$2 Billion More in Crony Capitalism is Exposed in the Obamacare Law
April 4, 2011
RUSH: This story Byron York had in the Washington Examiner on March 31st: "Uncovered: New $2 Billion Bailout in Obamacare." Two billion of corporate cronyism, or crony capitalism, if you will. For example, AT&T got $140 million to subsidize health care plans. Verizon, $91 million. General Electric, despite not paying any US income taxes last year, got $36 million. General Motors, Obama's car company, received $19 million in bailout money in order for them to be able to more easily afford health care within their companies.
RUSH: Two groups of people that the Democrat Party owns and it will forever, and I mean forever, present us an ongoing battle, and that is the media and unions. And when you look at the fact that there were twice as many union members, public sector government jobs as there are American manufacturing jobs, the takers outnumber the makers in America today. And it wasn't that long ago, 40 years ago, JFK, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Today the motto of the Democrat Party, the motto of every Democrat constituency is, "Ask what your country can do for you." Or worse, "Demand what your country must do for you."
From Byron York, again, the Washington Examiner on March 31st: "Investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee have discovered that a little-known provision in the national health care law has allowed the federal government to pay nearly $2 billion to unions, state public employee systems, and big corporations to subsidize health coverage costs for early retirees. At the current rate of payment, the $5 billion appropriated for the program could be exhausted well before it is set to expire." This is something nobody knew was in the bill until it was passed and then signed. A little-known provision, $5 billion can be spent by the federal government to pay unions, state public employee systems, and big corporations to subsidize health coverage costs for early retirees. In other words, for people who are not working.
"The discovery came on the eve of an oversight hearing focused on the workings of an obscure agency known as CCIO -- the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. CCIO, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, oversees the implementation of Section 1102 of the Affordable Care Act, which created something called the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program." Obamacare pays -- I mean, you know, the things that we continue to learn are not really surprised generically. Specifically, yeah. We knew that this was nothing more than massive federal spending, slush fund type spending. But get this. And remember, now, this is the authorship, this is Democrats, and they're the ones running around talking about all the favorable and the unfair tax breaks to Big Oil, the unfair tax breaks to all these rich corporations. It's the Democrats running around trashing big this and big that, and yet here they write legislation. GE is not paying any federal income tax and they're getting $36 million from the federal government to pay for their retired employees health care. AT&T got $140 million. Verizon, $97 million.
"The legislation called for the program to spend a total of $5 billion, beginning in June 2010 … and ending on January 1, 2014," 2014 is when the full thing gets implemented, and this is another one of these provisions put in the legislation to buy off support. You know that the AT&T crowd knew. You know that Verizon knew. You know that all these unions were told, "Okay, don't oppose us. Here's what we're gonna do for you," and this is all gonna happen before all the real excrement hits the fan. You know, all the benefits, that's really gonna kick in in 2004. This is gonna happen under the radar, nobody is gonna know anything about it until it's been discovered.
"The idea was to subsidize unions, states, and companies that had made commitments to provide health insurance for workers who retired early -- between the ages of 55 and 64, before they were eligible for Medicare." So it's patently obvious what this was. The authors of Obamacare go to these various companies, institutions, unions and so forth and say, "Here's the deal: You shut up. You don't oppose us. Go along with this. You commit to providing health insurance for your early retirees before they're qualified or eligible for Medicare, and we'll pay you for it. We'll use US taxpayer dollars to cushion the blow on you at the corporate level and to also cushion the blow on us." So where's the money going, this $5 billion of a slush fund? "The biggest single recipient of an early-retiree bailout is the United Auto Workers." Look at me. Are you listening to this? Two hundred and six million dollars, your taxpayer money, went to the United Auto Workers to subsidize health care coverage for early retirees. Other big recipients were AT&T, $140 million, Verizon, $91 million, General Electric, $36 million. Obama Motors, also owned in part by the United Auto Workers, $19 million.
This is crony capitalism, but it's worse than that. This is emblematic of all the things that the Democrats and this regime have been working so hard to do: Take from the people who work and earn and produce and give it to your friends; give it to people who will shut up and not criticize you; give it to people who will vote for you; give it to people who will raise money for you. Come up with a health care plan that's gonna break everybody else's bank. Come up with a health care plan that's gonna raise everybody else's premiums, and then go to the United Auto Workers, who already have sweet health insurance deals, go to AT&T, Verizon, wherever, and offer to pay their employees' health care coverage. All the while as a party, in public, you're ripping the AT&Ts of the world. You're ripping the Verizons because their costs are way too expensive for the average American to afford. You rip them, and you send protesters to the front lawns of their executives. But under the table you're best friends with them. "Payments to individual states were dwarfed by the payout to the autoworkers union." The United Auto Workers got more money than the states of New York, California, and Texas combined in this Obamacare provision to provide health care costs, money for retirees who were not yet eligible for Medicare.
RUSH: We even reported back in August of 2009, $10 billion aimed at union retirees, provision called welfare by some, not enough by others. This is something that we alone had and nobody believed us, actually was from the Detroit Free Press. But this has long been part of Obamacare. I don't know about you, but to me this is outrageous. Our tax dollars paying the health care costs of early retirees. The United Auto Workers, $202 million. AT&T, $140 million. Verizon, $97 million. All so that the impact of Obamacare would not be seen for what it really is.
And now I move on to a story from the Associated Press about Paul Ryan's budget, which will be officially announced tomorrow. It's an AP story. The headline of which: "GOP 2012 Budget to Make $4 Trillion-Plus in Cuts Over Ten Years." And in the story -- now, keep in mind what you just heard -- in this story is this little paragraph. "Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, slammed Ryan's plan in a press release Sunday. 'It is not courageous to protect tax breaks for millionaires, oil companies and other big-money special interests while slashing our investment in education, ending the current health care guarantees for seniors on Medicare, and denying health care coverage to tens of millions of Americans,' Van Hollen said." I mean classic, 30-year-old cliched reactions.
But Mr. Van Hollen, you may want to take a look at this provision in Obama Obamacare because it is your party, sir, offering tax breaks for millionaires using taxpayer dollars to pay for health care for the United Auto Workers and AT&T and Verizon and others, and you have to go out and attack Paul Ryan and the Republicans, "It's not courageous to protect tax breaks for oil companies and other big money special interests." Big money special interests? The crony capitalism that has been popularized by your party, sir, and your president dwarf whatever cliched criticism you can mount about Republicans being in bed with big business or what have you. Ending current health care guarantees for seniors? How about using US taxpayer dollars to pay for health care for early retirees from rich American corporations and rich American unions so as to hide the real punitive costs of Obamacare on every average American in this country.