Archive for March 2010
During the current economic crisis, the Obama healthcare legislation is making matters worse as companies are spending more money to comply with the new legislation rather than hiring employees. The following is an excerpt from an AP article that came out today :
“AT&T Inc. will take a $1 billion non-cash accounting charge in the first quarter because of the health care overhaul and may cut benefits it offers to current and retired workers.
The charge is the largest disclosed so far. Earlier this week, AK Steel Corp., Caterpillar Inc., Deere & Co. and Valero Energy announced similar accounting charges, saying the health care law that President Barack Obama signed Tuesday will raise their expenses.
All four are smaller than AT&T, and their combined charges are less than a quarter of the $1 billion that AT&T is planning. The $1 billion is a third of AT&T’s most recent quarterly profit. In the fourth quarter of 2009, the company earned $3 billion on revenue of $30.9 billion.
AT&T said Friday that the charge reflects changes to how Medicare subsidies are taxed. Companies say the health care overhaul will require them to start paying taxes next year on a subsidy they receive for retiree drug coverage.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday that the tax law closed a loophole.
Under the 2003 Medicare prescription drug program, companies that provide prescription drug benefits for retirees have been able to receive subsidies covering 28 percent of eligible costs. But they could deduct the entire amount they spent on these drug benefits — including the subsidies — from their taxable income.
The new law allows companies to only deduct the 72 percent they spent.
AT&T also said Friday that it is looking into changing the health care benefits it offers because of the new law. Analysts say retirees could lose the prescription drug coverage provided by their former employers as a result of the overhaul.”
Health care reform is an important issue that must be pursued in a bi-partisan manner. The health care bill signed by the President is not such a piece of legislation. Furthermore, this health care legislation is in direct violation of the Commerce Clause as the Constitution has never given the authority to Congress to mandate an individual to make a purchase of a service or a good.
One’s life and health and how they choose to live it are not a privilege, but a right that Congress should never impede upon. The claim that requiring individuals to purchase automobile liability insurance as precedent for a requirement to purchase health insurance is not a valid argument. In the case of automobile liability insurance, a driver’s license is not a right but a privilege that can be taken away and has certain thresholds that must be met to obtain one. In the case of health insurance, this is a personal choice of the individual on what safeguards they choose to have in the case of their own medical care.
Additionally, Congress does not have the constitutional right to regulate non-interstate commerce. While Congress has used its taxing power to fund Social Security and Medicare, never before has it used its commerce power to mandate that an individual person engage in an economic transaction with a private company.
Another great weekend on the campaign trail! We all could feel the surge of support from Republicans, Democrats and Independents as our statewide ticket travels all over our great State and citizens hear our message of job creation, honest government and a clean slate for Illinois. This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and dine with the awesome people of New Trier Township and Grundy County. New Trier Committeeman and friend, Tolbert Chisum, organized a great corned beef and cabbage (I was Steve O’Kim that day) event where Congressional candidate Robert Dold and State Representative candidate and fellow Asian American, Hamilton Chang, were in attendance. New Trier Township is also home to my alma mater, Loyola Academy.
On Saturday I visited Morris, Illinois to hear Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady speak at the Grundy County Lincoln Day Dinner. Chairman John Hanson organized a great event at the beautiful Morris Country Club. Pat’s speech stirred the attendees as he laid out an aggressive victory plan for our statewide candidates. Adam Kinzinger, a young man and military pilot who is running for Congress was also in attendance—go Adam!
Sunday, the statewide candidates attended a rally for Bill Brady in Villa Park. I had chills as I walked up the stage surrounded by the best group of statewide candidates assembled. Nancy Brady gave a great speech followed by Bill’s. Bill Brady outlined his plan to bring jobs into Illinois and create an economic and political environment that will once again place Illinois as an economic leader not just in the United States, but on the global scene as well.
What a weekend! We’ve logged almost 1000 miles this weekend as we met the wonderful people of Madison, Washington, Bond, Peoria and Mclean counties. The people of central Illinois are intelligent, caring and a lot of fun to be with. I ran into my good law school friend, Brock Willeford, who is running for the county board in Bond County and was in Bethalto, Illinois, home to another good friend of mine and former Edgar advisor, Terry Harvill.
I want to congratulate Chairwoman Deb Detmers of Madison County on getting elected as Madison County GOP Chairman and for hosting a great event in Bethalto. Congratulations to Chairman Curt Haas for a successful event in Greenville. Chairman Brian Heckert had a full house at his event on a Sunday in Okawville and it was a pleasure to speak to the great people of Washington County. Peoria County Chairman Rudy Lewis had over 400 attendees at his Lincoln Day dinner at the beautiful Pere Marquette Hotel in Peoria and it was an honor for me to speak to such a great crowd… and right before the nation’s youngest and extremely bright and capable Congressman, Aaron Schock. Lastly, it was a proud moment for me to attend Senator Bill Brady’s event in Bloomington. We have a great nominee for Governor—someone that will make us proud… someone with integrity… someone with the business and legislative experience that will bring Illinois’ fiscal house in order.
Please check out the pictures from this past weekend on my facebook page and my website.
Congratulations to Senator Bill Brady for being our nominee for governor. I have met and gotten to know Senator Brady and his lovely wife, Nancy, throughout the campaign trail. They are wonderful people and will make a great first family of Illinois. I am honored and proud to be on the same statewide ticket with Senator Brady.
Throughout his life, Senator Bill Brady has worked to make a difference in the lives of Illinois families. Whether it was building affordable quality homes for them or working in his community and the General Assembly to give them a better quality of life and a brighter future.
Bill Brady understands the challenges Illinois families and businesses face in today’s recessionary times. He faced those same challenges in 1983 when he abandoned plans to attend law school and instead joined his family’s struggling home construction business. He knows how to manage resources and make a payroll. He knows the negative effect that high taxes and an anti-business climate have on the state’s economy and on the everyday lives of Illinois families.
Please check out more about Senator Brady at BradyForIllinois.com.
I was at the Fayetteville Lincoln Day Dinner on Feb. 27 in Vandalia, Illinois. What a great group! Congratulations to chairman Randy Pollard for a successful event and his awesome leadership throughout Illinois.