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This is Texas today. A state full of Sunbelt boosters, strident anti-unionists, oil and gas companies, nuclear weapons and power plants, ‘political hucksters, underpaid workers, and toxic wastes, to mention a few. BUT DO NOT DESPAIR! :5111 TEXAS server TO SUBSCRIBE: Name Address City State Zip $27 enclosed for a one-year subscription. Bill me for $27. 307 West 7th, AUSTIN, TX 78701 uninsured are from working families. Most of them work for small businesses that lack the resources or the broad employee base to cover rising costs. In 1990 businesses spent an average of $3,000 per employee on health insurance, a 24 percent increase from 1989, and the cost is projected to grow another 24 percent this year, he said. “Even though his own budget director has correctly described the current trend in health care spending 12 percent of GNP, rising to 17.3 percent by the year 2000 as `unsustainable,’ the President has refused to engage in debate on this issue,” Bentsen said. “It’s too controversial and offers little opportunity for 21-gun salutes.” So Bentsen has prepared his own bill that would not make insurance mandatory for small businesses, but it would set minimum standards for health insurance sold to employers with up to 50 workers. Insurance companies would be barred from excluding individuals in a group from coverage or from canceling insurance on individuals who make claim’s. Increases in premiums would be limited. The proposal would cost the federal government $10 billion over five years, with $7.4 billion in tax revenue lost by allowing selfemployed people to deduct 100 percent of the cost of health insurance, rather than the current 25 percent. Another $2.6 billion would be spent to expand Medicare benefits to include flu immunizations, cancer screening and other preventive health measures. The plan also would set aside $150 million to help up to 15 states set up health insurance pools for small businesses. . Bentsen acknowledged that his bill is a stopgap and that more serious health care reform is needed. But if this is the best Congress can produce in the immediate future, it ought to get on with it. The world has been turned on its head when Bentsen is considered a populist, but after Ronald Reagan and George Bush, anything is possible., Bush already has vetoed an extension of unemployment benefits. Let him stamp his veto on bills to provide tax breaks for middle America and health care for the workers who increasingly have found themselves left vulnerable by increasing premium costs. Let him veto bills until next November and ANDERSON & COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES TWO JEFFERSON SQUARE AUSTIN, TEXAS 78731 512 453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip then watch the Democratic presidential candidates, now largely dismissed by the national pundits, grow in stature. On Red-headed Republican Stepchildren While we’re on the subject of Bush, the placement of David Duke in the runoff election for governor of Louisiana has the nation’s Republican leadership running for cover. \(See President Bush and other GOP leaders have disavowed the former Ku Klux Klansman and Republican legislator from politically adventurous Louisiana, but the party cannot so easily brush off its neo-racist stepchild. Bush’s discomfiture reminds us of the case of Grover Cleveland. The portly ex-President, who was alleged to have fathered a child out of wedlock, was dogged by a campaign chant: “Maw, maw, where’s my paw? Gone to the White House, haw haw haw.” After all, Bush’s supporters, with the candidate’s tacit consent, used the image of notorious parolee Willie Horton to conjure the image of a menacing black man in the minds of voters in 1988. The President repeatedly has attacked civil-rights legislation as containing quotas, and recently agreed to a compromise, only after moderate Republican senators reportedly threatened to buck his veto. During the 1988 campaign he cast aspersions on advocates of civil liberties, and when it suited the passions of the times he has called for revisions that would weaken the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. Bush does not gag at association with Sen. Strom Thurmond, the South Carolina Dixiecrat and later Republican who symbolized the fight against civil rights in the U.S. Senate during the 1950s and 1960s. The White House did not rebuke Sen. Jesse Helms, the Republican who resorted to shameful racebaiting ads against a black challenger in the closing weeks of his 1990 re-election campaign in North Carolina. But Bush draws the line at embracing Duke, the pride of the whiteflight New Orleans suburbs, who now wonders how his pitch substantially differs from that of the national Republican party. Republican National Chairman Clayton Yeutter called Duke a bigot and a racist and a charlatan, but he acknowledged in recent remarks to reporters that Duke’s views on many issues are similar to those of the GOP. Indeed, Duke has mined the same fertile veins of white resentment of affirmative action programs and tax increases as Bush has. Bush opposed the civil rights acts in 1964, and he opposed civil rights acts in 1991. If anything, Duke may be more honest in his approach. As one supporter in Louisiana said of Duke’s past ties with the KKK and neo-Nazi groups, “It shows he’s serious.” J.C. 4 NOVEMBER 15, 1991