Friday, June 09, 2006

CD 8 Notes

* A press release from the Weiss campaign reports that Nina Roosevelt Gibson, Granddaughter of FDR, has endorsed Weiss. The endorsement is part of the fund-raising push of the Weiss campaign, and stresses the “I am not politician, I am a citizen candidate” meme.

As of this post there is no link to the press release on the Weiss website, the press release section of which hasn’t been up-dated since May 17th. I imagine that the new Weiss communications guy, Andrew Myers, will be taking care of this.


* There’s a new blog covering CD 8 politics with emphasis on the Republican side of the aisle: Arizona 8th.


* Why you need bloggers: Today’s Arizona Daily Star has 25 articles and six blogs about sports. It has no story that I could find about local politics. I grant that bloggers are not certificated “professional journalists” but at least they let the rest of us know what’s going on behind the scenes.

33 comments:

Kralmajales said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
x4mr said...

This is the same vote that sparked the shootout last weekend at kos, SB1065 and this notorious lobbyist that donated a whopping $300 last December and $250 in 2004.

Oh, and that Walmart is one of the untold number of clients served by the consulting firm for which this guy works...........

Dig into SB1065 and cracks emerge.

Now they're bitching about Reagan day at kos.

Could not agree more that Giffords record is going to be scrutinized for every possible nugget that can be spun into something that supports the agenda of an opponent.

I find the rather weak attacks on Giffords, and the rather LACK OF attacks (sure, there are some, but few) on her opponents, very interesting.

Art Jacobson said...

I suspect that the lack of attacks on Weiss and Latas is due to a number of factors. Most importantly, the Giffords campaign and her supporters are tightly focused on their own game plan. They hardly need the distraction of floating gratuitous attacks on their opponents who, after all, have no legislative records.

The ‘Reagan Vote’ complaint is a non-issue. It probably reflects a simple ignorance of the fact that the Senate frequently honors people on their passing by bipartisan majorities…Senator Andy Nichols, for instance.

"De mortuis nihil nisi bonum" is frequently a matter of legislative courtesy.

What do people expect, a chorus of "I’ll be glad when you’re dead, you rascal you?"

Dogma said...

Four thoughts…

First from the last post, while Art is biased towards Gabby, there just more news coming out on her campaign to talk about. That’s not bias, that’s just the reality.

Second, it’s just like a lawyer to claim Gabby “cast the deciding vote against” consumers and patients on this committee vote. Anyone on the majority side of any one-vote margin can claim or be accused of casting “the deciding vote,” which is just plain flawed logic. And again, there are vague accusations about leaving consumers and patients “high and dry on two occasions at the state level” without elaboration. It’s a very sloppy argument for someone with law degree.

Third, while I personally support Gabby at present, I’m more than happy to hear arguments in favor of other candidates without mud slinging. Back to our lawyer, the assertion is made that Weiss is better on patient and consumer issues, again, without elaborating on what her positions are and/or why they’re better. Of course, only Gabby has a record to scrutinize. So, it would seem whenever any vote can be spun to be negative or contradictory, out come these vague attacks. All the while, we’re expected to simply take other candidates at their word. And what choice do we have? After all, neither Weiss nor Latas has held elected, public office or ever caste a legislative vote on any issue.

Fourth… I’ve been ruminating on the lack of any polling since Weiss’ ridiculously early, small and completely flawed January poll, which she still touts on her website! Both Giffords and Weiss certainly have enough funding to have financed a poll, and I find it difficult to believe that that hasn’t happened. Does anyone with insight into any of the democratic campaigns know of any such recent polling.

Liza said...

Giffords fans,
The above quote from Louis Hollingsworth is an "attack?" Are you serious? Unless there's more to it, the guy is saying why he supports Patty Weiss. He goes on to explain why he no longer supports Giffords and references the AZ state bill that Giffords voted against which would have required large employers (like Wal-Mart) to reimburse the State for providing health care for employees of these companies. Not a great vote for the newly "progressive" (former "centrist") Ms. Giffords.
Hollingsworth also states that Giffords accepted money from a Wal-Mart lobbyist and questions the connection.

This is not an "attack." This is information about Giffords, easily verifiable, and the opinion of an individual who also encourages readers to do their own research.

Don't we all question the connections between the sources of an elected official's financing and their voting record? To not do so would be extremely naive, as special interests have pretty much taken over the government.

Giffords was an elected official and it stands to reason that her voting record will be scrutinized. How else can you correlate her "progressive" positions with her history? At least this kind of scrutiny can be based on facts that are part of the public record.

sirocco said...

