big labor

Big Labor, Big Corporations, CONGRESS: Obamacare Exemptions For Everyone But US! Five Ways Obamacare Could Impact You Immediately

The ticking time bomb known as Obamacare — complete with exploding federal deficits, obliterated state budgets and collateral damage to jobs, businesses, the economy in general and, oh yeah, the thing it was supposed to fix, your health coverage — is nigh. Perhaps no one has brought more attention to the peril than U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, our 2013 Gala Speaker on October 5 (see information about for tickets). As the clock counts down to its October implementation, and Congressional conservatives such as Senator Cruz and several stalwarts in the House of Representatives press on now that the Senate returned the government funding bill back to the House without the Obamacare defunding language — not to mention the impending decision Virginia must make as to whether to expand Medicaid under Obamacare — its impact will create some very real negative changes. Kelsey Harris at The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry Blog lists five:

1. Will young adults, whose premiums will skyrocket, ever go to a doctor if it's cheaper to pay the tax than to buy insurance?

The absolute insanity of this never ceases to amaze me: Make it so expensive for young people to buy insurance, but then offer them a taxpayer subsidy to enter the Obamacare exchange. This saves money how? It gets even more expensive if a person who is driven out of his or her insurance seeks medical attention at an emergency room, the exact scenario the leftist authors of the law say they're trying to prevent.

2. When will people have time to find a new doctor?

Despite promises by the president, people will not be able to keep their doctors.

3. Premiums for young families will rise dramatically.

Rising costs will make it more difficult to buy necessary supplies for children.

4. Lost jobs or reduced hours and revoked coverage.

Because of the costs to employers, many companies are reducing full-time jobs to part-time jobs or laying off people because enormous and burdensome regulations on businesses that employ a certain threshold of full-time workers. Additionally, it has forced many to cease offering insurance plans that cover spouses. Since, even today, that means cutting off the wife form the insurance plan, one might conclude that this is a real War on Women.

5.  Another striker against women, especially single moms.

Since moms typically have custody of children in broken marriages, who will provide health insurance for the children when and if the mom is laid off?

Don't believe the lost jobs argument? Think it's hyperbole and a scare tactic? You don't have to wait until Obamacare is in full force. It's been happening for sometime now, as Rusty Weiss documents here at the FreedomWorks Blog. Here's a list of only some companies that have, or will lay off employees or eliminate jobs:

1. Welch Allyn: 275 employees this year and planned on dropping roughly 10 percent of its workforce over the next three years.

2. Orlando Health: 400 jobs.

3. Stryker: 1,000 jobs.

4. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center: 950 jobs.

5. Boston Scientific: Between 1,200 and 1,400 jobs in 2011; up to 1,000 employees this year.

6. Smith & Nephew: 100 employees.

7. A Blue Cross/Blue Shield: 100 employees.

8. Medtronic: 1,000 jobs by the end of the fourth quarter.

9. Reading Hospital: 391 jobs.

10. Abbott Laboratories: 1,900 jobs.

All cited specific new regulations and/or new taxes in Obamacare that have made it untenable for them to maintain their present staffing levels. In the meantime, big corporations, big labor and  Congress all have received Obamacare exemptions granted by . . . Congress itself and President Obama! Everyone but the average American citizen. In a few short days we'll know it and feel it for sure.

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Everyone but us! (H/T FreedomWorks via Doc Thompson)

Welcome To Our (The Real) World, Big Labor: Even Unions Threaten Dems Over Obamacare!

You know a policy is horrible when even your staunchest ally threatens a revolt over it, but that's the case now with some major labor unions and Democrats over Obamacare. Welcome to our world — that is to say, the Real Word — Mr. Labor Union Boss. As it turns out, there are several problems with Obamacare union leaders are just now realizing, despite warnings for years. Nothing like an actual hit in the wallet — not liberal Utopian theory — to gobsmack you in the head and kick you in the rear simultaneously. First, union leaders are seeing the real possibility of up to 20 million of their members losing their employer provided health insurance plans.

