turn around any time soon no matter what he does. He also
inherited 2 wars, one of which he doesn't think you should be in. I honestly
believe IF his policies have any net effect it won't happen until after he's
gone anyhow because the US is fairly royally screwed in the money department no
matter how you slice it.
If anyone thinks this could be fixed in one term, let alone one year... or
probably even one decade... I'd really like a hit off whatever you're smoking.
Every administration inherits crap from the one before. It's been like that
since Ure blamed Ogg for the fact their Neanderthal tribe was living too far
from the river.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/2010 09:32PM by Onyma.
O man, I'll give credit where it's due and admittedly every administration must
work with the hand they're dealt from the get go and move forward from
Though the list of things the current administration's done, questionable
appointments that have been made, policies enacted that will have an overall
detrimental effect to our nation, economy and state of our society for some time
to come is so lengthy it would require quite a voluminous recounting to cover it
all even after only 1/4 of Obamas elected term I'll instead focus on his
pinnacle program, health care reform.
While the ink's barely dry from the bill signing party at the white house the
list of problematic entitlements, rules, policies etc.regarding this bill
"we had to pass so we could understand what's in it" have already
begun to unfold in ways that were all too predictable and outlined/foretold
before it's passage. 'Course beforehand, such data and revelations were decried
as "fear mongering", "fact manipulation",
"obstructionist", "race based", "deluded" etc. ad
naseum by the political steamroller piloted by Obama and his many
minions/mouthpieces/emotional panderers. Financial reality, truth, and facts be
damned, this HAD TO BE DONE, and fuck the groundswell of American people for
having held an opposing view.
One source of news I always find stimulating/enlightening for their readers
comments is the Wall Street Journal. These cats tend to live in a more rarified
position than myself and tend to be among the movers and shakers of the business
world so I enjoy their take on policy changes and the effects they tend to have
on the financial health of our country.
An article I was just reading [online.wsj.com] in regard to
several large corporations (a list that will likely get MUCH longer in the
coming weeks) having come out in the past few days about new
costs/challenges/taxes this new legislation will have and the financial impact
it will have on their businesses and planning regarding health care expenses for
their employees/retirees and how (democratic) congressional members have now
cried foul and have scheduled a congressional hearing for April 21st so they can
rake them over the mainstream media coals for having made these outlandish
claims about the new costs of this regulation.
I'll ask you or anyone to get past even the 1st page of comments on this article
and then defend this legislation as anything our country will be able in even
5yrs, much less 10 or 20 yrs as anything but an absolute take over of health
care and that its impact on business or the economy can in a sane mind be
rationalized as a good move.
This is a gift that keep on giving YEARS after this POS prez is out of office
and none of it will be good for the US, our economy, the US citizenry and will
only lead us down the path to the same kinda shitty health care you Canadians,
the Brits and French view as so "special"
You see I come from a country that has universal health care and I wouldn't
trade it for your existing system if you paid me. I don't deny though that
implementing it now in the US is going to be costly.
I would like to tell you a story though and while I don't have the 'permission'
to tell this, I think it's important. I will obscure enough of the details to
keep it general... these are friends of mine. A woman, 40's, goes in for a
significant but still routine arthroscopic surgery which should have her home
the next day. During the procedure the doctor slips and punctures something
very important causing her blood pressure to immediately crash and she
"dies". After emergency surgery (literally cracking open her chest),
tons of transfusions, and 5 days in an induced coma she survives. 4 more
surgeries are required to repair the damage and she spends almost 2 months in
the hospital. That was mid last year, she is still recovering. Accident's
Here's the rub. The woman's husband is a family doctor, self employed with his
own practice for years. He has been informed by his HMO that due to the size of
the claims from this event they will not be renewing their insurance at the end
of this cycle as they are now considered too high a risk. My understanding is
that being self employed they have a loophole to optionally not renew. He has
shopped around and no other HMO will now pick up their family as long as he is
self employed. This spring he is closing his doctors office to go work for
another clinic so they can get health coverage through an employer. They will
of course be filing a legal case about this but that only further exacerbates
the issue by driving up coverage for doctors and your rates even further.
So due to a slip by one doctor another is forced to close is practice and leave
his patients without their family doctor. Their medical insurance will be sky
high for the rest of their lives... a lawsuit will be paid off causing a rate
increase across the boards... another doctor will see the cost of his coverage
go up... and the only ones not getting screwed in this whole thing is the
I had a GF in NY in the early 90's and she had a noticeable step in her collar
bone because it healed off-set after she broke it. It healed incorrectly
because she couldn't afford to go to a hospital to have it set as every penny
she had was tied up putting her through NYU.
