Gurney's Inn
Congressman Bishop From La La Land

As individuals and companies all over Long Island – and the state – grapple with yet another round of spiraling health insurance costs, our Congressman, Tim Bishop, continues to pour the Kool Aid down his gullet.

Costs are set to rise about 15 percent this year. Bishop, though, who has blindly supported Obamacare since its inception, continues to refuse to acknowledge most of his constituents, and a great majority of Americans, want it repealed.

"Congressman Tim Bishop hailed the announcement that health insurance plan premiums for New Yorkers purchasing individual coverage through New York's Health Benefits Exchange next year will be substantially lower than current rates— over 50 percent lower."

That excerpt is from a press release from the Bishop camp entitled, "Health Reform to Deliver Lower Insurance Rates for New Yorkers."

Oh, really? Try to tell that to those of us paying the bills.

Bishop, always willing to grasp at straws that he thinks defend his dubious voting record, apparently based his press release on a recent article in the New York Times (Talk about Obama apologists!) titled "Health Reform to Deliver Lower Insurance Rates for New Yorkers" (anyone see the similarity?).

The problem is, according to the Washington Post and other publications: the article was myopic and based on a fatal flaw.

The Post wrote, "For years New York has had one of the most heavily regulated insurance markets in the country. The 1993 reforms not only required insurers to accept all customers; they also mandated that insurers charge everyone the exact same price. Young or old, healthy or sick, it doesn't matter in New York: Everyone gets the same deal.

"This is great for someone who is sick and old who, in other states, might get charged a sky-high rate or rejected altogether. It's not great though for the young and healthy, who end up footing a bigger chunk of the bill for all those more expensive beneficiaries."

In other words, 25 year-old non-smokers will benefit from the open insurance market in the state: the rest of us will be better off with the plans we have, the ones with rates that go up every year. And once the young and healthy extract themselves from the current system, rates will go through the roof –it's simple math.

October 1, X-Day, the day that Obamacare's subsidized health insurance exchanges are supposed to become fully operational. Louise Radnofsky of the Wall Street Journal wrote: "consumers could see insurance rates double or even triple when they look for individual coverage."

Bishop is too smart not to realize this. His cynical stance that rates will decrease dramatically is propaganda and nothing more.

Here is the bottom line: insurance premiums are based on the amount of anticipated claims. Those of us who pay for our insurance absorb the cost for all those people Obamacare adds to the insurance roles. The more people who don't pay their fair share, the more the rest of us pay to cover them. Period. Bishop boasts 600,000 currently uninsured New Yorkers will get insurance under Obamacare – guess who will pay for them.

The only alternative is for the rest of us to choose a plan with much higher deductibles, which means the plan the government gives to the have-nots will literally be superior to the ones the Middle Class works its butts off for.

By the way, the last press release from the Bishop camp proudly proclaimed that Bishop "successfully threw out five Republican batters at first" while playing third base in the Congressional Baseball game. Wow – let's get this straight: he threw the ball all the way from third to first base? On a fly? Maybe the Yankees should sign him – at least that way we'd get him out of Washington.

We are willing to make a friendly wager with Mr. Bishop: Even though he claims insurance premiums will be reduced next year by 50 percent, our editor will pledge to wear a Elect Tim Bishop T-shirt for a month and vote for him in the 2014 election if our rates simply stay the same. If they go up, Mr. Bishop will agree to wear a carefully crafted t-shirt we will obtain for him: "I Throw Like A Girl."

All kidding aside, it is a staggering burden for well-meaning business owners who want to do the right thing and insure their loyal employees. Bishop's flippant refusal to pretend otherwise is outrageous and shows how out of touch he is with the working class. Small businesses are dying, and our Congressman is sticking the dagger in deeper.

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Gurney's Inn