Chuck McConnell: No thanks, Sen. Bennet


— On Dec. 17, I participated in U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s Conversations with Coloradans here in Steamboat. I wanted to learn how our senator could vote for the health care “reform” legislation now being promulgated when the majority of American voters’ opposition has been made abundantly clear. Sadly, Mr. Bennet will vote in favor of this bill, and I have heard absolutely no rational reason why.

The Conversations with Coloradans meeting format was individual 15-minute interviews with Bennet’s local representative, Todd Hagenbuch. The town hall style was eschewed. The closed meetings eliminated any opportunity by Steamboat citizens to reveal their collective fears surrounding the bill now in debate. It also, by design, obviated all interest by the media.

American voters do not want the proposed health care legislation. I showed Mr. Hagenbuch the Dec. 14 Rasmussen health care reform poll that reported that 56 percent of voters oppose and only 40 percent support the Obama and Congress plan. The same poll reported that 46 percent strongly oppose the plan, compared with only 19 percent who strongly favor it. Five other well-respected polls showed similar opposition.

Voters opposed to the proposed new federal legislation know that ambitious, comprehensive, state-run health care programs in Tennessee (TennCare) and Massachusetts failed miserably. TennCare never achieved universal coverage, caused increases in charges to private insurers, reduced access to care, and ultimately put the solvency of the state at risk. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, of Tennessee, warned Congress that TennCare became so costly at its peak that it “ate up one-third of Tennessee’s budget.” I asked Mr. Hagenbuch why Tennessee’s experience would not discourage Bennet from supporting the proposed new law.

American voters opposed to the proposed new laws know that the Congressional Budget Office evaluated the cost of the proposed health care reform plans based on the first 10 years after the law is enacted. Costs to Americans such as the tax on medical devices, increased premiums on existing health care insurance plans, penalty taxes on the so-called “Cadillac” health care plans, increased taxes on small businesses and massive Medicaid costs dumped on currently near bankrupt states (except for Ne­­bras­ka, whose Sen. Nelson was the final democratic holdout after being promised Nebraska would never have added Medicaid costs) will be imposed from Day 1. Benefits begin only after the first four years. The actual cost of the plan is huge and breaches Mr. Obama’s mandate of revenue neutrality over a true 10-year comparison. I asked Bennet’s representative if the senator thought voters were too stupid to understand the flim-flam in the CBO evaluation.

I also informed Mr. Hagen­bu­­ch that many voters I speak to here think the mandated health care purchase provisions of the proposed law are unconstitutional.

After my meeting and a study of the details of the Obama health care reform plan (I actually read 53 pages of one of the House versions), I cannot understand how a representative of the voters of Colorado could vote for such a flawed plan. I successfully ran a $1 billion-dollar business that would have failed with this kind of leadership. I believe the U.S. Constitution defines America as a government by the people with representatives responsible to the people. I asked how Sen. Bennet, a representative of the people of Colorado, could vote against the clear will of the voters and overwhelming evidence the health care reform legislation is terribly defective.

Our representatives apparently do not respect the will of their voters and they continue to enact laws that accelerate America’s out-of-control debt spiral. The question I hear with increasing frequency from my fellow voters who feel helpless in the wake of current political irrationality: “We must do something, what can we do?”

Chuck McConnell

Steamboat Springs


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

Chuck, Thank you for speaking out and taking such a great interest in our future of personal medical care. You are bound to get more nonsense as the first poster here as they continue to make up their little anecdotes about how the insurance companies drop everybody. As a person who has had several major medical procedures in recent years and having a Sister with lifelong lupus and living through double breast cancer of the worst kind I can say these stories are few and far between and usually it's people who selfishly don't buy coverage and then when they get sick they try to get covered. There are plenty of things that can be done to make our health care access work better and most of those things would be changing laws that have hamstrung the competitive forces of our free market system such as state line laws. Why would we now trust a Government with the whole system when it is they who have created the problems we now face in the first place? If Bush were the President trying to shove this through with all the backroom dealings and payoffs we would be hearing the left cry out for Impeachment hearings. Pray for a savior in the way of a last minute Blue Dog Democrat to stand up for what is right and stop this terrible takeover of our lives and then maybe Congress will do the things that will work to better a good system.


sledneck 7 years, 4 months ago

What do you suggest, snowbow, to reign in corrupt government that continually raises taxes and denies freedom to their citizens?