I have to agree ... I don't see the letter as an "attack" either.

Now, I do think the letter writer is trying to draw conclusions wich can't be sufficiently supported by his data ... but that's not the same thing.

Liza said...

sirocco,
I love it when people agree with me.

Giffords fans, here's another thing to think about. Yes, its true, Weiss and Latas do not have voting records. Neither does Jim Pederson. Shouldn't Jon Kyl's voting record, which has been in complete lockstep with the Bush Administration agenda, be scrutinized? That's the downside (or the upside) of being an elected official. Your voting record speaks volumes about whether you're representing your constituency or towing your party line and/or voting in favor of whoever is giving you money. It also casts light on how committed you are to your professed values. John Kerry's vote in favor of the invasion of Iraq didn't serve him well in 2004, but there it was, big as a Buick. I voted for Kerry because I had to, but that Iraq vote really bothered me.

x4mr said...

OK, Liza, you got me thinking semantics, which is terrible for a recovering semantiholic (don’t ask). I will work hard to keep the pathology in check. Also, in case I get nasty, after this sentence I’m addressing all, not just Liza.

What is an attack?

Most probably agree that stating a fact (Giffords voted against SB1065) is not an attack.

We could add Fact #2 (SB1065 makes huge employers reimburse the state for expenses AHCCCS incurs to care for any of their employees) and still say no attack has occurred.

Or could we? What is a fact?

Is Fact #2 a fact? Read Hollingsworth and you are left with the taste of requiring Walmart giants to pay their due. Sounds simple and right. SB1065 states “all employers” and kicks in at 100 employees counting part time workers. Is 102 “huge”? Do you realize what counting part time workers does? Does “all employers” include our community colleges, universities, and schools ? Have any idea how many part time adjunct faculty they employ? Substitute teachers in K-12?

Run the scenarios yourself, and, uh, we’re going to administer and enforce this how?

As an aside, IMHO if this country handled health care, universally, with the greed removed, costs would plummet.

Back on subject, we all might nod that stating a fact is not an attack, but rarely are we stating facts. We jump from “over 100” to “huge” without blinking and still think we are factual. Full time versus part time doesn’t even reach our consciousness.

But even if we rigorously stick to facts, which facts? What is said about Rip Wilson (spoke for Walmart—a fact) but not said (also speaks for 100’s of other clients including promoting wireless internet for school libraries—also facts but excluded). In crafting our message we select which facts, for every one stated there are those excluded.

So, like Lebesgue in Measure Theory, if we jump from “content” to “results/intent”, it gets simpler. An attack is a communication intended to harm in a particular context. Here, we are pretty much talking about someone getting elected. An attack is a communication designed to reduce the target’s ability to get elected.

Addressing Liza again, Hollingsworth praise of Patty is not an attack (a promotion of ability to get elected) but his words on Giffords are an attack (an effort to reduce ability to get elected), and I am not saying there is anything wrong with this.

Not sure at all that “attack” carries a bad connotation. Those who see why a candidate should not get elected should speak up.

outlander said...

Attack or not, these comments underscore the problems of supporting someone known to cave in to businesses, voting for special interests over people.

Gabbys supporters (to their credit) accent the negative, eliminate the positive and sashay into a mishmash of defensive contrivances.

Is this what we want to represent us against the GOP?

FEDUP said...

The 100-employee issue could have been rectified before final vote if in fact, Giffords was the great negotiator she claims to be and stresses in her stump speeches. She always talks of compromise, bipartisanship, etc. So at the very least, this would be an admission that she isn’t as competent as she proclaims.

If the 100 employee limit was her issue, she could have gone back to the sponsor and said, "let's raise that to 1000 and I would be more comfortable supporting it".

My understanding is the amount paid in is in proportion to the number of employees so the bill would not impact small employers greatly had it passed but it would have impacted Wal-Mart in a big way and we wouldn't have had to keep paying their welfare.

sirocco said...

Fed-up, I believe the amount to be paid was on a per-employee basis. I could be wrong. If I am right, however, I would expect this to impact medium-sized (any business with 100+ employess isn't really small) to a greater extent than truly large companies (like Wal-Mart).

Liza said...

X4mr,
I think we can all agree that legislative bills are generally complex and can be misleading. Sometimes this is deliberate, as we all know. What may sound good in summary format can be something completely different in the details.

