Sunday reading 02-20-11

 Posted by at 17:10  Politics
Feb 202011

Everybody needs to read this, but most especially those of you who are now feeling “comfortable” with your employer-provided health insurance and those of you who are so fervently in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).

Money Won’t Buy You Health Insurance

THIS isn’t the story of a poor family with a mother who has a dreadful disease that bankrupts them, or with a child who has to go without vital medicines. Unlike many others, my family can afford medical care, with or without insurance.

Instead, this is a story about how broken the market for health insurance is, even for those who are healthy and who are willing and able to pay for it.

Most employees assume that if they lose their job and the health coverage that comes along with it, they’ll be able to purchase insurance somewhere. The members of Congress who want to repeal the provision of last year’s health insurance law that makes it easier for individuals to buy coverage must assume that uninsured people do not want to buy it, or are just too cheap or too poor to do so.

The truth is that individual health insurance is not easy to get.

Please click on the article’s title to continue reading. If you’ve had an experience along these lines, I’m sure we’d all like to hear about it.

Union busting

 Posted by at 13:02  Politics, Republicans
Feb 202011

Have you been following what is happening in Wisconsin? I hope you have, because it is going to have a long lasting effect however it turns out. I also hope you understand that the desire of the Republican governor in that state to bust the unions has nothing whatsoever to do with budget problems. It’s all politics. This, from Agence France-Presse, is perhaps the best analysis I have read…

Republicans attack unions to hurt Democrats: analysts

MADISON, Wisconsin — Republican attempts to disband public workers unions in Wisconsin and other key states are part of a broad strategy to undermine US President Barak Obama and his Democrats at the ballot box, analysts said.

Unions have been the biggest sources of financial and grass roots, get-out-the-vote organizational support for Democrats and have long been a target of business-backed Republicans.

But they’ve seen their power and membership rolls shrink as the manufacturing sector declined and shifted to anti-union southern states, and now represent just 12 percent of US workers.

Public workers account for more than half of union rolls, even though a dozen states prohibit state and local government workers from forming unions.

And now Republican governors in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Iowa are looking to curtail or even eliminate collective bargaining rights for state and local government employees.

The move to bust public unions is part of a broader attempt “to bring us closer to a more permanent Republican majority,” said Marjorie Hershey, a political science professor at Indiana University.

Republicans won a major victory last year when the Supreme Court overturned a ban on corporate spending in elections.

The flood of new money — $190 million by conservative groups compared with $94 million from liberals — helped propel Republicans to win back the House of Representatives and make major gains at the state level in November’s mid-term election.

It’s really just another salvo in the Republicans’ war against the middle class in America.

Please click on the headline to read the entire article. Thanks.

UPDATE: Also of interest: “What the Right-wing Assault on Women, Unions, the Environment, Health Care and PBS Is All About.”