Union Demands ‘Repeal or Complete Reform’ of ObamaCare

April 25, 2013 – 

It’s huge that a staunch union supporter of President Obama since 2008 has launched an effort to rid the nation of his signature legislation. The union clearly has buyer’s remorse over ObamaCare.

Implying that ObamaCare is not a true “Affordable Care Act,” the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers insists on a “repeal or complete reform of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA).”

The union and its president, Kinsey M. Robinson issued what they label as their “political action” statement.

“Our union and its members have supported President Obama and his administration for both of his terms in office,” acknowledged Mr. Robinson. “But regrettably, our concerns over certain provisions in the ACA have not been addressed, or in some instances, totally ignored.”

Mirroring opponents’ complaints

The unions’ objections mirror that of other ObamaCare opponents.

“In the rush to achieve its passage, many of the act’s provisions were not fully conceived, resulting in unintended consequences that are inconsistent with the promise that those who were satisfied with their employer sponsored coverage could keep it,” he added.

“These provisions jeopardize our multi-employer health plans, have the potential to cause a loss of work for our members, create an unfair bidding advantage for those contractors who do not provide health coverage to their workers, and in the worst case, may cause our members and their families to lose the benefits they currently enjoy as participants in multi-employer health plans,” explained Mr. Robinson.

Employer-partnership success

The union president remembers the past.

“For decades, our multi-employer health and welfare plans have provided the necessary medical coverage for our members and their families to protect them in times of illness and medical needs,” he pointed out. “This collaboration between labor and management has been a model of success that should be emulated rather than ignored.”

So he throws down the gauntlet:

“I refuse to remain silent, or idly watch as the ACA destroys those protections. I am therefore calling for repeal or complete reform of the Affordable Care Act to protect our employers, our industry, and our most important asset: our members and their families.

My sense is that he’s right. Roofers have among the most-dangerous jobs in America. The workers and their families deserve their true, affordable healthcare.

The remaining questions are: Will other unions do the right thing? Will ObamaCare supporters rescind this hugely detrimental law?

From the Coach’s Corner, see these healthcare-policy articles:

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.”

-Groucho Marx


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.


Even Paul Ryan’s Budget Uses Wrong Map in ‘Path to Prosperity’

March 24, 2013- 

Sadly, all the fiscal focus — to address the nation’s budget crisis — is between the proposals from Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).

Not to be facetious, but Ms. Murray’s proposal is based on the same old, tired ideas that caused the problems in the first place. It’s not worth a second look because it’s not a serious attempt.

Respectfully, considering his budget-hawk credentials, Rep. Paul is really off track in his federal budget proposal, which he calls “The Path to Prosperity.” His budget ideas are unrealistic.

Fiscally, the government is a nightmare. The deficit is approaching $17 trillion. There are multiplier ramifications. For example, a Harvard study shows government spending causes companies to cut back.

This means politicians must prioritize objectives with the money at-hand. But that appears to be too much to ask.

The House of Representative has done its job on the budget, thanks largely to Rep. Ryan. However, the government hasn’t had a budget since Mr. Obama has been in office, thanks primarily to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He’s refused to allow a vote on the budget.

So, honestly, how can the U.S. return to prosperity if the government continues to spend more money than it receives from taxpayers? Unfortunately, that’s what Mr. Ryan’s plan would allow.

“Spending would grow by an average of 3.4 percent annually, only slightly less than the rate under President Barack Obama’s plan – 5 percent a year,” wrote Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (R-Ga.) in a commentary published by the Palm Beach Post in March 2013.

“After 10 years, Rep. Ryan’s target for eliminating the deficit, ‘The Path to Prosperity’ will have spent $41 trillion, whereas the president’s plan would allow spending of $46 trillion,” explained Rep. Broun.

All Mr. Ryan’s plan would accomplish would only be to slow the growth rate of the government’s heavy spending.

Proposed savings

To President Obama and many Democrats, Rep. Broun floats an idea they’d surely oppose. He’d eliminate some federal agencies and departments.

Rep. Broun’s ideas appear to be solutions for a badly needed balanced budget.

“The departments of education and energy, for example, are two bloated bureaucracies that we don’t need,” he explains. “Their core functions would be absorbed by the states through block grants, saving taxpayers at least $500 billion over the next decade.”

Rep. Broun argues that the government should stop interfering with the 50 states and keep its mitts off of K-12 education.

“A Heritage Foundation study showed that in 2010 the average salary of an Education Department employee reached $103,000, nearly double the average public-school teacher’s salary,” he pointed out.

