Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Congressman Mark Kirk to Take Leading Role In GOP Alternative to ObamaCare (UPDATED)

As we reported some time ago, 10th District Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk will take a leading role in crafting and presenting the GOP alternative to the Democrats' radical re-working of the healthcare system.

A significant article in Roll Call outlined Kirk's involvement (usually Roll Call is subscription-only, but I was able to access this article, at least for now):

The moderate plan has been proposed by Reps. Mark Kirk (Ill.) and Charlie Dent (Pa.) and reportedly will form the basis of a full-blown GOP alternative developed by the GOP Health Care Solutions Group headed by Rep. Roy Blunt (Mo.), but not yet unveiled. [snip]

Kirk and Dent’s Medical Rights and Reform Act is designed to lower the cost of insurance policies through legal reform — which will reduce the expensive practice of “defensive medicine” — and also create interstate pools.

According to Kirk, the average cost of insurance in states like California, which have limits on medical malpractice awards and allow large-scale pooling, is less than half that in lawyer-friendly states like New Jersey.

Other Republicans are also crafting other plans, which is good to hear, as the message so far has been very negative on Obama's plan without offering any concrete alternative proposals. This strategy seems to be working thus far, as the Roll Call article notes, but it won't be long before voters want to hear some positive plans out of the GOP, as almost everyone seems to agree that the health care system does need some serious care itself.

That being said, the DSCC is sure concerned about Kirk and has already started the smear campaign.

UPDATED 8/13/09 7:25 a.m.: Here's some coverage of a forum on healthcare conducted by Congresscritters Kirk and Judy Biggert yesterday in Naperville:

One Wheaton businessman, Richard Godwin of Collector's Guide Publishing, said he thinks it shouldn't be an employer's responsibility to provide health insurance. Hailing from London, Godwin said he has found it easier to start companies in countries with government-run health care because of the reduced cost to employee workers. "The people of the country should be able to count on government," he said.

Kirk rebutted by pointing out one proposal would levy an 8 percent payroll tax on employers to fund the plan. Kirk also said patrons of Canada's system continually cross into the U.S. for better, faster treatment.

"If we have government take control of our health care ... where are we going to drive?" Kirk asked to laughter.

Also, the Tribune editorial staff weighs in on the healthcare debate, and suggests that the Democrats stop blaming people for having questions and concerns, and do a better job of explaining their plan... maybe even consider taking the complex issue of health care reform one step at a time instead of trying to do everything at once:

There's a lot of fear and misinformation about the Democrats' plan. So how about stepping back, Democrats?

Stop blaming people for being angry or confused. You've undertaken to reshape one-sixth of the U.S. economy under a hasty, self-imposed deadline. You're channeling those late-night commercials that urge viewers to buy now, while supplies last!It's the classic hard sell. Who can blame Americans for being suspicious?


Anonymous said...

I don't know how smart it is to confront obama directly on health care. Mark generally has shied away from big issues in the past so the polling must be really really bad for obama on health care for mark to go directly at him on this. Also Roy Blunt is about as dirty and corrupt a congressman as you'll find who isn't in jail-he dumped his wife for a younger tobacco lobbyist, I wouldn't work with him.

Durbin took 3.5 million from lobbyists, BEFORE this health care thing and 418,000 from insurance companies. That's a lot more dirty money than 300k. Alexi outlined in his stump speech that he was going to tag Mark as a recipient of dirty d.c. special interests so this will continue big time. The response of course is blago.


Adam Smith said...

So Kirk's raised about $10+ million since he first ran and we're supposed to believe that $300,000 (3%) is going to make him a puppet of insurance.

Typical democrat diversionary tactic. They don't address the substance of what Kirk is saying. They just attack with rash accusations rather than engage in real discussion of the facts.

Just like they won't address the real fears and concerns of people at town halls. They just attack them personally with all kinds of vicious invective.

That is why they are losing their grip.

Anonymous said...

