Our Voice: Wrong time for Denham's principled vote
by Press Editorial Board
Oct 25, 2013 | 9745 views | 38 38 comments | 498 498 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When he voted Oct. 16 to continue the shutdown of the federal government, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), who represents almost all of Tracy, said he was making a statement on federal spending.

We’re all for fiscal conservatism. Clearly, the government spends far too much money, from the military to social programs. In 2006, then-Sen. Barack Obama was highly critical of former President George W. Bush’s out-of-control spending as the deficit and national debt exploded. When Obama became president, his tune changed and the debt increased exponentially.

Overspending is a bipartisan epidemic.

Still, shutting down the government and harming our still-fragile economy was the wrong time and place to take a stand. Fellow Republican and heretofore tea party darling Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) said the government shutdown strategy was doomed from the start, calling his colleagues “lemmings with suicide vests.”

It all started with Republicans’ desire to “defund” the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare.” Most Republicans, including Nunes and Denham, agree on opposition to the health care law. With Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as chief spokesman, some Republicans had hoped to use the government shutdown as a way to force the White House and the Senate to “negotiate” on the legislation. The White House rightfully pointed out that shutting down the government to the detriment of all is not negotiating. It’s hostage taking.

The Affordable Care Act is deeply flawed, and the implementation to date is a mess.

But again, as Nunes pointed out, shutting down the government never had a chance of succeeding as a hedge against the health care law. Empty statements and political tantrums seldom work, and they are especially painful when the nation suffers economic consequences. More experienced Republicans in both houses of Congress tried to explain that simple notion to the newer firebrands in the House.

The best way for Republicans to mitigate the president’s health care legislation is to win more elections. Unfortunately, some Republicans in mixed-partisan districts, such as Denham, may have detonated their suicide vests. Further, the Republican “brand” was badly tarnished by Cruz and the “lemmings” in the House. The 2014 mid-term elections will be a good indicator of whether the damage will endure.

 
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backinblack
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November 07, 2013
Fact. One of the other agents in our office just had a policy cancelled which he and his wife had for 17 years. They are my age, work out, eat right, put no strain on the healthcare system and their reward under the ACA? An annual increase of $4800 for their new plan which includes the newly mandated coverage they do not need.

backinblack
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November 05, 2013
Fact: Obama yesterday, "What we said was, you could keep it, if it hadn't changed since the law was passed,"

Lie

If from someone other than an apparently habitual liar this would surprise me seeing as up until the time the truth came out Obama clearly said, paraphrasing, if you like your current plan you can keep it, period. If you like your current doctor you can keep him, period.

No caveats.

As an insurance agent I can tell you there is no way to judge the quality of a policy I did not issue without having a full set of facts & information to review. Therefor, Obama, Axelrod, Jay Carney, et al have no clue and are guilty of professional malpractice by saying all the policies being cancelled were junk. By the way, are any of them licensed agents? Hmmm.

The other problem with their ignorant reasoning is insurance beyond question is not a one size fits all venture.

As I warned 3 years ago we now have people who should be paying less based on their risk characteristics paying more, and people who should be paying more based on their risk characteristics paying less or nothing.

The ACA was foisted upon us and based on basic principles of insurance and business will fail.
backinblack
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November 04, 2013
"However it seems lately the cancer it destroying itself."

Congratulations, you nailed it. The fiasco known as The Affordable Care Act is imploding for all but the blind to see.

By the way, are you taking the hate mongering torch from cathlab/bookhater & debbdaves?

If you'd like to have a civil debate about the effects of the ACA, why the economy is still in the tank, why both parties are to blame for the mess, and how Obama is failing as a leader, let me know as I will be glad to engage.

Otherwise figure out who cathlab is and spend your time with her as you both have the same agenda, she wants to shoot Republicans and you want to eradicate Republicans so it should be a grand ole time.
Blue-Jeans
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October 29, 2013
Why is it when someone wants Washington DC to talk about fiscal responsibility you get a pacel of Democrats pitching a fit and raising every excuse in the book. All of this to convince us to steer clear of fiscal responsibility?

