Monday, 08/24/09, Public Square

imagesA brand new week — Let’s make it our best yet!

Cash for Clunkers ends today.  What did you think of this program?  Did everyone in the market for a new car get one while this offer was ongoing?

What are you thinking about today?



Filed under The Public Square

61 responses to “Monday, 08/24/09, Public Square

  1. I tried trading in my granny and they wouldn’t take her!

  2. Bought a car this month because we’d planned to, didn’t have anything to trade in that was eligible for the program. Everywhere I looked the inventory on the lots was down and each place attributed it to a rush of sales from the program.

    The sweaty guy I bought my car from loved it.

  3. lilacluvr

    What I don’t understand is if Kansas is such a proud Republican state that does not believe in such wasteful government handouts – then why was this Cash for Clunkers such a success?

    I’m sure not all the poor, lazy, non-working working Obama voters were the ones that went into buy new cars – or am I wrong?

    Seems to me these Republicans don’t have any problems with any government program when it is benefiting THEM.

    • wicked

      This poor, lazy person (aka LIBERAL and working) checked into the Cash for Clunkers program and found her car eligible. But after looking at the best price I could get on a Ford Focus (cheap car & I hate Ford), there still wasn’t a way to afford a new one.

      • lilacluvr

        I hope you didn’t misunderstand what I was trying to say – I was trying to make a point that Republicans think only the lazy, poor non-working people are Obama voters.

        But I know what you mean about still not being to afford a new car – we never even checked into the Cash for Clunkers program because we are buying a house right now. Both our cars are paid for – 1994 and 1995 models. They both still run great, so why add on a payment that we don’t really need?

        And, much to the demise of the Republican Party – Obama voters are not all one color, one age group or economic class – that is why the man got into office – in my opinion.

      • wicked

        I was kidding, Lilac. 🙂 I was looking at it from a conservative point of view.

        Poor? Technically, yes, but we don’t do without the necessities and a few frills.

        Lazy? When the mood strikes. LOL But even then the opportunity to be lazy doesn’t arise often.

        Unemployed? Well, there are some who would say self-employed is the same. They taunt one poster Over There about it, saying he’s unemployed. First they said start your own business! Then when someone does, they’re lazy and unemployed.

        These people can’t be pleased. I please myself, and that’s all that matters.

  4. tosmarttobegop

    Partisanship is not about being realistic and thoughtful its about being against anything that the other side wants or thinks is a good idea.

    • lilacluvr

      True, so true. This could explain why I bet there were more than a few teabaggers buying a new car in the past few months, huh?

  5. tosmarttobegop

    On Morning Joe, Joe made the point that the Democrats did not need one Republican vote for health care reform. “ Every Republican could get on a plane and go to France for three months and it would not make a difference. The Democrats could still pass anything they wanted.”.

    Harold Ford and several others argued they need Republican votes to pass anything. Joe pointed out that the Dems have everything they need to pass any laws, the numbers are with them 60 Dems here and 73 there.
    Ford and the others danced around the answer to that, but as much said that they could not count on the Democrats voting in lock step. So there is a need to get some Republicans to vote with them.
    Bi-partisan mainly because we can not be partisan even in our own party. I am glad to see some of either party voting their opinion rather then blindly voting party line. Often party line is devoid of logic and reason. LOL I know I am a Republican! Heee. (got to laugh as grown men are not suppose to cry).

    I think I am seeing the latest tactic of the party, smile and set back and watch.

    • wicked

      But the Dems don’t have all the votes from their own party, thanks to the blue dogs. If they did, there would be no question, and I would be screaming that the whole party is dragging their feet.

      Just pass the damn bill.

      • tosmarttobegop

        I think what Joe was really addressing was blaming Republicans if health reform fails.

      • wicked

        That could be, tosmart. Since Katrina, Joe’s gained some common sense or at least shows that he has it instead of hiding it. Not that I always agree with him.

        When Dubya was still in office, Joe often appeared on Real Time. He flat out didn’t like Dubya and wasn’t shy about saying so. He’s definitely not an Obama supporter now, but he has seen what some Republicans are all about, and he doesn’t like it any more than the Dems do.

