Getting What You Asked For

Is anyone else enjoying the collective whine about the Governor from our friends on the right?

In 2003, Republicans staged a coup and successfully convinced California voters to recall Gray Davis.  On the number of choices available to Republicans were Arnold Schwarzenegger and State Senator Tom McClintock.  Democrats, largely opposed to the recall effort, were stuck with Cruz Bustamante.  The voters elect the Terminator but thwarted the Governor in 2005 after he broke promises made to the taxpayers on education and crushed four main ballot measures that the Governor and Republicans advocated. 

The Governor, having learned that conservatives don’t rule the roost in California, has begun a post-partisan shift with a strong leftward tilt.  How bad is it for Republicans? Constant whining from Jon Fleischman of the Flash Report; a call for Arnold to join the Democratic Party by Matt Cunningham; and even the Register’s looney predictions for 2008 in today’s paper have the Governor registering Democrat.

If the conversatives complaining about the Governor today had a sense of intellectual honesty in 2003, they would have thrown their support (and money) to the principled Tom McClintock.  Instead, the GOP supported a man more likely to win than to govern based on Republican and Conservative principles.  Because as principled as McClintock is, he won’t win a statewide office as he is out of touch with mainstream California voters.  The GOP is the party that loves to win elections but hates to actually govern.

So, suck it up conservatives; you asked for Arnold and you’re stuck with him until 2010.  Unless, of course, you opt to recall him like you did Gray Davis.  But with declining GOP enrollment and more DTS and independents backing Democrats, Arnold might be the last Republican governor you get for quite some time.

At issue, the Governor’s plan to roll out healthcare for all Californians. 

“Currently, businesses pay $15 billion in hidden taxes to cover the uninsured. Everyone pays more in premiums, co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses. Our plan contains costs by eliminating the hidden tax. It requires insurers to cover everyone so workers don’t have to live in fear of losing coverage if they leave their job,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “It also protects small business with a sliding scale so some pay only 1% of payroll.”

The free market crowd keeps insisting that government should be out of the healthcare business, but a recent report by the California HealthCare Foundation, healthcare premiums in California increased by 8.3 percent in 2007, more than two percent higher than national premium increases of 6.1 percent — this is more than twice of California’s 3.4 percent inflation rate.

Since 2002, premiums in California have increased 86 percent, while national premiums  increased by 78.5 percent.  And I thought only college and university presidents were worse at managing costs. 

Jon Fleischman has the best whine of the day; this from yesterday’s Flash Report:

Well, today, along with liberal Democrat Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, the Governor has officially filed a ballot measure asking the voters to do just that – raise taxes.  In this case, $14 billion worth, as he declares that to be the taxpayers’ responsibility in his massive health care government program.Sounding like the family of New England liberals into which he married, the Governor is using a classic liberal argument to justify his leftward lurch, that somehow by raising these taxes, we actually cut “hidden taxes” — so somehow this isn’t really a tax hike.  Make sense?  Of course not.
So in addition to knocking the Governor, Jon feels the need to knock Maria Shriver and the Kennedys too? 

So in addition to knocking the Governor, Jon feels the need to knock Maria Shriver and the Kennedys too? Jon continues:
Is it old fashioned to think that if someone makes a promise, that they will keep it?  (it didn’t bother you that the President broke many of the promises he made when running in 2000?) Arnold Schwarzenegger is one heck of an actor. (Actually, no he isn’t)  Because he had me convinced.Because I chose to believe him, my hands in some way are stained (OUT, out, damn spot!-dc) with this tax hike.  This is terribly embarrassing for me, and even more so for the California Republican Party.

Well, as hard as I worked to elect and re-elect this Governor, that’s how hard I will work to oppose $14 billion in new taxes.  Presumably the CRP will be equally as resolved.

As the governor slips on his rubber glove and asks Flash to bend over, please conisder that America is the only industrialized nation without universal healthcare for its citizens, other nations we complete with economically have a competitive advantage to America.  Government run healthcare programs do work. Look at the success of the SCHIP program, of which the president signed into law holding the program at current levels until two months after the next president takes office (and does the right thing by expanding it).  Massachusetts has a successful statewide health insurance program signed into law by Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  And someone call Congressmen John Campbell, Ed Royce, Dana Rohrabacher, Darryl Issa and Ken Calvert an ask how much they like their government-run Congressional healthcare plans? 

Government can run and manage healthcare.  Will it do so perfectly?  No, but you can launch a program and iron out bugs later.  Commerical enterprises do that all the time.  

My fear is keeping healthcare in the hands of the large HMOs, where decisions on what to cover are made, not by doctors, but by company officials gauging survivability odds.  Denying coveraging is the key to profitability. 

Consider the case of the late Nataline Sarkisyan when he insurance company refused to pay for a liver transplant. The company relented 9 days later after enormous public outcry, but she took a turn for the worse and her family removed her from life support. Below, are excerpts of a press release from the California Nurses Association:

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today blasted insurance giant CIGNA for failing to approve a liver transplant one week earlier for 17-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan, who tragically died last night just hours after CIGNA relented and agreed to the procedure following a massive national outcry.