Nice to read that the president again had memory lapse when he said that AARP had endorsed his plan. They have NOT. A young girl in the audience asked a puff ball question to make Obama look good. It was stated that the girl was picked at random. Another untruth. Seems the young girl's mom was an active Obama campaigner. So much for integrity.
And for Mr. Kirk's leadership on healthcare, he's been working on this issue for the past year. It is all documented. He has stated that reforms to parts of the healthcare system are needed. When the Democrats refuse to consider medical liability reform, when the Democrats refuse to talk about association health plans, when the Democrats refuse to consider having the private sector rather than the government run healthcare, you know it's not honest and open. TA, there's a great piece by Morton Kondracke, Roll Call editor, where he talks about the Kirk alternative to the Obama-ination. check it out.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, Dem's have been working on Healthcare reform since early February. Also, drafts of these plans have been available almost since then.
Glad to see the GOP can -now- join us. (Maybe they have learned that the most important priorities in the country are not more tax cuts to the rich, overturning Roe, preventing nominations, or a marriage amendment.....maybe.)
Of course by join us, I don't mean wanting to be in the same room with us, I mean looking busy as Repubs have done all year. (See "Politico" story on Eric Cantor's going-nowhere organization and unnecessary use of House Leadership resources
When you are a born-again fiscal conservative (as most GOP'ers are this year, after a 6-8 year hiatus) you are prone to lapses, like Mr. Cantor's.

I wonder if it is now Kirk's turn to present the glossy brochure with no real information or if the Republican 'plan' is the status quo which NO ONE can afford.
Either way, we'll find out at Kirk's weekly (usually empty or rhetorical) press conference. The guy must be running for office or something ):

I also wonder if the healthcare reform task Kirk now has (better late than never; a military man that is a type b/follower; interesting) will take him away from his putting the finishing touches on "Standard Operating Procedures for using Twitter: A Public Official's Guide to Running Afoul of the Law."

Other than tort reform, which could have been put through via the GOP-led Congress the in the last 6 of 8 years AND in the variety of GOP-led states, what is Kirk's solution?

By the way, if having a bureaucrat ration healthcare is wrong, why have Blue Cross and Aetna been telling us what care we can have, where, and by who?
This is not to say that any Dem plan is about rationing. It is about recognizing that the current system is not working for a lot of people, will break us financially more than a pre-emptive strike and a tax cut based on a promissory note, and will prevent us from being more competitive (less cost) and more productive (more healthier people that aren't distracted or at tea parties).

Wow. What ideas?
Cant' wait to hear what's wrong with them. Including the nerve I have to actually cite sources for some of my comments.
I know, many people nowadays prefer baseless allegations and rumors.
Call me old school.

P.S. I think Sanford and Palin were trying to run state-sponsored airlines or air-taxi services.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen Mr. Kirk's Medical Rights Act, Anon 8:33? From your post it's clear that you are a Kirk basher so let's be clear. Our Congressman doesn't print glossy brochures that say nothing. Get a grip on reality. You dislike him but you can't write crap like that. You turkeys are afraid of this stand up guy who has beaten your guys each election. As I said: get over it. If you want to discuss real issues, do so. Otherwise, troll on over to your place, Daily Kos, or go and visit with the catwoman. Mark Kirk has won the support of the majority of the voters in the 10th district since he first stood for election. If you want to point out FACTS and not your version of truth, have at it. Otherwise, see you.

Anonymous said...

Anon 833, please do not drive or participate in politics while drinking that koolaid.

2 Warnings to Team Readers.

1. The biggest hypocrites in State politics are north shore democrats. cook county thugs openly admit that they are corrupt goons who see government as a playstation for their use. North Shore dems pretend this isn't so and call themselves obama or paul simon "progressives" which is really code for (tax hikes that fund welfare queens and government hacks and private sector job growth is bad and public sector job growth is good).