I had a hernia repaired 4 years back at the Shouldice Clinic in Toronto. The
Shouldice charges about $1000 for a hernia repair using their own technique and
will have you home in 4 days and back to work in a week. They are world
renowned for being a leader in hernia repair. What shocked me though was the
fact that I was surrounded by Americans who had chosen to fly up and have their
hernia repaired here because the combined expense was still between a third to a
half of what they were going to get dinged back home.
I don't deny that the US can offer good health care but no one can convince me
even with my limited experience that the system is not fundamentally flawed at a
I think the benefit to the productivity of the population in general by
providing fundamental health care far outweighs the costs involved. It's a
loose measurement but Canada is 11th on the list of world life expectancies.
The US is 38th. We share a border... same continent, same basic climate, same
social influences... something is very wrong with that picture. Every single
country in the top 19 (except one) has universal health care. And that one
exception (Switzerland) has Federal regulation of health insurance and it is
mandatory for every citizen.
I'm not saying how it's being implemented is correct... I haven't studied the
bill in detail. What I do want to say though is that I hear SO many people
screaming "Socialism!!!" when they obviously haven't got a clue.
Could it be done better or the transition smoother? Possibly... I can't say.
But is the final goal worth pushing towards... I'd say yes.
And while you're at it go Metric! Dammit
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/29/2010 01:39AM by Onyma.
Having trillions and trillions of dollars in debt the US just can't afford to
visit health care reform right now and to be rammed through the way it was just
pisses off many of us. Also requiring people to have insurance even when they
just can't afford it is just wrong. Before I got medicare I was without health
insurance for years because I just couldn't afford it. It was a choice of
buying food for the family or buying insurance and there are many people in this
situation as well. To enact a law which will require these people to buy
insurance and go hungry at the same time is just not right. Nothing was ever
mentioned about these low income people and how they will be able to afford the
insurance they will be required to purchase. Right now my daughter need to have
her gall bladder removed because ot gall stones. She doesn't have insurance
because she works part time and her husband hasn't been able to find a job in 2
years. She barely makes enough money to keep them and her daughter housed and
fed. No doctor will take the case without money up front and the hospital will
not do it unless it is an emergency situation. Now she has to live in pain
while she tries to find a method to have the surgery done. DHS will pay for it
after it is done but nobody will do this relatively simple surgery without
payment. This new health care law will put people like them in jail instead of
helping them. I don't like it so screw everyone who is in office right now
including the idiot in chief.
Ok O man, let me say that we're certainly in agreement on many of the points
you raised. The system of insurance regulations, loopholes and denial of some
claimants rights to treatment even with health insurance have been the cause of
many horror stories. These issues could have been addressed by legislation with
a set of governmental regulations upon the industry itself without having to
generate and create the huge clusterfuck this recently passed bill
In every polling of folks here the overwhelming support for certain reforms of
the insurance industry was resoundingly stated by the majority. The majority
were in favor of new regulations that would end the practice of dropping
coverage of insured claimants who became ill, people were in favor of lowering
malpractice suit limits and ending the defensive practice of doctors requiring
numerous tests prior to surgery or treatment which were required purely as a
"cover your ass move" by doctors as a secondary means of protection
against malpractice suits, with both of these measures as a means of cost
containment on policies, and stopping the denial of treatment by health
insurance companies coverage of previously existing injuries and conditions.
These issues found almost unanimous support from coast to coast here and had
these measures been taken up as the focus of this legislation it would have
achieved a lot of positive effects for the bulk of Americans and likely found
support by the people on the order of 80% .... but that's not what was
What was voted in and in many ways DOES result in this legislation being
quite correctly viewed as a socialistic attack on the people and the medical
community here is a system that does not "provide healthcare for 33 million
uninsured Americans with no access to healthcare" as it was touted over and
over to be. What was enacted that every citizen is now required to secure
insurance coverage which is not the same thing at all.
