This morning, The Kansas City Star's Business section ran a guest commentary by Amy J. Blankenbiller, president and CEO of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. Slugged "Businesses are under fire from Washington," Blankenbiller's spin on current events was predictably conservative. But coming from the head of a pro-business organization that expects to be taken seriously, it was also laughably irresponsible.
On health-care reform, Blankenbiller says that, under current reform
proposals, Kansans would see an increase of $460 in private health
insurance costs. She gets her figures from the Lewin Group, a favorite
supplier of GOP "facts" now widely known to be owned by UnitedHealthGroup, one of the country's biggest insurance companies.
In July, the Washington Post reported that the Lewin Group is part of Ingenix, a
UnitedHealth subsidiary that was accused by the New York attorney
general and the American Medical Association of helping insurers shift
medical expenses to consumers by distributing skewed data. ... In
January, UnitedHealth agreed to a $50 million settlement with the New
York attorney general and a $350 million settlement with the AMA,
covering conduct going back as far as 1994.
too, warning of 40 percent increases in energy bills and invoking scary
union bosses -- as if these "threats" to our jobs and our personal
prosperity were way, way, way worse than deregulated mortgage
traders and unnecessary wars against dictators with
imaginary weapons of mass destruction. (Her source for info on the
scary union bosses: the Republican polling firm McLaughlin & Associates.)
jeez, forgive me for bringing up those expensive wars. After all, our
current unhappy predicament isn't really anybody's fault, as
Blankenbiller concludes in this ridiculous display of disingenuousness:
assigning blame to the economic troubles, we need government at all
levels to stop attacking our employers and our jobs. Misguided
government "remedies" of intrusion and spending need to stop, so
businesses can bring the economy back by creating new jobs.
Right, Amy. Way to note, without assigning blame, that the current administration needs to stop attacking us.
I call bullshit.