However, I would argue that 100 employees (full time and/or part time) is significant although certainly not huge. And, I think we all know that some employers hire part time employees and contractors specifically to save on health care and other benefits to hold down costs. In addition, some employers withhold health care benefits for the first six months of employment for full time employees. In all these cases, the cost of whatever health care these people get is paid by someone other than the employer. It sounds to me as though SB1065 attempted to address these issues, although I will concede that there could have been some major problems with the bill as written. Clearly, the legislation should have been written to target the worst abusers, not to create another administrative nightmare. Given that the legislation was based on a good concept, had popular support, and attempted to correct abusive employer practices, then why was the legislation scrapped instead of rewritten and salvaged?

Universal health care is a no brainer and all we can do with that is preach to the choir. Health care has become a huge burden for many employers and the current situation is not sustainable. However, we are years away from universal health care in this country, and until we have Democratic rule, we are not likely to see much change within the current system. Unfortunately, that means that employers will have to provide health care and the states will have to step up to fill in the gaps. Even more unfortunate, it should also be apparent that regulation of employers who abuse publicly funded health care is going to have to occur at the state level until progressive rulers occupy Washington DC.

X4mr, I do not agree with your definition of “attack” because it’s just too broad. In this context, which is writing about political candidates, you say that “an attack is a communication designed to reduce the target’s ability to get elected.” I think that to qualify as an “attack” you need deliberate lying with a malicious intent to cause serious harm to the candidate’s credibility and character.

This brings me back to Hollingsworth and I have just one point here. Everyone is a political writer these days but not everyone has been trained to be an investigative journalist. I think we have to accept the fact that a lot will be written that has not been comprehensively researched to originate from only credible or factual sources. Knowing that, the burden is on each of us to question the source, and as Mr. Hollingsworth himself suggested, do our own research.

As for our elected officials, the burden is on them to defend their voting record. It’s just too bad that it takes an election for their voting records to become interesting. If we want to take back the government from special interests, then we’re going to have to get better at holding our elected officials accountable for their votes.

sirocco said...

Art, is there any chance you might put a link to the Arizona 8th blog under your list of Links?

Art Jacobson said...

Sirocco..
Sure. It may take me a couple of hours, but I'll try to do it today.

sirocco said...

I tend to agree, in general, x4mr's definition of an attack is overly broad.

On the other hand, it comes close to being an "attack" when conclusions are drawn which aren't supported by the given facts. The SB 1065 issue qualifies.

Individuals are making claims Giffords is "anti-labor", and using SB 1065 as their evidence. The existence of SB 1065 is fact, but it doesn't lead to the conclusion. I could similarly walk outside in NYCity for a few minutes, meet one group of five people, all male, and conclude no women live in NYC.

I.e., one vote is not statistically significant. One vote does not generate a trend. Trying to paint any candidate purely on the existence of one vote certainly qualifies as an attack to me -- and so far, the only evidence which has been presented to support an "anti-labor" claim has been the SB 1065 vote.

If you look at the full sum of Gifford's record, the claim becomes specious on the face of it. That's why the people pushing the notion aren't _trying_ to push her full record. They are trying to strip one small portion of it out of context and tar her with a label which doesn't apply.

x4mr said...

I could not have said it better, sirocco, than the last sentence of your 1:44 post. That is exactly what is going on, and I do think the "tarring" constitutes an attack.

By the way, not at all attached to my earlier definition, and maybe I'll take another crack at it after thinking more. I hear Liza saying that to be an attack it has to involve "deliberate lying" and be aimed at character.

Hmmm. Well regarding character, it certainly is a subset of the earlier definition, because character clearly influences electability. So I might call something an attack and Liza would disagree because character was not involved. I can see that view.

I don't see the need for deliberate lying. I think it is possible to construct something brutal, something all would agree "Now that is an attack!!" without ever really lying per se.

I think Liza's remarks on SB1065 are very sound considerations, but will confess I've reached my depth on that bill. I think everyone here would agree that large, profitable organizations playing games to avoid insuring employees is "bad" and should be addressed. As I wrote, SB1065 may have been really problematic, but I like what those of you said about fixing it instead of killing it. Very good point.

Liza said...

I said that to qualify as an “attack” you need deliberate lying with a malicious intent to cause serious harm to the candidate’s credibility and character. Unquestionably, the ultimate goal of an “attack” is to prevent the candidate from being elected. Otherwise, why do it? The purpose of an “attack” is to disseminate false information about a candidate that leads voters to perceive that individual as someone who is less than truthful or has other character deficits, thus being unfit for public service. An “attack” is about using lies to create voter perceptions about credibility and character.

