If you like it, you can keep it

Updated: Friday, November 15, 2013
If you like it, you can keep it story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A quiet piece of legislation from a West Michigan Congressman turned Washington on its head Thursday in the ongoing debate over the Affordable Care Act.

Congressman Fred Upton's bill to hold President Barack Obama to his promise that "if you like your health care you can keep your health care," instead inspired the President today to do in a more casual way what Upton wanted to make him do by law.

Tonight in Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says it's not much of a fix.


A politician woke up to find himself at the pearly gates, face to face with a panel of robed figures at a large table studying a set of books.

He waited until they looked up and said to him, "you've got an amazing record here. From what we can tell...just about everything you've said over the past 20 years has been a lie."

The politician smiled, looked at them with confidence, and said, "those weren't lies...that's what we call 'spin.'"

The joke doesn't inspire much of a laugh because its rooted so firmly in what we now see as a sad reality.

So when President Obama on at least 12 occasions said, "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. Period," you have no reason to disbelieve him, until you learn that it wasn't true.

Just not true. Millions of policy holders have been told they've been or are about to be canceled.

When House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted today that five-million people have signed up for Obamacare, you have no reason to disbelieve her until you find that its not true.

Only 126,000 have done so, and only a fifth of them through the Obamacare website.

And when HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the overseer of this disastrous, trust-destroying roll-out, said yesterday that the healthcare marketplace "is working," you have no reason to disbelieve her until...well...you get it.

So when Congressman Upton filed what he calls the "Keep Your Health Care Act," still scheduled for a vote in the House tomorrow, it struck fear into the heart of the Obama administration.

Because there's no spin.

This quiet little bill, forcing the President by law to keep his promise, has the potential to do what 42 Congressional efforts have so far failed to do—to knock the Obamacare train right off its tracks.

All it wants is to help the millions who don't know what to do now for replacement coverage. In the process it would provide people with an escape from Obamacare. And simply put, if people can escape Obamacare, the plan will ultimately not work.

How insurance companies reverse that they've already done isn't clear.

But that's why Obama held his news conference today—to say he was going to fix the problem administratively.

That the Upton bill wasn't necessary. The problem is an "administrative adjustment" has no force of law. It was also, by the way, an effort by the President to take the heat off a growing number of democrats who are distancing themselves from the whole mess.

In the words of former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, as reported in the Washington Post today..."It offends that a politician would lie to me when he knows that I know that he's lying—because it makes me think that he thinks that I'm a fool."

For me, personally, this debacle is particularly tragic because I believe so strongly that our nation needs a national health care plan. I've got my fingers crossed. But I'm not holding by breath.

In this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.

Business News

Last Update on November 25, 2015 08:27 GMT


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A handful of economic reports are due out this morning. The Commerce Department releases October numbers for durable goods, new home sales and personal income and spending. The Labor Department will release weekly jobless claims and Freddie Mac will release weekly mortgage rates. Deere & Co. reports quarterly financial results before the market opens.


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Hewlett-Packard is going out with a whimper. The computer-maker issued its final quarterly earnings report as a unified tech conglomerate Tuesday, showing another drop in sales for most of its business divisions.

HP, which split into two companies at the start of this month, reported Tuesday that sales of its personal computers, printers, commercial software and tech services declined in the quarter ending Oct. 31. The results show many of the challenges both spinoffs are facing.

But in a lone bright spot for the new spin-off known as Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., the company reported an increase in sales of data-center hardware, including computer servers and networking gear.

Like many of its tech industry peers, the Palo Alto, California-based HP has struggled to keep up with recent industry trends toward mobile and cloud computing. CEO Meg Whitman and the HP board decided last year to split the pioneering Silicon Valley company, founded in 1939, into two new companies. One is focused on PCs and printers, while the other sells commercial tech products.

Shares in HP Inc., fell more than 5 percent in extended trading after the report came out, after closing earlier at $14.64.


CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- Shares of Campbell Soup jumped to a 16-year high after the soup, snacks and pasta maker's fiscal first-quarter adjusted profit topped analysts' estimates and the company increased its full-year earnings forecast.

For the period ended Nov. 1, the Camden, New Jersey-based company earned $194 million, or 62 cents per share. That is down from $248 million, or 78 cents per share, a year ago.

But its earnings adjusted for one-time costs came to 95 cents per share, beating Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 76 cents per share.

Revenue came in at $2.2 billion, meeting Wall Street forecasts.

Campbell Soup Co. expects full-year adjusted earnings to rise by 4 percent to 7 percent to a range of $2.75 to $2.83 per share. Its previous guidance was for adjusted earnings to increase 3 percent to 5 percent.

Analysts polled by FactSet predict $2.59 per share.

The company lowered its full-year sales outlook due to pressures from currency translation. It now anticipates sales being flat to down 1 percent. Its prior forecast was for sales to be flat to up 1 percent.

Besides soup, Campbell also sells Pepperidge Farm cookies, V8 juice and Prego pasta sauce. In June it expanded its fresh food products by buying Garden Fresh Gourmet, a maker of salsa, hummus and tortilla chips, for $231 million.

Campbell shares rose $1.54, or 3 percent, to close at $51.33. Earlier, its shares rose to $52.48, the stock's highest point since January 1999.


Agency: 19 people ill in E. coli outbreak tied to Costco

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 19 people in seven states have contracted E. coli in an outbreak linked to Costco chicken salad.

The strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli can be life-threatening. No deaths have been reported, but the CDC says five people have been hospitalized and two have developed a type of kidney failure.

The CDC and state health officials are investigating. They don't know what ingredient in the rotisserie chicken salad made and sold in Costco Wholesale stores is the likely source of the outbreak.

Health officials advise those who bought chicken salad at any U.S. Costco store on or before Friday to throw it away, even if no one has gotten sick.

People have fallen ill in California, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Utah, Virginia and Washington.


Michigan, Fiat Chrysler reach deal on tax credits; automaker must invest $1B to get $1.9B

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Fiat Chrysler and Michigan have reached a deal so the automaker must invest $1 billion in Michigan facilities to qualify for a maximum of $1.93 billion in tax credits over the next 15 years.

The Michigan Strategic Fund approved the amended tax agreement Tuesday. It's the second deal with one of the Detroit Three carmakers as Gov. Rick Snyder tries to get a handle on billions in business tax credits for which the state is liable.

Many of the credits were issued during the recession to keep auto jobs in Michigan.

Economic development officials say the state will get better predictability on the size and timing of credits being claimed.

The deal revises an agreement the automaker struck with the former Michigan Economic Growth Authority in 2010.


TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 1.6 million vehicles for defective air bags supplied by embattled Japanese manufacturer Takata Corp.

The Japanese automaker said Wednesday the recall includes 22 models sold in Japan, including the Corolla and Vitz.

It also affects vehicles in Italy, Britain and Spain.

Takata inflators can explode with too much force, spurting shrapnel. At least eight people have been killed worldwide and hundreds injured.

The problem has led to the recall of 19.2 million vehicles in the U.S., and government regulators are investigating.

No injuries were reported in Toyota vehicles related to the latest defect, but a person in a Nissan car was injured recently in Japan.

Washington Times