Politicalmonkey2010

The Truth Shall Set You Free…It might piss you off first, but it will set you free.

Republican Pledge to America AKA Plague for America

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on September 25, 2010

Republican Marketing

Republicans “unveiled” their vision in a 21 page masterpiece, all put together by…wait for it..here it comes…Brian Wild, who up until early this  year was a lobbyist on behalf of  the Nickles Group.  Set  up by the former Republican Senator from Oklahoma, Don Nickles.   Brian Wild worked for this firm for five years.  Here are some highlights of the contracts the Nickles Group handled

  • $740,000 in lobbying contracts from AIG, the former insurance company at the heart of the financial collapse
  • $800,000 from energy giant Andarko Petroleum
  • more than $1.1 million from Comcast
  • more than $1.3 million from Exxon Mobil
  • $625,000 from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc.

The Nickles Group was not the only stop in his career, he also served as a lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where he helped steer more than $34 million worth of lobbying activity for the business interest group.

Does anybody else see a serious disconnect from Main Street and Wall Street?

But according to the Republicans all of these ideas for the pledge came from “America Speaking Out” – this if you have been reading my blog for awhile is what I dubbed the GOP Taliban, as the remarks were all censored.   Having said that, the seminal ideas from America Speaking Out seemed to be to legalize pot, and bring back jobs that have been outsourced – neither of which is addressed in the “Pledge”.

This recycled approach worked in 1994 when the Republicans unveiled  “Contract With America,” a list of heavily poll-tested proposals they unveiled about six weeks before the GOP gained 54 House seats and seized control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

The “pledge” is full of populist promises.  Ironically,  on the very day the plan was unveiled and promises to repeal” Obama Care”  rang out from the GOP is the very day that because of “Obama Care”  insurance companies can no longer discriminate against children with pre-existing conditions, drop coverage because of a simple mistake on an application, institute lifetime caps, limit choice of doctors, charge more for emergency services obtained out of network, or levy deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance for certain preventive benefits. Children will also be able to stay on their parents’ plans until their 26th birthday and everyone will have the right to appeal insurer decisions to an independent third party.  In what is an obviously poorly researched plan, or at the very least shows that the Republican party has absolutely no clue as to what is in the Affordable Health Care Act they cited 7 changes they would implement in  health care that are ALREADY in the act!(See table at the end of this post)

Let’s talk about downsizing the government,  the cry of the Tea Party, reduce the government!  Here is an interesting fact:  the civilian federal workforce, now at about 2.1 million, is smaller than it was in 1967. And there are over 100 million more Americans today than there were then.  The pledge wants to limit the number of Federal employees, an across-the-board freeze on non-security federal hiring.  That feeds right into the populist militia view, but you know what it doesn’t take into account?  The fact that you cannot hold the Federal government hostage to populist views when in fact the role of the Federal government is to do what individuals cannot do.  For example, do you think that the fact that there were just 60 inspectors for oil rigs, like the Deep Water Horizon, to cover almost 4,000 facilities in the area is a skewed ratio?  In effect their proposal would take away the ability of the government to grow areas which for the safety of this country must be grown.  Following their logic what happens if there is a pandemic, sorry we can’t respond because the Department of Health and Human Resources has already hired.  Food and Drug Administration, salmonella from eggs?  Sorry guess you had better not eat eggs, because we aren’t hiring anybody to ensure your safety.  Sorry chicken industry, guess you better figure out another line of work quick.    But here’s an interesting kicker..it leaves Social Security and Medicare, the two biggest long term drivers of debt untouched.  The language used is:

“We will make the decisions that are necessary to protect our entitlement programs for today’s seniors and future generations.”
Can somebody tell me what that means?  Is there a game plan here in this vague language that I am missing?  It’s hard to tell folks we are going to mess with these two programs that people rely on because that doesn’t get votes.  There are references to vague promise to cut “discretionary spending.”  What the hell does that mean exactly?

The list goes on..

What about security?  Doing what the GOP does best, which is to run on a platform of fear, we could hire according to the “Pledge” security, that would be exempt from a hiring freeze..mmm here’s another fact:  The federal workforce has grown in the past decade, but two-thirds of the increase is directly related to the terrorist threat sparked by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After Sept. 11, the public demanded a federal response, and Congress and the White House enacted new policies; put in place new homeland security, defense and intelligence initiatives; and hired people to run and manage these efforts.    This sector has grown rapidly and been the most costly.  And the magic bullet for eliminating terrorist is to eliminate Miranda rights for terrorist?