“Let’s phase out a large portion of the department’s roughly $70 billion budget,” suggested the Congressman. “We can transfer the remaining dollars directly to the states, where they will be used more wisely.”

Next, he targeted Energy Department.

Obama’s green-spending failures

“Without unending government backing, the Energy Department would have ceased to exist long ago because of its ineffectiveness, corruption and poor investment strategy,” he wrote. “Taxpayers are now on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars squandered because of federal loans given to failed green companies such as Fisker Automotive and Solyndra.”

Cronyism is an issue here.

The list of failed companies – from batteries to solar energy – all backed by the Obama Administration – is long. Previously, I’ve pointed out that those companies that received the Energy Department loans were headed by executives who’ve also been donors to Mr. Obama’s campaigns.

But what would Rep. Broun do about the regulation of atomic weaponry?

“The only constitutionally necessary service provided by the Energy Department is regulation of the nation’s stockpile of atomic weapons, a function that can return to the Department of Defense,” suggested Rep. Broun. “Eliminating this bureaucracy would be a large, permanent spending cut, and would restore energy-related venture capitalism to its natural home, the private sector.”

Gas taxes

The federal government shouldn’t be allowed to manage the federal highway-financing system, wrote Rep. Broun, who argues in favor of the states administering the gas-tax receipts.

“States would then be free to determine their own transportation needs and to explore creative funding ideas for roads, such as public-private partnerships,” he added.


Rep. Broun, as a 30-year family doctor, has the credentials to address the pitfalls of the government’s role in healthcare.

“I recently co-sponsored legislation that would convert Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program into state-managed programs through a single federal block grant,” he wrote.

“This would save approximately $2 trillion over 10 years by capping federal funding at 2012 levels for the next 10 years and giving states an incentive to seek out and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse,” he explained.


Of course, Rep. Broun is aware of the dangers of ObamaCare.

“We must repeal ObamaCare – including the associated taxes, which the Ryan budget leaves intact by assuming the enactment of tax reform later on,” he asserted.

“We’ll replace it with a market-based health-care system devoid of government involvement and managed by patients and their doctors,” recommended the physician. “If we put Medicare in patients’ hands, by increasing contribution limits to health-savings accounts, it will transform Medicare into a more flexible premium-assistance program.”

It’s worth noting that Medicare is abusive to doctors and hospitals. The plight of doctors adversely impacts you. In addition, healthcare has become complex for the elderly.

So candidly, I don’t agree with him on Medicare, but I do agree regarding ObamaCare. I’ve written several articles about the ObamaCare issues. Nearly every businessperson I know is deeply troubled by ObamaCare.

Now, comes opposition from the International Franchise Association. Its members employ 9.1 million full-time workers; more than 33 percent of whom – 3.2 million people – will have their hours slashed or their jobs eliminated.

Ask anyone. It’s widely accepted that a 40-hour workweek is considered fulltime, but not to proponents of ObamaCare.

The law mandates that anyone who works just 30 hours a week must be considered fulltime to be covered under ObamaCare. Franchisees can’t afford it. That’s why the 3.2 million workers face unnecessary hardships.

Balanced budget

Rep. Broun insists that Congress become fiscally responsible.

“To cap all this off, I have proposed a balanced-budget amendment that would force Congress to stick to the principle of not spending more than we take in,” he wrote.

“Passing a constitutional amendment is no easy task,” he admitted. “While it’s a large undertaking, I’ll continue to fight for its passage.”

But there’s been positive baby step after political coercion.

“Only a few weeks ago, the House put enough pressure on the Senate to force it to produce a budget, something Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-Nev.), hadn’t attempted in more than four years,” he wrote.

Rep. Broun’s proposals are likely to be opposed by President Obama, Senators Murray and Reid as well as other Democrats. But to save America, the solutions must be implemented. Otherwise, businesspeople and consumers will continue to suffer losses in economic and political freedoms.

From the Coach’s Corner, see related articles in the public-policy category.

“A politician is just like a pickpocket; it’s almost impossible to get one to reform.”

-Will Rogers


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Small Businesspeople Are Depressed by Their Prospects – Study

Small business optimism has plummeted to one of its lowest levels in history, according to a nationwide study by the National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB).

NFIB’s small business optimism index dropped by 5.6 points to 87.5 in November 2012. It was a stunning development. The consensus forecast by most economists was 92.5.

