So what, you ask, is US Congressman John Carney, D-DE, bragging about?
Here, let him speak for himself:
Last week in Congress, a bill I introduced to save 500 Delaware jobs passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 268-150. The bill fixed an oversight in the Affordable Care Act that would have put American companies at a disadvantage to their foreign competitors, and put 500 Delaware jobs on the line. Senators Carper and Coons are now working hard to get the bill passed in the Senate.
That’s an interesting way to talk about what happened. Here’s another way.
Under the bill, any insurance plan for an American who is out of the country for 90 days or 15 trips or a foreigner working in the United States who is gone from his or her country for 90 days or 15 trips would be exempt from the Affordable Care Act. Their families would be exempt, too. That means they are exempt from all of it — from requiring young adults under age 26 to stay on a parents plans to the new mandatory coverage benefits. And the health plans wouldn’t have to pay ACA-related taxes and fees.
Labor and immigration groups, such as the AFL-CIO and the SEIU, oppose the bill, too. They say it would encourage companies to hire foreign workers instead of Americans, because they wouldn’t have to provide the same comprehensive coverage. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supported the bill.
“This bill contains too many loopholes that amount to an extraordinary bailout for insurance companies,” Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) said on the House floor.
So why did Democrat John Carney spend three years subverting his own party’s efforts, against the expressed will of Democrat President Barack Obama? And why would he brag about this to me, a registered Republican?
Well, I guess money talks, and Cigna walks.
Health insurance giant Cigna Corp. is using the threat of 500 Delaware layoffs to press a demand that federal policymakers exempt their Claymont-based international insurance business from new rules in last year’s federal health care law.
The demand from Cigna, a $21.3 billion Philadelphia-based company, comes just months after Gov. Jack Markell’s administration awarded the company $2.4 million in grants to keep those employees in Delaware — and add to the staff here.
Markell, economic development director Alan Levin, and members of Delaware’s congressional delegation are now working on a fix for Cigna and other insurance companies who offer similar “expatriate” health insurance plans.
So lessee; first, Cigna took 2.4 million dollars of Delaware tax dollars in a deal to keep 500 jobs in Delaware, right, got it… then they threatened to dump those 500 jobs if our senators and congressman didn’t hack out an exemption in Obamacare so that migrant workers would not have to be insured (they are “expatriates” after all)… right, OK, I think I’ve got it. The goal is to use the tax money of people living in Delaware to make it uneconomical for businesses to actually hire those same people? So that more Delawareans will be out of work, in order to save jobs, of course. Then Delaware won’t be making as much tax revenue and the state might have to raise taxes to pay for Cigna’s next round of corporate welfare, oh, excuse me, “grants”? No, I guess I’m not really getting this at all.
It’s said that one shouldn’t assume malice where incompetence is a sufficient explanation. And after all, Jack Markell seems a nice enough man. But at this point the government of the First State has displayed such an incredible level of fiscal incompetence that it might be comforting to suppose they are a bunch of crooks – rather than the chuckle-headed corporate dupes they appear to be. Did I mention Cigna’s making record profits and also refusing record numbers of insurance claims? It’s a good thing they’ve got John Carney, Chris Coons, Tom Carper and Jack Markell looking out for their interests, I guess.