One of the latest headlines at Conservatives4Palin – Boeing Employees Are The Latest Victims of Obamacare – with some nicely picked pieces of news to fit both the conservative agenda and the Palin legacy of lies. The selected excerpts from Palin ( selective omission is thought of as a sin by some religions such as Catholicism) are from this AP story – Citing health care law, Boeing pares employee plan. Why AP decided to run that heading is anyone’s guess. In the main body of the story –
Aerospace giant Boeing is joining the list of companies that say the new health care law could have a potential downside for their workers.
In a letter mailed to employees late last week, the company cited the overhaul as part of the reason it is asking some 90,000 nonunion workers to pay significantly more for their health plan next year. A copy of the letter was obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
“The newly enacted health care reform legislation, while intended to expand access to care for millions of uninsured Americans, is also adding cost pressure as requirements of the new law are phased in over the next several years,” wrote Rick Stephens, Boeing’s senior vice president for human resources.
Yet Boeing says further on,
The tax on so-called “Cadillac” health plans doesn’t take effect until 2018, but employers are already beginning to assess their exposure because it is hefty: at 40 percent of the value above $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for a family plan.
“We want to manage our costs so this tax doesn’t apply to our plan, but that’s down the road,” said Forte. “If this health care law hadn’t passed, would we be making changes to the health care benefit? Absolutely. For competitive reasons.”
In the letter to Boeing employees, Stephens said out-of-control health care inflation is hampering Boeing’s ability to compete with other manufacturers. Its major civilian aviation competitor, Airbus, is based in Europe, where governments shoulder the burden of health care costs.
Stephens also cited lifestyle issues, such as people who are overweight and do not adequately exercise, as the third major reason for the cost shift. The health care law ranked second among the three, ahead of lifestyle factors.
Boeing said annual deductibles and copayments will increase for all its plans next year.
There are limited options on how one can interpret some things. Clearly Boeing sees government sponsored single-payer plans in other countries as a competitive benefit to other companies in the aircraft industry. If any argument could be made here it is our health care reform should have included a public option or an early op-in to Medicare. Republicans and Democrats keep saying America must compete in a global economy. Tough to do when so many of those competing economies have relived business of much of their health care costs. The Seattle PI also noted Boeing statements on the reasons for making adjustments to the company’s offerings based on taxing “Cadillac” plans in 2018.
“Yes, we are making health care changes. If you would’ve asked me if we would’ve made these changes without the enactment of the law, I would’ve said yes,” company spokeswoman Karen Forte told seattlepi.com Monday evening.
“We’re just out of line with market. We’ve been contemplating what can we do to reduce costs,” Forte said. “It came down to, we’ve got to pass some of these costs down to our employees.”
Forte said Boeing was “keeping an eye” on the new health care law, which in 2018 would impose a significant tax on “Cadillac” health plans in 2018. However she said the federal changes were not the main reasons for Boeing’s move. The AP referenced a letter to employees in which a company official said the new federal health care law was a factor in the insurance changes.
This is either too difficult for conservatives such as Palin to process or they chose not to understand. There will be a short bump in health care costs as major portions of reform kick in – around 2014 – than health care costs will taper off the inflationary spiral they would be on with out reform.
A reminder from Tapped and a new Gallup poll that literally two years and some change ago conservatives thought government intrusions on privacy, slighting of civil liberties protection, unpaid for spending sprees, vote caging and widespread corruption involving government and business were the best thing since pancake syrup. Then that Democrat was elected and suddenly with almost all the same laws, rules and culture in place we’re going to hades in a hand basket,
Republicans are the lite green. Notice independents have remained about the same. This means the giant sea change the Village Washington beltway media and even some progressives seem resigned to, has not happened. The rabid Right is obviously pumped up, but they were pumped up when they were calling for impeachments over stained dresses. They were worked up when schools were desegregated and Medicare was passed. The media gives them a forum to spout off their inanity – they own most of the media anyway – and suddenly there is the impression a big wave of change is underway. What we’re witnessing is politics as usual with some Democrats feeling discouraged or disappointed.