“Something bad happened in November,” NFIB’s chief economist, Bill Dunkelberg, said in a statement.

It had little to do with Hurricane Sandy.

“The storm had a significant impact on the economy, no doubt, but it is very clear that a stunning number of owners who expect worse business conditions in six months had far more to do with the decline in small-business confidence,” he explained.

There were red flags in these categories: Capital investments, earning trends and expansion. The only bright spot was in planned employment increases.

“Nearly half of owners are now certain that things will be worse next year than they are now,” said the economist. “Washington does not have the needs of small business in mind.”

What are the specific concerns?

“Between the looming ‘fiscal cliff,’ the promise of higher health care costs and the endless onslaught of new regulations, owners have found themselves in a state of pessimism,” he explained.

As written on this business portal’s Public Policy section in many articles, economic policies have been dysfunctional and will only continue to be so.

A few examples:

Further, ObamaCare is a mega threat to businesses and the nation. Countless companies – small, medium and large – have indicated they’re alarmed at ObamaCare’s ominous impacts.

In talking with businesspeople, it was the re-election of President Obama that severely depressed them.

The federal budget deficit has been a big black hole during his administration. Each year, it has been $1 trillion or higher, and it’s likely to continue. Further, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not even allowed a vote on the budget since 2009. Businesspeople couldn’t possibly operate successfully without a budget.

Federal expenditures on healthcare, public-employee pensions and social security have jumped by $666 billion.

Increasing taxes on couples earning $250,000 is bad policy. Many are small-business employers. The aggregate taxes – local income, payroll and state in states such as Maryland and New York – are already approaching 50 percent.

Little wonder small businesspeople are depressed.

From the Coach’s Corner, the antidote for depression is action. See the Marketing/Sales section for more than 150 business-coaching articles.

“One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.”

-Albert Schweitzer


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional.Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

ObamaCare Has Cost Economy $27.6 billion, Eliminated 30,000 Jobs – Study

Oct. 10, 2012

If you’re wondering why the U.S. economy seems stagnant, ObamaCare isn’t helping. In fact, a study by a nonprofit issue-advocacy, American Action Forum (AAF), shows the economy has been devastated by $27.6 billion in unnecessary regulatory costs and in 30,000 lost jobs, as a result of ObamaCare.

“This analysis barely scratches the surface of the regulatory impact of this law,” Sam Batkins, AAF’s director of regulatory policy was quoted in a published report. “Not only is there still over a year until the law is fully implemented, but we only looked at data that the Administration itself has made public.”

The economic impact of ObamaCare, which is officially known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), imposes 85 new regulations.

“By looking only at the Administration’s own numbers, they are essentially conceding the fact that the ACA will place billions of dollars in regulatory burdens on the private sector and further strain states’ budgets,” asserted the researcher.

Regulatory Costs

Costing $24.4 billion, the study indicates the 10 most-expensive regulations:

  • Operating rules – $5.9 billion
  • Community First Choice Option – $5.7 billion
  • Establishment of Exchanges –$3.4 billion
  • Rules for Health Care Electronic Funds Transfers – $3.3 billion
  • Adoption of a Standard Health Plan – $2 billion
  • Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP; Transparency – $1.7 billion
  • Menu Labeling – $757 million
  • Medicaid Program Eligibility Changes – $580 million
  • Medicaid Program and Community Based Services – $580 million
  • Group Health Plans and Insurance Issuers – $275 million

The study points out that the regulations have also cost more than 60 million hours in paperwork. It also considers 2,000 hours is equal to a 30,000-job loss.

California has been hit the hardest – $3.4 billion in regulatory costs and 2,917 lost jobs.

Texas is second on the hardest-hit list – $1.8 billion in costs and 1,292 lost jobs.

There’s another ominous indicator:

“With still 15 months until full implementation there’s sure to be more regulatory costs,” concluded researcher Batkins.

From the Coach’s Corner, related articles:

 “And the biggest, coldest power play of all in ObamaCare came at the expense of the elderly.”
-Paul Ryan 


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Former Washington Auditor Who Championed Good Government, Wins National Honor

April 13, 2013 

The man had a vision and now he’s being recognized for it.

Former Washington State Auditor Brian Sonntag, who is in retirement this year after superb performances in five terms, has won a prestigious national honor. That would be induction into the Heroes of the 50 States: The State Open Government Hall of Fame.

Mr. Sonntag stood out as the epitome of state-government transparency. Yes, as an elected official, he had an unparalleled vision.

