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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pointing Americans' attention down the ladder while picking their pockets
Posted by Jill | 5:30 PM
It's worked for Republicans for years -- this tactic of directing the attention of working Americans down the socioeconomic ladder while picking the wallet out of their pockets with the right.

I'm in Berlin, Germany on business, and today we had a bus tour of various points in the city, including Checkpoint Charlie, which is now a tourist attraction in which young men in old East German military uniforms pretend to harass tourists, asking to see their papers. Oh, it's all great fun, and they usually pick someone from the group (not me) to don a uniform and become one of them for five minutes. Of course this attracts a great deal of attention, including that of pickpockets, who managed to lift the wallet of one of the tour guides today. I thought of that tonight while reading about the latest antics of the lunatic right. Here they are, screaming about Obamacare and drawing Hitler mustaches on a picture of a black president, which is pretty ironic when you think about it, especially for the majority of us who don't live under a rock and actually KNOW something about Hitler, such as the fact that he was in favor of a master white race. But it isn't just the Republican political party that's expert at picking pockets while Americans' attention is directed at the latest boogeyman "other" -- health insurance companies do it too, and they're raising the cost of the insurance YOU get through your employer:
As businesses contend with rising costs, many workers face an erosion of health benefits next year, according to an annual survey released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust.

Forty percent of employers surveyed said they are likely to increase the amount their workers pay out of pocket for doctor visits. Almost as many said they are likely to raise annual deductibles and the amount workers pay for prescription drugs.

Nine percent said they plan to tighten eligibility for health benefits; 8 percent said they plan to drop coverage entirely. Forty-one percent of employers said they are "somewhat" or "very" likely to increase the amount employees pay in premiums -- though that would not necessarily mean employees would pay a higher percentage of the premiums. Employers could simply be passing along the same share of the overall increase that they are doing this year.

The authors of the study said the findings underscore the need for federal action to rein in costs.

The survey is one of several reports providing fresh ammunition to President Obama as he struggles to overhaul the nation's health-care system. One of his biggest challenges has been winning over Americans who are satisfied with their existing coverage.

A major business lobby weighed in Tuesday, saying that if current trends continue, annual health-care costs for employers will rise 166 percent over the next decade -- to $28,530 per employee.

"Maintaining the status quo is simply not an option," said Antonio M. Perez, chief executive of Eastman Kodak and a leader of the Business Roundtable. "These costs are unsustainable and would put millions of workers at risk," Perez said in a statement.

But the teabaggers don't care. Their biggest concern is ZOMG THERE'S A BLACK MAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE. And when their health insurance premiums increase so that THEIR share is $1500/month, they'll be the ones screaming the loudest.

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6 Comments:
Blogger Barry said...
I just read that Obama wants access to our library records and wants to deny habeas corpus to detainees and uses signing statements to avoid the law. That can't be right, can it?

OpenID Kiterea said...
Yeah, add another one to the stats. After fighting for three years to prove I qualified to receive family medical I'm gonna have to drop it cause the premiums are eating up my pay. Have to choose between covering my (thank goodness) healthy 8 year old or having money to get the medicine my diabetic high schooler needs to live. So, where's the right to lifers now?

Blogger Jill said...
Barry,

No, it isn't. And you don't see me defending it, do you? Or any other liberal bloggers, either. Because unlike YOUR side of the fence, we don't march in lockstep when our leaders go down the wrong path. But then, you're too busy fantasizing about fucking Sarah Palin to realize that.

Blogger Barry said...
>And you don't see me defending it, do you?

Indeed, I don't see you mentioning it at all. Odd, that.

Blogger Distributorcap said...
jill

do yourself a favor - there is no arguing with people like that.

i just hope when the whole medical system comes crashing down on its own weight --- some of the teabaggers and glenbeckidols are the first to suffer

amazing. idiocy is more contagious than H1N1

Blogger Rhode Island Rules said...
Kiterea, I hope you live in a state with strong health programs for children of low income families. Please get the kids covered if you can.

Brilliant, you mention $1500 monthly health insurance payments. I only bring home about $1800, so that would definitely be a deal breaker for me as well as tons of people.

I just got my Asperger's syndrome (autism scale) daughter signed up for a community health care non-profit. She is being billed on a sliding scale and as she can only work part time it will be well affordable. My son, who is 24 and a senior in college has no health coverage and to his dismay learned what one of the big issues is this summer when he was hit in the head with a wakeboard and had to go to the emergency room and get 5 staples in his scalp. Total bill? $1500, which he doesn't have due to the 12% unemployment in our state.

I work where I do mainly for the health coverage even though I have co-pays on the premiums and on other things. I freelance in writing and photography which I would love to do full time but I cannot figure out how to do so as since I am divorced and the sole support for myself and my 2 kids I can't go without health insurance for the length of time needed to build up my business to be able to pay for health insurance and I can't build up a business in writing and photography while I am working full time. Terrific catch 22.