Feb 25, 2010
Republicans display more hypocrisy on health care
The hypocrisy of Republicans never ceases to amaze me.
They are against anything President Obama proposes, even if they were previously for it, and in some cases it’s in their party platform. One perfect example is the talk of reconciliation to finally get health care done.
According to Republicans, reconciliation is the worst thing that could ever happen, unless, of course, it’s Republicans doing it.
Reconciliation is a legislative process in the U.S. Senate intended to allow consideration of a contentious budget bill without the threat of filibuster. Introduced in 1974, reconciliation limits debate and amendment, and therefore favors the majority party. But it has not only been used for budget bills, and it has been extended to include bills that effect appropriations.
In fact, Congress used reconciliation to enact Bush’s three major tax cuts for the rich, each of which substantially increased the deficit.
Here is the kicker; Republicans actually used it 16 times out of 22 times that it's been done since 1980.
In addition to passing the Bush tax cuts, it has been used recently to pass the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 and the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007.
If people think the cost of health care insurance does not have an effect on the budget and the economy they are simply not paying attention. One major cause of the loss of market share of the Big 3 and the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs is the high cost of providing health care insurance to employees. Foreign governments are helping foreign auto companies compete by providing health care for employees or help with health care. That burden adds thousands of dollars too the cost of a U.S. auto.
A story that appeared in the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus today drove that point home, and it reported that Howell automotive supplier, Alpha Technology Corp., is moving its manufacturing operations and 150 jobs to Mexico.
“The official said the company cannot compete with labor costs in Mexico, especially after the Howell operation's health-care costs increased by 21 percent this year.”
Debbie Harper of Howell, who will lose her job after working for Alpha Technology for more than 32 years, said “many plant workers were shocked by the news and had hoped the company’s financial situation would improve after union employees made concessions last year. She said workers took cuts in benefits and agreed to pay more for health care.”
The simple fact is we can never compete with Mexico, nor should we try, with labor costs. People want to live and work in the U.S. for the quality of life, and companies want an educated workforce.
Anyone who thinks health care does not need reform is not paying attention.
Insurance giant WellPoint recently announced a 39 percent rate spike by its California outlet, Anthem Blue Cross. But WellPoint posted a 700 percent increase in profits in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to the same time period the previous year. The firm was paying 39 of its executives more than $1 million a year and spent $27 million on ritzy junkets, like the one in Scottsdale, Ariz., that cost more than $3 million.