I believe there are an increasing number of people who absolutely DO want charity. Worse still they are comfortable, even enthusiastic, about a government putting a gun to the heads of others to supplement their shortcommings in life.

If anything is more corrupt than government I never wish to see it. I certainly don't want them in charge of my very life. I think many peoples greed has blinded them to the fact that they are supporting giving a demonstrably corrupt government control of their very lives... literally. Do you REALLY think that a wise move? Is the greed for others money so strong as to compel support for such a demon as lives is D.C.??

Using a more corrupt tool to repair a somewhat corrupt tool is not the answer.


Barb Tuchlinsky 7 years, 4 months ago

Why do you call the Senate plan the Obama plan? The plan from the Senate is a far cry from what President Obama had in mind for the citizens of our country. Did the Rasmussen poll include people that have no health insurance? I doubt it. We all know how easy it is to skew a poll. The way the Senate bill stands right now I would not vote for it. I was in favor of a public option. Our country has some of the finest health care providers in the world. What a shame that only some of us have access. Lieberman and his "gang" have already won whether or not the bill is finally enacted. The insurance companies can all breath a sigh of relief.


Chuck McConnell 7 years, 4 months ago


I only had 600 words to report on my meeting with Bennet's rep. I'll share some fixes that would actually acomplish some of the real problems you raised without taking America down the road to run-away inflation and an asymptotic rise in unemployment.

First, the horrific system of trial lawyer enrichment must be stopped. The 15,000 sq. ft. home of trial lawyer and candidate (D) Edwards plus the home he bought for his girl friend were paid for with the dollars that should have gone to insure the people you described in your comment. When obama was asked to include tort reform in his demands for reform he blithely said "yeah, we will do a study on that". Isn't it dreadful that he let huge campaign contributions from the trial lawyer lobby keep people from getting the care they need? I sure do.

Next, the waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicare and Medicad amount to as much as $60 billion a year. This shamefull abuse has been rampant for decades and government does nothing to stop it. $60 billion would insure and treat millions of currently uninsurred. I recently read that organized crime was actually shifting their business model in Florida away from drugs to health care fraud.

Next, if you think I do not want the pre-existing conditions atrocity fixed you are wrong! I believe the Latin phrase that best fits exclusion of insurance for people with pre-existing conditions is "it s...s". I want all pre-existing conditions exclusions eliminated completely! I also believe that compensation levels for health care company executives is absolutely excessive. Boards of directors are to blame. If those guys cant buy food and have a reasonably good lifestyle on a couple of mil. a year they have real problems. Pay levels of $25 to $50 million are incomprehensable to me. But those companies are not corrupt.

Your comment that we are the "ONLY first world country that does not ...." is the ubiquitous euphemism of the progressives and just does not hold water. America is the greatest country in the world but we are now a bankrupt nation. Our current debt amounts to $12.5 trillion compared with our GDP of $14 trillion. Budgets demands by the obama administration are projected to produce over $1 trillion deficits every year for the next 10 years. Unfunded liabilities amount to $107 trillion and are increasing by the second. If you include the UK and France in your list of "first world countries", I would not, as an American, trade places with those countries. They are also broken financially and do not enjoy a standard of living equal to ours.

