Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Reality begins to make itself known . . .

Since the passage of the new health care legislation, several major U.S. companies, including AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, Deere, Valero Energy, AK Steel and 3M, have announced that they expect the law will cost them billions of dollars in higher health care expenses and so they have announced they are taking one-time charges on their first-quarter balance sheets. Democrat leaders accuse them of politicking and have said they would hold hearings in late April to investigate "claims by Caterpillar, Verizon, and Deere that provisions in the new health care reform law could adversely affect their company's ability to provide health insurance to their employees."

I hope they do hold the hearings . . . and that the CEOs will be well-prepared with detailed answers--far more detailed, I expect, than any of their congressional inquisitors might be expected to have!

One corporate lobbyist said the CEO of the firm he represents had attempted to forewarn the president and lawmakers.
My CEO sat with the president over lunch with two other CEOs, and each of them tried to explain to the president what this bill would do to our companies and the economy in general. First the president didn't understand what they were talking about. Then he basically told my boss he was lying.
It will be interesting to see what comes from the hearings!

I expect they will be quite revealing.
Neither Waxman or Stupak . . . had anything more than a cursory understanding of how the many sections of the bill would impact business or even individual citizens before they voted on the bill, says House Energy Democrat staff. "We had memos on these issues, but none of our people, we think, looked at them," says a staffer. "When they saw the stories last week about the charges some of the companies were taking, they were genuinely surprised and assumed that the companies were just doing this to embarrass them. They really believed this bill would immediately lower costs. They just didn't understand what they were voting on."
Do these guys really believe that they and their staff members are able--even in a 3,000-page document--to put together something in a couple of years that is more efficient and effective than what thousands of companies working independently for dozens of years have put together?

These stories are just now beginning to leak.
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