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09-01-2010, 01:48 PM   #1
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Koch Industries and health care

Ahhh... funny.
Health reform foes request federal funds for early retirees - The Hill's Healthwatch
QuoteQuote:
About two dozen businesses associated with high-profile opposition to the healthcare reform law are taking advantage of a provision that helps pay for their retirees' medical bills, according to a review of federal records by The Hill. The Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday announced that almost 2,000 employers and unions have been accepted into the $5 billion Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, with more applications pending.

The application by Koch Industries of Kansas immediately raised eyebrows because its principal owners — Charles and David Koch — have been high-profile opponents of healthcare reform and bankrollers of the Tea Party movement.

But a state-by-state review of approved applicants reveals that more than a dozen members of the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have also been accepted into the program. The Chamber has been a leading foe of the law.

"We’re pleased the Affordable Care Act is delivering much-needed relief to businesses that provide coverage for their retirees," said an administration official.

The Chamber members include:

* Pfizer, PepsiCo, New York Life Insurance Company, Eastman Kodak and IBM of New York;
* Rolls-Royce North America, the Norfolk Southern Corporation and the Altria Group of Virginia;
* UPS and Southern Company of Georgia;
* John Deere and Navistar of Illinois;
* AT&T and the Fluor Corporation of Texas;
* U.S. Airways of Arizona;
* Entergy Services Inc. of Louisiana;
* The Dow Chemical Company of Michigan;
* Anheuser-Busch of Missouri;
* FedEx Express of Tennessee;
* CUNA Mutual Group of Wisconsin;
* And Pepco Holdings Co. of Washington, D.C.

Being members of the Chamber's board of directors doesn't mean the companies agree with all of its stances. Pfizer, for example, has been a vocal proponent of the law and even gave its CEO Jeff Kindler a raise in salary and bonuses after it passed, according to CBS News and other reports.
Early Retiree Reinsurance Program to help employers, unions with retiree coverage | postcrescent.com | Appleton Post Crescent
QuoteQuote:
The $5 billion Early Retiree Reinsurance Program created under the health-care reform law President Barack Obama signed in March is intended to provide a bridge to state health insurance exchanges expected to begin operating in 2014.

The program is aimed at retirees ages 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare, the federal-state health-care program for seniors that kicks in at age 65........................The program comes at a time when many companies are abandoning health coverage for retirees because of costs.

Since 1988, the percentage of large firms providing such coverage has dropped from 66 percent to 29 percent, while health insurance for older Americans is four times more expensive than for young adults, according to HHS.

"In these tough economic times, it is difficult for employers to keep up with skyrocketing health-care costs for employees and retirees," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. "Many Americans who retire before they are eligible for Medicare see their life savings disappear because of medical bills and exorbitant rates in the individual health insurance market."...................."There has been a tremendous amount of interest from businesses and organizations from across Wisconsin since the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program was announced just a few months ago," Sebelius said. "Nationally, we have received applications from more than 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies, all major unions, and government entities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia."
and:
http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/story/states-take-hypocritical-stance-health-reform/2010-09-01
The biggest problem.. underfunded.

09-01-2010, 01:55 PM   #2
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Obo and his gang dealt the cards. All the folks are doing is playing them.
09-01-2010, 02:17 PM   #3
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I don't think anyone who supported this bill would say that it is 100% good and I don't think anyone who opposed it would say it is 100% bad.

They opposed the bill and they are going smile and take advantage of anything that can help them just like they will grit their teeth and comply with anything that hurts them.

You can fight the bill until it has passed but if you want to boycott it once its law, your asking for trouble either from the IRS or your shareholders and employees.
09-01-2010, 03:47 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Obo and his gang dealt the cards. All the folks are doing is playing them.
In the "old days" it would be a matter of principal to turn it down......

---------- Post added 09-01-10 at 03:50 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mikemike Quote
I don't think anyone who supported this bill would say that it is 100% good and I don't think anyone who opposed it would say it is 100% bad.
That's not what they are saying by a long shot........

