Go figure -- not that this is easy to do when what I'm trying to figure out is right-wing platitudes.
Like, tax increases always are bad.
Which makes sense. Except when it doesn't. Like when a tax increase is needed to provide essential services for the least fortunate and most vulnerable in Oregon -- the elderly, sick, poor, unemployed, children.
Yet reflexive anti-tax types like Russ Walker already are threatening to put a couple of tax increases on the ballot, if, as expected, they get through both houses of the state legislature.
Download Oregon tax boost
What ever happened to compassionate conservatism?
Republicans talk a good game about valuing charity and respecting life, but when it comes time to make a charitable contribution via taxes that will help deserving people live a lot better, all we hear is no, no, no!
Here's another bit of right-wing illogic: We just got a letter from Blue Cross of Oregon informing us that our health insurance premium would go up about 30% on July 1.
Thirty freaking percent! In one year!
Half of that, best I can figure, is due to me being sixty years old for the first time in a policy period. Of course, my health status is just the same and I'm taking care of myself just as marvelously as ever.
But the Blue Cross actuaries assume that once I crossed the 60 line, my wife and I should pay about 15% more for our health insurance. The other 15% is a regular annual premium increase for Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield.
To be distinguished from the regular annual 26% rate increase Blue Cross got last year. That's over 40% in two years, nasty.
So here's a question for Russ Walker and the rest of the anti-tax crowd: where's your outrage about the health insurance premium increases? We really don't have a choice about changing insurance companies, given the pre-existing condition clause that screws you over if you have a health problem that you need insurance for and want to sign up for a different policy.
Thus Blue Cross has taken a whole lot of money from us with its rate increases. And we can't do anything about it.
How is this different from a tax increase? Aren't Republicans in favor of letting people keep their own money, rather than shipping it off to faceless bureaucrats -- which perfectly describes large health insurance companies like Blue Cross.
It frosts me that so much Republican resistance is being expressed to a public option in Obama's health care reform proposal. Let's have some competition. Maybe that would make private health insurers more efficient and responsive to their customers.
The post office, a government operation basically, delivers our mail just fine. Ditto on the "just fine" with government firefighters. And government police. Not to mention the government's armed forces.
I don't understand the objection to having government operate a health insurance plan. Just as the postal service is in competition with UPS and Federal Express, so can a public health care option compete with private insurers.
I'm tired of having our premium go up double digits every year, when inflation is so low. To me, that's a tax increase. I can't wait for Congress to do something about it.