health care, shmealth care

Brent Finnegan -- August 21st, 2007

Today the National Federation of Independent Business is hosting a meeting in Harrisonburg for area business owners to voice their concerns and questions about managed health care. The $15 luncheon is being held at the Spotswood Country Club at noon. According to the report on WSVA, 30 local business owners have RSVP’d.

NFIB is a lobbying group representing small businesses in DC. Their issues include preventing workers from organizing unions, opposing the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007, and “fighting against burdensome” OSHA regulations.

As the NFIB points out on their website, there are more than 44 million uninsured Americans today. NFIB proposes “medical liability reform,” reducing mandated benefits, and expanding deductibles.

…or there’s always universal health care.

Starting Thursday, and over the next two weekends, SiCKO, Michael Moore’s film about US health care, will be playing at the Court Square Theater.

I saw it at the Visulite in Staunton a month or two ago. As a former film critic, I recommend it. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a review.

15 Responses to “health care, shmealth care”

  1. Tim says:

    May be a well known fact or a little know fact, off the subject or on, I’m not sure.

    One thing that has always bugged me about the pharmaceutics industry is that there is a big deal made about domestically produced drugs…they’re better and more reliable is how the argument goes. (I Don’t Trust those non-attention-to-details Canadians).

    I know some Merck employees, and from what they’ve said, the Elkton plant is kind of unique…in that it is on US soil. What I’ve heard is that most of our “U.S. produced drugs” are produced by US owned companies operating production plants everywhere but the U.S. I.E. Caribbean, Malaysia

    “But the FDA only approves US produced drugs!”

    No, we don’ t only have “Made in America” drugs, we have drugs from all over the world. What we do have is drugs produced by U.S. companies where ever they can do it cheapest and sold to us under a flag banner. If we can outsource drug production labor, why can’t we trust a foreign owned company to come up with similarly great product results at a competitive price? Free market, only when convenient, is how it looks to me.

    Our health is being outsourced, but we don’ have a way to fight.
    If you are sick, or your kid is sick, you don’t have an option, pay or whatever…

  2. David Miller says:

    Universal Health Care in Iraq makes sense and brings stability to the country. Universal Health Care in the US is communism.

    The meetings at the Country Club are great. Great food, and the speakers are so pro-business its just great. I consider myself probusiness as well. This kind of thing just crosses over for me. I love the people at the Chamber of Commerce locally. They do a great job of lobbying for looser restrictions that bring down the economy. Sometimes they go overboard, some days I cannot bring myself to read the newsletter. This meeting referenced above is a great example.

    I’m not sure about the relationship between NFIB and the Chamber but they seem to have similar goals. This quote scares me “NFIB proposes “medical liability reform,” reducing mandated benefits, and expanding deductibles.”. IT scares me because it is business persons trying to grapple with the problems of health care and health care costs. The solution though doesn’t lie in cutting benefits and reforming “medical liability”. That hints at screwing your employeees.

    Lets try and fix the damn Health Care “Industry” from the bottom up. There has got to be a better way, and it isn’t through blanket Universal Health Care nor through increaded deductibles and lower coverage. (I’m 26 and pay $344 monthly, that ain’t right!)

  3. finnegan says:

    I couldn’t agree more, David.

    I support (and have always supported) small-businesses. I visit the big box stores and chain restaurants as seldom as possible, and avoid Wal-Mart altogether in favor of locally-owned businesses. However, big lobby groups and greedy entrepreneurs can hide behind the term “small business” to mask their real intentions to cut corners, screw over their employees, and in some cases, pollute the environment. It’s “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” if you will.

    No me gusta.

  4. Emmy says:

    “I know some Merck employees, and from what they’ve said, the Elkton plant is kind of unique…in that it is on US soil.”

    MERCK actually has a few plants on US soil.

  5. larsen says:

    Preventing workers from organizing unions?

    I checked their website and can’t find anything about union prevention.

  6. Del Marvel says:

    “I checked their website and can’t find anything about union prevention”

    Try this page:

  7. finnegan says:

    Perhaps “hindering the formation of unions” is a more accurate way to put it.

  8. Del Marvel says:

    From their site: “It might seem like there’s little you can do to fight a [union organizing] campaign. Not so.”

    I’d say that your original “preventing workers from organizing unions” seems like an accurate way to put it.

  9. larsen says:

    Here’s the flip side:

    “As part of the AFL-CIO’s Union Cities plan, SCFL’s Organizing Committee has attempted to increase the level of union organizing in our area. We have analyzed the area’s businesses, sponsored media training, recruited and trained volunteer organizers, and handbilled unorganized companies.”

    Where money is involved – as, of course, it is in personal wages business profits, and union bankrolls – people get pushy to protect their own interests. Kudos to companies that take the high ground and treat their employees right – maybe the bad companies deserve being unionized as punishment. Of course, who decides what defines being treated right? Employees who belong to a union and work for a company end up serving two bosses. I think one is enough.

  10. David Miller says:

    Here’s where I become moderate
    “By joining together in a union with your co-workers, you can negotiate a contract with your employer which guarantees fair and equal treatment on the job and a voice in workplace decisions–in addition to increased wages, job security and decent working conditions.”

    Aren’t increased wages a market driven factor?
    Job security-A pipe dream in our flattening world (credit to Friedman)
    Decent working conditions-Seriously, if your job is unsafe-don’t work there.

    These are a few perspectives that I completely understand can be argued, but the SCFL does a poor job of making that argument.

  11. Marty says:

    @David Miller

    I totally agree with your stance on this topic.

  12. Bubby says:

    Employees who belong to a union and work for a company end up serving two bosses. I think one is enough

    I guess that depends on which one is focused on securing your job, get you better wages, conditions, and benefits…and which one is focused on finding ways to take those things off the table. Organizing can lead to equality at the bargaining table.

  13. David Miller says:


    I see your point. Mine is that I would only work for a “boss” that I can negotiate with myself. I’m kind of in the boat (god help me for saying this out loud) that says, if you join a union to bully your boss out of more money then you are simply saying, “I like my job, you’re my boss but I’m going to tell you how much you are going to pay me”. What’s wrong with, I like my job, here’s what I need to stay with you, can you pay me that? Yes/ No, whichever. If your boss can’t or won’t pay you more then quit. We call it the free market. If you don’t like the free market then argue against it (it is a political argument not one for the workplace). I think that if we reformed minimum wage even more than recently and quit subsidizing every pet project then people would see the real cost of goods and services and equal the playing field between labor and capital.

    But I don’t have a family to feed and I am both vertically and horizontally mobile-career wise.

  14. Bubby says:

    I’ve worked union jobs. None of them were small organizations.

    My boss was just another worker ant with no ability to set my pay. His boss was either a government bureaucrat with a pay-grade list with my job description next to a pay rate, or a CFO that didn’t know me, or care – I was a net profit number on a spreadsheet.

    Not all organizations lend themselves to your vision. And not everyone has the employment options that we have. But in Virginia, just like you can say no thank you to an employer who won’t pay you a fair wage, so too can an employer say no thank you to a employee representative that wants too much. No problem.

  15. David Miller says:

    I know exactly what you mean, that’s why my last heartless corporation was Circuit City, back in High School. They tried to unionize and Circuit City fired every participant.

    I didn’t want to uniounize, I wanted to quit. So I did.

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