New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 28, 1994, New Braunfels, Texas
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■ Thursday. July 28.1994
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To talk vtf th Managing JHor Mark Lyon about a Opinion page, can 25-9144, ext. 21
aes“If what we do as journalists is to act as witnesses, then I want to be in the front seat”
- Peter Jennings nows anchor, 1993Say No to ‘no-fault’Texans should reject no-fault automobile insurance proposals
Texans have long been enraged about the ever cost of automobile insurance rates. A recent article in Business Week (April 4) indicated that losses from claims hit a IO-year low in 1993, while premium income for the industry hit a high of $90 billion.
Many in the insurance industry have blamed everyone but themselves for the cost of insurance, remaining silent on the bad claims practices, excessive administrative costs and other abuses in the insurance industry itself. Now industry leaders say no-fault auto insurance is the solution to Texas' insurance woes.
No-fault is a veiled effort to shift more costs to consumers while increasing company profits. In a no-fault system, when someone hits you from behind or runs into you head-on, each driver is left to collect from his own insurer. No-fault removes the concept of personal accountability from the system.
Of the IO states with the highest rates for auto insurance in 1991, five had no-fault systems. Nine of the IO states with the lowest auto insurance premiums have traditional liability systems.
Michigan, which began their system in 1973, has seen the coverage costs rise dramatically while the scope of coverage has shrunk steadily.
Texas should continue to pursue a remedy to our insurance woes. But in that effort, we should skip on past the no-fault system and opt for something else that will solve our problems, not just change them.
(Today's editorial was written by Mark Lyon, managing editor of the Herald-Zeitung.)
As you consider that Congress is pondering whether to take over and direct the nations health care, remember that (your
I Representatives and Senators live and work in a city ' w ith the wont record of on-time mail delivery in the country, lf you like government-run mail service — which coats 29 cents for a first-class stamp while providing third-class service (the cost will increase next year with no guarantee of improved service), you are going to love the government-run health care system.
The latest tactic by supporters of government-managed healthcare is to trot out the class warfare theme the Clintonites used so effectively in the 1992 campaign when they suggested that ‘The rich” were not paying their “fair share” in taxes.
‘Tell Congress you warn what they already have,” intones the announcer at the end of the anti-Harry and Louise commercial now being run by pro-govemment health care faces. What Congress and nearly IO million federal employees have is, indeed, what the country ought to get But what so many federal employees have is na wha the Clinton Administration wants the rest of us lo receive.
The Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan (FEHBP) was created 34 years ago. It contains just 26 pages of rules and is administered by the U.S.
Office of Personnel Management with a staff of only 164 people. By contrast, the health plan pro-posed by the Admfctimion is 1,3d* pages king and it creates an enormous government bunuicfa-cy. Multinational Business Services (MBS), a
the Clinton plan would create 59 new offices a HW-kmub Mffii, nae inumit
staffed by more than 98,000 health care bureaucrats.
The FEHBP allows federal employees to choose from a wide variety of benefits packages, offered by hundreds of private plans which compete for the business, lids fitment the Adminis
tration doesnt mention and won’t support fa the raa of us. This type of plat, with real choices and gamine within private industry,
wouldfix wha ails the current health system without reducing quality and without a crippling new bureaucracy tha would eventually decide who gets care and who does na based on cote alone. Government would be able to decide who lives aid who dies according to formulas it establishes to judge one's “quality of life.”
The Clinton plan contain 818 regulatory mandates, according lo MBS. TMs regulatory maze would require thousands of pages of new regulations — about IO times the number under which Medicare operates. By contrast, FEHBP contains 83 pages of regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations and 93 pages of guidance in the Federal Personnel Manual.
Under the Clinton plan (and to varying degrees
in the other plans, with the exception of the Nick-les-Steams Consumer Choice Health Security Act), all health care spending, both public and private, would be subject to rigid spending restrictions enforced by the National Health Board.
Beyond caps on insurance premiums, the Clinton plan authorizes state and regional alliances to impose Medicare-iiyie fee schedules on doctors and hospitals. With FEHBP, there are no premium caps a price controls. Market competition between the various plans determines the prices— which have consistently been lower than most other health plans.
If Congress panes a version of national health care, the sale of treadmills, exercise bikes and healthy food is bound to increase. Americans will want to avoid like the plague the government-run system, because if they ga sick, they could ga sicker while waiting for attention a be denied care by faceless bureaucrats who will have the power of life and death over people they have never ma and will never see.
Scare tactics? No. Scary? You bet Would someone please pass the whole grain cereal and skim milk?
(Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist with Los Angeles Times Syndicate. His columns appear each Sunday in the Herald-Zeitung. Marie Dawson, whose column normally appears each Thursday, will be published in Friday’s edition for this week only.)