On Dec. 11, four leading physicians, including the surgical director of the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program at UCLA, wrote to CIGNA urging the company to reverse its denial. The physicians said that Nataline “currently meets criteria to be listed as Status 1A” for a transplant. They also challenged CIGNA’s denial which the company said occurred because their benefit plan “does not cover experimental, investigational and unproven services,” to which the doctors replied, “Nataline’s case is in fact none of the above.”

“So what happened between December 11, when CIGNA denied the transplant, and December 20 when they approved? A huge outpouring of protest and CIGNA’s public humiliation. Why didn’t they just listen to the medical professionals at the bedside in the first place?” asked Geri Jenkins, RN, a member of the CNA/NNOC Council of Presidents who works in a transplant unit at the University of California San Diego Medical Center.

On Thursday, CIGNA was bombarded with phone calls to its offices across the country while a rally sponsored by CNA/NNOC, with the substantial help of the local Armenian community, drew 150 people to the Glendale offices of CIGNA – all of which produced the turnaround by CIGNA to finally reverse its prior denial of care.  

CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro called the final outcome “a horrific tragedy that demonstrates what is so fundamentally wrong with our health care system today. Insurance companies have a stranglehold on our health. Their first priority is to make profits for their shareholders – and the way they do that is by denying care.”

Even the Governor’s healthcare plan wouldn’t have helped Ms. Sarkisyan here.  The problem I have with the governor’s plan is not that government should be involved with our healthcare, but that it empowers doctors to carry the most weight in life and death decisions on treatment. 

  6 comments for “Getting What You Asked For

  1. Bladerunner
    December 30, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    I don’t blame Matt, Jon and other conservative Republicans for having buyers remorse. But you reap what you sow. The recall was a mulligan and a crap shoot at that. Voters had a chance to go with McClintock who represents to a T the GOP Central Committee crowd. Less of them opted for Team McClintock then did those for Candidate Slimfast. And of course Arnold had more votes then both of them put together.

    Since Jon was “astounded, confused and demoralized” by Arnold at the beginning of the year and most of the Better Red then Dead crowd were cutting up their Team Arnold cards after Susan Kennedy was hired, they had an option. Run a “true conservative” against Arnold. No one wanted to do that because they want the Fair Board appointments, the sub cabinet appointments and the check on Perata and Nunez who frequently forget the word “no” when dealing with their own caucus.

    So the Fleischman of late 05 and early 06 who declared his loyalty to Arnold now sounds like a jilted lover. Tough. Be thankful for the appointments you get and the “job killer” vetoes the Governor provides pavlovian style whenever the California Chamber rings the veto bell.

  2. Paul Lucas
    December 30, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Here Here Bladerunner.

  3. RHackett
    December 30, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    Dan. Thanks for that post on the FlashReport. I stopped reading it some time ago. Borringgg.

    GOP’s were all licking their private parts when they recalled Davis. The last time I read the FlushReport he referred to him as the “disgraced” Governor Davis. All the things they blamed on Davis (expanding govt., budget deficit, extraordinary fundraising, solar flares…etc), Arnold has surpassed by significant sums. Yet there is no movement among the FR crowd to recall Arnold.

    I can only hope the GOP is stupid enough to run Tom McC for Guv in 2010. The Dem candidate can hire the decorator the day after the primary. At the CRP Convention, Arnold told the GOP faithful using the words of St. Ronald Reagan:

    “Because this is the great common denominator – this dedication to the belief in man’s aspirations as an individual – we cannot offer them a narrow sectarian party in which all must swear allegiance to prescribed commandments. Such a party can be highly disciplined, but it does not win elections. This kind of party soon disappears in a blaze of glorious defeat, and it never puts into practice its basic tenets, no matter how noble they may be.” Ref. archives of New West Notes by Bill Bradley.

    And was met with a tepid response. The next day Tom McC rallied the crowd with a speech saying the GOP should ignore the calls for bi-partisanship and tell the dems how it is supposed to be. What makes this ironic is the CRP crowd ignored the man whose actually won two statewide elections and praised the person whose lost four statewide elections and one disastrous run for Congress. That should tell you all you need to know about the Fleischman/Cunningham mindset as they sink into political obscurity.

  4. RHackett
    December 30, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    One thing you can depend upon the FR crowd and their ilk at the national level (Limbaugh and Hannity) is they are long on rhetoric, short on details, and zero on follow-up. Ensuring they have no credibility as either pundits or journalists.

  5. December 30, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    If the conservatives complaining about the Governor today had a sense of intellectual honesty in 2003, they would have thrown their support (and money) to the principled Tom McClintock. Instead, the GOP supported a man more likely to win than to govern based on Republican and Conservative principles.

    Well, in 2006 we Dems threw our support behind Angelides, probably because the majority of Dems thought Phil was more likely govern based on “Democratic and liberal principles” than Westly was.

    But doncha wish we’d gone for Westly, who was more likely to win?

  6. OC Demo Girl
    December 31, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    Westley still would have lost. The reps would have pulled together to keep GAS in place. But, I liked Phil. He was a completely honest, stand-up guy. Westley had an ick factor going on…

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