09-01-2010, 09:06 PM   #5
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All I know is if I win the lottery, I'm moving to Costa Rica for my health care. Being forced to: learn Spanish, pretend to be a Catholic and hate gay people(Costa Ricans are one of the most intolerant of gays of any highly rated WHO country) is a small

---------- Post added 09-01-10 at 08:08 PM ----------

a small price to pay for getting health care better than the USA with single payer health insurance that works.

---------- Post added 09-01-10 at 08:13 PM ----------

Just so you know I'm not being anti-gayM but the opposite. It was recently made illegal for women traveling alone without a male escort, especially if more than one woman travels. This was done so lesbian women wouldn't organize rallies and 'take over.'
09-01-2010, 10:47 PM   #6
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Did you ever hear about the time our chamber of commerce here in St.Louis were
at a loss for words when asked about $200,000 a year to their "mystic" mindreader.
09-02-2010, 03:51 AM   #7
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... or did you hear about the Arizona governor whose campaign manager is also the paid lobbyist for Corrections Corporation of America (CCA, the nation’s largest private jailer), and who pushed for and signed that little SB1070 law, and is now campaigning on the strength of that.

So when Arizona catches them illegals without papers, where do they send them? To CCA.
09-02-2010, 05:24 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
... or did you hear about the Arizona governor whose campaign manager is also the paid lobbyist for Corrections Corporation of America (CCA, the nationís largest private jailer), and who pushed for and signed that little SB1070 law, and is now campaigning on the strength of that.

So when Arizona catches them illegals without papers, where do they send them? To CCA.
Or did you hear the one about the leader of the New Mexico senate who, after he dropped his opposition to private prisons, received a consulting contract from Wackenhut for $120k per year--of course that was for services in Texas where the services of a New Mexico pol of the opposite party with an unpleasant personality were sorely needed.

09-02-2010, 06:14 AM   #9
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I believe corporations have the right to look after their own best interests in politics. As do politicians. Where this stuff goes awry, for all political persuasions, is when these intersts are kept secret and may seemingly contradict the public postures of the parties involved. That there becomes back room dealing and undue influence. Publicity and open information are the tools we have to keep things above board and understood.

Why would a corporation want to remain secretive about what they are lobbying for? 1) often their best interests are not those of their clients, and this of course isn't a good thing for the clients to know 2) publicity about lining up politicians in support of something that benefits the business opens the co up to claims of meddling and buying votes. There are many other reasons of course.

And the politicians? They don't want to appear to be in anyone's pocket, especially if the best interests of the corporations aren't the best interests of their constituents. And the same thing about publicity and selling votes and so on.

This is all to be expected, and in moderation is how things have always been - and realistically, how things get done. When it becomes immoderate or runs very much counter to the public positions of the parties involved, then we get problems.


In the case of this Arizona governor, if she were sincerely for the legistlation, she wouldn't have to ally herself with commercial interests that stand to benefit. Nor would the commercial interests need to press her in any way. She'd sign the bill anyway.

But elections and money have a way of intruding - witness Nixon's Watergate when he was already assured of a big re-election win - and so money and influence pile on synergistically.

There's nothing that says the governor can't have a like minded campaign manager. But if they were careful and had the public best interest in mind, said campaign manager should drop his connection to the prison industry. Contributions should be made public. Above board, maybe these common interests seem unsavory, but they are there for anyone to see.

But this governor stonewalls and hides these common interests. That's not exactly in the spirit of what the Tea Party is about...

Last edited by Nesster; 09-02-2010 at 06:20 AM.
09-02-2010, 08:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
But this governor stonewalls and hides these common interests. That's not exactly in the spirit of what the Tea Party is about...
I'm not sure the spirit of the Tea Party has been defined enough to know what it is about, but the rest of that post makes some very good points. As far as I can see, the point of unity for the Tea Party is mostly about being anti-Obama. From there, views diverge.
09-03-2010, 03:21 PM   #11
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The Tea Party is full of SHI*, Bush dumped $1 Trillion in the Iraq money pit filled with US taxpayer money looking for WMDs.

[YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjXPOxnu2N8[/YT]
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