The editorial looks to be over a hundred words. The first fifty words appear to embrace fiscal responsibility. The last fifty words appears to be an entirely different article claiming we should abstain from fiscal responsibility.

Seems like whoever wrote this editorial wants to have it both ways?
storkfmny
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October 30, 2013
"Seems like whoever wrote this editorial wants to have it both ways?"

Typical of liberal dems.
Localeze1
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October 28, 2013
President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.

Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”
Localeze1
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October 28, 2013
http://investigations.nbcnews.com/

Obama-admin-knew-millions-could-not-keep-their-health-insurance

Localeze1
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October 28, 2013
Is NBC also investigating our previous congressman Jerry McNerney? Was he Nancy Palosi's right hand man? And now he is congressman in another district - like Stockton or some other bankrupt city?
backinblack
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October 28, 2013
Gee, What a surprise, I warned people about this 3 years ago, in a number of instances on this website. The result? Getting called just about everything under the sun, but hey, what do I know.

http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/28/21213547-obama-admin-knew-millions-could-not-keep-their-health-insurance?lite&ocid=msnhp&pos=1

Hopefully TP does not delete this but the facts are the facts. Our President is either a liar, or inept for getting a law passed of which he has very little knowledge.

Sad.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 28, 2013
"Our President is either a liar, or inept for getting a law passed of which he has very little knowledge."

Puttin my money on both. Th thang that bothers me most is that while I can somewhat understand th first term election because of ignorance but th second term? That is nothin more than pure stupidity; tryin somethang that didn't work out an then stupidly tryin it again expectin better results.

backinblack
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October 28, 2013
Granny rights: "ACA removes pre-existing conditions and requires coverage for birth control and maternity care. All of these are a problem for most people now."

Questions,

Who makes the decision to engage in unprotected sex?

Who makes the oft times reckless decision to propagate even though they cannot afford children and/or do not have enough intellectual capacity to raise them into decent adults who contribute to, rather than sponge off of society?

Who in many cases causes their pre-existing condition through lousy eating habits, no exercising, and smoking?

Seems to me the things you deem to be a problem are more times than not self inflicted.

You also state most people have these problems, please provide your empirical data to prove your assertion.

By the way, I'm in my 50's but do not have children. Why, that's the choice my wife & I made, period. We considered economics, jobs, other commitments & things we wanted to do with our lives, etc. We thought things out rather than doing what way too many people do, have children just for the sake of having children because they've been brainwashed into thinking it's a requirement of life.

cont......
backinblack
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October 28, 2013
Granny, I assume you believe birth control and maternity care are as Sandra Fluke opines health care issues, and therefor should be paid for by the rest of us. Fine, but let me ask you what others have failed to answer.

Even though I made the choice to weight train, stay active with other physical activities, eat right, and basically bust my backside since the age of 15 to stay in shape, do you believe I and others who walk this path have a right to your money to support our good habits?



If birth control and maternity care are healthcare issues then I would think only an unreasonable person would say working out and eating right are not.

In case you are wondering, the reason people like me do not expect others to pay for our decisions is we have the element of personal responsibility way too many people in this country seem to lack these days. However, if you feel obligated to pay for the poor decisions of those who put a strain on the healthcare system, how about striking up the band for those of us who make good decisions and put little strain on the healthcare system?

You think birth control and maternity care are expensive? Try pricing protein powder, vitamins, weights and peripherals for a home gym, work out clothes, healthy food, etc.

Sad, Sandra Fluke promotes victimhood and

dependency yet is asked to testify before Congress to promote her agenda, where's the voice from my side? Oh yea, personal responsibility and the power of the individuals mind & body are not things which fit the current narrative.
jtashjian
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October 27, 2013
I am a die hard party line democrat but I completely respect the republicans for clinging to the values and principles regardless of public opinion. In addition to that I have three recommendations they continue to do to make their party more popular:

1)Keep talking about Rape Victims - really in any capacity.