Count me as a fan – not only as a citizen and business consultant, but as a columnist who interviewed him on multiple occasions as the “Biz Coach” on KING5.com and two other Washington media Web sites; as well as the host of “Washington Business Weekly,” the Association of Washington Business radio program.

It can’t be over-stated. He was a conscientious public servant dedicated to doing the right thing for taxpayers.

WPC weighs in

His award drew praise from a state public-policy think tank, Washington Policy Center (WPC).

“Sonntag has also been a strong advocate for Washington Policy Center’s proposed legislative transparency reforms,”said Jason Mercier, director, for WPCs Center for Government Reform. “NFOIC’s acknowledgment of Sonntag’s long-time support for open government is well deserved.”

His selection was announced by the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

The State Open Government Hall of Fame is a joint venture by SPJ and NFOIC. It was developed by leaders in both organizations as a way to recognize long-term contributions of individuals to open government in their states.

Induction into the State Open Government Hall of Fame recognizes “long and steady effort to preserve and protect the free flow of information about state and local government that is vital to the public in a democracy.” The award is intended to honor individuals – living or dead – whose lifetime commitment to citizen access, open government and freedom of information has left a significant legacy at the state and local level.

When Mr. Sonntag announced his intention to retire, it was a sad day for the state.

To review history and a record of his achievements, here’s what I wrote here on this portal:

No Lame Duck, Washington Official Enhances Economic Public Policy

Oct. 20, 2011  

Like all inspiring great leaders, he and his staff are tenacious in delivering value for all of Washington. Who? State Auditor Brian Sonntag.

Mr. Sonntag is a favorite on this portal, a sagacious Democratic, who has consistently delivered value to state residents, and has always been available to answer questions. Admittedly, I was a bit melancholy about Mr. Sonntag’s announced retirement in 2012.

He has served constituents well, particularly, with his agency’s performance audits and initiatives in improving state-government performance.

And to the end, he continues to do what’s best for the state. He’s working to enhance entrepreneurship, which will help put the state on sound economic footing.

Another favorite entity is Washington Policy Center (WPC). The think tank also provides noteworthy analysis and timely updates.

blog by Jason Mercier is how I learned Mr. Sonntag has been focusing on business regulations to enhance Washington’s economic environment for the creation of jobs. 

Mr. Mercier cites a salient assessment of the state’s regulatory processes in the state auditor’s March 2011 report.

A few highlights:

The complexity of Washington State’s regulatory system creates costs for governments and businesses alike. Not only are there many regulations, but many requirements change every year or two based on new legislation or state agency amendments to existing rules. The Office of the Code Reviser reports that in 2009 alone, state agencies proposed more than 14,000 pages of new or revised rules. 

  • Many regulatory costs to business are fixed, with larger firms able to spread those costs over a greater number of employees, meaning that small businesses bear a disproportionate part of the regulatory burden. A 2007 Department of Revenue study on the business survival rate in Washington found that ‘taxes and costs of complying with government regulations are factors that contribute to business failure because most small businesses are not profitable in the early years.’ (BSSUG, 2007

This is a noteworthy conclusion:

  • Improving the effectiveness of Washington’s regulatory regime through streamlining, clear rule writing, reducing the administrative burden, and other innovations will benefit businesses, state government and taxpayers in general. Clear, fair and efficient regulations will keep Washington competitive in the global economy.”

In his blog, Mr. Mercier indicates we can look forward to five Sonntag performance audits:

  1. Agency efforts to streamline their administrative rules
  2. Agency permit process time
  3. State regulations in excess of federal regulations and the value added for the extra regulation
  4. Agency inspection process and coordination amongst agency inspections
  5. Effectiveness and opportunities for improvement for the state’s one-stop portal for business regulations.

As a result of WPC’s September 2011, the Legislature is getting feedback from small business (What Do Small Business Owners Need from Washington State Policymakers?).

The state’s small businesses want the following:

  1. Review environmental regulations to ensure that Washington rules don’t exceed federal regulations
  2. Legislature should not grant general rule making authority to agencies, but rather be specific about rules to be put in place
  3. Legislature should listen to and follow up on State Auditor Office reports on regulatory reform (tie)
  4. Sunset provisions for regulations (tie)

So a Biz Coach tip of the hat to Mr. Sonntag and his team, as well as to WPC. It’s past time to evolve from an adversarial state government-business relationship to one of effective public policy for economic development.

Frustration is trying to find your glasses without your glasses. 