  6. lilacluvr

    Democrats have always been known to be a party of diverse groups and will always have a fight within party lines.

    That is one thing the Republicans do well is to lockstep behind their leaders (even if their leaders are nuts). I think alot of the reason the Republicans is good at lockstepping is due to the fact they have alot of Evangelical Christians in their group. This group is content with following blindly – in my opinion.

    But isn’t that a two-edged sword? On one hand the lockstepping is a plus but on other hand, it looks too much like a total takeover – doesn’t it?

    I think Obama knows that if Democrats ram this health care down the people’s throat – there will be such an uprising that a class war or a racial war will break out.

    Plus, I just don’t think Obama has that killer instinct in him. I think the man is a smart and savvy politician, but I don’t think he is shark searching for the smell of blood in the water.

    Perhaps that trait will be his downfall?

    • wicked

      The Republicans hope to water down the bill so it WILL fail, then point their fingers at Obama and blame any failure on him.

      He and the Dems are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    • tosmarttobegop

      Democrats have always been known to be a party of diverse groups and will always have a fight within party lines.

      Ya think? Hee I have not noticed!

      You have a valid point plus the Republicans are far more partisan.
      I have rode several times the adage “Republicans do not attack other Republicans”.
      To an extent that is still true on that other blog and is why my opinion is not attack too often.
      Some plead that I change parties and have accused me of it without declaring.

      Obama is being to laid back that is true, in part because of the reality that if not at least a few Republicans being on board then any failure will hang over the Democratic party. Also that he is hoping that the reality and common sense will be seen if given time. Much better for you to come to those conclusions then being told to.

      There is already class warfare going on.

  7. tosmarttobegop

    Oh yeah, a hand-out is only a hand-out if it is something I am not getting.
    Fiscal responsibility! It is fiscally responsible to take advantage of that program.
    Believe me if we could have afforded it my wife and I would have.

    Now the other side of that term, it is fiscally irresponsible to have done the cash for clunkers program.
    Browed the money to give away, to be paid back by the very same people that used the program.
    Not only those who did use the program will have to pay the money back but every tax payer.

    But in a real sense it did what was needed done, money flowing in the economy.
    Banks making loan that they would not have made, cars sold that would not have been sold.
    Car dealership who were on the edge of closing the doors now have a new breath.
    Car sales people are not prone to bring their lunch so restaurants have customers.
    True the money that is flowing is not truly free and will be put back out of the economy.
    But hopefully it would get other money flowing and the economy can rebound.

  8. David B

    Aww .. the Ford Focus is very highly rated and seems great value. If you need a new car and want low low payments.. you should go for it.

    • tosmarttobegop

      What kept us from it is that I am unemployed and the wife’s company is about on the edge of dropping off.
      She was only working 26 hours a week until last week. Neither of us are inclined to take on more debit even in good times.

    • wicked

      Can you imagine what the conservatives would have to say if I bought a new car when I can’t afford health insurance? Unless I can get a loan with $65 a month payments, there won’t be a new car. Not right now. But then I can’t get a loan. Only part of my income comes in regularly, every week. The rest comes in larger lumps.

      I’m not boohooing. The car I have runs and will hold all 5 grandkids in car seats. A smaller car wouldn’t work anyway.

      • lilacluvr

        That is something I have been wondering about with all these new cars coming on the market – where will the car seats for the kids go? some of these new cars are very small.

        I have one grand daughter and her car seat takes up one half of the backseat in my Mercury Cougar. If a family has more than 2 kids – where will they fit the car seats? Are they going to repeal the car seat laws just to allow some new cars to be sold to the general public?

      • wicked

        Lilac, is this a way to force people to have only one child? Just kidding, but room for car seats for more than two and sometimes only one often requires a van or larger SUV with three rows of seats. That’s why I drive a big, old car that gets decent gas mileage, certainly better than a Hummer.

