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Kingman Daily Miner | Kingman, Arizona

home : opinion : opinion June 29, 2015


9/15/2013 6:00:00 AM
Editorial: The government did it, so it's not a big deal

Rich Thurlow
Editor


If there was ever a textbook example of why America doesn't need the government to take over health care, it was printed plain as day on Page 7 in the Sept. 10 Kingman Daily Miner.

The wire story is about a woman, Bev Veals, undergoing chemotherapy this summer. She is notified that her health plan is shutting down and the substitute insurance she was offered wanted her to pay $3,125 on top of premiums.

Give the AP credit for reporting that this "sounds like one of those insurance horror stories President Barack Obama told to sell his health overhaul to Congress, but Veals wasn't in the clutches of a profit-driven company."

No, the villain here is the Affordable Care Act - better known as Obamacare.

Veals' "coverage" was part of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. Insurance companies were vilified while Obamacare was being sold to a skeptical public, chastised because they refused to write policies and provide coverage to people already suffering from an illness. But doing so turns the definition of "insurance" upside-down. It's like trying to buy car insurance after you've totaled the family Corvair.

The problem for Veals and others in the program is the funding for the Pre-existing Conditions Insurance Plan was capped at $5 billion.

If Veals and other victims of this fraud were paying customers of a reputable health insurance company, her plight and the plight of others would be headline news all over the country. Insurance executives would be called before Congress, the threat of felony charges would hang over their heads, and hefty fines would be levied and paid.

Instead, Veals and others are merely victims of yet another government miscalculation. The story was a one and done, no one on the government payroll lost their job, no one was even chastised.

This government has lied about Benghazi (let's blame it on a video!), had the IRS target conservative groups, operates domestic surveillance programs with the NSA, and has a political hack as the attorney general (remember Marc Rich?). Yet the public dozes on, with a pulse barely detected when our bumbling president almost pulls the trigger on Syria for no real reason.

What has the government done that would make you want to entrust your health to it? These guys can't even balance a checkbook, for crying out loud.

Somewhere down the road, when it takes six months to get approval for an MRI ("yeah, that tumor's pretty big now - too bad you didn't get this MRI a couple of months ago") or three months for a pacemaker (the current norm in some cases for the VA), well, by then it just might be too late to wake up and get back what we had.

•••

Is it too late to talk about John Michrina?

If you've forgotten the name it's not entirely your fault. Michrina was Kingman's new city manager and he and members of the City Council were among the happiest people in the world - until contract negotiations fizzled a few weeks back.

Michrina wanted something to fall back on if he suddenly found himself without a job. Elected officials in smaller municipalities, not as insulated from the public at large than elected officials from the big city, are less inclined to offer months and months of pay to someone no longer on the job. That's especially true if such a benefit was accorded to a previous city manager who seemed to be encouraging his own dismissal prior to being canned.

But that's only part of the history that needs to be recalled on this topic. It is true that a former city manager was fired, but it's also true he had to work exceptionally hard to make that happen, at least from this perspective.

Say it this way: There are no guarantees, but this city's government, even in the most unsettled times (and even when much of the unsettling is caused by the city manager) does not have a recent history of pulling the trigger on at-will employees.

Kingman and John Michrina may have been a perfect match, one good for both the city and the new manager for many years. In this case, though, the city made the right choice by not offering thousands and thousands of dollars as a parting gift in a relationship that soured. It's refreshing that the city didn't buy into that severance package line that "everyone else does it."

By not doing it, maybe Kingman is that dash of sanity that has been missing in contract negotiations between Arizona municipalities and managers.

It's too bad Mr. Michrina didn't have confidence in his own ability to ride out periodic storms. If he was a good as advertised, Kingman's City Council has the patience that would have made this a good relationship for everyone.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Article comment by: Tommy H.

What more can a society expect when it abrogates the throne and turns it over to a dysfunctional bureaucracy led by a totally inept Liar in Chief who is nothing more than a hand puppet who merely parrots what he is told to say? We have no one to blame but our sorry selves who have given over the power of the people to a gang of self indulgent tyrants.
"When a government becomes powerful it is destructive, extravagant and violent it is a usurer which takes bread from innocent mouths and deprives honorable men of their substance, for votes with which to perpetuate itself."


Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Article comment by: American Tax Payer

So if you are against Totalitarian Government and actually believe in the Constitution and Limited Government, you are a racist and hate the President. If you believe in Individual Freedom and Private Property Ownership you are a Right Wing Radical rather than just a normal American Citizen. The Senate is supposed to protect our freedom and property NOT regulate and redistribute them. He and our Communist Redistribution of Wealth, Rule by Executive Order President & Harry Reid can kiss my FREE American butt.
The Democrat's are not fooling America, if the government is shut down, it lays squarely on the Democrat Part Line of SocialismAmericam.


Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“AN: Your description of Cruz of course is total bunk…”

So now you are trying to tell us that Canada (Don’t Call me Rafael) Ted was not born in a “socialist” nation, under “socialist” healthcare, to a Cuban Communist father and has a Canadian birth certificate to prove it?

Yeah, keep spinning that one!


Posted: Monday, September 23, 2013
Article comment by: Company Greed

Molon Labe You completely made up that story about all those people who will lose their "employer paid insurance" because their employers will lay them off or cut their hours...

In case you didn't know, the reason that SOME employers are cutting hours is because they DON'T want to pay for insurance, and would prefer that MEDICAID cover their employees health needs.