I think that deliberate lying is essential to qualify as an "attack" on a political candidate. If someone writes the truth for the purpose of informing the electorate, how can that possibly be an "attack?" The truth is the truth, flattering or not. Furthermore, if the intent is to provide information that voters can use to evaluate the candidate, then how can that be an “attack?”

How people draw conclusions is another issue. Sometimes people are just too quick to connect the dots without supporting information. As I said earlier, not everyone has been trained to be an investigative journalist. If someone deliberately and knowingly draws false conclusions from facts or partial facts, then I think one can argue that this is akin to lying. If these false conclusions are disseminated to cause serious harm to the candidate’s credibility and character, then this is an “attack.” However, unless there is boldface lying, intent can be subtle and difficult to judge in the absence of repetition and consistency. I just think that we need to know that an “attack” is really an “attack” before we call it that. People write about a lot of things these days and not all of them do it well. The burden is on the candidate to set the record straight.

sirocco said...

Liza,

I have to disagree, at least in part, with part of your final sentence.

Certainly it is true there is a burdon on the candidate to set the record straight. However, there is a greater burdon on the blogger to present information accurately.

Let's use SB 1065 as an example. If someone says "here is this vote, I don't understand it. I disagree with it, because XXX, and it doesn't seem to support labor.", I would consider that a fine post. It's factual, the author explains his rationale, and the conclusion (that this specific vote seems anti-labor) is fair to draw.

However, using one vote, out of who knows how many over the course of Giffords service, to draw the conclusion "Giffords is anti-labor" ... you don't have to be a trained journalist to to realize one vote is a slim reed to base such a sweeping conclusion on. You either have to:

* be intentionally overstating the conclusion, which I would consider an attack, or

* have already pre-determined your conclusion, such that the amount of evidence for or against really doesn't matter.

I suspect the second possibility occurs more than the first, but as you note it can be hard to tell the difference.

This isn't just a thought experiment though -- people have been making that "anti-labor" claim based solely on the siingle vote, notably a DailyKos poster and people in various threads here and on Rum, Romanism and rebellion. To his credit, the Kos poster subsequently retracted his "anti-labor" description from his original post.

sirocco said...

Uhm ... I realized I forgot to include my final summary to the above ... the point I was striving for is, if a blogger wishes to retain credibility, they have a burdon to be accurate. Accuracy is more than simply presenting facts, it's also not mis-using facts, which is a far more subtle issue.

boohoo said...

I don't know if SB1065 was anti labor but it put the health care cost of Wal-Mart employees on the back of AZ tax payers! $15 million by Wal-Mart alone. Guess who was number two in this hit parade, Bashas, near $7 million. McDonalds was next.

This is what pisses me off about this tie breaking vote where the only Democrat that voted to support this corporate interest was GG. No wonder she gets money from Rip Wilson.

Liza said...

Sirocco,
I can’t disagree with you on any of your points. I believe, as you do, that someone who writes about a candidate should not draw conclusions that are not supported by verifiable facts or information from credible sources. And, I also agree that if a writer wants to be considered credible, then he/she needs to be accurate. No argument there.

However, we live in the real world. Anyone can write on blogs. We’re talking about a population of writers that has the full spectrum of every characteristic you can think of including education, writing skills, work experience, life experience, etc… But we are total strangers who know nothing about each other. We can’t possibly know each other’s motivations. And, you can’t just assume that what is obvious to you is obvious to everyone. Unless I can be sure of malicious intent, I’d just as soon give the benefit of doubt to the writer. Recently, I have noticed that a lot of people on Kos are asking writers to identify their sources when they make unsubstantiated statements. I think that’s a good way to weed out those who really are just attacking candidates they don’t like.

I think it’s sad but true that the burden is on the candidate to set the record straight. Who else can do it?

sirocco said...

Well, as you note we can police ourselves by asking people to post sources, and we often do.

Still, I would like to see original posters be held more accountable.

Art Jacobson said...

Sirocco...

Identifying sources is certainly a good idea, although even jornalists sometime have to hide behind the "a highly placed government official" dodge.

When that happens we at least know who the reporter is, his or her reputation for reliability, and the newpaper or TV news outlet he or she writes for.

Forgive me for putting it this way, but who the hell are you...or any of the other pseudonomous posters on this and other blogs?

In addition to identifying sources let's also honestly ourselves.

'gards

Art

Art Jacobson said...