  9. Bipartisanship isn’t possible today.

    Think about who is left of the Republican Party in both the Senate and the House. Most of them aren’t people capable of thinking beyond the party line they toe. Both because they don’t have any ideas and because their constituents don’t either. These are hard-core partisans from parts of the country where people aren’t moderate, and aren’t capable of seeing change as anything positive.

    They only think about their idea of God, their guns, and defeating anything that is different. Different includes someone of a race, religion, sexual persuasion… that isn’t what they conceive as the only correct and superior one. Differences are a threat to them. It is the party of old white men.

    They want the U.S. to be a Christian theocracy, they want Roe v Wade overturned and every person armed to the nth degree! Their only political strategies are intimidation through fear and make people angry about taxes.

    It’s Republican women who puzzle me most. They don’t even recognize how badly they are being used. The party of old white men don’t want women in control of anything — including their own bodies and their right to have a say in reproducing.

    • tosmarttobegop

      Bipartisanship isn’t possible today.

      Shoot an’t been a Republican more then a couple of months and already can not work with the Democrats!

    • lilacluvr

      One Republican woman I really don’t get is Jenny Sanford. How can this woman still want to reconcile with her husband after he went on television – not just once but several times – and spoke of his one true love, his soul mate in Argentina! And then this man turns around and acts like he is a righteous Christian who just loves his wife and wants to reconcile with her.

      What part of the man putting his mistress on the pedestal instead of his wife makes sense to any woman?

      But, to be thankful to Mark Sanford for one thing – he did spill the beans about the C Street Church Gang – didn’t he? Before Sanford’s tearful public confession – I never had heard of this place before.

      I guess it’s true – your sin will find you out?

      • tosmarttobegop

        What part of the man putting his mistress on the pedestal instead of his wife makes sense to any woman?
        I always put my wife on a pedestal, my mistress would not fit!

        I don’t understand it either, if its just sex that is bad enough. But he fell all over himself about her.

        I could not respect my wife if I had done that. Profess my love for another woman and she kept me.

  10. tosmarttobegop

    Voting against their own best interests is true.

  11. tosmarttobegop

    I think that is why Franks is so hated by the Right, the truth hurts.

  12. lilacluvr

    BTW – wicked – how is Payton doing? I’m still holding her and everyone in your family in my daily thoughts, prayers and positive thinking.

    I truly believe in the power of being positive and in bringing lots of people into that power to make it even stronger.

    If you need the website for the Kansas Insurance Commissioner – I found it when I Googled Kansas government. I think it is – but I’m not sure.

    • wicked

      Payton is doing well. She’s drinking from a bottle and consuming quite a bit. Latest news is they’ll look at scheduling surgery soon. She’s 2 weeks old today. Her brother Jaxon turned 2 today. Lyndsay and Adam will be home later today for his birthday party and to open shower gifts, then they’ll return to KC on Friday, after Adam’s Thursday night class.

      We’re in a holding pattern, but it’s a good one. 🙂

      Thanks for the link! I think I have bookmarked for other things, but if not, I won’t have to google! I’ll pass the info along to Lyndsay. I truly think they should file a complaint.

      • lilacluvr

        I would file a complaint just to make the COBRA people have to jump through some hoops – for a change.

        That may sound mean and nasty, but when dealing with insurance companies who refuse to keep their part of the deal they need to have their feet held to the fire.

      • wicked

        Bless you, Lilac! Lyndsay just called again, and I passed the link on to her. They’ll definitely file a complaint! Hoops are good and maybe something can be done. Just paying for the delivery would help. Payments were made, checks were cashed. I’d like to choke COBRA. Or hire Riki-Tiki-Tavi. LOL

        AND the doctor may schedule Payton’s surgery for this week! She gained 2 oz in a day, so she’s growing. 🙂

  13. 6176746f6c6c65

    Not trying to snoop, Wicked, but do you know the alleged reason for the cancellation? For example, and not saying that this is the case at all, if the premium was paid late to the former employer, and thus not paid to the carrier when due, there isn’t much the insurance commissioner can do. Was the period of the COBRA continuation over? This has limits, as you know; 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 36 months are the common ones.