2) Try another government shut down. Worked so well the last time.

3) Michelle Bachmann - key to your salvation.

If you continue to do this you will show the democrats the error of their ways. Trust Me!
mthouseman
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October 27, 2013
"die hard party line democrat"

Just what this country needs...more people that can't think for themselves.

fortheunderdog
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October 28, 2013
"Just what this country needs...more people that can't think for themselves."

I get it. Kind of like base line Republican's who are taking orders from their Tea Party. Or Republican's who signed a pledge not to raise taxes taking orders from Grover Norquist. Ah yes, I see hypocrisy on both sides of the fence.
mthouseman
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October 28, 2013
You should vote with your own mind, not what your party (regardless of what party that may be) tells you to do. Had he said he was a die hard part line greenie, I would have posted the same response.

storkfmny
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October 30, 2013
When you all realize that it is the two party system that is the root of this evil being done to the country, we will be able to move on to better things.

The two parties are one in the same, vote for neither of them if you want real change... (the kind we want and need).
jtashjian
|
November 03, 2013
I am a party line Democrat because I realize that's the only way to eradicate the cancer that is called the Republican Party. However it seems lately the cancer it destroying itself.
Bird_Man
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October 26, 2013
What about his voting to continue the NSA domestic spying program?

Can't wait for the next election. I will not vote for him.
TeeOff
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October 26, 2013
Which vote the Amish amandment or the Pompeo amendment? Most people don't understand a simple fact that they have a back door into companies that collect you personal information. You already gave them your information. You really need to educate yourself about what's really going on.
TimMichaelCase
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October 27, 2013
Just remember, Obama is at the head of all this spying and using the IRS to attack his political enemies. Will you not vote for his Democrat predecessor also?
fortheunderdog
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October 28, 2013
C'mon now. Do you really think that past GOP presidents weren't involved in spying? Don't be that gullible.
backinblack
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October 25, 2013
Sans bias, emotion, & rhetoric, here's why the ACA is "deeply flawed" - for full disclosure I'm an insurance agent and have read a greater portion of the ACA than most, if not all politicians.

Pooling is a principle of insurance but unfortunately a small amount of high risk can push loss ratios to an unsustainable level.

When loss ratios reach an unsustainable level for a particular risk pool insurance companies only have a few options to address the situation:

Raise premiums

Pull out of that particular market segment - this of course leads to less competition.

Leave things as is and continue to lose oft times massive amounts of money - this of course could lead to insolvency and less competition.

The main point of insurance is to protect individuals, businesses, etc from unforeseen or unknown events. Therefor regardless of the type, insurance was never meant to be a maintenance program.

Insurance, again regardless of the type, responds to the market. What does this mean? If your home is in a high risk brush (fire) zone, carriers respond by charging a higher premium than someone would pay if the identical house was located in a low risk zone. Simple and reasonable, right?

backinblack
|
October 25, 2013
Here's how the facts I presented apply to the ACA.

The ACA does virtually nothing to address the main reason health insurance is so expensive - high healthcare costs - refer to insurance responds to the market.

Why are healthcare costs high? Simple supply & demand principles. The facts show we are in large part a nation permeated with overweight & out of shape people. Simply put, until people get in better shape and adhere to better eating habits thus putting less demand on the system, healthcare cost will not go down, therefor neither will health insurance costs.

Let's not forget the high price of Professional Liability (malpractice) insurance for medical professionals. This also contributes to high healthcare cost but premiums will not go down without tort reform which the ACA also fails to address. As long as the exposue carriers have to oft times outlandish lawsuits & settelments against medical professionals their insurance premiums will remain high.

