It only took 26 days of daily blogs to come to the day when I have nothing to write about. Nothing. Not that it’s a slow news day or anything. There are political protests going on all over the world. Some more violent than others, but all for the same reason; freedom. Freedom, whether you notice it or not, seems tied to average income. If mean income levels are good, dictatorships can be accepted. There are examples of it out there.
Wisconsin public employees are protesting because the governor wants to ban union bargaining and make public employees contribute to their benefit costs. I’ve had one of those “cushy” government jobs and I kick myself everyday for giving it up. Well maybe not every day, but often enough. Particularly when my private sector employer cut wages, increased my benefit costs, and stopped making matching 401k contributions. Most of us private-sector employees only have a 401k and Social Security, if we’ll get it, for retirement. (No chuckling out there.) In slight defense of the public sector employees, they don’t get Social Security benefits because they have their own retirement system. My private sector employer did those things though to prevent further layoffs. Exactly what Governor Scott Walker is trying to do.
The bottom line in the Wisconsin issue, which no one wants to accept, is the state is BROKE. Like many other states, the word of the day is CUT. Cut spending, cut programs, cut benefits, cut police and fire protection, cut education, cut, cut, cut. But if you don’t have the money, you can’t have the “it.” Whatever the “it” is. The only income government has is taxes. Government doesn’t make anything and sell it at a profit, in reality, so you cut spending, or raise taxes, or spend what you don’t have.
That’s why I HATE Obamacare. Not because it’s not a wonderful idea to provide health insurance for all Americans, but because we can’t afford it. We don’t have the money to do it, the states will go bankrupt being forced to implement it, and health care will undoubtedly suffer because of it. Just because you’ve eliminated the “Existing Condition” clause in health care doesn’t make the whole bill a good thing. That’s all I hear President Obama keep saying, that his health care legislation has eliminated the problem of people not being covered by a health care plan because they have an existing condition. Maybe we should have stopped there. Simply force insurance providers to take members with an existing condition.
Are health insurance companies not making any money? Do you really think so? Let’s look at Cigna, my health care provider. At the end of 2010 Cigna’s health care segment posted strong results. Results they attributed to membership growth and, here it comes, members lower-than-expected use of medical services. Fourth quarter profits were up 40%, and Cigna shares traded at 43.13 last Friday on a steady upward trend for the year. That’s how the insurance business works, has profited for centuries, and how it functions in a capitalist system. Can I have an Amen.