Unions rule at Obamacare counterprotest

Thumbnail image for halvorson 6.jpgYesterday I took part in a planned protest of my IL Democrat Obamacare-loving Congresswoman, Debbie Halvorson (CD-11), who refuses to hold a townhall meeting during summer recess.

We were surprised to be greeted by Obamacare counterprotesters, who learned about our protest and beat us to the coveted spot in front of Halvorson's office.

I've read that while complaining about we astroturf, unAmerican, mobs of "evil mongers" (the latest depiction of us by Harry Reid, yesterday), the other side has been organizing unions to brandish its message.

I'm here to corroborate. First, just by perusing these 2 photos you can tell the financially backed, highly organized group from the organically grown group...

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I approached the other side and asked people first if they lived in our district. I never got a straight answer. The closest was, "What does it matter?" Then I asked if they were paid to protest and again didn't get a straight answer. Then I asked if they belonged to a union. They all said yes. I counted 3 unions represented - the IBEW, UAW, and CWA AFL-CIO....

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That last photo is a snapshot I took of a flyer an IBEW member gave me.

The kicker? Helen and I went to Debbie's office to express our desire as her constituents that she hold a townhall meeting on the healthcare topic.

In the middle of a Thursday workday, Debbie's office was locked with lights off. (And you can see there was no sign on the door, "At lunch, be back soon!")

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I mentioned the other day that the National Republican Congressional Committee has targeted 70 House seats to take back and microtargeted 13.

Halvorson is among that 13. And by stonewalling on a request to meet with her constituents, even locking up her office to avoid them, she shows why the RNCC smells political blood.


Comments:

What a bunch of thugs.

These ignorant people don't understand that after Obamacare gets going, they're not going to have anything left to envy.

Posted by: xalisae at August 14, 2009 10:24 AM


From what I understand, Obama wants everyone's employer provided health care to be taxed as income - everyone except Union members. I'm pretty sure this is the only reason they are showing up like this, because they've been promised exemption from taxes on their benefits.

Am I correct in this? I did read this somewhere but cannot remember where so I can't reference it. Please correct me if this is incorrect.

Posted by: Mita at August 14, 2009 10:34 AM


Craigs list is advertising for jobs promoting healthcare reform. PAID Jobs protesting. Can anyone say acorn

Posted by: maria at August 14, 2009 10:51 AM


Here it is
NEED A JOB....YOU CAN WORK FOR OBAMA AND MAKE MONEY DEFENDING HIS PLAN.....this is where our tax dollars are going. Someone needs to investigate this.

DEFEND President Obama's Health Care Plan over August Recess! $500+/wk

Hey! Craigslist is now advertising for people to GET PAID to be "grassroots" for ObamaCare.

Posted by: Maria at August 14, 2009 10:53 AM


I think you're right, Mita, that unions would be tax exempt until their next contract negotiation date. Just as important though is the bailout of insurance benefits in their pension plans.

theunionlabelblog.com/2009/08/13/union-pensions-getting-big-payoff-from-obamacare/

Posted by: Fed Up at August 14, 2009 10:57 AM


If we don't reform healthcare, American businesses will continue to face serious financial hardship.

The cost of providing employer paid health insurance is killing the American economy. I'm glad Obama is trying to fix it. Anyone have a better idea? Or do you deny there's a problem?

Posted by: Hal at August 14, 2009 11:21 AM


Posted by: Maria at August 14, 2009 10:53 AM

Here it is
NEED A JOB....YOU CAN WORK FOR OBAMA AND MAKE MONEY DEFENDING HIS PLAN.....this is where our tax dollars are going. Someone needs to investigate this.

DEFEND President Obama's Health Care Plan over August Recess! $500+/wk

* * *
Seriously, where is the money coming from?

Posted by: Janet at August 14, 2009 11:26 AM


Hal,

There are people a lot smarter than me with plenty of fairly simple ideas on how to improve the health care delivery system. Some ideas I've heard:

Changing federal regulations on the insurance industry so companies could sell across state lines would encourage competition and reduce premiums.

Tort reform regarding malpractice lawsuits lower premiums for doctors who could pass the savings to consumers.

Allow individuals to buy their own insurance that they could carry with them from one job to the next.

Posted by: Janet at August 14, 2009 11:42 AM


The biggest problem I see coming up - the 2010 elections will be bullied/papered over in the same way.

This is no longer about representation - just a show of force.

Janet - I wouldn't be surprised, that if you followed the money trail, you'd eventually end up at the WH.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at August 14, 2009 11:52 AM



Allow individuals to buy their own insurance that they could carry with them from one job to the next.
Posted by: Janet at August 14, 2009 11:42 AM

You can buy your own insurance now.