In the midst of this problem the ACA forces insurance companies to provide broader coverage, take on higher risk individuals, and do both at "affordable" premiums. This is fact and not my opinion, it will not work. Insurance companies do not do anything on a whim, try looking up acturial science in regards to insurance. There's a reason supported by years of accumulating data insurance companies charge higher premium for higher risk.

The affordability and sustainability of the ACA relies on enough good risk joining the pool to compensate for the high risk - at this point refer to loss ratios. I hear people talking about just about everything except what's going to happen when all the claims start rolling in.

Based on reason and the fact I have seen carriers pull out of certain market segments due to unsustainable loss ratios here's what I'm pretty sure will happen.

With a large number of already unhealthy people, many with pre-existing conditions, no lifetime caps, and allegedly affordable premiums, the loss ratios of the pool are going to head south in a rather short period of time when claim after claim after claim start rolling in.

Premiums will have to go up - they already are as insurance companies also know what's going to happen. Companies will pull out of the health insurance market - also already happening, thus less competition which is another reason premiums will go up.

When I first read through the ACA I came to the conclusion it was written by either people who know little about how insurance principles or geniuses who knew it would bring down the private health insurance industry thus forcing the market into government control and possibly a single payor system. We'll see.
TimMichaelCase
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October 27, 2013
backinblack:

keep up the good educational series. The very DUMBED DOWN American electorate needs some sort of education and you're doing a very good job on that. Great Instructional Comments!
Grannygear
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October 25, 2013
Mr Denham does us all a disservice by claiming his vote to shut down the government was anything other than another example of GOP obstructionism. He admits he knew they had no chance of succeeding in defunding "Obamacare" but chose to waste $24B. Or half of the first years' cost for the ACA to " make a point". His thinking is as deluded as the posters up and down I5 claiming " congress created dust bowl, 65% less water". Did none of them notice California got 90% less water from Mother Nature last year? Expecting that water to be given from empty reservoirs is as dumb as expecting to cut services to the poor in order to pay back the $17T while maintaining tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Denham is clearly delusional. I would like to offer my services to campaign for a sane replacement in 2014. Who is with me?
TeeOff
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October 25, 2013
Not me. Your eagerness to go out on the campaign trail doesn't add up. First, where did the $24B loss come from?

Second, what does water have to do with anything. 90% water reduction happens in the resevoirs. The aquaducts are not being reduced because Tahoe or HetchHetchy is empty. It's not.

You are making the same irrational leap that the newspaper editor made, calling his vote a "temper tantrum", to justify fiscal irresponsibility.

I hope people on your campaign trail wake up, to your false logic, like I once did. Maybe one of them will have a moment of lucidity and be able to explain it to you. But it sounds like you already made your mind up.
TracyBlvd
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October 25, 2013
Granny gear, granny gear,

Where to begin.

Lets see. Tax cuts to wealthy Americans. Right?

My spouse and I can earn over $100k each and give money to charity and to our children. All of that money goes back into the economy to create jobs.

And you want to raise my taxes, why?

Oh, I know. So that We can give our money to the government instead of creating jobs.

So that someone who doesn't work can get their hands on my money, instead of someone who does work.

Ok, now that we all understand each other, please continue.
Nitegama
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October 25, 2013
Hmmm interesting the TEAs excuse the waste of 24 bil plus the loss of wages for folks that need govt permits etc ie the crabber (this is the season when they make their money) and call it standing on "principle"
AverageBri
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October 25, 2013
Stopped reading after "We’re all for fiscal conservatism."