2. When this fails they call everything in sight right wing conservative nazi, and immediately tell everyone everywhere that all republicans want to do is put guns in your schools so your kids will get shot, have a christian evangelical leader make your daughter have that baby she doesn't want to have (we had 7/9 justices appointed by republicans and she can still have that abortion), and give tax giveaways to super wealthy billionaires and insurance companies rather than help you pay for your kid to attend that state school whose reputation they destroyed with clout.

That about sums up what they will do to Mark, if you saw Alexi's opening speech, you know it's already started. Be on the lookout. The social wedge issues will be a violent weapon wielded against Mark, so expect lots of mark=rush and Mark hearts anti-abortionists smears.


Anonymous said...

You could be right, Foklaes, and that's scary. You can see what's coming, you can feel it in what these nutjobs post on this Blog. I can only imagine what they will attempt to do when this cycle really gets rocking and rolling early in 2010. These Kirk-bashing, left loons out here will never understand how they keep coming up short in each election. My hunch is that if Beth Coulson does decide to run for Kirk's seat she will have a better than even shot at holding it for Republicans. My focus will be in helping Mark Kirk become our next Senator. I know you share that goal. Nothing is impossible, especially given what our distinguished, eloquent, truthful president keeps saying and doing. Keep it up, Barack, and soon all Americans will see, up close and personal, the REAL deal, the Chicago political hack with his team leaders, straight from back of the yards politics, Chicago style. Sometimes it's funny, but most times it just makes you want to shout ENOUGH already.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for agreeing with me anon.

It's a very simple, time and tested playbook that the dems have been running here for generations, you put out some fraud like obama or paul simon or durbin that can sing sweet nothings, and use them as a front for awful policies that do nothing for anyone except the top dogs. You can tell they are pretty arrogant because Alexi and Cheryle Jackson are pretty disgustingly dirty figures, and aren't really trying to cover up the filth in that party they represent.

Any Republican that dares differ gets what happened to peter fitzgerald, which is to say labeled an Illinois religious conservative right wing zealot. media enablers like the hideous liberal lynn sweet who will say every nasty thing they can find and are told by d.c. dems about Mark and whoever is his heir here, destroy republicans.

Andy McKenna goes along with this charade because its in his bottom line interest and we are left with less than stellar schools and an economy good for only fat ellen bureaucrats and insiders.


Anonymous said...

I cannot believe the Dems are saying that Mark is in the pocket of special interests. FACTS:

OBAMAcare and Ballerina Boy (Rahm) purchased EVERY special interest group, threatening these groups would not have a seat at the table with their Nationalized Health System.

The only special interest group left is the American Public and Mr. Obama and Ballerina Boy don't have enough money to buy us or enough power to silence us.

If there are some courageous Republicans (including Mark Kirk) are willing to represent us, you'll get re-elected; and to the Congressmen and Senators that were truly purchased, prepare your resumes - we've had enough!

Anonymous said...

Pretty clear by looking at the polls that the Democrats are imploding this summer. Its worse among independent voters.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:47 I'm not a real believer in polls, theirs or ours. The tide is turning at this point, there is unrest and a lot of doubt, but the Democrats will not take this downturn in credible polls lightly. It's interesting to note that Obama's approval numbers keep falling according to the Rasmussen polls each week. But again, it's a long time between now and November of 2010. Hopefully the rush to pass anything that Obama wants won't happen, even though they control DC. I think the fear of God is in Senators up next year and surely for all the House seats next November. Voters watch. Voters remember. Mr. Obama truly has feet of clay.

Anonymous said...

Good for Republicans:

Obama keeps saying that his health care plan won't affect the status quo for people happy with their health care. Finally, the average joe is understanding that Obama has a credibility problem.

Bad for Republicans:

President Emanual still has 88% of the stimulus spending to shower over America at his discretion. Who wants to bet that the cash really gets flowing in the summer and fall of 2010.

Anonymous said...

So much for a respectable debate.

References to 'nutjobs' and gross generalizations (hollow pleadings by TA themselves to be more cordial notwithstanding) do not look commendable, upright, or diligent for Republicans and do not advance ANY position.
Also, they will not encourage the targets or audience of said comments to even consider what is said before or after them.