Ooops...

make that "honestly identify ourselves."

x4mr said...

A lot to think about here.

First, just want to say I find this particular “thread” or exchange very interesting, and I don’t think it is abstract blah, blah. I think these ideas are very pertinent and applicable, because there is a storm brewing with SB’s and HB’s and this candidate said this and that candidate said that and this means this…….

Based on comments (primarily liza and sirocco) and my own thinking, I’ve refined “attack” to be a deliberate falsehood or misinterpretation of facts designed to damage the image of a candidate’s suitability for office.

Key distinctions are: 1) deliberate, 2) creates a false notion, 3) hurts our view/image of the person, 4) in a way that we consider them not suited for office.

This captures liza’s notion of deliberate lying but includes what sirocco is pointing to about an intentional twisting of facts to create a false view. I think we are going to see a lot of both and soon.

So, with this definition, a blogger presenting facts and interpretations in a straight fashion, no matter how negative it may be for a candidate is not attacking. There is no deliberate “falseness” in the mix, or the way sirocco put it, “mis-use of facts.”

My gut still has the sense that this misses something that can be an "attack" but enough of that for now.

I can appreciate Art’s dander rising up a little with the “original posters being held more accountable” remark.

For what it’s worth, IMHO there’s a HUGE distinction between folks like Art, Tedski, George, etc. and those characters who post an original story at kos. There is no comparison, and I can’t think of a single example, not one, where the original posts at this blog or those like it contained the kind of nonsense we’ve been discussing.

By the way, not criticizing kos itself. That’s just a different animal that plays a different game.

And, yes, the original stories over there can be pseudoname sourced and play reagan day games.

x4mr said...

Whooops. Got emotional and overspoke. I actually can think of some nonsense original posts, but not at DataPort.

x4mr said...

What timing, speaking of such, I think George has eaten some funny mushrooms.

George's Blog

Not sure if I can develop a definition for that piece of work.

sirocco said...

Hey, Art, yeah, my comment about holding original posters to account certainly was not directed at you, it was directed more to some threads on DailyKos.

If someone has their real name attached to something (yourself, Ted, George) well, that's all the accountability required. If something seems wrong, or we want to challenge it, we know where to go.

For psuedonymous posters like myself, we definitely need to be challenged for sources if we make a statement someone disagrees with.

sirocco said...
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Kralmajales said...
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x4mr said...

I also think Hollingsworth email was an attack.

I think we will see a lot of efforts to take some fact or event (a vote, a statement, whatever) and make it mean something bad about a candidate that just isn't accurate (not pretending this is profound). What might be new is the volatility of the blog world and how "out there" folks can get.

Apparently Patty Weiss wants to take us to Mars!

The campaigns will have their hands full with all of this, and it will be interesting to see how much of the stuff that can be blogged anonymously actually makes it to television, etc...

Finally, wish to retract my mushroom statement about George above. I misread his post. What it actually says is not as nuts as I thought. I apologized at his blog.

Dogma said...

SB1065 Analyzed

Much as been made of Giffords’ vote in early 2004 against SB 1065. The main criticism, most often hurled in the form of an accusation, being that this was an anti-labor vote. After weeks of having the issue raised and raised again, it is time to look at the facts.

The Facts:

SB 1065, an Act titled “Large Employers; AHCCCS; Reimbursement.” It was introduced in January 2004 by Senators Blendu, Binder, Mead, Mitchell: Allen, Cannell R, Cheuvront. It got a hearing by the Committee on Commerce on March 24th, 2004; Giffords being a member of that committee at the time. It’s a very short bill that read as follows:

“36-2930. Employees of large employers; reimbursement for services; definition

A. PURSUANT TO RULES ADOPTED BY THE ADMINISTRATION, IF A MEMBER WHO RECEIVES SERVICES PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE IS EMPLOYED BY AN EMPLOYER WHO EMPLOYS AT LEAST ONE HUNDRED EMPLOYEES COLLECTIVELY IN THIS STATE, THAT EMPLOYER MUST REIMBURSE THE ADMINISTRATION FOR THE COST OF THESE SERVICES.

B. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, "EMPLOYED" MEANS FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT.”