Let’s see if I have this right, we are going to short change and hold the Federal government agencies to a freeze, so when there is a crisis we have nobody to answer the call except some security folks who while doing a noble job, probably are not equipped to deal with the wide range of services the government is in place to do, because THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO – WHAT THE INDIVIDUALS CANNOT DO.

Tax cuts – the GOP won’t vote for a tax cut for middle America, but will hold 98% of the country hostage for the wealthy to get their cut.  But they want  taxes to be cut and no deficit, two great yet contradictory goals.  Everybody wants a balanced budget and no deficit.  They they have  “packaged” these populist views together in a very vague way, and that is not an accident.  It is vague because the truth is  you cannot have tax cuts and a balanced budget, because the number of programs you would have to cut for this to occur would mean you will not have a government.  It is simply rhetoric, that’s the truth, not very sexy, not a good marketing the tool the truth is it?

Government bails outs -end TARP! Another “pledge” – here’s the truth, remember that was a Republican initiative.

It is nothing more than a marketing plan, on par with marketing a magic pill that promises if you take it you too will lose 20 pounds in 10 days and eat anything you want while laying on the couch and watching TV.  The only thing the GOP has left out is Ron Popeil coming out and asking..how much would you pay for this?  But wait!!! There is more!  America if you buy this marketing propaganda and pay for it with your vote for anybody who is running on this platform, you will be paying dearly.  The small print that nobody is reading in this pledge says, we are the same people who brought the US economy crashing down, caused the world to teeter on economic disaster and given just half a chance we will finish the job.  Don’t be sold on marketing, look at the issues, look at the truth.  The truth is a bitter pill to swallow and these folks are just selling “Dr. Feelgood’s Magic Elixir”

Sources: too many to name..but here are a few

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/24/AR2010092405072.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/09/23/gop-pledge-aca/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/22/pledge-for-america-brian-wild-lobbyist_n_735911.html

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/09/24/1715982/how-the-pledge-to-america-falls.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/GOP_pledge_09222010.pdf?hpid=topnews

Affordable Care Act GOP’s ‘Pledge To America’
Insurance Across State Lines Allows for the creation of State Health Insurance Compacts – permits states to enter into agreements to allow for the sale of insurance across state lines. (SEC. 1333; p. 100-101) “We will allow individuals to buy health care coverage outside of the state in which they live. ” (p. 15)
High-Risk Insurance Pools The states and the federal government have already established high-risk insurance pools to provide temporary coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions until 2014. (SEC. 1101; p. 30-33) “We will expand state high-­‐risk pools, reinsurance programs and reduce the cost of coverage” (p. 15)
Pre-Existing Conditions Children cannot be denied coverage starting today, but beginning in 204, insurers must accept everyone who applies. (SEC. 2702-2705; p. 46-51) “We will make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-­‐existing condition.” (p. 15)
Lifetime and Annual Caps A health insurer cannot impose lifetime limits and will be prohibited from placing annual limits on plans beginning in 2014. (SEC. 2711; p. 14) “[E]liminate annual and lifetime spending caps” (p.15)
Recissions A health insurance issuer cannot rescind a policy except for in cases of fraud. (SEC. 2712; p. 14) “[P]revent insurers from dropping your coverage just because you get sick.” (p.15)
State Innovation States can receive waives from certain requirements if they can cover the uninsured and lower health costs in a more innovative manner. (SEC. 1332; p. 98-100) “We will incentivize states to develop innovative programs that lower premiums and reduce the number of uninsured Americans.” (p.15)
Conscience Protections The law does not affect existing conscience protections or discriminate “on the basis of the willingness or refusal to provide, pay for, cover, or refer for abortion or to provide or participate in training to provide abortion.” (SEC. 1303; p. 67) “We will also enact into law conscience protections for health care providers, including doctors, nurses, and hospitals.” (p.15)
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2 Responses to “Republican Pledge to America AKA Plague for America”

  1. gesvol said

    Good breakdown of the ‘pledge’. I’m going to post my own if I ever get the chance to condense what I’ve already written down to a size that is something less than a whole book.

    I do like your side-by-side comparison of the health care stuff. I would point though that often the devil is in the details. For instance, while the insurance across state lines look similar, they are not the same at all. The current plan allows the ability for state A, if they like how state B handles health insurance, to enter into an agreement with that state. What the GOP wants is a across the state line free-for-all, whether state A or B or any other state likes it or not.

    The problem with the GOP version is that the likely best case scenario is insurance companies simply file rates within the least regulated state in the union and then sell insurance nationwide under those lax regulations, creating a de facto national regulator, except instead of the federal government regulating things, it might be, say South Dakota. Worse case scenario is you create a perverse competition among the states to create the most favorable regulations for insurance companies in return for those insurance companies moving their base operations to that state.

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