Another tea nut millionaire conservative thinks if we just do away with the minimum wage we’ll reach the heights of economic nirvana – West Virginia GOP Senate candidate millionaire John Raese Joins The Tenther Chorus Claiming Minimum Wage Is Unconstitutional
In an interview last week with the right-wing Washington Times, West Virginia GOP Senate candidate John Raese doubled-down on his previously expressed opposition to the minimum wage, falsely claiming that the law is unconstitutional:
Mr. Raese, chief executive officer of Morgantown-based Greer Industries, which runs interests as diverse as mining and broadcasting, has taken fire for saying he would abolish the minimum wage. But he has refused to back down, saying it’s not only bad policy, but it’s not constitutional.
“I don’t think it is. And the reason I don’t think it is, is the same reason the [National Recovery Administration] was not constitutional in 1936,” he said. “It was declared unconstitutional because it was government micromanaging an intervention into the private sector. Well, what are price controls, or what are wage controls? They’re the same thing.”
It’s difficult to count the errors in Raese’s reading of the Constitution. The Constitution gives Congress the power “[t]o regulate commerce…among the several states,” a power which even ultraconservative Justice Antonin Scalia agrees gives Congress broad authority to regulate “economic activity.” And the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the first federal minimum wage law in a 1941 decision called United States v. Darby.
Moreover, the decision striking down the National Recovery Administration (NRA), A. L. A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, did not ban laws that “micromanage” the private sector, as Raese suggests. The principal reason why the law authorizing the NRA was struck down is because it gave the President nearly limitless power to approve “codes of fair competition” governing businesses without first seeking congressional approval.
Some may remember Rease recently saying he earned his money the old fashioned way he inherited it. Not all millionaires are as out of touch with working class Americans as Rease, but it is libertarian and Republican conservatives like Rease who give millionaires a bad name. Rease is oblivious to history, as are most conservatives. He is echoing the sentiments of the Confederacy and plantation owners who swore they would face economic ruin if they had to start paying their workers wages. Currently the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. There is an old formula that most people try to live by where one should allot about 25 to 30 percent of their pay for rent. Using Houston as our average American city the rents for apartment average of $970 a month. So a worker who makes $7.25 an hour grosses $1160.00 a month based on a forty hour work week. On that kind of money you’re either getting a dumpy apartment or living with two room mates or maybe both. Rease could not find time in his hectic millionaire running for office schedule to work out some simple arithmetic on the back of a napkin. That is how out of touch most conservatives are with real Americans.
Since I’m short on time thinks to this writer for expressing my thoughts about poor little Rand Paul –
I have a real problem with all the prissy condemnations coming from liberal commentators about Conway’s ad on Rand Paul’s youthful playing with contempt for Christianity. People are acting as if it is some kind of political sin to point out to ordinary Kentucky voters the kind of stuff about Paul’s extremist libertarian views that everyone in the punditry already knows. This does not amount to saying that Christian belief is a “requirement for public office” as one site huffs. It is a matter of letting regular voters who themselves care deeply about Christian belief know that Paul is basically playing them. No different really than letting folks who care about Social Security and Medicare know that Paul is playing them,
One reason that Dems do not seem to be able to play hardball — in a viciously hardball political world — is that Dems often lack conviction or the will to be eloquently honest (for example, on taxes). But an equal problem is that when someone does play hardball, the rest of the prissy liberal Mugwumps tut-tut them about it.
I say, go for it, Jack Conway. Does anyone doubt that Paul and his supporters would have used similar publicly documented material against Conway (or even less material)?
Even in this campaign cycle starting with Paul’s run at the nomination – he has gone from wacky libertarian who had nothing but contempt for Medicare, thought BP was the aggrieved party in the Gulf oil spill and thought civil rights laws were unconstitutional – to being a kind of wishy washy libertarian version of Kentucky’s perennial blight on progress the loathsome Mitch McConnel(R). Paul’s beliefs and behavior is the issue, not someone taking note of Paul’s beliefs and behavior. Don’t want to be held to account for being weird than don’t be weird. Listen to right-wing radio or Fox or read conservative columnists – the daily message is anyone who opposes them is a traitor. Conway has miles to go before he matches the garbage the Rights spews daily.