Second, smaller companies, that partner with unions to provide health insurance already more expensive than traditional employer-only provided insurance, are seeing their premiums balloon because of Obamacare mandates on insurance policies. Unions fear these plans will have to be dropped and force employees into the infamous state exchanges. However, while Obamacare provides for subsidies to some to buy into a plan offered through an exchange, it does not provide such subsidies for union members. (In a case of be care for which you ask, maybe the unions should've read the bill. In a delightful irony, an institution of the left now complains of "unintended consequences.")

The third union concern is, ironically, survival. If members can access health insurance without the union, then why join? It seems the Obama administration has a knack for angering its friends as well as its "enemies."

As reported by the AP via Breitbart.com:

Some labor unions that enthusiastically backed President Barack Obama's health care overhaul are now frustrated and angry, fearful that it will jeopardize benefits for millions of their members.

Union leaders warn that unless the problem is fixed, there could be consequences for Democrats facing re-election next year.

"It makes an untruth out of what the president said — that if you like your insurance, you could keep it," said Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. "That is not going to be true for millions of workers now." ...

But Obama's Affordable Care Act has added to that cost — for the unions' and other plans — by requiring health plans to cover dependents up to age 26, eliminate annual or lifetime coverage limits and extend coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

"We're concerned that employers will be increasingly tempted to drop coverage through our plans and let our members fend for themselves on the health exchanges," said David Treanor, director of health care initiatives at the Operating Engineers union.

Workers seeking coverage in the state-based marketplaces, known as exchanges, can qualify for subsidies, determined by a sliding scale based on income. By contrast, the new law does not allow workers in the union plans to receive similar subsidies.

Bob Laszewski, a health care industry consultant, said the real fear among unions is that "a lot of these labor contracts are very expensive, and now employers are going to have an alternative to very expensive labor health benefits."

"If the workers can get benefits that are as good through Obamacare in the exchanges, then why do you need the union?" Laszewski said. "In my mind, what the unions are fearing is that workers for the first time can get very good health benefits for a subsidized cost someplace other than the employer."

Now, the chief of the firefighters union says "anxiety" over the law has transformed into "anger" that could spill into the 2014 elections. The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers last month called for "repeal or complete reform" of Obamacare.

The only thing worse than liberalism is incompetent liberalism. In its rush to ram through Obamacare, congressional liberals and the president didn't even look after their friends. No doubt, now, they will look to a fix that they know will be blocked by congressional conservatives and use that for political purposes to placate their union allies. Here's hoping (but not expecting) the unions, fooled once, won't get fooled again.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent In The Age Of Obama

You know it's bad when your liberal allies in the mainstream media reject your ideas (Atlantic Wire). That's the case with the White House and the Democrat National Committee right now, who can't even get CBS to buy into their allegation that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and some conservative groups are taking foreign money to "buy" the midterm elections (see Media Research Center). The DNC has put out an ad to that affect, even calling certain conservatives and the GOP unpatriotic. The Chamber of Commerce unpatriotic? The irony is stunning, coming from the party of Charlie Trie, Al Gore's "no controlling legal authority," and the Obama campaign's anonymous millions from gift card donations, not to mention forced labor union dues from Big Labor. It proves the axiom that when the left accuses you of something, it usually means they've done it themselves (and are tyring to divert attention from real issues). 

MoveOn.org also is in this game with its own echo television spot. This from the group that takes uncountable sums from the likes of George Soros and the same left who accuses anyone of disagreeing with them as questioning  their patriotism. Even the New York Times has disproven the charge. No matter to the White House, which now includes the Chamber of Commerce, once a health care ally, on its enemies list.

For the left, then, it's about control. Whether through a leviathan government or through intimidation, the left wants absolute conformity. When Bob Schieffer of CBS confronted Obama henchman David Axelrod  about whether he had any evidence of the foreign money allegation, Axelrod snapped chillingly:

Do you have any evidence that it's not?

So, in the Age of Obama, it's guilty until proven innocent! The proof? An allegation, and any allegation will do. Especially when you're desperate.

