Why can’t we just power our economy on irony? We certainly have a surplus. Seriously, could folks not think of ANYTHING better to do with four MILLION dollars?
Am I to understand that nobody in any one of the probably hundreds of hours of meetings that spawned this absurdity ever once said “Hey, wait a minute – couldn’t we just, like, give the 4 million to the folks we think are going to be unfairly taxed by this bill, like – for food or something?” (Meeting room goes quiet – man leading the meeting presses button on smartphone ejecting dissenting chair from the room at cartoon velocity. “Schwooompft!”)
Spending four million dollars to convince people that money should not be spent is, well…
Again, irony powered vehicles? Just a thought. I just can’t stand the human capacity for working together in order to keep from getting work done – we can mobilize folks to keep other folks from mobilizing out the wazoo – like nobody’s business, even. Actually get anything done? Nope, don’t do that. Not here.
We’re like the Rube-Goldberg Nation-State: Constructing these amazingly intricate layers of systems and rules to do the simplest of tasks. (Cracking good health care reform, Grommit. Look out! It’s trying to eat you!)
HEALTH CARE REFORM-O-MATIC:
Build some giant pyramids? Meh. Maybe explore other planets? Pa-shaw. Hammer our swords into plows? Nah, we’d rather just stay here and spend a bunch of money to find out how much money it will take to spend a bunch of money to get medicine to the sick people, food to the hungry people, graves to the dead people, minimum operating skills to the next generation, that kind of thing.
Meanwhile, people don’t get proper food and get sick, don’t get proper medicine and die, and families bury themselves in debt to get their dead into graves and their kids the tools they need to be happy, productive adults.
And we thought we’d all be using flying cars by now. We’re lucky we still remember how to tie our collective shoes with one hand constantly ripping the laces out of the other – need to tie shoes be dammed. What will this cost, indeed.
This random social media rant has been noted on your timecards and will be decucted from your pay.
Business groups launch ad against health care bill
By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR (AP) – 1 hour ago
WASHINGTON — Major business groups Tuesday announced a multimillion-dollar ad campaign to stop President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul as it approaches a make-or-break vote in the House.
The ad buy, costing between $4 million and $10 million, will start Wednesday on national cable TV outlets. Later in the week, the campaign shifts to 17 states home to moderate and conservative Democrats. Their votes are critical to Obama’s endgame for passing legislation to expand coverage and revamp the health insurance market.
The timing of the ads comes as Obama is building up momentum in his final health care drive. But congressional Democratic leaders are still short of the votes to pass the bill, and they’re courting many of the same lawmakers targeted by the business groups.
Health insurance companies, excoriated by Obama over a recent spate of double-digit premium hikes, are helping to pay for the ads, said Bruce Josten, a top lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, coordinating the campaign.
“Health care costs will go even higher under this bill, making things even more difficult for business,” said Josten. “We are trying to tell Congress to stop with this bill and start over, and get it moving in a direction that makes it more affordable.”
In addition to the Chamber of Commerce, other groups in the coalition include the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation, and groups representing the construction and food service industries. The business groups refused to release a list of the lawmakers they are targeting.
Jeri Kubicki, an employee benefits expert with the manufacturing group, said employers are putting off hiring new workers because of concerns that the bill’s passage would raise their costs. “There is too much uncertainty,” she said.
The script for the ad says, “Health care costs will go even higher, making a bad economy worse.” It urges viewers to tell their lawmakers: “Stop this health care bill we can’t afford to pay.”
Separately, the health insurance industry lobby America’s Health Insurance Plans launched a $1 million-plus ad campaign Tuesday on national cable TV to push back against Obama’s recent criticism of insurers.
“What’s inside the health care cost pie? Some in Washington say it’s all health insurance,” the ad says. “But health insurance is one of the smallest slices. … If Washington wants to make health care more affordable they need to look at the whole health care pie not just a slice.”
Obama’s plan would not require companies to provide coverage to their workers, but it would slap a hefty fee on firms whose workers end up getting taxpayer-subsidized policies through a new health insurance marketplace. Companies with 50 or fewer workers would be exempt. Small businesses with up to 25 workers would be eligible for federal assistance to provide coverage.
Josten said the new requirements and penalties add up to a bad deal for business, and he predicted that fees on insurance companies, drug makers and other health industry players would be passed on to employers who provide coverage for most American workers and their families.
Associated Press writer Erica Werner contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.