    As I say, none of this may apply. My experience with COBRA has been that strict compliance with the requirements is required, and the cancellation often comes with justification that facially is reasonable, as there are severe penalties that may be imposed for noncompliance; but, the most eggregious actions have been as the results of acts or refusal to act taken by the former employer, all of which are/were without the jurisdiction of any state insurance department to resolve, leaving the remedy to be litigation in federal court for a violation of ERISA, as amended by the pertinent provsions of COBRA.

    • I’m on COBRA myself, and have been since February. I keep my payments up, because as a cancer survivor, it would be stupid not to. I had a prescription filled last week, and was charged full amount (I have a twenty dollar co-pay). I asked why I was being charged full, and they told me the insurance had lapsed. I called Tri-Ad, who handles the COBRA, and they called back later and said it was a mix up, and everything was hunky dory now.

      Problem was, it was too late to get a refund on the overpayment. I called Tri-Ad back, and was told these things happen. Boy howdy, did that make me feel a whole lot better. Yep, no reform needed, right?

      • lilacluvr

        Can you turn the prescription into the insurance and have them reimburse you?

        I know what a pain that is to do and you should not even have to do it due to their carelessness about the mix-up.

        But what about those people who don’t have the full cost of the prescription and they depend on that $20 co-pay to get their meds?

        I didn’t realize you were a cancer survivor also.

        And, yes, I know that my health insurance is one thing I will never let lapse. With my history of cancer – I’m sure all those private insurance companies will be clamoring at my door to get my business.

        You’re right – reform is needed but I wonder -when will the ‘haves’ realize that one medical disaster down the road may just throw them into the category of ‘have not’.

      • I wish I could, but the cost was only $32 total, and it doesn’t work that way, unfortunately.

        Yep: bladder two years ago. Thankfully, it hasn’t returned.

    • wicked

      I understand I should have said thank you, 6176, so thank you. I’m multi-tasking and skimming email. A real no-no.

      I don’t know anything about the employer paying them. The employer/supervisor told Adam that he wasn’t eligible because he (was forced to take) took “voluntary layoff” when Beech was laying off earlier. A couple of months later, Adam spoke with his union rep, who told him he WAS eligible. Adam called COBRA and it was “rushed” through. They got a call from COBRA asking if they wanted to include the three prior months. As far as I know, they’d never received any money from employer at that point. They said no. The woman on the phone told them to write the month they wanted the insurance to begin on the check. They did. Months later, they get a letter from COBRA saying they weren’t/aren’t covered. I don’t know the reason, but I do know they made the payments on time. In fact, the payments may have been automatic withdrawals, since they do many things that way.

      Lyndsay has the details. I’ll let her handle it.

      But I’m strongly tempted to tell her to file a complaint against Healthwave, too. There’s a problem Healthwave seems to have with previous insurees, continuing to charge them (not all are free and require small monthly payments) AFTER being contacted that the children are now being covered by private/company insurance. No bills were sent, just a refusal to insure because of owing $320. Exactly the same thing happened to a friend of my oldest daughter. Same amount owed. Go figure.

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        $320; doubt this is it, but sounds like premiums due to me (given that more than one person was faced with the same amount). So, the lesson there is to take affirmative steps to cancel the Healthwave coverage, not just notify about other coverage. Until canceled, Healthwave may well be considered a secondary insurer; thus, the need to cancel.

        On your daughter’s plight; let her handle it, of course, but I would be concerned about the gap, and the length thereof. If they indeed were not eligible for coverage, then they are only entitled to a return of premiums paid.

      • wicked

        She DID cancel Healthwave. And those numbers didn’t add up if they were for premiums not paid. She wasn’t billed monthly for premiums after she cancelled, she was just told when she applied again after he was laid off that she owed the amount and couldn’t get it for the kids until the $320 was paid. Premium bills had come each month until she cancelled and the kids were on her hubby’s insurance.