In other words, these are the entitled companies who have a cushy deal ----they abuse their employees and refuse to offer benefits. These are TERRIBLE people, and have been terrible and abusive since long before Obamacare came along.

This has been an issue for AGES and is why LABOR UNIONS were formed more than 100 years ago. IF these bosses want to see a resurgence in unions and strikes, LET THEM try to destroy their own employees: that kind of plan will backfire someday.

You can't run a successful business when your own employees hate you.

Do you now why employers have been switching MORE and MORE toward part timers and contract labor? So they don't have to pay 401K plans, no vacations, no health or dental insurance --- They want to herd their own labor force away from all the benefits that were once commonplace, and know the employees have few rights in this state.

Don't blame Obamacare for company greed. It's always been there.


Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Article comment by: Molon Labe

So all you pro ACA folks how should all those who lose their jobs or have them reduced from full time to part time and lose their company paid insurance due to obummercare feel about this?

Even the Unions have found out they were duped into supporting this 10,000 page monstrosity. Democrat pols are having second thoughts now that they "see what is in the bill" to quote the extreme far left liberal and obama cheerleader pelosi.

AN: Your description of Cruz of course is total bunk but would fit your messiah nobama almost perfectly. Interesting.

I do wish liberals would just move to some blue state where they fit in. Kingman, thankfully, is quite red where true Patriots live. The dem party has proved over and over again it is incapable of governing in a fiscally responsible way which is why the Tea Party (Taxed Enough Already) was born and is here to stay until it is no longer needed. Then it will quietly go back into hibernation until another liberal bill rears its ugly head.


Posted: Friday, September 20, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

What appears to be most obvious with Canada Ted (aka Rafael) threatening to shut down the government because he does not want every American to have access to health care is a clever Communist plot. We have to look closely at Cruz – who was born in “socialist” Canada, in a “socialist” medical environment, to an ex-pat woman married to a Communist Cuban! He even has a Canadian birth certificate issued by the “socialist” Canadian government!

With all of the above evidence it is more than obvious what is taking place here. We have an un-American sleaze – not unlike Willard the Money Hider (who also has a curious familial background of non-American relatives) – who, although born and weaned in a “socialist” environment, does not want real Americans to have access to the same level of health care that allowed for his birth. Why?

REAL Americans who can see the truth want the answers!


Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: Exchanges have not started yet

Aha! But what YOU have listed is the exact type of abuse that Obama care will eliminate.

You do realize that Obamacare doesn't actually go into effect until after JANUARY 1st, 2014, right?

Cancelling insurance? And can't get any for a reasonable cost???

That's has ALWAYS been a problem in AMERICA! But no longer.

After OCT 1, that can't happen ANY MORE!
Because on OCT 1, you will get to select from the exchange market, where Bev Vearls and everyone else who has no insurance, will NEVER have to pay more than 10% of your annual income for a premium. YOU pick the plan you want. YOU pick the deductible you want. AND they can't cancel you.

Other things they can't do with Obamacare:

1. They can't enforce a lifetime cap.

2. They can't overbill you for premiums since they are now forced -- by Obamacare -- to use at LEAST 80% of your premium toward HEALTH CARE, not to CEO bonuses and dividends to stock holders, like they HAD been doing with YOUR money. If they do spend your money recklessly, YOU GET A REFUND!

3. AFTER Jan 1, nearly every patient who go to the ER is going to have a way to pay his bill.
When doctors and hospitals don't have to do so much CHARITY care, they don't have to charge double for everyone else.

4. Want to start your own business, but too scared to lose your employee insurance? After Oct 1st, NO PROBLEM! Go to the exchange and buy a plan based on your annual income.

5. In about 6 months, everyone is going to finally see that all these letters were written by people who probably owned stock in insurance companies and lied to try and turn you against the one thing that will finally allow people to have decent health care.

Save a copy of all these anti-Obamacare letters, and use them later to show the world who you should NEVER trust!





Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Article comment by: THE TEA PARTY IS ON KOCH

At least we now know where all the tinfoil is in Kingman. Is the Miner going to repackage it and sell it after 2016?

Posted: Monday, September 16, 2013
Article comment by: David Gaither

"Why don't you move to a country where you'd be happier. Say Communist China or Russia or Bosnia or South Sudan."

Why should he move? Obama has got a good start on making America a socialist/communist country! Then in 2016 all the "I want free stuff" voters will elect Hillary Rotten Clinton so she can finalize the transition!


Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013
Article comment by: just a fact

Excellent editorial. You really hit the nail on the head on both portions.

Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

Rich, you're obviously very unhappy with our nation. I've never seen any sign of love for our country from you. Why don't you move to a country where you'd be happier. Say Communist China or Russia or Bosnia or South Sudan. I'm sure they'd love to have you.

Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013
Article comment by: pl .....

Michrina's dilemma reminds me of a defendant's decision whether to take a plea bargain. In principle, you should be able to go to trial and win in some cases, such as when the government broke the law. In fact, the judge retains all the perogatives as to what is allowed at trial, and then there is the matter of who will comprise your jury (if they are not sympathetic to your cause). So it is not necessarily a reflection upon a man's character sometimes, as much as that person's estimation of the people and the system with which he will be dealing. Mr. Michrina - based upon some of my own experiences living in Kingman - was wise to guard his own interests.

Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

As usual, a good editorial, now here come the Obama-kool-aid drinkers, you know who they are, Obama is the "amateur" so deal with it.



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