Daily Archives: April 8, 2012

Large American Companies Fund Voter Disenfranchisement

For years, the right wing has tried to stop people of color, young people, and seniors from voting. Now, America’s biggest companies are helping them.

These companies have passed voter ID legislation by funding a right-wing policy group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC’s voter ID bills have passed in seven states and have been introduced in twenty-seven.

Supporters of discriminatory voter ID laws claim they want to cut voter fraud, but fraud almost never occurs. Voter ID laws prevent large numbers of eligible voters from casting a ballot and could disenfranchise up to 5 million people.

ALEC’s voter ID laws are undemocratic, unjust, and part of a longstanding right-wing agenda to weaken the voting blocs that oppose Republican candidates.

Tell these companies to stop funding ALEC and its attempts to disenfranchise millions of voters. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

Voter ID laws are discriminatory; African-Americans, Latinos, seniors, students, and the poor are less likely to have the photo IDs necessary to vote under these laws.

In many states, it is expensive and time-consuming to secure the proper ID. Even when the ID is free, it often requires supporting documents, like a birth certificate, which cost money. There are already stories of voters who have been eligible to vote for years who are struggling to navigate a bureaucratic maze to vote.

Requiring ID to vote amounts to a modern-day poll tax, and that’s the purpose of voter ID laws.

Some of the companies supporting ALEC may simply be unaware that the group is involved in voter suppression. Others might think that voter suppression will benefit their political interests.

Tell these companies to stop funding ALEC and its attempt to disenfranchise millions of voters. Click below to automatically sign the petition:

Thanks to Sourcewatch: ALEC Corporations.

Leave a comment

Filed under Activism, National, Sick Sad World

Cheney’s New Heart Is an Argument For Obamacare

Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

Last weekend,Dick Cheney received a new heart. The right got a new talking point, and, as Gawker writer Mobutu Sese Seko points out, the left didn’t really get it at all.

Conservative bloggers saw Mr. Cheney’s transplant as an opportunity. The American Thinker brought back death panels to suggest that Obamacare would have killed Mr. Cheney, who is seventy-one, six years past the conventional age limit. Breitbart.com criticized The Daily Beast‘s questioning the means by which Mr. Cheney got his transplant. RedState ran an article announcing, “A Poorer Man Than Dick Cheney Might’ve Died if ObamaCare was in Full Effect.”

This is where the left missed an opportunity to explain why casting 50 million people to an unaccountable insurance establishment is a terrible idea. Some of the most helpful commentary came from Kelly Phillips Erb at Forbes, who made a great and unintentional case for the public option:

Fortunately for Cheney, the cost of his health care was covered by taxpayers. In addition to health insurance provided through the government for Cheney’s years of service, Cheney, like millions of other Americans was eligible for Medicare benefits when he turned 65….
It’s ironic, of course, that Cheney received his new heart just as the debate about Obamacare was being argued in front of the Supreme Court.

Despite having five heart attacks since the age of thirty-seven, Mr. Cheney’s preëxisting conditions haven’t kept him from having first-rate medical coverage. That’s a virtue of being wealthy, but it’s also a virtue of being able to get on a government plan that’s carried over into a private career.

Under Obamacare, men who lose their jobs (or jump back and forth from public- to private-sector employment) won’t face being priced out of coverage because of the preëxisting conditions they racked up at the previous job. Nor will they face employers’ unilaterally altering the conditions of their insurance.

All these are things Mr. Cheney got to enjoy via the government. These packages for elected federal officials don’t get into the cynical rescission business that the rest of us face.

Obamacare isn’t perfect, but at least the PPACA protects against manipulating lifetime coverage limits and denial for preëxisting conditions, ensuring people aren’t hostage to employer whims or elimination of coverage.

It’s easy to sympathize with internet wags and their moments of outrage. “Why is Cheney still alive?” is a satisfying question, but the answer to that question is that he has wonderful health insurance coverage. There’s no shame in having Dick Cheney to kick around some more. The shame is that we don’t have countless other people around because they lack a comparably generous safety net.

Getting angry at Cheney missed the point: with such a critical decision pending from the Supreme Court, it was time to get angry for everybody else.

Via Gawker.

Leave a comment

Filed under Health, Law, Sidebar, The Supremes