Yesterday, we learned that Governor Chet Culver was soliciting money from labor unions and health care companies to help cover the costs of the upcoming health care forum in Des Moines with President Obama. The estimated cost to the state for Monday’s forum will be $30,000.00. While the Governor’s office claims they were originally allowed to solicit private support to defray the cost to the state, the White House said no sponsorships will be allowed.
Some Republicans, including gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats, quickly deemed Culver’s sponsorship scheme as, “pay to sit.” Under Culver’s proposal, sponsors of the event would receive guaranteed seating at the event.
Culver’s sponsorship scheme, while embarrassing, is more about Iowa’s dire financial situation than it is about trying to receive financial favors. If the state of Iowa cannot afford the $30,000.00 to cover its portion of the event, then Governor Culver should have told the Obama administration thanks, but no thanks.
It was also reported yesterday that the U.S. debt now totals more than $11 trillion dollars, the highest in our nation’s history. So while the state of Iowa can’t afford $30,000.00 to host the event, it’s pretty apparent that the United States government can’t afford to implement nationalized healthcare either. So maybe we don’t need to have a forum about it.
Once again, Governor Culver fails to show the people of Iowa he can make a difficult decision and say no to President Obama’s health care forum. You can bet that the health care forum will be full of heart-wrenching stories about how people can’t afford prescriptions and how they just lost their jobs and their healthcare benefits. Those stories are regrettable, but what will actually come out of this forum?
This is nothing more than a publicity stunt that will take advantage of the unfortunate situations that some Iowans currently have to deal with. The responsible thing for both President Obama and Governor Culver to do is to get their respective fiscal houses in order and not play on the hopes of hurting Americans.
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