An incredulous Bob Schieffer can't believe the shear gall from the president's chief of enforcement.

Deja Vu All Over Again Twice In One Day

Four years ago, only a few weeks after taking office and proposing (against his campaign promise) the largest tax increase in Virginia history, Congressional Democrats chose then-Governor Tim Kaine to deliver their party's response to then-President George W. Bush's State of the Union Address. Yesterday, it was reported (see Washington Post), that Congressional Republicans have chosen newly sworn-in Governor Bob McDonnell to give the GOP response to President Barack Obama's January 27 State of the Union. How about that for asymmetrical karma? But there's more.

Yesterday, House Republicans brought to the floor Delegate Bob Brink's (D-48, Arlington) HB 1155, legislation that would enact former Governor Tim Kaine's proposed income tax increase (see Richmond Times-Dispatch). The bill was referred to the House Rules Committee, which alone has the authority to report bills to the floor without recommendation. Thus it did with HB 1155 in order to put Democrats on the spot — vote against their friend and national party chairman or be on record for higher taxes in a recession. Delegate Brink requested that the bill be pulled, normally a pro forma request that's granted at the will of the patron. Not yesterday!

Instead, it was put to a vote while Democrats vehemently protested. As if they couldn't have anticipated it. Remember, last year Republicans did the same thing on a bill that would have repealed Virginia's Right To Work Law (see post here and video here). They forced a vote by bringing that equally controversial bill through a no recommendation vote on the Rules Committee. The Democrats reacted by abstaining, but through a parliamentary procedure that says if a member is in his seat but not voting, and another member points that out, the vote must be recorded in the negative. Thus, Majority Leader Morgan Griffith (R-8, Salem) forcibly recorded no votes against the bill which put Democrats at odds with their Big Labor allies.

With this as background, certainly they knew something was coming with a monstrous tax increase bill, and they knew they couldn't abstain. On the first day of session, when the rules package is adopted, Minority Leader Ward Armstrong (D-10, Martinsville) said as much when he objected to the Rules Committee exception. As it turned out, it was a unanimous blowout, with the House voting 97-0 (with Delegate Brink abstaining) to reject one last Tim Kaine tax increase, sending it down with all his others, this one posthumously, in the political sense.

So, the question is, why file the tax increase bill to begin with? Only Delegate Brink knows for sure, but we suspect some members of the General Assembly like to give a peek of their colors to satisfy certain constituencies, but seek to conceal them altogether from the greater electorate. Increasingly, however, these lawmakers get found out.

That's One Big All-Purpose Table

This isn't so much a slam against Creigh Deeds for his vague, indecisive, obfuscating way of saying he'll raise our taxes in a recession, as it is the grammarian and rhetorician in me: Can we please cut out the cliches, people! However, since it is election season, when you combine this with his infamous tax and other dodges, and his braggadocio on submitting the most budget amendments in the General Assembly — a billion dollars worth — it all kind of comes together nicely. Oh, one other thing thing not purposely vague about the Deeds campaign was the news of a late $25,000 donation from the United Association, a Big Labor group that works to dismantle Right-To-Work laws.

Disparate questions about his plans, but the same answer from Senator Deeds:

If it's pro-Big Labor and means more taxes, spending and regulation, and less freedom, "it's on the table" for Creigh Deeds. 

Virginia News Stand: October 20, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  Polls, Debates And Third Party Ads

It's all about the race to Richmond now (except for a new twist on the Senator Norment situation). Even CBS News is jumping into the coverage. With two weeks left there's a bombardment of polls by every pollster this side of Minsk who wants to play Kreskin. Today, two more were released: One from Christopher Newport University and one from Clarus Research Group. In the campaign for governor, CNU has Republican Bob McDonnell up by 14 (not likely) but his running mate, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, up by just a few (even less likely), while Republican attorney general candidate, Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), up by something more than a handful (we'll buy that; it's consistent with other polls). Clarus is more in line with the Mason-Dixon and the Washington Post polls: McDonnell up eight, Bolling up seven (still seems light) and Cuccinelli up eight, but with many more undecideds in the latter two races.