This is not political commentary. It is fairly widely accepted.
It is hard to be open to what someone says when they do not respect your rights, do not notice your substantiated comments, and fling labels and insults at you as if that and that alone will convert you to the only way to look at life.

If a Repub doesn't like a policy or a candidate they 'are exercising their free speech (Kirk with China, Cantor in Israel, Boehner and Gingrich).'

Also, Dem's weren't supposed to complain about Bush, even though we supposedly had rights, unless the rights those on TA NOW refer to were recently written into law and were not in the Constitution Bush used as a door mat.

It helps to TRY to be objective when making comments. For example, after saying nothing when people like Rush and Ann C. embarrass themselves or Bush spends money borrowed from China, it is unique for the GOP to NOW complain about alleged Dem comments and deficit spending.

If a Dem does not like a politician's untoward comments, policies, and actions, we are nutjobs, bashers, and unAmerican.
But there's no double-standard here. Its not Kool-Aid, its genuine GOP hypocrisy.

Use of the term Nazi is wrong. However, no one has the back-bone to tell Rush this. Someone who takes advantage of their healthcare and their domestic staff's access to healthcare to the point of breaking the law shouldn't necessarily be the spokesperson for the GOP on healthcare reform.

Of course those that believe Dem's 'keep coming up short on elections' haven't been paying attention to most recent elections.
They also haven't been trying that hard to win elections with Keyes, Ryan, and others as candidates, and with Sanford, Vitter, Burton, Hyde, Foley, and Craig as office-holders.

Get your own hypocritical, less than righteous, hateful, and narrow-minded house in order and then, we'll talk.
I'll leave my signs at home. I'd offer to leave my insults at home, though I don't have a propensity to use them or deny others what I would like for myself.

-References to those who don't toe the line as socialists, nutjobs, unAmerican, or racist don't play.

-Identify moderate, capable candidates and provide sufficient support for them.

-Avoid appearances of conflicts of interest (Cheney and Haliburton?) before critiquing other deals.

-Accept basic facts: we cannot afford Bush tax cuts.
Most people cannot afford our healthcare system by most national and international measures (percentage of GDP spent and ROI on it, human longevity, uninsured Americans, etc.)
It is unique that compassionate, Christian (is there another faith in the US, Mr. McCain and Mr. Huckabee?), moral Conservatives are acting so devil-like and are eager to deny life-affirming healthcare.

-Public officials from County State's Attorneys to Members of Congress should objectively uphold the Constitution and provide for the greater good. Things that detract from our competitiveness, productivity, and striving for a better world for our children (who's checkbooks Bush was using ad nauseum) should be calmly, rationally discussed.

Am I wrong?

Anonymous said...

In other news the left wing group that catwoman and other 10th dem jews love turns out to be a front for pro-iran and pro-palestinian groups. If we had had Dan in there just think, he'd be the leading jewish voice for arabs and persians in congress!

Muslims, Arabs among J Street donors
Aug. 14, 2009
The J Street political action committee has received tens of thousands of dollars in donations from dozens of Arab and Muslim Americans, as well as from several individuals connected to organizations doing Palestinian and Iranian issues advocacy, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Additionally, at least two State Department officials connected to Middle East issues have donated to the PAC, which gives money to candidates for US Congress supported by J Street. The organization describes itself as a "pro-Israel, pro-peace" lobby pushing for more American involvement and diplomacy in resolving the Middle East conflict.

Arab and Muslim donors are extremely rare for other organizations that describe themselves as supporters of Israel as J Street does, Jewish leaders at organizations across the political spectrum told The Jerusalem Post. Because most of these other organizations are not PACs, however, US law does not require them to release their donor lists. J Street's non-PAC arm also does not release a complete list of contributors.

J Street executive director Jeremy Ben-Ami estimated the amount of Arab and Muslim donors to be a very small percentage - at most 3 percent - of the organization's thousands of contributors. But he said that such supporters show the broad appeal of J Street's message and its commitment to coexistence.