Many folks currently go without coverage because it's outside the realm of their
financial capabilities and not all of them do so because they're currently
unemployed, but quite simply because in the choices their income allows them it
becomes a decision to keep a roof over their familys' heads or keeping food on
the table or buy health insurance that is outside their family budget
parameters, they choose the former over the latter. This legislation now takes
this choice away from them and will force them to buy health insurance
regardless of whether they can reasonably afford to do so or not. Then, if they
continue to choose to not buy the insurance they will be hit with a tax penalty
that will be attached to their federal income taxes and enforced lovingly by
those great folks over at the IRS who can eventually take away the home they
chose to pay for instead of buying insurance, garnish their already lacking
paychecks to pay the fines, or deduct the fine amounts from any overpayment of
While supporters of this bill will point to the tax credits and reimbursement by
the govt to many lower wage earners as a means of easing the financial load this
requirement forces upon them, what most Americans know is this is aimed much
more at people who are already on the public dole in allowing them to basically
NOT PAY A FUCKING DIME for their health care insurance and will not
realistically have a positive impact on working people who just flat out can't
afford the additional expense.
There are so many ill conceived parts of this legislation that stand in stark
opposition to the will of the American people that I can do little more than
scratch the surface of it all here but let me briefly mention a few more:
1. Doctors, regardless of their specialty, experience or overhead will receive
the same amount of payment for treatment of patients (try telling the heart or
neurosurgeons who have invested many more years in their education and costs for
it how this isn't a socialistic practice, and .... try mentioning how this will
in future NOT decrease the number of such medical specialists in these and other
special fields of medicine),
2. Hospitals will be required to get federal government approval before any
expansion of a facility or before any new medical facility can be built, more
3. 30% of existing doctors have said these new regulations will lead them to
leave the profession altogether. With our medical system already stretched
pretty thinly in some areas this will not be beneficial overall and it's also
likely these government interventionistic practices will lead fewer people in
the future to choose medicine as a career path which will then exacerbate this
situation even further.
4. Limits will be placed upon what insurers can charge while also forcing the
same insurers to cover more patients at greater overall costs through
implementation of the added costs of no lifetime limits on coverage, doctors
will still be having to cover their buts by requiring multiple tests prior to
surgery or treatment, which adds to the overall costs of treatment and many
believe (myself included) the grand purpose and intent behind this is to force
insurers out of business with the eventuality of the plan to be that government
will then step in and completely take over the health care industry with the
federal government as the provider of the health care insurance and the actual
health care itself.
5. Several facets of the above will all convergently lead to a totally
socialistic system of total control of our health care system at which point the
decisions American now have rights to in regard to their own care, level of
affordability, choices about treatment etc. is taken out of their hands and
placed under total government control which is abso-fuckin-lutely
6. Responsible working Americans through increased taxation will now be required
to shoulder the burden for even more health care expenses than they currently
are paying for a segment of our population that refuses to accept responsibility
for their own welfare and choose instead to live off $$ the government takes
from the working folks here which is nothing more than a grand scheme of
"wealth redistribution", another facet of it that REEKS of
7. While federal law voted upon many years ago allows women the choice in
deciding whether they choose to seek abortion, tax payers have never been
required to fund that choice by making funds available for free abortions. This
legislation will now change that and the BS presidential order Obama signed as
an appeasement move to draw in the last votes required by the pro-life segment
of democrats to secure passage of the bill in the House has no actual force on
the legislations approval to implement this. Such a decree is not law, laws can
only be enacted by congress so this was nothing more than another in the long
list of tricks, deals, and bribes that took place in ramming this unwanted
legislation through congress.
There's really so much more regarding this legislation that riles the populace
here but one facet in particular that's manifested itself in many of the
individual states having filed cases against it in federal courts is that this
is an area the federal govt has NO AUTHORITY to legislate on by the limited
powers as outlined within the Constitution.
Many folks in the know regarding Constitutional Law regard this as a direct and
illegal attack upon our system of government intended to move American
government and society ever closer to the socialist state the leftists/liberals
desire which finds itself severely lacking in receiving support by the bulk of
the American population which is far more centrist in nature and as such stand
in opposition to this legislation, both before it was voted in and even more so
now as more effects are revealed.
One last thought here O man, but it's a pretty reasonable analogy, so I feel
it's worth mentioning.
Let's say you're in the market for a new car so you toodle on down to the
dealership and find exactly what you want there and sit down with the salesman
to get the paperwork done. Everything's all worked out, papers all signed and as
you get ready to head home with your shiny new wheeled toy, but when you ask for
the keys to your new purchase you're told that you'll be required to make
payments for the 1st 4yrs of the 10yr note you agreed upon before you'll have
the right to drive that shiny new car. Would you feel like that was a good deal
or would you feel like you were gettin screwed by being forced to pay for
something for a number of years without even having the use of what you were
The majority of the American public feels like we've been screwed .... and I'm
right there with 'em
Very sorry to hear about your daughter jgoins. My mother had gall stones and it
is a painful painful thing. I am going to have to do some more reading on the
details of what the new bill is bringing in. My understanding was that these
are the situations it was meant to fix.