Tort "reform" would be a disaster.

Posted by: Hal at August 14, 2009 12:22 PM


Hal, you're showing yourself to be very ignorant about how the world works.

An individual can not buy insurance that is comprable to the insurance offered by a group of some sort. Individual insurance has either co-insurance instead of co-pays, or astronomical costs. It also covers far less than what would be covered under a group plan and leaves the insured subject to riders that exclude certain things from coverage.

We spend 300/month to insure our family through my husband's company. We have 10 dollar co-pays and a 500 dollar deductable. When we bought our own insurance we spent 300/month to insure only me. I paid for 20% of any service rendered and even though I had maternity coverage, my pregnancy was excluded after the fact due to a prior preterm birth that resulted in a subsequent preterm birth and c-section.

Many would benefit if we moved insurance to a pure direct buy system.

Posted by: Lauren at August 14, 2009 12:46 PM


Janet, here's an article about the ads.
www.redstate.com/absentee/2009/08/10/whats-faker-than-astroturf/

Anyone have a better idea?
Conservatives, including one physician, have proposed plans that don't involve a massive government takeover.

Tort "reform" would be a disaster.
You got that right. A lot of democrats would lose contributions from the trial lawyers.

Posted by: Fed Up at August 14, 2009 12:57 PM


Janet @ 11:42 a.m. to Hal regarding tort reform,

You know Hal's a lawyer? His response is typical.

When an organization or a profession claims that no reform is needed, despite an avalanche of evidence to the contrary, then the credibility of the institution erodes. Yet, lawyers defend even the most glaring defects in the tort system as essential elements that require no remedy. from "mdwhistleblower.blogspot.com/2009/07/tort-reform-lawyers-vs-doctors.html"

Posted by: klynn73 at August 14, 2009 1:16 PM


I think it's slowly starting to sink in to the ObamaMob that John Q. Public isn't buying what they're selling. And so they are starting to panic and pull out all the stops.

Calling on labor unions to help out is a natural political move, since Obama at least gives unions lip service, unlike the previous administration. It isn't often that labor gets a friend in the white house, and I'm afraid that trumps all other considerations when it comes to official union policy.

That doesn't mean that all union members, or even all unions for that matter, are Obamites. Unions are a necessary institution for workers wishing to be represented politically, both locally and nationally. They're not unlike such revered institutions as the AMA and the ABA. They exist to represent the interests of their members.

So, what happened to the AARP? Who are they representing now?

Posted by: Doyle Chadwick at August 14, 2009 1:54 PM


Posted by: maria at August 14, 2009 10:51 AM


I have seen these adds on Craigslist several times. Its disgusting. Maybe I should answer one and really see if that is what is going on. If they really are hiring people to protest I wonder if the MSM would pick up the story...

Posted by: Kristen at August 14, 2009 3:35 PM


Here is an add on Craigslist. Boy, is this even minimum wage? I included the posting # so you can look it up on Craigslist. It is, of course, posted in the Chicago area:


A statewide campaign in Illinois is looking for people to collect signatures for a progressive Democratic candidate running statewide.


The compensation is $1.25 per ballot signature


Compensation: $1.25 per ballot
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
PostingID: 1271922403

Posted by: Kristen at August 14, 2009 3:42 PM


Where was the SEIU? Day off today? Maybe resting for their next 'thug' date?

Posted by: Andy at August 14, 2009 4:26 PM


As a 30+ year union member, and as someone who has been involved with negotiating labor contracts, it is no surprise to see the unions lining up in support of Obamacare.

Here is the bottom line: For about 20 years now comnpanies have been exerting more and more pressure on workers to pare their coverage to some degree, and to pay more for it. Union members mistakingly believe that they will get a better deal under Obamacare because they think that they will pay less for better coverage. After all Obama is going to tax the rich to pay for this.

Companies, in many cases, would be more than happy to jettison health care costs along with the pesky management costs associated with all the paperwork and having to deal with employees when benefits received do not seem to be as expected, etc.

The pressures have been building for a long time, and now it seems everyone wants a nanny state to come in and make everything better and simpler. They could not be more mistaken. The relief they will be getting will be worse than the problem, as they will soon see as health care options are continually trimmed in an effort to ration available resources. It is said: be careful what you wish for...

To our friend Hal: You ask if there are better ideas out there. Yes there are, and wouldn't you know it the Dems will not allow proposals by Repubs to get through committee. Of course, I think you probably knew that anyway. It is the Dems ballgame now, and this could sink 'em.

