Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pinon Canyon: McInnis Can't Count

It probably looked like a mathematical no-brainer to Scott McInnis, Republican candidate for governor, when he decided to feed Southeastern Colorado to the Pentagon wolves. He figured he was trading a few thousand lost votes in that sparsely populated corner of the state in exchange for millions of votes in El Paso County and along the 1-70 corridor. He calculated that he could subtract a few ranchers from the vast numbers of job seekers up north and he'd come out ahead. But alas, Scott can't count.

He should have done his math a little more carefully. It's not just ranchers in the boondocks who are outraged at the idea of the transferring up to 6.9 million acres of private and state land, the whole southeastern corner of the state, to the federal government. And it's not just Democrats who are appalled at the idea of hardworking, patriotic Americans being forced to defend their homes and lifestyles against an invasion by their own military. And it's not just archaeologists who are against turning the cradle of Colorado History, a region loaded with Native American sites, vestiges of the Santa Fe Trail and the ruins of Hispanic settlers and Pioneer cattlemen, into a vast live-fire range. And it's not just property rights advocates who are up in arms at the prospect of eminent domain ultimately being used to take private property in order to increase the 34% of Colorado currently owned by the federal government by about an additional 10%. And it's not just environmentalists who are opposed to destroying one of the most biologically diverse regions of our state. http://www.denverpost.com/ci_6160060?source=rss.

Nope, he didn't do his math.

Even in military-friendly, Republican El Paso County he may have figured wrong. Buddy Gipson, Chairman of the Governmental Affairs and Public Policy Advisory Board of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce has sided with McInnis's anti-expansion opponent, Josh Penry on the issue, http://www.gazette.com/articles/wednesday-62932-penry-assert.html.

What McInnis failed to calculate is the fact that many Republican primary voters are ideological conservatives who are staunch defenders of private property rights. People who don't see the federalization of Colorado's lands and economy as our salvation. True-blue conservatives who know that wealth is produced, not by an over-dependence upon the federal government by building a diverse economy in the private sector.

Scott needs to go back to grammar school and work on his arithmetic.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Without Public Option It's Just a Corporate Giveaway

Healthcare reform could turn out to be yet another huge corporate rip-off of the public. If we end up being forced to buy insurance from the same companies that have been getting filthy rich by continually raising rates and increasingly denying coverage, we’ll be the big losers. The only way to ensure that mandatory insurance coverage will work to the advantage of the public is to include a public option that will induce private insurance companies to make their offerings fair and affordable.

Without a public option we’d be left with a requirement that we must fork over hundreds of dollars a month to corporate fat cats in hopes that larger numbers of policy holders and more competition will lower the cost. But competition isn’t what it used to be. The Corporate Titans have learned to “coordinate” their profiteering among themselves. It’ll be just like gas prices. The petroleum companies know that we have to gas up, no matter what the price. If we are all forced to buy health insurance from the for-profit corporations, it will be a similar situation.

But a public option would pool a huge number of policy holders, forcing the private insurers to bring their profits down to earth. A public, non-profit insurance option would not be paying multi-million-dollar bonuses to executives. A public, non-profit option would not have to spend billions on advertising. A public option would not have to hire lobbiests or make campaign contributions. It would otherwise operate just like a private insurance company, but under stricter regulations. There would be laws against excluding people because of pre-existing conditions or charging impossible premiums.

Making insurance coverage mandatory is a good idea if, and only if we have the option of buying our insurance from a public, non-profit provider. If we end up without a choice, being forced to pay for the same old coverage from the same old, greedy corporations; that would be a huge scam.

Everyone should contact Senators Bennet and Udall, and Representative Salazar to let them know that we want to have a choice between for-profit, corporate insurance, and non-profit public insurance.