I do agree this is a bad time for the US to be spending on a huge health care
reform package but I wonder if at any point in the future there will be a better
time as the current system seems to be spiraling out of control at a faster an
What's sad is that she SHOULD be able to afford coverage because it shouldn't be
that expensive. Costs of an MRI vary by 250% state to state in the US. From
$1500 to $4000 just by crossing state lines. How can that be? MRIs are all
digital now, there are no consumables like film. Even with the cost of the
machine there is just no way it should cost that much.
Up here she would be booked in for surgery and getting it done without concern
for cost. It's not a stay in a luxury hotel but that gets you a bed in a 4 bed
room and the procedure covered. A lot of people up here do carry additional
health insurance as well for extras like private rooms, some medications that
aren't covered, dental, eyes, etc. but it is optional. Like every system ours
is still far from perfect but I am glad it exists.
Hey MK, thanks for the reply... going to have to go over it in detail later
when work dies down some. I do agree on a quick skim that some of that does
seem to suck and is actually quite unlike our system up here. What it sounds
like is you're implementing a system closer to what Switzerland uses and not a
true universal health care system. More comments later
As could well be expected beast, no substance to anything you say, nothing but
your own statement of opinion to back it up, but I'm the one that's FOS? Lay
out some substantive arguments for your position and there might be some
discourse to be had, otherwise ... you can
Beast you were ranting against Bush from day one of his presidency way back
when. Now you say Odamna has only been in office a year and shouldn't be
judged? You are clearly an idiot who will support anything a democrat does
regardless of any damage it might cause.
This is my question. Were was the alternative healthcare bill? Really, if
this bill is so bad why didn't anyone propose an alternate bill? It seems to me
that this was a lot of political bluster. More to due with politics and less to
do with the issue. No one really thinks the current healthcare system is good,
so why weren't there several proposed bills for healthcare reform? It seems to
me that if the detractors had put forth an alternative bill their complaints
about the current one would have legitimacy. But, no they just wined about it.
Why was that? Could it be that they didn't have any better ideas? Or, that
their proposal would have been even worse. Or, maybe they didn't care and just
wanted to oppose anything put forth by the current administration no matter what
it was? Food for thought... enjoy
Perfect regurgitation of the liberal talking points there wolfie
There were MANY other proposals submitted by the Republicans though none of them
garnered the necessary votes by the Democrats to actually make it outta
committee and to the floor so they could then BE voted on by the full
Hmmm, let's see, now who was it that was really
being "obstructionist" again? Who was it that was being "totally
partisan" again? Who was it that was being the party of "no way but
ours is good enough to even be voted on" again?
The main differences between the 2 versions were that the Republican sponsored
version merely addressed measures to keep insurors from dropping patients when
they get ill/injured, addressed tort reform regarding malpractice (in efforts to
decrease malpractice costs/reduce insurance costs as well as helping to
eliminate the extra tests doctors now have to order in CYA mode), creating
insurance pools for small companies/individuals to get better rates, allowing
sales of insurance across state lines to encourage competition, and would have
made all insurors cover preexisting conditions.
But you see the REALLY biggest difference between the 2 streams of thought
between Democrat and Republican sponsored bills was that only the Democrat
version included the extra nice parts like allowing the fed govt (and their
private contractors) to all your personal banking and health record info as well
as allowing the govt to draft any amount they deem necessary against your bank
account (good thing the govt never makes mistakes like OVERDRAFTING funds,
huh?), using the IRS as their enforcement arm, keeps you from filing a suit
against the govt for unfair charges, made special deal for the unions, attached
another piece of legislation to the bill that now makes all student loans and
places the federal government as the only one allowed to MAKE student loans
(except for that ONE bank they agreed to let make
loans in a democratic representatives home state so they could bribe his
vote) [Just ONE of the MANY such bribes made
to get votes for this slimy POS legislation] and fixed it so the pres and
various advisory members who helped write the bill were exempt from the system,
funds abortions, and here's one of the really great parts:
CREATING 159 NEW FEDERAL AGENCIES AND BUREAUS
with somewhere over 100,000 new government employees and also added 17,000 new
IRS agents to help with the aforementioned enforcement efforts.
