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    Tuesday, May 11, 2004

    Kerrycare: John Kerry gave a commencement speech to graduating nurses that would have been a perfect platform for elucidating his healthcare plan. But he told them they could check out his website if that's what they wanted. Instead he served some stirring antecdotes and broad platitudes:

    A nurse has one of the most difficult jobs in the world. On an average day a nurse has put up with a stubborn bureaucracy, inefficiency in the system and an uncaring administration...sounds a lot like Washington!

    Well, at least he didn't mention Vietnam.

    I just met with Albert Barker. Albert is sixty-one years old, and he used to work at Custom Engineering right over in Erie. A little while back, Albert had a heart attack. After he recovered and returned to work, Albert's employer told him he couldn't afford to provide insurance anymore. They re-hired him as a temporary worker, and Albert was then forced to pay $290 a month for temporary coverage. Just this month, that coverage ran out.

    .....I remember Virginia Noble. Virginia has cut every cost and saved every penny, but she still cannot afford to insure the eleven employees who work in her Des Moines sandwich shop. She wonders how long her small shop can stay competitive, but more importantly, she worries about the health of the eleven people who've helped make it a success. Small business owners like Virginia create the jobs that make America strong, and I'll be a President who does everything I can to make that job easier.

    .....This is not acceptable in America.

    It's not acceptable to do nothing about total family premiums rising more than $2700 in just four years

    It's not acceptable to do nothing while these premiums are rising four times faster than workers' earnings.

    And it's not acceptable to do nothing while families lose their savings, workers lose their jobs, and businesses close their doors because of the high cost of health care.

    We need a President who knows our health care crisis isn't acceptable and who has a plan to fix it. And that's the kind of President I will be.

    It's worth noting that both of his examples highlight people whose health insurance woes stem from the fact that their small business employers can't find affordable health insurance for their employees. It's also worth noting that as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Small Business Committee, Senator John Kerry has the ability - right now - to rectify that problem. He could make health insurance premiums as affordable and competitive for small business owners as they are for large corporations and unions without spending one tax dollar by endorsing Association Health Plans. But Senator Kerry doesn't endorse them. Instead, he's their chief opponent in the Senate. Thanks for caring, Senator Kerry!

    Here's Kerry's plan. And here's what's wrong with it:

    Sen. John Kerry would get the federal government more deeply involved. He wants the government to pay for 75 percent of health-care costs over $50,000 for insured employees, thus aiding employers. But employers would have to follow a number of government mandates in order to qualify for this subsidy, such as to 'provide affordable health coverage to all of their workers.'

    However, if history is any guide, the government is likely, long-term, to cut back on payments even as it lays more requirements on businesses buying into the plan. This is happening today with Medicare and Medicaid.

    Kerry is against Association Health Plans because they would allow insurance companies to avoid expensive state mandates (and thus offer lower-priced coverage). Instead he favors expensive mandates for everyone. Sounds ruinous.

    posted by Sydney on 5/11/2004 08:04:00 PM 1 comments


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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:27 PM  

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