One would think portraying insurance companies as inglorious basterds would be a tough sell in a place like metro Madison, WI, home to American Family, National Guardian Life, CUNA, General Casualty, and others. But that is what our current President is trying to do to breathe life into his moribund ObamaCare.
President Barack Obama launched a sharp attack on health insurers on Monday, according to Reuters.
Nothing like a little demagoguery against the hated private sector to get the Mother Jones/John Nichols/Michael Moore crowd on their feet to demand further collectivization.
George Will on ABC's This Week last Sunday noted "confiscate all the profits of all the health insurance companies, with those profits you could finance our healthcare for 48 hours."
Hey, increase health insurance competition -- allow us to buy it across state lines as one does for our automobile insurance!
Now you see it; now you don't
The appeal of liberal/progressivism is its illusory ability to pull coins out of a Dead End Kid's ear. It is the government magic show of "creating" jobs and "reducing" costs. Tell that to the Post Office!
I get this from the Terrence Wall campaign for U.S. Senate:
Senator Feingold's health care takeover could result in no health care coverage at all according to state insurance commissioners. According to a story in The New York Times, which quotes Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Sean Dilweg, stating (Russ)Feingold's health care takeover won't result in lower costs:
The proposal has great political appeal. But experts see a serious potential problem: Federal officials will focus on holding down premiums while state officials focus on the solvency of insurers, the ultimate consumer protection.
Economists say that holding down premiums does not necessarily hold down the cost of care, which reflects the prices charged by doctors and hospitals and the volume of services. State officials worry that they would be left to police the solvency of health insurance companies while federal officials pressured insurers to reduce premiums, as Mr. Obama has done in recent days.
"You can't separate the underlying solvency of companies from the rates they charge," said Sean Dilweg, the insurance commissioner in Wisconsin. "The federal proposal would be a huge pre-emption of decisions that states have made over their history."
Dilweg's counterpart in the state of Kansas, Sandy Praeger, says ObamaCare, which Feingold supports, could lead to more people being stuck with no coverage at all.
"You are not necessarily helping the consumer if you keep rates artificially low," Ms. Praeger said. "What's worse for the consumer: having a premium increase or having to pay the full amount of a medical expense because the company is out of business?"
NewsBusters reports that health insurance companies are amongst the least profitable of all America's industries. Here are 2008's rankings done by Fortune magazine:
2008 Industry Profitability Rank as % of Revenues
1 Computer network +20.4
2 Internet Services and Retailing 19.4
3 Pharmaceuticals 19.3
4 Medical Products and Equipment 16.3
5 Railroads 12.6
30 Health Care: Pharmacy and Other Services 3.0
31 Packaging, Containers 3.0
32 Beverages 2.9
33 Engineering, Construction 2.7
34 Health Care: Medical Facilities 2.4
35 Health Care: Insurance and Managed Care 2.2
50 Forest and Paper Products -9.6
51 Entertainment -10.0
52 Real Estate -13.4
53 Airlines -13.5
So, in 2008, health insurers ranked 35th in profitability returning a meager 2.2 percent on revenues. What this means is that for every dollar health insurers brought in, they made 2.2 cents.
You want diversity? I'll show you diversity!
So who did Mayor Dave Cieslewicz appoint to the Equal Opportunities Commission instead of the squire of the Stately Manor? One Sarah Vosberg, 204 Jarvis Street, Ridgeway 53582.
Ridgeway! Not even in Dane County, much less Madison! Let the protest marches begin!Write the angry editorials! Boycott Ridgeway! Truckers, do some engine braking as you enter that benighted town.
That's right, Blaska is going to fight it out. He'll fight on the air waves and in cyber space. In the chat rooms and with tweets and twitters. He will never surrender until he is appointed to one of the all-powerful City of Madison advisory committees.
Depriving honest, hard-working people of color of their property. Forcing a super-majority of elected council members to allow a hotel to upgrade its facilities. Finding racism under every futon. Why should the liberals have all the fun?
I figure there should be room for one token recondite, tea partyin', Dick Cheney-wannabe Republican on a Madison advisory committee. Now there's diversity for you!
Madame Brenda tells us that last week 31 people were removed from 19 different committees because they did not fill out their statement of interest forms, after what was supposed to be several warnings.
I learn this from the Madame herself: Florenzo Cribbs is removed from the Allied Drive Area Task Force? Didn't fill out his statement of interest form? Neither did former DNR secretary George Meyer from the Water Utility Board. Inglorious Basterds!
I'll take the places of all those discharged on all 19 committees! There's a whole bunch of committees I've never heard of: The Sustainable City Ad Hoc Committee for the Public Sector, Pest Management Advisory Committee, Parking Strategic Plan, Low-Income Bus Pass Program Committee, Blue Ribbon Committee on Clean Elections, Committee on Sweat-Free Purchases, Committee on Community Gardens, or the Sustainable City ad hoc Subcommittee for the Private Sector.
I would make an especially good appointee to the Jeffrey Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award Committee. (Got to be better than the inglorious basterds already serving.)
I'll put up a motion to adjourn every one of them, sine die. I'll be the one wearing brand new Nikes, double-parked and eating Twinkies!
I can't do any worse than Levitan, Cribbs, and Meyer. Wait till Blaska gets his hooks into city government. I'll make Tim Bruer look like a discalced Cistercian mendicant.
BTW: the Greenbush neighborhood over a year ago appointed my friend Duane Steinhauer as its representative to the Joint West Campus Area Committee but do you think Mayor Dave could confirm that appointment? Nope.
Consumer protection in the nanny state. (Thanks, Charlie)