"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Corzine Begins Heath Care Campaign, Again

Senators Corzine, Kennedy and Congressman Anthony Weiner recently held a press conference with Joe Hansen, President of the United Food & Commercial Workers to announce the introduction of the Health Care Accountability Act (HCAA).

The Act will help determine the extent to which taxpayers are subsidizing the health care costs of our nation's largest employers. Most importantly, this legislation marks the beginning of our campaign to make Wal-Mart pay its fair share for health care.
Corzine and the other two Democrats are quoted by the Washington Post as saying they are “concerned that large employers such as Wal-Mart are transferring responsibility for health care to government-funded programs such as Medicaid.”

Notice that the people who might receive health care services have no responsibility to pay for it themselves in the world of Corzine, Kennedy and Weiner. Medical insurance costs must either be paid by Wal-Mart, in other words consumers shopping at Wal-Mart or taxpayers. Corzine’s press release states:

"Consumers shop at Wal-Mart and other huge retailers because they offer 'rock bottom' prices. The reason they can do so is because they often give their employees 'rock bottom' health benefits," said Sen. Jon S. Corzine (D-NJ), former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. "American companies must start providing living wages and affordable health benefits to their employees and stop saddling the federal, state, and local governments and the taxpayers with their responsibilities.”
How successful would Wal-Mart and other “huge” retailers be if they didn’t offer ‘rock bottom” prices to consumers? Corzine can afford to shop at the most expensive stores, but can the people with lower incomes he pretends to represent? Drive employment costs up at Wal-Mart and there goes the 1 million full-time jobs with medical benefits the company provides today. Corzine makes this ridiculous statement and then has the nerve to tout his business experience? No wonder he was fired from his job at Goldman Sachs.

Anyway, what’s this talk of taxpayers being saddled with an employer’s health insurance costs? When were individuals taken out of the responsibility equation, the individuals who actually incur medical expenses? Who are these individuals? Corzine explains:

More than 600,000 Wal-Mart workers are forced to get health insurance coverage from the government or through their spouses' plans.
What’s so horrible about people receiving health care coverage from their spouse? Apparently Corzine would prefer Wal-Mart shoppers to pick up the tab for medical insurance rather than a family member. Reliance on government financed health care programs and third-party payer insurance, medical insurance through employers, are two of the biggest reasons health care costs have been rising out of control. A robust, private health insurance market, offering real consumer choice would greatly help the health insurance mess in the United States, but that’s a subject for another post.

The 600,000 Wal-Mart workers Corzine is referring to are part-time employees. Part-time jobs are typically entry level, temporary, second or post-retirement jobs for most people and not long-term positions. Besides, workers are not “forced”, at least not yet, to have medical insurance or to work at Wal-Mart. We might add, Wal-Mart does offer medical insurance to part-time employees working for the company for six months or longer.

Not to mention, what costs to taxpayers is Corzine talking about? The Senator introduced Corzine Care as a center piece of his campaign for Governor of New Jersey, promising to provide health care coverage for 766,000 uninsured people in New Jersey at a cost to taxpayers of $15 million. So which is it Senator Corzine, 600,000 uninsured Wal-Mart employees are costing taxpayers a fortune for government insurance or adding 776,000 to New Jersey’s health insurance plans will cost us just $15 million? Both positions can’t be right. I think you’ve proved the point we’ve been making all along Senator, Corzine Care would cost the taxpayers a fortune.

Also we might point out, Corzine on the one hand bemoans workers being “forced” to take medical insurance through a family member, however under Corzine Care employers would be “forced” to cover 19-30 year-old children through their parents' health insurance plans. Has Corzine even bothered to read his own campaign promises or does he think voters can’t remember what he says from one minute to the next?

Corzine goes on to dig himself into a deeper hole:

Increasingly, large companies such as Walmart refuse to give their employees adequate health benefits forcing working men and women to rely on Medicaid as their safety net. This growing problem is caused by an increase in low-income, temporary, and part-time workers, a decreasing number of employees in unions, and a decline in good jobs in sectors like manufacturing.
So what happened to those good paying, union jobs in manufacturing, Senator Corzine? Could it have something to do with unsustainably high labor and benefit costs? Could it be consumers have chosen to buy products from lower cost producers and now manufacturing jobs have gone elsewhere?

Maybe Senator Corzine you should talk to people who know a thing or two about business and the nation’s economy – you obviously haven’t a clue. Better yet, talk to Senator Clinton, she used to be on the Board of Directors at Wal-Mart – she’ll straighten you out.

Yes, yes, we know our friends on the left will be screaming about greedy conservatives and people dying in the streets. So we’ll leave you with this story the media trotted out to make Corzine’s case about “greedy” Wal-Mart and health insurance costs.

When Susan Mediger-Paul went into labor in 1995 and gave birth prematurely to her third child, she knew the health insurance provided by her employer would not cover the cost. Nor would it pay for the birth of her fourth and fifth child later on, in 1998 and 1999. She said she relied on Minnesota Care, the state's public assistance healthcare, to pay for the multiple hospitalizations of her children, two of whom suffered from asthma.

Mediger-Paul seems an unlikely candidate for public assistance healthcare. She held a good-paying job as an accountant at Wal-Mart, the infamously profitable company and the largest private sector employer in the nation.

Because "Wal-Mart's health insurance was awful!" Mediger-Paul opted out of the company health plan, she says, to pay into the state healthcare system. "I had two preemies and they both had asthma--there was no way I would have made it on Wal-Mart's insurance." With cheap premiums but large deductibles and gaps in care, she says the Wal-Mart insurance wouldn't even have covered her kids' vaccinations.
Apparently no one “forced” Mediger-Paul to take insurance coverage from her spouse or the father of her five children. And who ever heard of health insurance that didn’t cover every single medical expense? Certainly not a government employee or those “forced” into taxpayer financed medical insurance programs. Nope, the mother and father in this story have no responsibility for any of this. Wal-Mart’s to blame for transferring the company’s responsibility to the taxpayers.

General Motors and Ford used to be infamously profitable companies too, just like Wal-Mart and look at them now. Speaking of cars, imagine the shock on Mediger-Paul’s face when she learned her automobile insurance policy didn’t cover oil changes and routine maintenance on her car. We’d better stop; we don’t want to give Jon Corzine any ideas.


At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as an aside, on Corzine's site he has an interesting letter to Christie where he asks Christie to investigate the Attorney General's office with regard to lost records re Norcross. Interesting in the sense that he knows this will go nowhere and is using the letter as smoke to cover the fact that he and Levin are under Norcross' thumb with regard to Norcross' demand that Petty's Island be privately developed rather than preserved. Not a bad CYA for most of the stupid voters in this state.


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