Obama's "Forward" Slogan is all Backwards

by Gerri Willis

Now that he’s officially campaigning for re-election, the President's put out a seven-minute video of his accomplishments. I guess there wasn't enough to make it an even ten? He’s revealing his one-word campaign slogan, "Forward."

Have a taste:

Narrator: “The President's stimulus plan saved up to 4.2 million jobs, including teachers, construction workers, police and firefighters working to build a stronger America.

Pres. Obama: I believe America is on the way up. Thank you, God bless you, God bless the United States of America. [Vis: Forward]”

I've got a much better slogan for the President: Backward.

That's his economic policy in a nutshell. What do you call raising taxes in the middle of a recovery?

He's signed 21 tax hikes into law in the last three and a half years.

And the worst of them haven't even gone into effect yet.

And that doesn't count the expiring tax cuts this President has vowed to not renew.

What's the impact? Our growth last quarter was a paltry 2.2%.

Unemployment stuck above 8%. And it doesn't stop there.

The President's sliding backward on health care. You remember his promises on what Obamacare would do:

“Our approach would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan. It would reduce costs and premiums for millions of families and businesses. … our approach would bring down the deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades.”

While in reality the cost of Obamacare is rising.

And the cost of your health-care premiums have only gone up since it was passed!

Over two thousand dollars for the average family.

Finally, the President is backward on energy.

Gas was a $1.84 when Obama took office.

Today it's $3.82.

It's more than doubled!

All the while millions of barrels of oil are off-limits in ANWR, off the coasts, in the Gulf of Mexico.

Instead of common-sense solutions like approving the Keystone pipeline, the President throws away hundreds of millions of dollars on green energy failures like Solyndra.

But there is one way the President is very "forward" thinking: the national debt. It's up nearly 47% since the President took office.

He's going to pay for all these programs by pushing the bill forward, onto our children, our grand-children.

But beyond this, there's one more "forward" connection you might not have thought of.

The great leap forward.

China's clever branding for a country trying to make the transition to modern society.

But Mao Zedong's government takeover of farming back in 1958 was disastrous. Millions died.

"Forward" just isn't a good rallying cry.

At least we told you about it.

Forewarned is forearmed.

It's Open Enrollment Season! Are You Prepared?

by Gerri Willis

It's that time of year again -- open enrollment. That's when companies that provide health insurance to employees announce tweaks to their plans. If you've been employed anytime at all, you know the drill. You get a complicated looking packet from your HR office and you try like heck to compare the plans. Often, you're not successful. The only thing you're likely to figure out - that your contribution to your coverage will be more than it was last year.

And, so it is this year. Despite all the promises of ObamaCare -- that it would slow health care inflation or that it would allow you to keep your plan -- the costs continue to rise and the options narrow. The average annual premium this year $15,073 for a family and $5,429 for a single person -- the family premiums are up 9 percent year over year.

And, if your premium is different -- well consider, that the numbers differ across the country!

Don't get me wrong, I am glad that my employer offers health insurance -- job-based coverage is still the most common type of health insurance in the nation, covering just shy of 60 percent of folks who aren't retired.

And, contrary to conventional wisdom, America is not the land of the uninsured. The percentage of working-age Americans with coverage is 81.5 percent.

Still, things could be better. For example, this year more than ever you are likely to be offered something called a high-deductible plan. It allows you to save money on monthly premiums -- but at a cost. If you do find yourself in need of health care, you could face a deductible of a thousand dollars or more. Typically, younger workers use these plans because they don't expect to face expensive illnesses.

But if you ask me, that's asking for trouble. Setting aside money in a tax-protected account may help you meet those bills -- just in case, you get hit by the proverbial bus.

Other changes most of us will see -- deductibles jumping 7 percent on average. And, watch out for what insurers are calling "co-insurance," that's your charge for care. Think of it as a co-pay on steroids.

Also keep your eyes peeled for changes in networks of doctors and hospitals. Some providers are making those networks smaller.

One positive here: More employers are offering incentives to workers who actively try to improve their health by say, reducing their body mass index, or signing up for cholesterol or blood pressure screening.

And, one more thing -- most workers spend less than an hour deciding what plan to go with -- if you're new to the company and even if you're not -- do yourself the favor of figuring out the details. Your health is on the line.

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