Courtly lawyer puts stamp on White House policy
By TOM RAUM
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lloyd Culler told members of Congress investigating the Whitewater affair:
“I didn’t ask for this job.” But few here think for a minute tha he isn’t doing it to his fullest.
Culler ma a exceeded all White House expectations on Tuesday as the leadoff witness before the House Banking Committee — defending his client in a polished and sure-handed fashion that won him plaudits from Republicans and alike.
“You’re one of the smoothest operators in Washington,’’ Rep. Toby Rod), R-Wis., an administration tormenter on the committee, told the white-maned White House special counsel. “Mr. Cutler, you’re much too smooth.”Analysis
ll was just the latest bravura performance of the septuagenarian ca-pome lawyer to whom Clinton turned to bring order to a disorganized White House.
The ultimate insider’s insider, the quimestffMii1 ^ttNifhmcnt f*gtw. Cutter. 76, helped lo impose a sense of order and to dispel a notion of amateurism tha had permeated the White House.
“He’s been solid, wise, with excellent legal judgment and pni>t»^n| judgment and strong communications skills. He really pa a solid center in the counsel's office,” said scnia White House advteer George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday as an unrolled Cutter fielded one question after another.
If Cutter had been around from the beginning, would the errors in White House judgment have occurred? Cutter radioed the clear impression tha they would na.
He was quick to concede tha “too many discussions about too many sensitive maters” involving Whitewater had taken place among the president's aides—even as he insisted no unethical actions hurt occurred.
Rep. Tom Ridge, R-Psl, told Calor he’d loaned ane clew lesson from the Tim day of Whitewater hearings: T teamed today why the president of the United Stales would seek your counsel.”
When Lloyd Norton Cutter signed on as special counsel on March 8, he made it dev tha it was jute a temporary pore — and (ha he was na all tha keen to disturb a rewarding career as one of the nation's moa
sought-after corporate lawyers.
When Cutter, who had served as counsel in Jimmy Carter’s White House, was recruited by Clinton to stop the Whitewater hemorrhage, he declared, “In government, as in other aspects of life, trust is the coin of the realm, and I pledge myself to do wha I can to assure tha mat is
He returned lo this theme on Tuesday, telling the House committee: “I am na here as a special pleater for the president of the United States. I am here to report to you about a factual investigation tha I conducted. I didn't ask for this job. I came in and I took it and I reported, frankly, to the best of my ability m a lawyer and a person of trinity ”
(EDITORS NOTE: Tom Raum covers the While House for The Associated Press.)
Todfty in history
New BraunfelsHerald -Zeitung
Editor and Publisher...........................................................David SuHens
General Manager............................................................Cheryl Duvall
Managing Editor................................................ Mark Lyon
Advertising Director....................................... Paul Davis
Circulation Director..................................................Carol Am Avery
Pressroom Foreman ..............................................Douglas Brandt
Classified Manager...................................................Karen Reinmger
City Editor............................... Roger Croteau
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By The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, July 28, the 209th day of 1994. There arc 156 days left in the year.
Today's highlight in history:
Two hundred years ago, on July 28, 1794, Maximilien Robespierre, a lead-figure of the French Revolution principal spokesman for of Terror, was sent to the guillotine, a day alter he was overthrown and arrested.
On this doe:
lu 1540, King Henry Vlll’s chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, was cxc-
lu 1750, composer Johann Scbuuian
Bah died in Leipzig, Germany.
la 1021, Peru declared its independence from Spain.
In 1868. the Fourteenth Amendment lo the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing due process of law, was declared in effect.
la 1896, the city of Miami, Fit., was incorporated.
la 1914, Austria-Hungary declared wa on Serbia.
In 1932, Federal troops forcibly dispersed the socalled “Bonus Army” of World Wa I veterans who had gathered in Washington, D.C., since May, demanding money they were scheduled lo receive in 15845.
In 1943, President Roosevelt announced the end of coffee rationing in the United Stales.
In 1945, a U.S. Army bomber crashed into the 79th floor of New York’s Empire State Building, killing 14 people.
In 1976, an earthquake devastated northern China, killing a least 242,000 people, according to an official estimate.
la 1977, Roy Wilkins turned over leadership of the klqjnwq Aanrininn for the Advancement of Colored People to Benjamin L Hooks.
In 1916, NASA released a transcript of a recording from the doomed shuttte “Challenger” in which pita
Michael J. Smith could be head vying, "Uh-oh!” as the spacecraft exploded.
Ten years ago: The 1984 Summer
Olympics opened with a flag-waving ceremony a the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, minus IS nations tha had stayed away in a Soviet-led withdrawal.
Five years ago: Israeli commandos abducted a pro-Iranian Shiite Muslim cleric, Sheik Abdul-Karim Obeid from his home in south Lebanon.
One year ago: President Clinton declared himself ready to provide air power quickly to protea peacekeepers in Bosnia once he received a «vmmi
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from the United Nations.