The Background:

Here’s the background as provided in the accompanying factsheet prepared by the legislative staff:

“A recent study by The Commonwealth Fund that profiled uninsured workers in large firms, found that although large employers are more likely than small ones to offer health insurance coverage, the number of workers in large firms without health insurance is growing. The report stated there are three basic explanations for why workers may not have health insurance: (1) they declined coverage when it was offered; (2) they are not eligible for the coverage offered by their employers; or (3) their firm does not offer health benefits. The report cited a combination of factors responsible for decreasing health insurance coverage within large firms: the decline in manufacturing jobs and unionization, restrictions placed on benefit eligibility and higher employee premium contributions, as well as service industry trends and the changing structure of large corporations.”

Additionally, an article printed in The Arizona Republic on July 30, 2005, also present some germane information with additional material extracted from the Committee on Commerce’s meeting minutes:

- AHCCCS insures over 1 million Arizonans at a cost of $6 billion a year.
- Nearly half of all the adults enrolled in AHCCCS are the working poor who either are not offered or cannot afford medical benefits our largest retailers, grocery chains, and food service companies.
- State data (not sourced) showed the following breakdown of employees enrolled in this program by employer: Wal-Mart 2,800, McDonald’s 1,000, Bashas’ 700, Circle K 600, and the State of Arizona 500.
- AHCCCS costs the Arizona taxpayers $5,550 on average per participant.
- This average yearly participant cost equates to the following for the major employers noted earlier: Wal-Mart $15.5 million, McDonald’s $5.5 million, Bashas’ $4 million, Circle K $3.3 million, and the State of Arizona $2.7 million.
- Who testified at the committee hearing: Jay Kaprosy, Vice President of Public Affairs, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, testified in opposition to SB 1065; Michelle Ahlmer, Executive Director, Arizona Retailers Association, testified in opposition to SB 1065; Senator Leff announced the individuals who registered their position on the bill; Rip Wilson, Wal Mart Stores, Inc., testified in opposition to SB 1065. Note that no advocacy groups or unions or anyone not in the legislature appeared in person to testify in favor of SB 1065.
- The 2004-5 state budget was officially “balanced,” though the structural deficit was estimated to be as high as $764 million.


The Vote:

Yeas
Marsha Arzberger (D)
Robert Blendu (R)
Ken Cheuvront (D)
Victor Soltero (D)

Nays
Carolyn S. Allen (R)
Gabrielle Giffords (D)
Jay Tibshraeny (R)
Dean Martin (R)
Barbara Leff (R)


The Analysis

SB 1065 did not propose to alter who received healthcare services under AHCCCS or how those services were to be delivered and cannot, therefore, reasonably be characterized as anti-labor. It was intended to shift some of the financial burden of paying for those healthcare services from Arizona taxpayer to larger businesses. This was apparently driven by an underlying sentiment that larger businesses, such as those named above, were capable of shouldering that burden. The theory being that these businesses were simply exploiting AHCCCS as a mechanism to avoid paying their employees’ healthcare costs, thereby increasing their profit margins on the backs of the taxpayers

While there are many other lines of analysis that could be followed, SB 1065 really boiled down to who should pay for the healthcare delivered under AHCCCS. This issue is symptomatic of the larger healthcare crisis in the U.S. and the debate over universal healthcare. Like it or not, it is not a legal requirement for employers to provide health insurance. It is a fringe benefit mostly intended to attract and retain a quality workforce.

This bill would have, in effect, required businesses employing 100 or more workers (fulltime or part-time) to provide universal healthcare coverage either through a private plan or by reimbursing the state for their employees use of the AHCCCS program. While universal healthcare likely is the solution for the U.S. as a whole, this was an unfair bill that would have punished large companies for being large companies. If the legislature wanted employers to reimburse AHCCCS for their employees and enact de facto universal healthcare coverage for Arizona, then the bill should not have proposed an arbitrary cap on company size. Would this extra burden have resulted in any of the named concerns going out of business? Certainly not. However, there would have been an economic price to pay probably in fewer jobs and slower job growth over time. Additionally, higher costs are inevitably passed along to the consumer (aka taxpayer) who would have paid one way or another (i.e., taxpayers/consumers would have paid either way).

SB 1065 was bad public policy that would have solved nothing, but merely shifted how/where the taxpayer/consumer paid, while potentially resulting in lost jobs and slower future job growth.

While you may not agree with my analysis, I believe it clearly demonstrate that a lefty who believes in universal healthcare (that would be me) could easily find themselves opposing this legislation, which was also clearly NOT anti-labor. So, let us now debate the facts of the bill and what it would or would not have accomplished if you’re not too tired of talking about it.

anonymous said...

Roger may be a southpaw but he is no democrat, and no lefty.

His analysis is a stretch worthy of Sandy Koufax.