That's laughable. The TEA (Taxed Enough Already) party conservatives are the only ones interested in reducing taxes and spending by our out of control Government (federal, state, local). Ted Cruz and company are demonized because they are true fiscal conservatives who understand our Govt is way too big and Obamacare will only make it that much bigger (i.e., more costly, more wasteful, less efficient than it already is).
slatz1
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October 25, 2013
This is the second Tracy Press editorial that refers to the Affordable Care Act as “deeply flawed.” I’m sure the act is flawed; how deeply, I do not know. Both sides keep changing their talking points. I hope the Tracy Press editorial staff will share its reasons as to why the legislation is “deeply flawed."
me-here
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October 25, 2013
Wake up Slatz !!! The health care act is the worst assault on the American people in history.

It hasn't taken effect and already jobs are lost, benefits to employees slashed and working hours reduced to less than 50 per week to avoid it. Notices to insured are being received that their insurance is cancelled. Flawed is a minor result of what has alredy happened and it isn't totally in effect yet.
fortheunderdog
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October 25, 2013
The health care act hasn't been given a chance to prove, or disprove, itself. Since the beginning, the GOP has been giving this act a failure rating without letting it start up. If there are any flaws in this act, clear it up as it progresses. Like anything else, if it doesn't work throw it out and start over. There wouldn't be this much flack by the GOP if the GOP were holding the highest position in the country. Then again, the Dem's would be finding fault with the GOP. Until this country can band together and work for its common good we're always going to have problems.
Grannygear
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October 25, 2013
Slatz1I think you are on to something. I have heard the same claims of " deeply flawed" but with no corroborating evidence offered.

Right now we have a deeply flawed system where stockholders make a profit if the insurance companies can collect more premiums than they pay out for care.

Death panels? How about a secretary with a list of covered medical conditions by code number using her computer to " save" by denying claims. Not even a nurse. A secretary.

ACA removes pre-existing conditions and requires coverage for birth control and maternity care. All of these are a problem for most people now. It also requires that at least 80% of premiums be used for care. That's a 20% " overhead and processing fee". On the other hand 94% of Medicare funds go to care. Yeah, 6% overhead.

I for one, find no threat in having government involved in healthcare, that's they way it is in the rest of the industrialized world
TracyBlvd
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October 25, 2013
Granny gear,

If you based your reason on government run healthcare in other countries, then I would concede. But we are not other countries. Your numbers pale in comparison. Medical malpractice is doubled. Costs of healthcare in America outpaces inflation and pay increases.

American government spends an order of magnitude more money than you realize. More people are on the doles. More people in America EXPECT services for free. Liberal groups are licking their chops to get more tax dollars to pay for even more, including abortion and illegal immigrants. The flood gates haven't even opened.

Justifying the need for more tax money by lying claim to fake information, and alluding to other countries, clearly delineates where the healthcare bill was flawed. It puts more money into a government that is controlled by out of control liberal lobbyists and lawyers, where we will see no end to the increase in cost. More importantly the fiscal impact this has on businesses who already see the impact to their bottom line.

We need to listen to businesses instead of MSNBC. Honestly, to pretend our government run healthcare works the same as other countries is absolutely laughable as some of the nuts on the extreme other side.
TeeOff
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October 25, 2013
What bothered me, and finally woke me up, when I was a liberal is this notion that we understand that government spending is out of control. But here is how we dealt with it.

One one hand we admitted there was a problem with government spending, by fiercely attacking republicans to raise taxes.

On the other hand we pretended that everything in America was peaches and roses.

I hit the wall when I found myself yelling at my friend in a heated debate. The poor lady had very little money, but I remember she seemed to see there was something wrong with this desire to raise taxes.

It just hit me, like why am I doing this to my friend. Why am I justifying a greedy, out of control government that won't stop till the country is bankrupt.

Enough!

And that's how I learned to work together.

Hopefully, the rest of America will wake up too.
Macpup
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October 28, 2013
Fortheunderdog - yes, all laws should be open to amendments and corrections because none are perfect - especially a 2,000 page-one-passed-in-the-middle-of-the-night! The problem is the only changes allowed to this law are from President Obama - waivers and postponement of the employer mandate to name a couple. Nothing else will be put on the floor by Senator Reid.


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