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Posts Tagged ‘Governor Kitzhaber’

HB4200A-PhotoIt was a very rare event indeed last week.

A single corporate employer caused the Governor to require the state’s 90 Legislators to leave their cozy homes to attend a Special Legislative Session, all for the purpose of making a 30 year, no-new-taxes pledge on non-Oregon income.

Yes, it was a special day for Nike, Inc.

First off, a big shout out to the Nike, Inc. team for agreeing to invest in Oregon at least $150 million in new money and hiring an additional 500 Oregon workers over the next 5-years.  Somewhere on a Facebook page is a photo of champagne corks popping as the Nike negotiators celebrated.  Although, it’s shameful that the same pledge of no-new-taxes for the next 30 years was not extended to all Oregon corporations willing to expand in Oregon and hire more Oregon workers.

The Special Session referenced was about one item:  HB 4200A — “The Nike Bill.”

HB 4200A passed the House by a vote of 50 to 5, and the Senate, 22 to 6.  There was both support and opposition to the bill on both sides of the aisle.  The legislative members who voted against it thought it appeared to them to be a “corporate give-away”.   (I might be off-base, but isn’t it a little disingenuous for liberals who campaigned only weeks ago on the evils of big corporations to be rushing a bill through in a Special Session that pledges to protect one of Oregon’s largest corporations from any corporate tax increase on the main source of its income for the next 30-years?)

Speaking of the Occupy Portland movement… where did they go?

At anyrate, the Governor and a majority of the Legislators who passed HB 4200A acknowledged and reinforced a behavior that if successful Oregon businesses do not get assurances that their taxes will not be raised, they will threaten to move future job-creating investments to states that offer more favorable tax policies.

Conclusion?  Head west Harley-Davidson.  Oregon is nurturing its big businesses and making deals because profitable companies need not fret about their tax burdens.

Just imagine the job growth if every Oregon business employer could benefit from such a pledge.

Photo courtesy of Oregon State Legislature.

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It’s been a pretty busy year at Northwest Harley Blog covering the various motorcycle rides that the posse went on, events and industry news along the way and the occasional rant about the Occupy protests, Wisconsin sit-ins as well as highlighting Harley-Davidson’s trouble spots around the world.

As you know, I write about this stuff from the comfort of my living room.  Investigative journalists who get paid to report the news for a living don’t have the same conveniences afforded me as they are on the front lines producing first-person accounts of the stories that motorcycle enthusiasts care about.  Yet the forces of modern society have placed the newspaper reporter on the “endangered species” list.  Stat’s from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011, indicate a whopping 4,400 reporter jobs will disappear by 2018 (out of 69,400 total in 2008). That’s more than three times the number of newsroom employees at The New York Times.

It can be summed up in a word: Internet.

But, that techie thing that Al Gore “invented” is a double edge sword for me.  Thanks to the internet, I no longer use Cling Wrap in the microwave because it causes seven different types of cancer.  I limit the times I drink in a bar to only daylight hours because I fear I’ll wake up in a bathtub full of ice with my kidneys gone.  And the most helpful internet tip convinced me to keep my toothbrush in the living room, because I was told by multiple e-mails that water splashes over 6 ft. out of the toilet.  I know this is true because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor’s ex mother-in-law’s second husband’s cousin’s best friend’s barber…

We’re not going back to the heady newspaper days of yore.  But, I’ve digressed.

That tick, tick, ticking you hear is the march of the impending Christmas holiday deadline. So, before the gift-buying is done, family-visiting, eggnog-sipping chaos reaches a tipping point, remember to take some quiet — YOU time.
 
Merry Christmas everyone.
 
P.S. if you’re the there ain’t no party like a polar bear party type and planning to drink, please don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle or attempt to ride a motorcycle.  I don’t want to lose you as a valued reader of this blog, but Governor Kitzhaber proclaimed December as “3D Month” which means significant increases in officer roadway presence and very agressive enforcement of DUII. 

Photo courtesy of Al Gore.

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Let’s face it.  Planning for the unthinkable isn’t fun.

Healthcare benefits are important and they are complex.  Choosing health benefits is challenging and making an informed decision requires focused effort to understand how the benefits are changing or understand all the intricacies of your insurance service and how any of the changes will affect you.  A daunting task to say the least.

In addition, it’s been a year since President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but many of us don’t know enough about the basic law let alone understand the fine print.

Speaking of the president, back in October I blogged about Obama visiting Oregon to stump for now Governor Kitzhaber and with his visit occurring in the middle of rush-hour traffic it triggered an accident on I-84 when eastbound traffic slowed to watch the president motorcade traveling west from the Portland Air National Guard Base.  A motorcyclist and northeast Portland man (Peter Kendall Gunderson, age 59) may have failed to see traffic ahead of him was slowing down for the presidential motorcade and as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident died at the hospital.

A couple weeks ago, Steve Duin, of The Oregonian published a compelling follow up report about the incident and the story reads like an old fashion motorcycle club “beat-down” by a privately held, for-profit company — Lifewise.

The Lifewise mission is: “To provide peace of mind to our members about their health-care coverage.” But five months later, Mr. Gunderson’s wife, Ellen, is still held captive to all the gray areas of the cost of trauma services; the imprecise terms of insurance policies; and the ethical dilemmas that arise over the exact moment when a donor’s death is certain and his organs become available.   I suspect like many of us, Mr. Gunderson never anticipated there would be so much uncertainty in the wake of a personal tragedy.

I suggest you read the story.  Then take action to review your beneficiary designations, understand your medical rights and responsibilities and plan for the unthinkable. Mr. Gunderson organs probably saved three lives but, the process for his family of navigating the billing intricacies, months of lien notices, collection threats and double billings has certainly been painful.

Lifewise has a reputation for trying to get out of their responsibilities to pay for the cost of medical care, but it’s important to note that according to the BBB there have been 3 complaints closed in last 3 years with no significant government actions involving the LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon.

Photo courtesy of Lifewise.

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