‘YOU don’t understand politics.’

pittengerYep.  That’s the money quote straight  from Congressman Bob Pittenger’s big mouth during his do-over town hall in Matthews last night.  Not much better than the first go around. 

Still smarting from the bad publicity he generated for himself, ol’ Bob decided to show Chuck Suter — the dastardly cameraman  — just who is BOSS.   Pittenger called Chuck out during his introductory remarks.  He also made a point of assigning two local cops to stand beside Suter for the duration of the meeting.

Pittenger was snide and defiant — targeting the quote in the title of this post at a constituent who dared to ask about the ObamaCare defund fight.

Congresswoman Renee Ellmers — who also has balked at joining the defund fight — spoke to a Moore County chamber of commerce luncheon: 

[…]U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers calls the Affordable Care Act “an unfortunate piece of legislation” that will hurt individuals, employers and the health care system.

“Premiums are skyrocketing, businesses are struggling, and even doctors themselves are completely confused as to how they will continue to care for their patients,” said Ellmers, a Republican whose 2nd Congressional District covers all of Moore County and portions of eight other counties.


Ellmers said she thinks the Act, also known as Obamacare, will have “a devastating effect not only on health care, but the economy as a whole.”

“There are going to be jobs lost, and full-time people are going to be pushed back to part-time,” she said.

Ellmers said Republicans are working on “a replacement plan.”

“We have a much better plan of action,” she said. “You’ll be learning more about it in the next few months.”

Let’s see.  ObamaCare passed in 2009.  It’s four years later — and they’re teasing us about some “much better plan of action”?  Really? Seriously?

I talked with one attendee at the Ellmers speech who wasn’t impressed:

”We’ve been hit with campaign ads and speeches about ObamaCare for four years now, and now they tell us they’ve got some great new plan.  Where has this action been for the last four years?  I don’t share her optimism on this.”

You’ve got to hand it to her.  She — like Burr – recognizes how wise it is to skip these public town hall meetings and go for these lunch meetings you have to pay for to attend.

The good folks at Carolina Liberty PAC paid a rather rowdy visit to Senator Richard Burr’s Winston-Salem office this week.  They were expressing their concern about his “dumbest idea” remark about the defunding fight.

The politicians are telling us this train can’t be stopped.  Many others are saying it can.  I decided to turn to  a friend — who has spent decades in the insurance business and made quite a bit of moolah — for his perspective on this whole fight.

He pointed out something that gets lost in a lot of this back-and-forth:  Blue Cross-Blue Shield individual policies will all be cancelled at the end of the year.  Other providers’ policies will be cancelled at their next anniversary.  All of those policyholders will then be transitioned over to ObamaCare and its much higher rates:

“That process is well underway.  It’s not clear if it can all be stopped on a dime and reversed, if defunding is successful.   There are a lot of questions about how the industry would be affected, if defunding is successful.   There are a lot of questions about what would then happen to all of those people with those cancelled insurance policies.”

My source agrees that ObamaCare is a travesty that has had — and will continue to have — disastrous effects on our economy.  What’s the best way to deal with it?  He suggests getting the IRS’s grubby paws away from it altogether.  The recent IRS revelations and scandals should provide plenty of ammo for that, he pointed out. Administration could be turned over to the same system that manages Medicaid:

Most people are going to absolutely flip out — and get pissed off — when they see the changes this whole thing makes to their insurance policies.  They’re going to want to extract a pound of flesh from anyone seen as being responsible for this.   If the Republicans were smart, they’d stand back completely and say ‘We wash our hands of it all.  THIS is all courtesy of the Democrat Party.’  Unfortunately, the Republicans have not shown themselves to be very smart. ”

He agrees that this is going to hurt people, and its going to keep our economy in the toilet.  He points out that you’ll see more moves like what UPS recently did — taking away coverage from employee spouses who may have access to health coverage from other sources.