        BTW, she paid it, and all the kids, including Payton, are on it. Gavin was on it first. ComCare made sure of that when he started going there for his ADHD/ODD, and when Payton was born, SRS made sure ALL of them are covered now. I don’t know why SRS stepped in, but they rushed it through.

  14. lilacluvr

    That is great news, wicked….and 6176 did provide the direct link, so kudos to him.

    Thanks, 6176 – I was in the neighborhood but you took wicked right to the front door!

  15. lilacluvr

    6176 – as I have never dealt with COBRA, I don’t know the first thing about the process.

    So, the employee pays the former employer the premium and then that employer pays the insurance company. Is that the way this goes?

    What if the former employer just flat out didn’t pay the insurance premium, even though the check did come from the employee in a timely manner? Is the only recourse the employee has is to sue the former employer? That doesn’t seem fair.

    I remember the Kansas Commissioner telling me when I filed my complaints that they could not force the insurance company to pay a bill but that usually they will pay it because they don’t want any trouble with the state they are doing business in.

    My complaints had nothing to do with any premiums being paid or not paid – so maybe my case was pretty much black and white. Like I said last week, after 4 months of fighting the insurance company – it took only 2 weeks after contacting the KS Insurance Commissioner and those 2 bills were paid.

  16. 6176746f6c6c65

    Lilac, your case was one of coverage and policy provisions, not a COBRA matter.

    The situations vary on COBRA; sometimes, the first premium is paid to the employer, then to the carrier in the future; other times, to the carrier directly; and, to the employer to be forwarded to the carrier. Yes, if the former employer doesn’t pay the premium and coverage is canceled, then the former employee has only the right to sue the former employer, if that was the arrangement. Mostly, a third party gets involved to act on behalf of the former employer and provide a contact for the former employee, such as in Jammer’s case; this is usually a good thing.

    The main thing to remember is that there are very specific requirements for COBRA continuation, and it is up to the insured to meet their part of the deal. The former employers usually don’t want to deal with COBRA; the insurance companies aren’t fans, either, as compliance is costly. Thus, any act which may be considered a default by the individual will be seized upon as a reason to terminate coverage.

    And, as you have discovered, when on a COBRA continuation, if the plan changes, you are affected, just as if you were still an active employee. I’m sure the maximum benefit change was made so some coverage could continue; it just adversely affected your situation in a very direct way, different from that of a 30 year old, in good health, who likely put the new policy in a drawer, unread.

    • wicked

      I guess they’ll just have to try and see what happens. I’ll pass all this along to them. It pays to know the details. Thanks!

  17. I’ll bet there is a requirement of coverage (at least) nine months prior to the birth for ‘maternity’ benefits. That isn’t uncommon. So they may say there wasn’t continuance of coverage for the required minimum… Insurance always has fine print and it never reads as an advantage to the insured.

    Beech (whatever they call themselves nowadays) is self insured. They hire an insurance company to process claims and they buy insurance for the claims that exceed ____ amount. Last I knew Beech paid the first $10,000 of each insured’s claims and purchased insurance for claims above that amount. It’s been awhile since I knew and everything has changed in the meantime so that figure is possibly not any longer accurate.

    • wicked

      If maternity benefits weren’t covered, then L&A were lied to. It was a continuation of the insurance they had through Beech, and because the lapse was Beech’s fault, she was assured her maternity was covered.

      I’m sure COBRA will find some loophole they can squeeze through. The taxpayers will end up paying for Payton’s delivery. The cycle is complete. Once again, we’ve all been screwed.

      • lilacluvr

        Whatever the outcome, at least Lyndsay and Adam will have the satisfaction of trying to accomplish something by their filing a complaint – and the satisfaction they made COBRA answer to the State of Kansas.

        Making them jump through that hoop, alone, is worth filing the complaint. Make them at least pay someone to do the paperwork and take the time to answer the complaint.

        What could it hurt and what is the worst they could do – simply deny the claim again?

        Good luck…..and have a good birthday party today….

  18. lilacluvr

    BTW – when filing the complaint through the website – you can even save the price of a postage stamp!