"I think it is a terrific thing for Israel for us to be able to expand the tent of people who are willing to be considered pro-Israel and willing to support Israel through J Street," he said. "One of the ways that we're trying to redefine what it means to be pro-Israel is that you actually don't need to be anti-Arab or anti-Palestinian to be pro-Israel."

Activists from several other Israel-oriented groups, though, suggested that J Street's donor list reflects on the group's commitment to Israel and approach to the peace process.

"It raises questions as to their banner that they're a pro-Israel organization. Why would people who are not known to be pro-Israel give money to this organization?" asked Lenny Ben-David, a former Israeli diplomat and staffer for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a major Washington lobby but not a PAC that makes contributions to candidates. "Once you introduce a large group and large amount of money from people who are suspect in their pro-Israel credentials, J Street loses some of its credibility in claiming it is pro-Israel and representing the Jewish community."

Ben-Ami described the organization as one that is "primarily but not exclusively Jewish" and said that as the numbers of Arabs and Muslims participating in J Street are low, he would like to welcome more non-Jews into the fold.

Anonymous said...

That's a good plan, Anon 10:03. Monger some more fear and hatred. That'll go over real well. Posts like these on this blog make wonderful flyers to pass along with nominating petitions. And just so you know, even the downstaters you guys call rednecks get it. Don't hold your breath for Tim Johnson to help Kirk. The GOP rank and file in his district think Kirk's a weasel, a pretend warrior who lies about his military experience and lets surrogates like you shove fear and hate down the throat of North Shore residents. Kirk won't win Chicago, won't win Lake County, and won't win the 15th Congressional District either. Witness the end of his milk-toast career.

Anonymous said...

Reading Anon 11:17 one would think that it was written by Ellen Beth Gill, aka the catwoman. Sure has the same ring and the same venom. I guess we'll just have to wait until November, 2010 to see the results of your prognostication. You err is talking about Mr. Kirk's service to our nation and that's really disgusting. Shame on you. As for fear mongering, that also should get a rebuke. Mr. Kirk tells it like it is. Only the likes of Gill and her twisted anti-Israel followers find fault with Mark Kirk's knowledge of the issues facing Israel. He states them clearly based on fact and not on supposition. The fact that Mr. Kirk wears the uniform while none his detractors have ever had the commitment to come close is also a very loud statement. Instead of thanking him for his service you creatures continue to spew your ignorance and venom. Well guess what: the majority of decent people in this district and in our country know how to show respect. Sadly, you don't and for that you should be taken to task. The more you work against him the more dedicated we are to his winning in 2010. Senator Mark Kirk sounds really great.

Anonymous said...

8 common myths about health insurance reform

Reform will stop "rationing" - not increase it: It’s a myth that reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing." To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.

We can’t afford reform: It's the status quo we can't afford. It’s a myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.
Reform would encourage "euthanasia": It does not. It’s a malicious myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with these personal and difficult family decisions.

Vets' health care is safe and sound: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will affect veterans' access to the care they get now. To the contrary, the President's budget significantly expands coverage under the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for all eligible veterans.

Reform will benefit small business - not burden it: It’s a myth that health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary, reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on average.
Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform: It’s myth that Health Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare "doughnut" hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.
You can keep your own insurance: It’s myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.

No, government will not do anything with your bank account: It is an absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts. Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose. Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up to you – and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all other electronic payments that people make.

Anonymous said...

I'm laughing hysterically, Anon 7:07 with your straight from the Democrat talking points book. You are so far from truthful that it's really funny. Your guy in the WH has NOT identified how to pay for any of what he's talking about. He clearly is clueless about how to do it. Everything you've outlined is and has been refuted over and over again, even by some clear thinking Democrats. Please don't waste you time trying to talk about sheer nonsense that borders on stupidity from you. And without Medical Liability Reform in any healthcare discussion there IS no discussion. Go back to your Democrat headquarters and your ignorant and lopsided and easily refutabile statements. Thank goodness is Friday.