Posted by: Jerry at August 14, 2009 4:29 PM


So, what happened to the AARP? Who are they representing now?
Posted by: Doyle Chadwick at August 14, 2009 1:54 PM

The AARP respresents no one but the AARP. The only reason people subscribe is the discounts. Most people don't know it but they only represent their interests, not seniors.

Posted by: Andy at August 14, 2009 4:31 PM


Thanks guys, I know Hal's a lawyer.
* * * *

Tort "reform" would be a disaster.
Posted by: Hal at August 14, 2009 12:22 PM

Please explain why putting caps on malpractice law suit damages (tort reform) would be "a disaster" when it would reduce overhead costs for doctors who could pass that savings on to their patients, allow doctors more time per patient instead of having to rush herd them through like cattle, while still having time to do volunteer work on the side. ( Of course lawyers would make less money, but that's fine because Pres. Obama says profits are evil.)

Posted by: Janet at August 14, 2009 4:39 PM


Correction
"rush herd"
Pick ONE.
:)

Posted by: Janet at August 14, 2009 4:42 PM


Fed UP @ 12:57PM,
Thanks for the link. :)

Posted by: Janet at August 14, 2009 4:56 PM


If we don't reform healthcare, American businesses will continue to face serious financial hardship.

The cost of providing employer paid health insurance is killing the American economy. I'm glad Obama is trying to fix it. Anyone have a better idea? Or do you deny there's a problem?

Posted by: Hal at August 14, 2009 11:21 AM


Huh? Are you serious? Employers are not forced to pay for healthcare for anyone! Hal, maybe, just maybe, it's the UI, federal and medicare tax match that the employer has to pay its employees that hurt businesses. Here in Illinois, my employer has to pay 6.8% JUST FOR the UI tax contribution...for each employee. Illinois is doing its best to drive businesses out of the state. Don't know about your state, but talk to an employer and see what's hurting his bottom line. My guess, is that he'll tell you "slow-payers" & state/federal taxes. I doubt highly if he'll say "health insurance for my employees".

And yes, I do have an idea about healthcare. Obama's big selling point in the campaign is that there are literally millions of uninsured. I couldn't afford my dependent coverage through my employer, so I went shopping on my own. I was able to customize a healthcare plan through Blue Cross & Blue Shield that fit my dependent's needs. I pay 100% for doctor's office visits and prescriptions. I'm covered at 90% for emergencies/catastrophic illnesses until my deductible is met, which I chose to be $2,500.00. I pay $99.00 EVERY OTHER MONTH for this plan.

Now, if my dependent needs an immunization, I go to the county clinic or the doctor's office. The doctor's office is aware of my insurance coverage, so they DISCOUNT the visit fee, and if I need a prescription, they go to the back room that's filled with samples from pharmeceutical sales reps, and give me them for free! (most of the time, at least!) They work with me, Hal.

You see, when I figured out I couldn't afford the health insurance through my employer, I didn't stand back and wait for a government handout. I actually WORKED MY BUTT OFF to figure out how to get it done. I communicated with my healthcare providers, and I shopped for insurance. And, to my surprise when I recently filled a prescription for my dependent, I found out that Walgreens has these minute clinics with really great prices! Somehow, I think if the people who couldn't afford to pay for GREAT coverage would use these resources for the smaller problems, and STAY OUT OF THE EMERGENCY ROOMS FOR A SIMPLE FEVER/COUGH, we could really reduce medical costs across the country.

Did that answer your question, Hal?

Posted by: Marie at August 14, 2009 7:25 PM


Here it is
NEED A JOB....YOU CAN WORK FOR OBAMA AND MAKE MONEY DEFENDING HIS PLAN.....this is where our tax dollars are going. Someone needs to investigate this.

DEFEND President Obama's Health Care Plan over August Recess! $500+/wk

Hey! Craigslist is now advertising for people to GET PAID to be "grassroots" for ObamaCare.
Posted by: Maria at August 14, 2009 10:53 AM

That is totally disgusting! But not a bit surprising. People are getting PAID to show up at these protests all carrying the same signs and shouting the same mantra "Yes we can".

NO, YOU CAN'T!

And when will O stop with the fake "town halls"? I mean... he can't count to 10 without a teleprompter, and every meeting is stacked with his admirers. This is looking more and more like Amerika every day.

Posted by: Joanne at August 15, 2009 1:26 AM


"....and if I need a prescription, they go to the back room that's filled with samples from pharmeceutical sales reps, and give me them for free! (most of the time, at least!) They work with me, Hal."

That's not free medication, just free to you. Wouldn't work for all 40 million uninsured.

Posted by: Hal at August 17, 2009 3:03 PM