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 

What Happened to the Locke, Obama Trade Plan?

Updated – Sept. 30, 2012

The Obama launched two international trade plans — without success. But is there new hope? There are new developments in China. It’s declining economically, which prompted me to write this column: Will Manufacturing Jobs Return to U.S. from China?

Obviously, U.S. exports, which would enhance the nation’s economy. With much publicity, you might recall the Obama Administration in 2010 re-launched its plan to create 2 million jobs and dramatically increase exports.

In addition, Congress held hearings on the manipulation of the Chinese currency, yuan. The then-Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited Seattle to pitch the trade plan, Chinese officials vowed to increase trade with Washington state during a trade mission by Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Now that Mr. Locke is the U.S. Ambassdor to China, what happened to the trade plan?

The trade plan was well-intentioned but is unfeasible, according to one of the nation’s most-widely quoted economists, Dr. Peter Morici. Ironically, the Obama Administration trade push follows some recent heavy criticism from the economist. (Note: This Biz Coach portal regularly publishes his Op Ed commentaries.)

“The Administration is correct to target China and India but these initiatives don’t address the reasons U.S. businesses don’t sell enough in those countries,” says the economist in referring to China’s currency manipulations and other trade-protectionist practices.

Dr. Morici speaks from experience. He was the chief economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission in the Clinton Administration and currently teaches business at the University of Maryland.

Before leaving as Commerce Secretary, Mr. Locke implemented the administration’s five-year plan to double exports and create jobs.

It also sought to accomplish these goals:

  1. Promote free trade
  2. Provide more credit for small to medium sized business
  3. Enforcement of international trade laws

“The Commerce Department initiative merely consists of redoubling existing efforts and not addressing the fundamental issues – the undervalued Chinese yuan and high tariffs, and other regulatory barriers that block U.S. exports in much of Asia,” argues Dr. Morici.

“Of course, these initiatives are helpful and could increase net exports by several billion dollars; however, those will not double exports, which now total $1.7 trillion or appreciably reduce a trade deficit of $440 billion caused by $2.1 trillion in imports,” adds the economist. “The trade deficit is likely to grow in 2010 and drag on the economic recovery.”

There are no published cost estimates but it is a multi-billion dollar plan.

It would increase “…Export-Import Bank funding for small businesses from $4 to $6 billion; boosting Commerce Department personnel that assist exporters at U.S. embassies and consulates in China and India; and strengthening enforcement of trade laws and agreements,” Dr. Morici indicates.

“China is the larger and faster growing market, and maintains an undervalued currency that makes Chinese products artificially cheap, whether at the Wal-Mart or competing with U.S. exports in China,” he explains. “It imposes huge tariffs and administrative barriers to U.S. exports. Conditions are not much better in India.”

Dr. Morici says the U.S. imports $330 billion in goods from China but only sells $88 billion in products to the Asian power.

“Without a revaluation in the yuan large enough to end China’s persistent purchases of U.S. dollars, the bilateral deficit is simply not coming down,” he asserts. “Without strong U.S. action to offset China’s currency market intervention, which exceeds $400 billion a year, China simply is not going to change its currency and trade policies, and the U.S. unemployment will stay close to 10 percent or higher.”

I’ve quoted Dr. Morici over the years and sometimes his views conflict with my free-market philosophy. However, he’s right in that something needs to be done to persuade China.

Moreover, what seems to have been lost in the discussion about the Obama Administration’s trade plan is a fundamental concern: Relatively little is manufactured in the U.S. any more. Consumer products are made abroad.  Even Boeing jet parts are made elsewhere.

As a management consultant, I recall Mr. Locke, as Washington’s 21st governor from 1996 to 2004, was innovative and practical. He was the nation’s first Chinese-American governor.

As a Biz Coach columnist, I’ve praised him because he implemented two valuable policies that ostensibly are not used today – he wanted consulting projects to be accountable with benchmarks for returns on investment and he implemented priorities in government budgeting instead of just taxing and spending.

So, if anyone in the Obama Administration is astute enough to assess the problems, he’s the one. Let’s pray he’s successful in strategy and implementation.

America is heavily in debt to China. That threatens our national security, and our individual economic and political freedoms. Unless, the Obama Administration is successful in trade, someday soon America’s official currency will be the yuan.

Meantime, what happened to the trade plan?

From the Coach’s Corner: Two related resources:

Things may be cheaper over the hill, but there is a cost to the community in buying over there, instead of here.”

-Margaret House


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.