Tuesday, March 30, 2010

AmSpec: Dems don't understand why health-care bill affects business

The American Spectator reports yesterday in its "Washington Prowler" feature that apparently the Democrats don't know what is in the health care bill and are getting slapped a little bit by reality:

"The White House political and legislative operations were said to be livid with the announcement by several large U.S. companies that they were taking multi-million or as much as a billion dollar charges because of the new health-care law, the issue was front-and-center with key lawmakers. By last Friday, AT&T, Caterpillar, Deere & Co., and AK Steel Holding Corp. had all announced that they were taking the one-time charges on their first-quarter balance sheets. More companies were expected to make similar announcements this week.

"These are Republican CEOs who are trying to embarrass the President and Democrats in general," says a White House legislative affairs staffer. "Where do you hear about this stuff? The Wall Street Journal editorial page and conservative websites. No one else picked up on this but you guys. It's BS."

On Friday White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett were calling the CEOs and Washington office heads of the companies that took the financial hits and attacked them for doing so. One Washington office head said that the White House calls were accusatory and "downright rude."

The companies are taking the charges because in 2013 they will lose a tax deduction on tax-free government subsidies they have had when they give retirees a Medicare Part D prescription-drug reimbursement. Many of these companies have more than 100,000 retirees each. AT&T may have more than three-quarters of a million retirees to cover.

"Most of these people [in the Administration] have never had a real job in their lives. They don't understand a thing about business, and that includes the President," says a senior lobbyist for one of the companies that announced the charge. "My CEO sat with the President over lunch with two other CEOs, and each of them tried to explain to the President what this bill would do to our companies and the economy in general. First the President didn't understand what they were talking about. Then he basically told my boss he was lying. Frankly my boss was embarrassed for him; he clearly had not been briefed and didn't know what was in the bill."

It isn't just the President who didn't understand his own proposal. Late Friday, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Rep. Bart Stupak, chairman of the Oversight and Investigations panel, announced that they would hold hearings in late April to investigate "claims by Caterpillar, Verizon, and Deere that provisions in the new health care reform law could adversely affect their company's ability to provide health insurance to their employees."

Neither Waxman or Stupak -- who betrayed the pro-life community by negotiating for more than a week with the White House to ensure his vote on the health care bill -- had anything more than a cursory understanding of how the many sections of the bill would impact business or even individual citizens before they voted on the bill, says House Energy Democrat staff. "We had memos on these issues, but none of our people, we think, looked at them," says a staffer. "When they saw the stories last week about the charges some of the companies were taking, they were genuinely surprised and assumed that the companies were just doing this to embarrass them. They really believed this bill would immediately lower costs. They just didn't understand what they were voting on."

Column

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is just fantastic.

Rahm Emanuel said...

President Obama "These CEO's at Caterpillar,Deere,Verizon,ATT,GMAC,IBM,Dupont,CocaCola,AMEX,3M,ExxonMobile,Intel,Microsoft,
Johnson and Johnson,HomeDepot,Chase,WalMart, Disney,WalMart,Kraftfoods,Cisco,UTX,Merck,Proctor and Gamble,Travelers,GE,MCDonalds
are just a bunch of racist teabaggers."

Anonymous said...

That's what scares me the most about health care reform and every other reform yet to be...they have no clue how this affects the lifeblood of America, the private sector!

Anonymous said...

Isn't Obama just rolling back the Medicaid drug benefit Bush rolled out? Check your facts.

Kingfish said...

Well, its keeping the mandate/benefit without the subsidy. I was against that bill back then and this is just another reason why it was a bad bill. Rove and Bush did the same thing Obama did and bribed alot of Republicans with pork to pass it through. Rove even went on the attack against the few principle conservatives who voted against it. The subsidy was hhow they silenced big business. Sound familiar?

Lesson: When Republican govern like Democrats it will ALWAYS bite them in the ass.

Anonymous said...

With the start of the baby boomers turning 62 (born in 1946)last year, we know the retirement rolls are going to grow and grow for the companies mentioned along with all others, too. Many of these positions/jobs will just go away. Companies won't be able to replace the people leaving, because it's going to cost so much to provide health coverage for both the employees and the retirees.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Obama just rolling back the Medicaid drug benefit Bush rolled out? Check your facts.

Actually No. Check YOUR facts. Dumbass.

The subsidy to corporations received special tax considerations but the objective was to keep retirees then covered under corporation provided drug plans on those drug plans instead of rolling (dumping) those retirees over onto the then new Medicare drug plan.

Obamacare removes the special tax consideration but continues the subsidy and now wants to tax the provided subsidy at the corporate tax rate. Therefore, as suspected all along with the Obama ponzi scheme spun as health care reform, the costs to keep retirees on the corporation provided drug plans has now dramatically increased.

Shortly it will become public that many of these corporations will discontinue providing retirees with drug coverage and those retirees will have no choice but to take coverage through Medicare. Which, no surprise, is more expensive per retiree to the federal government than it was per retiree under the previous plan of special tax considerations.

Bend over and push a little bit. That will make the insertion go easier and with less discomfort.

KaptKangaroo said...