    Technology – isn’t it wonderful?

  19. David B

    I can hardly believe that I am now downloading a CIA document!!! LOL

    Click to access cia_report.pdf

  20. David B

    If someone is watching me, they are BORED TO DEATH!!!!!!

    • tosmarttobegop

      Oh that reminds me, I was on the opinion page and a poster named Honestoberserver was talking about Obama forming a Gestapo style intelligence corp. And dissolving the CIA.

      I assured him that the CIA is in no danger and will still be spying on him and reporting to the space Aliens on everything you do!

  21. David B

    From the In Box

    Dear MoveOn member,
    Everybody is talking about health care these days. But they’re not talking about what really matters: the people we all know who live in fear, pain or debt under our current health care system.

    So next week, we’re organizing vigils across the country for everyone who is suffering under our broken health care system. We’ll send our members of Congress back to Washington, D.C. with a somber reminder of what’s at stake by reading the names and telling the stories of thousands of people who have been denied needed treatments, faced bankruptcy because of a sudden illness, and even died because they lacked coverage.

    Can you host a vigil in Wichita? It’s simple, and we’ll walk you through every step. Click here to get started:

    Every day, 14,000 people lose health care coverage, and thousands face bankruptcy each month because of medical bills.1 We hear from MoveOn members daily who are struggling because of the high cost of coverage or lack of care—people who have to decide who in their family gets to see the doctor.
    At these events, we’ll get together to share some of these stories and remind Congress and the media why health care reform is so urgent.

    Hosting a vigil is easy. All you need to do is find a good public location for people to gather, invite your friends, and tell the local media what you’re planning. We’ll help you recruit attendees and give you the materials and training you need to hold a great event.

    We’re calling these “We can’t afford to wait: Public Option NOW!” vigils, and we still need someone to host one in your area. Click here to register a vigil in Wichita:

    Thank you so much for all you do.

    –Nita, Ilya, Lenore, Kat and the rest of the team

  22. tosmarttobegop

    OKO torture is un-principled and amoral, no matter how appalling or not.
    Water boarding is torture, the recently released listing of the other acts may pale compared to it. Only the cutting off of the blood flow to the brain comes close.

    But the degree is not the point, Personally I would not object to covering those who caused 9-11 with Jet-A and striking a match. cause them to suffer the same fate as those who died in the Twin towers. It won’t happen because we are America not some third world country. We have morals and principles beyond those who cut off the heads of their captives. “A Democracy always fights with one hand tied behind its back. But always has the upper hand!”. That was said by a judge in Israel, a country that compared to our own terrorist experience our own pales.

    “If Bush was the person the left and you think he was then why hasn’t the democrat house and senate taken action? Ask yourself that and don’t allow yourself to be duped by the hype spinnig out of DC today“.

    Simple they put Politics above justice and the law. Failing to take a stand against the actions of Bush at the time. They aided and became co-conspirators to it, they can not escape that. They can gripe and shout about it but any real attempt to bring Bush to justice would end in such a partisan fight and their own guilt exposed. They care more about the party then they do about the country. The same as the Republicans do I must say.
    Its all about partisan Politics on both sides, the Democrats would fear that forever more every time there is a Democratic President he would be investigated for leaving the seat up on the toilet. Which might be embarrassing if Hillary is elected.
    The Republicans do not want a Republican President to be charged for such crimes.
    Because of it would be a stain on the party for at least the next forty years.

    There will be a Faustian deal made, Our country’s soul has already been blackened by the torture issue. So in for a penny in for a pound, though it will not be a well kept secret it will be ignored and glazed over.

    (guess where I just came from?)

  23. David B

    The United States of America, throughout history, has always been a staunch and vocal opponent of these kinds of treatment of prisoners around the world. Until Bush and Cheney.

    Read up on George Washington’s orders to his troops regarding the humane treatment of captured Hessian mercenaries.

    HA.. George Washington could not tell a lie. George Bush and Cheney… well… not so much

  24. tosmarttobegop

    oh I will finish it, they could not tell the truth!