So, sir, why not solve problems rationally. Please tell me if plunging America further into bankrupcy is a good idea. Please tell me why we don't cover more Americans by slashing WF&A, allowing interstate insurance plans and stopping defensive medicine and trial lawyer enrichment. Intelligent problem solvers are not in charge in D.C.


sledneck 7 years, 4 months ago

Likely called the Obama plan because he will sign it and then he will own it.

All have access. No one is turned away. That is simply not true.

When the ALL you are referring to have all the "access" you dream of the health care providers will no longer be the finest in the world. They will vote with their feet and you will have unlimited access to quacks.


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

Lieberman's wife was attacked by the George Soros fund and Michael Moron for her work with a breast cancer fund if he didn't sign on. Bribes and payoffs are the new normal and you people are on board with a plan not one soul has a clue about because Obama has kept it a secret. Pretty scary stuff to see from our fellow citizens. Don't forget these days when the Conservatives retake the helm in DC and then run your health care along with the advisory panel(death panel) that determines who gets medical care. I won't say I told you so, but I told you so.


Chuck McConnell 7 years, 4 months ago


Why indeed? You will be proven right if obama does not sign the Senate version. Are you taking bets that he won't?

And why, when you do not agree with a poll is it wrong. Six polls told the same story and some came from the far left (NBC, CNN).


Fred Duckels 7 years, 4 months ago

Bennett represents special interests, why would he need to control the message if he had the bests interest of the public in mind? I woiuld be interested in the Pilot's opinion on this display of democracy.


Troutguy 7 years, 4 months ago

Congressman (insert name here) or senator (insert name here) represents special interests. This is where the bulk of their election money comes from. You donate money to my campaign, I'll remember you when I'm elected. Pretty simple. What really makes me sick is that he doesn't like the bill, yet will vote 'yes' anyway. If you don't like it, don't vote for it. Just wait until financial reform next year. We're gonna wind up with the same watered down crap of a bill that health care overhaul has become. But remember, money = free speech, right?


JLM 7 years, 4 months ago

This legislation focuses on a single issue --- our narcissist President is willing to accept any, any, ANY health care measure as a paen to his vanity. Anything!

He is willing to sacrifice every principle he stood for during the campaing, every promise of transparency and the entire Democratic Congress to burnish the tawdry reputation of his failing, inexperienced and amateurish administration.

How stupid are you, America?

This legislation requires you to immediately pay the incremental costs, fees and taxes and only 4 years later do the insurance exchanges open for business and do the "benefits" begin to come forth.

Only by this heavy handed, obvious, Chicago style financial accounting can this bill be scored by the CBO as revenue neutral.

So, really, America --- HOW STUPID ARE YOU?

We will see how stupid America is in early November of next year. Me, I'm not that stupid.


JLM 7 years, 4 months ago

Are the citizens of Colorado willing to pick up the tab for the healthcare promises made to Louisiana, Nebraska and others to purchase the votes of Sen Mary Landrieau and Sen Ben Nelson?

Make no mistake Coloradoans will pay for the free rides given to Louisiana and Nebraska.

The last votes for the health care plan were bartered for in the bazaar of the Senate with your money and with Coloradoans being forced to pick up the costs of La and Neb for Federal programs to be funded with your money.

You got screwed and you never even got a kiss. Would you treat a Perkins Pancake waitress so shabbily? LOL

How stupid are you America? Colorado? Smarter than a PP ho? NO, sorry.


NamVet 7 years, 3 months ago

This was done also during the Bush administration and it was called Medicare Part D. It was all done in the back rooms like the present Senate Health Care. It came down to a big gift to the insurance industry from the Republican Congress and now the Democratic Senate is doing the same. Medicare Part D was advertised to cost $300 billion over 10 years and now the CBO says it will cost near 1 trillion. My Mother's premiums started at $10 a month and this year it was $45. The Senate Health plan is nothing more than a big gift to the insurance industry. The only way they could be kept honest is with a public option like giving American citizens without insurance a chance to "BUY" into the same insurance our Congress and Senate has for free.


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