October 9, 2012

RI Governor Gives Nation a Preview of Obama’s Public Welfare Project

Justin Katz

People across the United States should consider Rhode Island as a canary in the ObamaCare coal mine, whistling the tune of the President's larger public welfare project.

When he spoke on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, RI's Lincoln Chafee introduced himself as "the nation's only independent governor." That's "independent" as in belonging to no political party. He went on to claim the mantel of "moderate" and to upend the dictionary with a new, inverted definition of "traditional conservative," applying that label to himself, as well.

Actual moderates and conservatives should be wary of Chafee's brand of independence.  The most stunning reason is his state's status, in July, as one of only three to have lost employment since the end of the U.S. jobs free fall in February 2010. A more subtle, but profound, reason is the vision of health benefit exchanges toward which he is hurrying his state.

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Never mind that the idea is at it's heart a conservative one (kind of speaks to Chafee's point, yes?)...
"The Conservative Case for Obamacare"

The same goes for health insurance exchanges, another idea formulated by conservatives and supported by Republican governors and legislators across the country for years. An exchange is as pro-market a mechanism as they come: free up buyers and sellers, standardize the products, add pricing transparency, and watch what happens. Market Economics 101...

The real problem with the health care plan — for Mr. Romney and the Republicans in general — is that political credit for it goes to Mr. Obama.

-- J.D. Kleinke, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute

Posted by: Russ at October 9, 2012 9:48 AM

Here are two truly moderate Republicans, Dwight Eisenhower and Christian Herter:
Eisenhower never attempted to roll back the New Deal. In fact he expanded Social Security. Ike's major project was building the interstate highway system using federal gasoline taxes. Eisenhower believed that taxes could not be cut until the budget was balanced. "We cannot afford to reduce taxes and to reduce income until we have .... a program of expenditure that shows that the factors of income and outgo will be balanced." Eisenhower maintained a good relationship with Democratic leaders, particularly House Speaker Sam Rayburn. He sponsored legislation that would create a Civil Rights Commission in the executive branch and a civil rights department in the Justice Department, while protecting voting rights.

And it wasn't just Ike, Christian Herter, another moderate Republican, refused to support a permanent congressional committee investigating un-American activities (No Alan King here). Herter served on various councils and commissions, and was a special representative for trade negotiations, working for both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson - both Democrats, I may remind you.

Justin either has no sense of history or he warps definitions to reflect his own narrow prejudices.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at October 9, 2012 11:45 AM

Interesting post! You should post this on Portsmouth Patch. I'd like to see the responses to this.

Posted by: Sandy at October 9, 2012 12:08 PM

Good points, OTL. Heck, Nixon now sounds like he was from a different planet not just a different political party when compared to today's fringe-right...

Posted by: Russ at October 9, 2012 12:09 PM

OTL before criticizing Justin's knowledge of history, you might want to look into your own.

"Ike's major project was building the interstate highway system using federal gasoline taxes."

I would look a little closer, a lot of that came from the nefarious "50% Defense Budget" of the 1950's. That is why it was called the "National Defense Highway Act of 1956". That is also why there had to be a 1 mile straight away every 5 miles to land warplanes and the bridges had to be of a height to clear missile carrying trucks (I think the latter requirement has disappeared, as have truck borne strategic missles)

" Herter,....refused to support a permanent congressional committee investigating un-American activities"

You make this sound as if he prevented HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee). It was in good health from 1947 to 1975. I remember writing to them when I began receiving KKK mailings as a kid. You must know these "No Votes" are arranged so that the bill still passes, but selected politicians can return to their districts bragging of their "No" vote.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at October 9, 2012 8:53 PM

"The Conservative Case for Obamacare"
www.nytimes.why Obama caremacare-is-a-conservatives-dream."

Yes that's right Russ. It is my dream to go bankrupt. It is my dream to "take a pill" when a surgery is needed. It is my dream to have my health care be determined "As the secretary determines". It is my dream to forfeit freedom for the sham nanny state.It is my dream to see Obama cronies receive waivers from HusseinCare. It is my dream to watch freedom erode every day under this tin horn tyrant. You liberals are deluded. This dream will turn to nightmare when fully implemented.

Russ and OTL watch this video for a preview of Hussein and Liberalism left unchecked. From a 1961 Twilight Zone. The full 24 min. video is also there at You Tube. Watch out what you wish for...you may get it.


Posted by: ANTHONY at October 9, 2012 10:35 PM

Justin said; “RI Governor Gives Nation a Preview of Obama’s Public Welfare Project”

OK, how does what Gov. Chaffee and RI Health Department want to do with the EXPANDED ABOVE AND BEYOND RI mandates that Justin so eloquently states with what the basics laid out with legal Obamacare law that have no legal mandates to Justin’s written supposition???

Don’t forget, GOP Mitt Romney instituted Romneycare in Massachusetts and has promised to kill Obamacare if elected but Mitt Romney has also indicated he likes parts of Obamacare.

