My Conference Call with Senator Mike Johanns

I had the pleasure recently of participating in a blogger conference call with Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns.

http://tygrrrrexpress.com/2009/04/ideological-bigotry-my-book-is-now-available/

The call was dedicated to defeating the monstrosity that is the Obama healthcare overhaul.

With that, I present some common sense from Nebraska in the form of Senator Johanns.

“Harry Reid says that the new bill is new, better, and slimmed down. It is just more of the same.”

“This is a multi-trillion dollar bill. It increases costs 2.5 trillion dollars over 10 years.”

“There are historic tax increases in this bill totaling nearly half a trillion dolllars. This bill contains 493.6 billion dollars in new taxes.”

“There is a Medicare payroll tax of 1.95%.”

“Even cosmetic surgery, Reid wants to tax that.”

(Insert Pelosiraptor joke here.)

“There are 28 billion dollars of taxes on employers who do not choose a government approved plan.”

“The plan tries to reduce the deficit by delaying benefits. This is gimmicky.”

“The Democrats are on such a spending spree.”

“Whether pro-choice or pro-life, do the people want government financing of abortions? The polls say no.”

“The Reid bill guts the Stupak language. There will be a whole new era of government provided and government paid for abortions.”

“This has to be stopped now because there are not 60 pro-life Senators. We will never get the Stupak language back in if this passes. Right now we do not need 60. We need 41. We have 40. We need one principled Democratic Senator.”

I aksed the Senator a pair of questions, one serious and one lighthearted.

“Senator, is Khalid Sheik Mohammed covered under this plan?”

The Senator was very matter of fact.

“This bill is such poor policy that it collapses on its own. With regards to illegal immigrants, the sponsors say they are uncovered but there is not money for verification. We can say no to covering them but if you don’t do ID verification then you don’t know. Without strong verification, the rest is meaningless, and there is no impact whatsoever.”

Another blogger asked about whether any Democrats would go along with the GOP filibuster.

“I don’t know where they are going to land. Some articles say they are uncomfortable, but other articles say they will fall in line. i read what you read. I just don’t know where they will land.”

I asked the Senator about a bipartisan approach.

“Senator, what are your thoughts on a bipartisan approach that contains a provision for ideological rationing? If the bill passes, and rationing needs to occur, we give conservatives and opponents of the bill Cadillac plans while giving liberals and supporters of the bill rationed care.”

The Senator is totally committed to defeating this bill, and he made that clear in no uncertain terms.

“This is bad policy for the nation. It doesn’t do what the President promised. This won’t bend the cost curve. The American people are sophisticated. They are not buying this. Medicare costs will go up, and premiums will be raised. This is an attempt to drive an ideological agenda. Obama says one thing and the CBO says another. They used gimmicks to get below the magic number of 900 billion dollars.”

I would like to thank Senator Mike Johanns for his time and his dedication and commitment.

One does not need a PHD to understand how awful this bill is. One just needs to have common sense, which apparently in Nebraska is possessed and practiced in abundance without government help.

eric

One Response to “My Conference Call with Senator Mike Johanns”

  1. Well, the senator seems to have his talking points down better than his facts…

    “This is a multi-trillion dollar bill. It increases costs 2.5 trillion dollars over 10 years.”

    I’m not sure what he means by this. Costs of what? For who?

    “There are historic tax increases in this bill totaling nearly half a trillion dolllars. This bill contains 493.6 billion dollars in new taxes.”

    “There is a Medicare payroll tax of 1.95%.”

    There are tax increases, yes, but only on the very wealthy – including the extra tax on payroll. The tax increases in the House Bill are different than the tax increases in the senate bill. The senate bill hits incomes as low as 200K and imposes a tax on 23K healthcare benefits, while the house bill only taxes gross income on 500K and up per individual.

    “Even cosmetic surgery, Reid wants to tax that.”

    That’s a good idea. A lot of malpractice costs go for that too, so that would help to mitigate that. And again, that’s really just a tax on the wealthy. Yes, there ‘s cosmetic surgery for people like burn victims, sagging eyelid sufferers and such, but this tax wouldn’t apply to them. this would be purely for elective breast implants, facelifts and such. It’s a good tax.

    “There are 28 billion dollars of taxes on employers who do not choose a government approved plan.”

    I don’t know where he gets this from.

    “The plan tries to reduce the deficit by delaying benefits. This is gimmicky.”

    No, that’s building capital before getting started. no different than saving for the down-payment on a home. This is not “gimmicky” – it’s responsible.

    “The Democrats are on such a spending spree.”

    Yeah, right, like the way the GOP doubled the national debt in eight years? Like the way three US presidents – Reagan, Bush Sr and Bush Jr – added more to the national debt than all other presidents combined? LOL!

    “Whether pro-choice or pro-life, do the people want government financing of abortions? The polls say no.”

    There is no government funding for elective abortion in either bill.

    “The Reid bill guts the Stupak language. There will be a whole new era of government provided and government paid for abortions.”

    This is not true. All the Stupak language does is make it hard for women to purchase private insurance that covers abortion if that private insurance happens to provide benefits via the new programs. That’s like saying that the government funds crack by giving out foodstamps. Yeah, sure, it’s possible, but it’s not the intent. This is a very sleazy argument, and it is not true.

    “This has to be stopped now because there are not 60 pro-life Senators. We will never get the Stupak language back in if this passes. Right now we do not need 60. We need 41. We have 40. We need one principled Democratic Senator.”

    Right, only “pro-life” (only when in the womb) senators are “principled.” Right. Like John “Roxanne” Ensign! He’s “principled,” right? How about Larry “Wide Stance” Craig? Or Mark “freaking out the pages” Foley? LOL!

    Our good host: “Senator, is Khalid Sheik Mohammed covered under this plan?”

    “This bill is such poor policy that it collapses on its own. With regards to illegal immigrants, the sponsors say they are uncovered but there is not money for verification. We can say no to covering them but if you don’t do ID verification then you don’t know. Without strong verification, the rest is meaningless, and there is no impact whatsoever.”

    Illegals are not covered. The GOP never did bumsquat about funding “verification” for anything. Medical care always requires ID and only a liar or an idiot wouldn’t admit to knowing that. Yes, illegals and the poor will still continue to use emergency rooms, but that’s the status quo NOW.

    Some really wierd person: “Senator, what are your thoughts on a bipartisan approach that contains a provision for ideological rationing? If the bill passes, and rationing needs to occur, we give conservatives and opponents of the bill Cadillac plans while giving liberals and supporters of the bill rationed care.”

    What rationing? We have severe rationing now from the private insurers. This bill can only make for LESS rationing! And what in the friggin’ universe is “ideological rationing”???

    “This is bad policy for the nation. It doesn’t do what the President promised. This won’t bend the cost curve. The American people are sophisticated. They are not buying this. Medicare costs will go up, and premiums will be raised. This is an attempt to drive an ideological agenda. Obama says one thing and the CBO says another. They used gimmicks to get below the magic number of 900 billion dollars.”

    This is, I hope, an attempt to begin the process of installing a single-payor system. As you conservatives oft lament (though I’ve noticed you’ve wised up and toned it down), having a public option very well may eventually kill the private insurance industry. Good. I hope it does. It is the sleaziest, stupidest, crookedest cannibalization of the nation ever.

    JMJ

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