See, changin the regulations on insurance companies and NOT expanding our
already HUGE federal govt. by an additional 117,000 new employees (we the
taxpayer get to pay for BTW! Wonder how much that adds to the cost of our
government just to run this shitty plan) wasn't any part of the Republican plans
and because the Democrat plan DID do that they were never going to support it
since their constituents told them (just like many Democrats constituents did
too) NOT to support this travesty of a government take over
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/2010 11:37PM by Mrkim.
The facts support what I said the majority of the
American public supported the bill.
Incorrect as usual beast. As the bill was being
voted on in the House every poll published showed less support for the bill than
You have yet to post a fact on the subject
I've posted plenty of info, you however just rattle
your keeboard as usual.
85% of the bill that was signed was written by REPUBLICANS back in the mid 90s.
even the individual mandate was written by a republican. That's why Bob
"viagra" Dole supported the current bill
Really? News sources all seemed to relate the
legislation was written by members of White House staff, special interest groups
and Democratic congresspersons with a smattering of Obamas direct input over the
past year. As always, more illogical statements based in fantasy.
You also have yet to show in any way shape or form how any of this is socialism
you done more to prove that you have no fucking clue what socialism
An excerpt from the wikipedia page on the subject,
and here's the full link [en.wikipedia.org] :
"Socialism is not a concrete philosophy of fixed doctrine and programme;
its branches advocate a degree of social interventionism and economic
rationalisation (usually in the form of economic planning), but sometimes oppose
each other. A dividing feature of the socialist movement is the split between
reformists and revolutionaries on how a socialist economy should be
established.Some socialists advocate
complete nationalisation of the means of production, distribution, and exchange;
others advocate state control of capital within the framework of a market
Sounds exactly like what's been going on since this
administration took office. A point could also be made that these moves are
fascist, so take your pick. Regardless neither approach is representative of
the type of government the Constitution outlined which was a representative
Now onto wolfie:
I've done my homework, followed this issue intensely in the news over the past
year now and since you obviously have not, you now want me to do YOUR HOMEWORK
for YOU? Sorry, but that's really not my responsibility.
Since you obviously find yourself in opposition to the views I've stated how
about attempting to put together something more than 2 sentences and actually
formulate a coherent response stating facts (or even links if you can find any
to support your claims) to support any argument you have with the assertions
I've made here.
I know assembling even a paragraph is challenging wolfie, but why not give it
the good ole middle school try eh
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/2010 10:08PM by Mrkim.
Mrkim I am not trying to bate you into a trap. I am not interested in an
aggument just looking for some good information. You have made some very
interesting accusations, and I would like to know the sources so that I may look
them up myself. As for as the mainstream news media, I take it with a large
grain of salt. They are profit based not factual based. I look for news
sources that do not have an agenda and are interested in reporting the facts.
This is very hard to find anymore.
I also noticed that you are calling out aDCBeast for his sources... well what is
good for one is good for all.
In a years worth of studying all this it would be nearly impossible to list
links to where all this data has been derived wolfie. I'm involved with 3
different online citizen action groups, watch news clips from MSNBC, CBS, Fox,
ABC,, have spent time studying many different legislators comments/quotes/voting
records and have read just about everything else I can find on the subject
Watching the news and sifting through opinion based pundits comments along with
the other research helps in filtering the BS from the genuine data to be gleaned
from it all.
Although I consider myself a staunch conservative and devoted Constitutionalist
I find errors and mistatements of fact in what other conservatives say just as I
do with an overwhelming amount of the stuff the liberals trot out as truth. I
use all the data I study to formulate my own ideas about what's really being
said and done legislatively, which is what I feel everyone should do.
Unfortunately if one were to simply hit the high points the mainstream media
throw out as "news" much of the subtle details that round out the
bigger picture and give a more thorough understanding of what's really going on
would be lost. Many people seem content to use this approach to feel as if
they're informed while in truth, following this issue in this way won't begin to
give one enough details to make a truly informed decision, much less formulate
an unbiased opinion.
The real bottom line is this wolfie. Though much of what I write is filled with
opinion and the reasoning I use to interpret the data streams from my research I
NEVER try to mistate fact or pointedly bend the truth. It's too easy these days
for people to fact check things and disprove simple mistatement of fact.