Ah, actually, you are wrong sir (4:10 PM). I believe you might want to take off the "jimmy hat" and stop poking "dumbasses" you believe are "bending over". Just stop pushing will you, that hurts. No wait, keep your hat on, I don't want you spouting "tea bagging" innuendos and infecting others. You obviously have the requisite mindset to rip off folks given your discussion of "tax considerations" and frankly don't like your type. Not there is anything wrong with it.

KaptKangaroo said...

Did someone say "subsidies" from the Federal Government to Corporations. Did you really just argue de facto Corprotocracy in the face of Health Care Reform? You really ought think before you post, you contradicted your argument for no health care with a veiled healthcare. I guess, based on your post, I should believe that you sir, are corporately under the Federal program "ENTITLED" to your healthcare under the originally proposed statute? Can we get a drug test here? Someone, anyone, test this guy! NO WELFARE WITHOUT DRUG TEST! Nah, I'm for decriminalizing Mary Jane its sucks up too many of those "entitled" dollars you are so fond of when we prosecute a bunch of stoners sitting on their couch eating chips, day, after day, after day, after day.

KaptKangaroo said...

OK, lets try this again.

4:10 your homosexual references are pretty lame, get a room.

You are not entitled any more than anyone else. Whether you get your medical expenses paid by the Feds through your corporate tax break or directly from the Feds; you are arguing an entitlement that benefits you is more important than some other entitlement. The issue I take with your comments is that you find it very easy to hide behind HCR while touting your very entitlement. One only has to read through your post to see that you obviously benefit. Do not argue that you are the ONLY ONE entitled when the program changes to include others at a cost to you. You are still spouting "entitlement" and you have said nothing to indicate that you will fore-go all entitlements. Your argument is simply bunk. Go spout you unread, double speak, tea-baggin' crap somewhere else.

Is this gonna get me censored?

Anonymous said...

FOR THE RECORD. I pay for my own healthcare. I'm not really sure I'm going to benefit or lose. I'm going to continue to work hard, make more, yadda yadda....

Guess what. If we can, as an enlightened society, provide healthcare to our fellow Americans, we should do so. We should not allow economics to be a deciding factor in who lives and dies (Palin's death panels ad hoc).

I put it to those out there who would rather not change...

You just lost your job. You had to give up your practice. You got Pancreatic Cancer. What happens first? I'll tell you. Insurance company doesn't pay. They deny coverage b/c your catastrophic policies you so greatly admire require a hospital stay. Also, your medicine cannot be administered b/c guess what, you have to have a hospital stay. No Medicare, no Medicaid. I'm not talking about Joe blow on the street, I'm talking about you at 55, striking out on your own. You wind up hiring an attorney and spending your best days in meetings with attorneys. Lovely. In the end, they let you die, b/c no one really wants to face a dying person.

Folks, this is not about healthcare for all, its about insurance companies undermining the greater good of healthcare in our society. I know its more complicated than this, but it really doesn't get more real than this. Hope, pray, you are healthy until the day you pass. I pray.

KaptKangaroo said...

Hey you! Yes you moderating. I've been talking with you know who. Stop please. You deleted some great posts that were very well written. Don't appreciate it. If you disagree, comment back. If not, take your finger off the mouse and stop deleting very relevant comments that challenge imbecilic comments. AKA 4:10 PM.

KaptKangaroo said...

For the record, KF not moderating my disappearing comments. I'm testing this message to determine if there is a problem with blogger on my puter...sorry folks, don't mean to be difficult.

Anonymous said...

KAPTAIN here....delete this....it showes 13 comments, but count how many show up. Hmmmm....

Kingfish said...

Shows nine for me, including this one by you.

KaptKangaroo said...

OK its less six comments. Top says 9 comments, but posting on blog says 15...this will be 16....bug? Not sure. Any feedback via email?

Anonymous said...

So let's get this right.....these CEO's follow Generally Accepted Accounting Practices regarding their increased healthcare costs OR risk prosecution under Sarbanes-Oxley.

The other side of the coin is they follow the law AND then get excoriated by members of Congress.

Classic!!

Anonymous said...

SIGH...
Let's don't read what the bill says, let's read what others say the bill says and let's certainly not consider any biases they may have but assume them to be relying on good information they checked out independently.
God forbid we should think for ourselves.
The " betrayed the pro-life community" is my hint that I can't trust the information in this piece. This bill doesn't do anything to change the current Hyde admendmant AND Obama signed an Executive Order no different from Bush's on stem cell.
The right keeps losing me when they are pissed just to be pissy and I would remind Democrats and Republicans that you need folks like me to get elected. Nixon called us the " silent majority", but the screechers of both sides are making me have to say, " shut the hell up and stopped screaming so somebody can find out what's actually going on".

Anonymous said...

Nothing is stopping you from finding out what is actually going on.

Anonymous said...

I get the write down. Bush gave them a tax break. Obama took it back. Pretty simple explanation without the SOX discussion.

Nothing really here, except both parties pretty much suck. Or is it now who sucks less?

Anonymous said...

In your opinion that may be the case.

M. Thatcher said...

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

7:51 said...If we can, as an enlightened society, provide healthcare to our fellow Americans, we should do so. We should not allow economics to be a deciding factor in who lives and dies

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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