MA knocked HI off the podium for highest state-wide population covered with healthcare insurance in nation because Mitt Romney tied mandatory healthcare insurance to each individual. HI (1st state-wide in nation healthcare reform legislation) tied mandatory healthcare insurance to business employing each individual employee working 20 hrs. or more a week and with the recession and layoffs HI dropped on avg. to about 8.2% uninsured while MA avg. is about 4.4% state-wide population uninsured (however, HI has “Quest” a backup healthcare program run by the state which is a sliding fee based on ability to pay for healthcare service for uninsured). There are also free medical and dental clinics run by medical and dental teaching colleges and non-profits in HI as no one is turned away in time of need based on insurance or ability to pay.

HI has the lowest healthcare costs in the nation and moving from RI to HI my healthcare insurance costs dropped $100 a month for Blue Cross; Blue Shield with prescription drug rider plus Delta Dental same as I had in RI saving me $1,200 a year. MA also has a higher healthcare cost than HI!

Under the current healthcare laws and system I have seen a slight reduction in my co-pays. As a retiree living on a fixed income (yes I could go back to work) but over my 50 years plus of working (I’ve fully paid all my costs and investments; there is NO so called “entitlement” or “Public Welfare Project” in my retirement income) I think I’m entitled to sit back and relax now on the avg. 78 F degree daily sunny beach looking at skinny small bikinis and enjoy the scenery and FREE daily/nightly entertainment at 1/3rd the cost of living back in RI without having to reset the clock and go backwards so many years and start over again because of partisan politics.

Posted by: KenW at October 10, 2012 3:33 AM

Maybe I'm wrong but isn't Justin's point more about creating the 'dependency portal' than it is about creating a healthcare exchange? Shouldn't the concern be that such a one stop shop for entitlements run by poverty advocates will balloon the entitlement rolls. Shouldn't we be concerned that Chafee is planting a seed for increased government dependency nationwide?

Posted by: Max D. at October 10, 2012 11:01 AM

"isn't Justin's point more about creating the 'dependency portal' than it is about creating a healthcare exchange?"

So his point is that the marketplace shouldn't include all available benefits, only those that Justin thinks are justified? I'll admit to being confused how ensuring that kids who qualify for food stamps actually get them causes such outrage among some on the right. If that's the case, come out and make that case instead of hiding behind nonsense words like "dependency."

Posted by: Russ at October 10, 2012 11:16 AM

"I'll admit to being confused how ensuring that kids who qualify for food stamps actually get them causes such outrage among some on the right."

Hyperbolize much Russ? Is this currently a problem? You're not worried that the health exchange will become a flea market of entitlement programs run by advocates of taking advantage of everything the government has to offer? You're not worried in the least that it will increase dependencies?

Posted by: Max D at October 10, 2012 12:47 PM

1) Government handouts aren't a "marketplace."

2) Handouts shouldn't be "entitlements," meaning there should be the minimal effort cost of seeking them when you need them. People learn to become dependent on entitlements.

Posted by: Justin Katz at October 10, 2012 12:47 PM

Government programs are of course part of the marketplace. You just wish they weren't so you want to make it harder for working folks to get information about them. Yes, if only fewer kids got food stamps. What a world it would be!

Posted by: Russ at October 10, 2012 1:11 PM

So you naturally think Medicare and Medicaid should be excluded from the exchange so seniors, the seriously ill, and the disabled don't become "dependent," yes?

Posted by: Russ at October 10, 2012 1:13 PM

Russ - I must be some kind of monster because I believe government assistance should require effort to obtain, be thoroughly and periodically audited, and have reasonable conditions and requirements attached to it. It should not be a pleasant, easy process to become dependent on the state, and the government should be doing everything it can to get people off of these programs and back to work. This is the only way of running these programs in which the incentives are properly aligned in the right direction.

I suppose you think most of the people on SSDI are actually disabled. Enrollment in the program has more than doubled in actual and percentage terms since 1999, and most new recipients of the extremely generous payments are classified under impossible-to-verify anxiety and musculoskeletal pain disorders. Go watch arraignments sometime - half of the clearly able-bodied defendants are "disabled." An example of the welfare state run amok with incentives all pointing the wrong way and no meaningful checks on the process.

Posted by: Dan at October 10, 2012 1:25 PM

"government assistance should ... be thoroughly and periodically audited"

It is outrageously irresponsible and inexcusable that this is not currently happening.

Posted by: Monique at October 10, 2012 3:54 PM

@Russ & OTL-I liked Ike(couldn't resist that)and since you guys are waxing rather euphoric about him-how about his immigration policy?He had a guest worker program and on the other hand strictly enforced the law.
If we had that from the Federal government today,we would not be hearing word one about state immigration legislation.

Posted by: joe bernstein at October 10, 2012 5:33 PM
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