While I may post a slightly skewed figure from time to time it usually has to do
with either the data I've read was slightly flawed or that I have made a slight
error from memory but I would NEVER knowingly try to mislead anyone by stating
untruths to attempt to make a point, it's just not my way of doing things
Beast on the other hand tends to get on here and fling out loads of BS she/he
knows damned well is improvable and then when you try to pin down where the
source of this illogical crap is coming from makes claims like "look it up,
it's truth", just evades the issue altogether, or another common bit of BS,
tries to simply engage in personal attacks or redirect the discussion away from
what's been said
If you want to find out for sure if the majority of the public supports the
legislation or not just keep an eye on the midterm elections. If all who hold
office right now are going to be removed from office then it will speak very
clearly that the majority of the voting public are dissatisfied with the bull
shit politics that has occurred recently. It will also be a good indicator that
a majority of people are not happy with the health care bill or the way it was
shoved down our throats. If there is not a major change in the line up then it
will show that the public is happy with the way things are done in DC and they
get what they deserve. But I do feel we will see an major change coming in
More fuel for the fire ... aka costs to companies and
taxpayers/retirees/consumers, etc. I wonder if GM, Chrysler, AIG, Fannie Mae,
and Freddie Mac are complying with SEC regs? If so, why aren't these heavily
government subsidized/owned entities reporting these increased costs per the
SECs guidelines? Maybe because that's a part of the financial equation of new
costs the fed wants them to keep quiet about? Hmmmmm??
"Top Dems Call Companies 'Irresponsible' for Taking Write-Downs on Retiree
Drug Benefits -- Even Though Federal Rules Require It
Friday, April 02, 2010
By Christopher Neefus
“I am from the Government, and I am here to HELP!”
The scariest words in America
(CNSNews.com) – Democrats are going on the offensive against major companies
who have announced they will take a financial hit from the passage of
health-care reform, saying it’s a ploy to make President Obama look bad.
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has condemned the moves as
"irresponsible" and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has launched an
investgation, summoning the CEOs of the companies to Capitol Hill on April
However, the companies say they warned the Obama administration and Congress
about the issue last year, before Congress voted on the bill, and a prominent
economist tells CNSNews.com that the companies are simply acting in accordance
with federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules.
Explaining the problem
In the last week, corporations like AT&T, Caterpillar, Deere & Co., and
3M have said they will collectively take write-downs into the billions of
dollars because of a change in a federal subsidy that had helped the companies
provide drug coverage for their retirees, keeping those seniors from joining the
Medicare Part D benefit in droves.
(A “write-down” occurs when a company reports a reduction in the value of
its assets compared with the value it trades for on the stock market.)
The 28 percent subsidy previously was tax-free, but President Obama’s new
health-care reform law treats it as taxable income. As a result, the businesses
are revising their earnings estimates downward to reflect the new costs, and
some seniors may find themselves on Part D if the companies eventually decide
they can’t absorb the loss.
AT&T has said the change will cost it $1 billion, Deere expects to lose $150
million, Caterpillar predicts a cost of $100 million, and 3M is projecting a $90
Secretary Locke took to the White House blog on March 25 to counter the
“couple of companies” that he said had begun to “imply that reform will
raise costs for them.”
“This change is part of an overall reform package that will provide
substantial benefits to employers and their employees,” he said, listing new
benefits like reinsurance for early retirees and removing the “hidden tax”
of emergency care for the uninsured.
Locke took a more combative tone later in the week on CNBC, saying that
announcing the write-downs was “irresponsible.”
“A lot of the regulations on how this will affect big business haven’t even
been published yet, so for them to come out, I think is premature and
irresponsible,” he said on March 27.
But Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow and economist at the nonpartisan
Hudson Institute, said Locke is really criticizing the SEC, because the
companies are merely following federal regulations that have long been in
“It’s not ‘irresponsible,’ because if they don’t report it, the SEC is
going to come down on these companies like a ton of bricks,” she told
CNSNews.com. “They’re required to file by SEC regulation when something in
their earnings path changes.”
The administration position is untenable, according to Furchtgott-Roth..
“You can’t have the Secretary of Commerce saying that the SEC rules don’t
make sense. You can’t have one department contradicting another.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Waxman, the chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce
Committee, unhappy with the companies’ actions, summoned their CEOs to an
April 21 hearing, calling their claims “a matter of concern” in a
“The new (health care) law is designed to expand coverage and bring down
costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern,” Waxman wrote to them last
Friday. “They also appear to conflict with independent (cost) analyses.”