If there aren't enough polls for you, the third party ads are in high gear now: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the NRA have jumped in on McDonnell's behalf, though not likely offsetting the big labor putsch for Democrat Creigh Deeds. Debates are also in high gear as tonight's last gubernatorial version should be fun, especially since it is not on statewide television (embarrassing). Democrat Jody Wagner and Lt. Governor Bolling got into it last night. A math test for Ms. Wagner would've been more fun, though.

But will any of this matter? The Dems don't think so. Virginia Democrat Party Chairman Dickie Cranwell says his side's get-out-the-vote machinery will do the trick. That's why President Obama is coming in for Senator Deeds. Of course, the last three elections the Republicans bragged about their turnout operation as well. Ask Governor Kilgore. But if the Dems can confound the pollsters, it'll be because of their newfound and robust voter rolls and sheer force of numbers. Right now, it's their only chance. 

News:

McDonnell Pulls Away in Va. Gov. Race; Tie in N.J. (CBSNews.com)

CNU poll: McDonnell holds double-digit lead in Va. gov race (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell Expands Lead in Virginia Governor’s Race: GOP tops all three statewide elections in new Clarus Poll (ClarusRG.com)  

NRA's New Ad: McDonnell Protects You From "Them" (TheAtlantic.com)

Deeds campaign to focus on getting Obama supporters to polls (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds races to hook true-blue Democrats (Washington Post)

Deeds, McDonnell to debate for last time tonight (Washington Post)

Lieutenant governor hopefuls' debate becomes heated (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Lt. Gov. candidates spar over attendance (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

In Sept., Dems outspent GOP in Va. House contests (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Garrett and Valentine spar on taxes, transportation, tuition (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Economy, jobs key issues in 7th District (Roanoke Times)

Sen. Norment and Attorney General's office release opinion on W&M job (The Shad Plank Blog)

You May Want To Listen To This: AG Debate Link And Analysis

Last week, the candidates for attorney general, Republican Senator Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Delegate Steve Shannon, both of Fairfax, had only their second debate and the first that was broadcast — but only on Washington radio station WTOP-AM. (Democrat debate ducking has been taken to a whole new level this year.) What's particularly perplexing is the lack of coverage the media has affored the few debates that have taken place in any of the three statewide races, especially given the media's endless pontificating about elections and issues versus slick and negative advertising. (With only a handful of debates, it sure doesn't take a lot to cover them, either.) Yet, three candidates repeatedly refuse to debate (despite being well behind in the polls) and, when there is one, it is not on statewide television.

But we did have that one AG debate on WTOP's The Politics Program with Mark Plotkin (listen here). The highlight seems to be Delegate Shannon's "I am a pro-business, law and order centrist," comment when, in fact, he has a 100-percent AFL-CIO voting record (see AFL-CIO here) and has received nearly $150,000 in campaign contributions from big labor during his six years in the General Assembly — $120,000 of which has come during his attorney general run (see VPAP.org). 

What makes the statement even more astonishing is that Delegate Shannon attended a seminar in mid-September in Annapolis, Md., put on by the Democrat Attorneys General Association, that taught attorneys general how to sue companies into achieving liberal, extremist environmental policies not won through the legislative process. A suit-filing, job-killing AG. Now that's business friendly.

As if that wasn't enough, when it was Delegate Shannon's turn to ask the one question each candidate was allowed to ask of the other, he asked Senator Cuccinelli about global warming and "cap and trade." If this is so important, why do Delegate Shannon's television ads stress Internet predators?

Instead, he wants to sue employers into closing down, such as the MeadWestvaco plant in Creigh Deeds' own senate district. Read here what company Vice President Mark George wrote in an op-ed about the affect "cap and trade" would have on its Alleghany factory. It's liberal strategy to redefine terms (marriage comes to mind), but instead of coming down the middle, Delegate Shannon comes right down Leftist Lane.