But Waxman did more than request the presence of the CEOs at the hearing – he
made a wide-ranging demand for company documents and records, asking for all
communications among the senior staff of the corporations regarding the
write-downs, along with “an explanation of the accounting methods used by
(each company) since 2003 to estimate the financial impact of the 28 percent
subsidy for retiree drug coverage and its deductibility or nondeductibility,
including the accounting methods used in preparing the cost impact released by
(each company) this week.”
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), the ranking Republican on the Energy and Commerce
Committee and Waxman’s Republican counterpart, says Waxman is “vilifying”
corporations for the bill’s unintended costs.
“It shouldn’t come as a shock that a bill that reengineers the health care
system in America would cost private companies money,” Barton said. “I
don’t think there is an overwhelming reason to call those companies before the
committee and I certainly don’t think there is a reason to launch an
investigation. I will not be a part of any witch hunt to vilify corporate
Furchtgott-Roth, who served on President George H.W. Bush’s domestic policy
council, said that the write-downs shouldn’t really be a surprise to Waxman,
unless the powerful chairman failed to take into account the fact that the
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assessment of the bill’s impact only focused
on its impact on the federal government’s bottom line.
“CBO is asked to score the cost of the bill,” she explained to CNSNews.com.
“So what it does to a company’s earnings is not reflected in the CBO score
and I’m very surprised that Mr. Waxman doesn’t know this.”
Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats only appear to
have been blind-sided by the projected losses. In fact, the chief financial
officers of 10 major corporations, including Caterpillar and Deere -- along with
Verizon, Xerox and Met Life -- wrote to the Democratic congressional leadership
before the bill passed the Senate on Christmas Eve, and warned that just such an
issue would emerge.
In their Dec. 11 letter, addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the CFOs explained that the bill
would “negatively impact both retirees and companies.”
“Taxing the subsidy means that more companies will eliminate or reduce the
coverage, and more retirees will shift to Medicare Part D, which will create
more cost for both the government and the retirees,” the CFOs wrote.
“Further, this change would result in large earnings statement reductions due
to…income tax accounting rules, which would require employers to immediately
account for the present value of this tax increase.
“The impact of the proposed Medicare Part D changes would be felt throughout
the overall U.S. economy as corporate entities and investors would be forced to
react. We urge our leaders in Washington to carefully consider the far-reaching
effects of the health care reform effort and avoid unintended, negative
consequences for all stakeholders.”
White House Health Care Nancy Ann DeParle was also copied on the
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday in a statement that
the response from Democrats thus far amounted to “scare tactics.”
“The White House blog has been used to question the credibility of these
statements. A Cabinet secretary called these public disclosures
‘irresponsible.’ House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman
wants to hold hearings and issue subpoenas,” he said.
“These scare tactics are not surprising," Boehner said. “America’s
workers have a right to know how this new law will affect them. As do the
millions of retirees who may lose their drug benefits. As do the customers who
may have to pay higher prices to cover these losses. As do the small businesses
who rely on these companies for telecommunications (AT&T), office supplies
(3M), gasoline (Valero), and equipment (Caterpillar, John Deere).” "
Just some more food for thought as the real costs of this new legislation
continue to see the light of day, and this is only the beginning
Hey shock, wanna bet $1000 on those figures? I would bet anyone who wants some
of this action that the "savings" quoted will never materialize.
I'll gladly pay anyone wantin in on this $1000 if by 2030 the federal govt.
realizes even 1.0 trillion of the 1.2 trillion they claim to be able to show in
realized savings to the federal budget.
The fly in the ointment is the figures fed to the CBO to make their predictions
on. An old rule of accounting is at play here "Garbage in, garbage
The real deal is when has the govt EVER brought in even a single project they
started "on budget"? Truth is, when have they ever done so without
the real cost actually having come out as multiples of their predicted costs?
Here's a really good example of the shitty management skills they use. A very
famous whore house in Nevada had gotten behind on their taxes and wound up with
the fed takin it over. In less than a year it was bankrupt and outta business.
So ask yourself this question .... if the government couldn't even turn a profit
sellin pussy and booze, what are the chances they'll manage a whole fuckin
countrys' healthcare program without raising even MORE taxes AND shavin services
Their track record for managing any program has always ended in failure and
bankruptcy. Social Security, though people have been payin into it for over 70
yrs is already payin out more $$ than it takes in.
Amtrak is a steady money pit that hasn't made a real profit in years and one of
Obamas BIG recovery plans is to spend hundreds of billions more (and make the
states provide matching funds they don't have) to build high speed rail systems.
The Post Office, though they receive congressional perks in rates NO OTHER
carrier gets can't even keep its head above water and will soon be cutting
saturday delivery AND laying off THOUSANDS of full time employees to try and
We've been dumping BILLIONS into unemployment for months now just so there's not
open rioting in the streets.
Welfare programs like housing assistance, food stamps and health care like
Medicaid and Medicare are busted, especially since Obama just jerked
$500,000,000,000.00 from Medicares coffers so he could use it to make his
Obamacare BS look better.
With all this is it really a wonder that anyone would have a reasonable doubt
that not only will the "savings' claimed never be realized, but nothin even
close to that will ever be seen?
The problem is the govt doesn't have to work within the same constraints other
operations do. Not only do they never have to stay solvent and turn a profit
like other organizations do, worse yet, when they run outta money they either
just print more or raise taxes to cover their shortfalls. Sadly, when there's
no reason or incentive to force them to live within their means, guess what,
they NEVER WILL!!!
I'm willin to even shave off $200,000,000,000.00 from their projected savings to
hedge the bet in any takers favor, so who's willin to take my bet
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2010 07:32PM by Mrkim.
Ben said :
Republicans proposed dozens of changes to the health
care bill despite the fact that none of them supported it in any way. And then
all the Republicans voted against it.
While Democrats put forth reasoned arguments for national health care,
Republicans focused on medical horror stories from Canada and Europe. In the
end, the bill passed.
I'm not saying the Democrats' or the GOP's actions are good or bad. I'm just
stating some facts.
Though it's true some of the conservatives ideas were eventually added to the
bill (by democrats in the last week before the final
vote in the House in an effort to attempt to get repubs to vote for it and ...
so that after they added these measures they could then again point to the
repubs as obstructionists if they din't support it after their suggestions were
added) the overall legislation was still viewed overall as
unconstitutional, intrusive upon individual freedoms and socialistic in nature.
These are the reasons the Repubs voted against it, which BTW is also what their
constituents asked them to do.
To believe otherwise only shows you either agree with the ideas and tactics
behind the democrat sponsored bill or else you problee get all your info from
the extremely left leaning mainstream media and hence don't truly understand all
the parameters of the overall issue since they never truly gave all the facts
about it all, only the parts that made it look appealing. Had the mainstream
media been comprehensive in their discussions and explanations regarding this
piece of legislation (as in actually REPORTING instead of MAKING UP the news!)
it's likely it would have had even less public support than it did
Beast, you have your facts wrong, only 10% of the American public supports this
bill. I can make up facts just as good as you can if I don't have to provide
proof. All this is moot anyway because on Dec. 21 2012 aliens are coming to
return us all to our home planet.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/2010 07:15AM by jgoins.
As far as a healthcare bill polls: According to Gallup 45% Approve, 48% Disapprove, and 7% No opinion with +
or- 4% error rate. Pollster.com lists 40.2% in Favor and 51.6% Oppose, however
after a description of the bill was given the poll changed to 51% to 56% in
Favor and 38% to 43% Opposed. So, please read the articals at you leisure they
have more detailed information.
Wolfie I do hope you know the Gallup poll you posted was taken before the bill
was passed and the Pollster poll you linked to was from last July, right? I'd
suggest you have a look at a minimum of 4 current polls and then average them to
get a more reasonable view of current public opinion
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/2010 08:15PM by Mrkim.
Yes Mrkim I did see that the polls both took place before the bill was passed.
I couldn't find any that took place afterward. I guess the short attention span
of the public is to blame. As for the Pollster.com poll, the top part is from
July 09 and the bottom part is more recent. Check the dates listed in the
Hers's a breakout of many different polls, recent as well as over time. A
quick or thorough perusal of these numbers will affirm that ot seems more people
are against the HC bill than are for it. [www.realclearpolitics.com]
Polls are worthless,just matters who's doing them.I can go out and find twenty
african americans who dont have a clue what the health care reform bill is but
if they here that it was obama's plan they will say they support it...soooooo
fuck all these b.s. polls,they are meaningless.
Polls mean very little since they can be made to say anything. All they have
to do is phrase the question differently and get different results. I run into
many people every day and I have yet to find anyone who likes the health care
bill or the way it was brought about.