So, Con-men, ruin us

To Mr. Jim Guest, CEO, Consumers Union:

Last week I cancelled my subscription to Consumer Reports.

It wasn't because I sprained my eye muscles from rolling them every time I had to wade through the underlying global-warming-eco-religion whackism in every stinking product review. It wasn't because you have abandoned any pretense of objectivity and became a government snitch for the EPA. It wasn't even the condescending email I received from P. Rick Burns, Customer Relations Representative #1326379, which effectively said that my opinions were not sufficiently enlightened enough to appreciate how hard CU has "fought" for me, the lowly, weak and uneducated consumer.

No, what ripped it was your obviously partisan urging to support the Democrat health care plan(s). "Doing nothing about health care is not a solution" and "policymakers need to find a solution this year" ... did you hire James Carville to write this for you? "We don't endorse candidates" my ass.

So I cancelled my subscription. Why would I want to continue to support your statist agenda? Especially since I'll never be able to trust your auto reviews now that your minders and union brethren own the American auto companies!

Interestingly, within 72 hours of cancellation, the volume of spam to my email account quadrupled. I suggest you amend the section of your privacy policy which reads:

If you have an online subscription to one of our sites, purchase and download any of our online reports and services, or enter an online contest or sweepstakes, Consumer Reports will not exchange or rent for promotional purposes any information that specifically identifies you.

In the interest of full disclosure you should probably add in:

But if you cancel your subscription, all bets are off ... we're selling your email address to every spammer we know.

One of the spammers, of course, is Consumers Union itself, and today I received an email from you, Mr. Jim Guest, CEO, asking me to "demand action" on health care reform. Typically fascist of you. Are you so intent on action, action, ACTION that you don't care about why subscribers cancel and you don't think we can take the time to make the right kind of reforms?

Here's a step-by-step response to your insipid email.

Have you dreamed of becoming your own boss, going back to school, moving to a new place, having another child—but then thought, 'what about my health coverage?'

No. But if I did my thought would be, why has the government created such a freaking monstrous regulatory and litigation filled environment which makes my health coverage so expensive?
Most of us worry about paying for health care, even if we have good insurance, and we give up a lot of our dreams for a little health security. We give up dreams of retirement, a different career or better education. Millions who have poor coverage or no insurance at all give up needed check-ups, preventive care and medication.

We don't worry about paying for health care ... we worry about paying for insurance! Riddle me this, Mr. Obama regurgitator ... why do we need insurance coverage for preventative care and check-ups anyway? Do you buy insurance to replace tires or get your oil changed? And if anyone is giving up their "dream" for the sake of "health security" it either isn't a very big dream, or they are such wussies they probably wouldn't succeed anyway.
It's time to give all Americans freedom from the health insurance trap. In the health care reform we envision, you can keep good insurance coverage if you've got it, or choose reliable alternatives that cover what you need at affordable rates. No one is denied for pre-existing conditions; no one goes bankrupt because of illness. With that kind of freedom, you don't have to put aside your dreams.

Freedom from the health insurance trap? Don't you realize that the government CREATED that trap by incentivizing employers to provide insurance and separating the consumer from the purchasing decision? And there you go again repeating Obama's lie that you can keep your insurance (that's right, I said it - he lied!). What makes you think insurance companies will even want to compete in this market? What makes you think employers will not just pay a fine and leave employees swinging, grasping for a 'public option'? And the pre-existing conditions ... do you not understand the concept of risk? How do you expect insurance companies to stay in business if they cannot use their actuaries to design products? And that whole business of no one going bankrupt due to illness ... well, that's about as a likely as a world free of nuclear weapons. How naive. And how you can equate these current congressional health care plans to freedom is beyond me. What about the freedom to opt out? Oh, you can't allow that because some people might not be responsible enough to take care of themselves and then we all have to shoulder the burden, right? Wrong. They roll the dice, they take their chances and besides I don't see dead people stacking up in the streets because they are being denied care, do you?

To get the kind of health security we need, insurance companies should be required to take all applicants, employers should be required to cover their employees or pay into the system, and we need to allow people to buy into something like Medicare.

Do insurance companies get to set the price for "all applicants" or will it be mandated to make it "affordable?" Can you say, 'buh-BYE insurance companies'? Do you not understand that the high cost of employment is already a terrible burden on our economy, especially for small and mid-sized businesses? Yeah, let's make the employers pay ... what do they do for us except provide wages to everyone. Besides, they're all rich, right? And why would you want "something like Medicare."  Are you insane?  MEDICARE IS BANKRUPT! You worry about individuals going bankrupt, but don't care about the entire freaking country? Simply amazing.

If we are going to each shoulder financial responsibility for health care—individuals and employers alike—then the coverage must be affordable. But we also must be smarter about how we spend our health care money. We now spend too much for too little. We don't need to pay for hospital-acquired infections or substandard care. We do need to pay for prevention and the effective management of chronic disease. When we catch illness early, we enjoy a better outcome at a lower cost.

Why is it that when liberals speak of 'shouldering financial responsibility' they forget to mention that this burden is already way out of whack, with 25% of the population paying 85% of the taxes. If you continue to punish the successful at some point, they quit ... and then who totes the note? And why do we spend too much today? Well there is waste, fraud, malpractice insurance, research and development, excessive regulation, over testing, coverage mandates and of course that nasty 3% profit ... a whole host of reasons, but fundamentally it's because the consumer is insulated from the real costs and the actual transaction for goods and services. If there was market pressure, instead of Medicaid payment schedules and government mandates, efficiencies would improve, bad providers would be driven out and prices would go down. And that whole "preventative care reduces costs" *HS drives me crazy. More screening, more visits, more tests will drive costs up and if you don't believe me, how about the New England Journal of Medicine ? If you want to see lower costs, make people write a check for the cost of services ... they'll be wheeling and dealing like Charlie Rangel at an IRS audit and who knows, maybe they won't buy that carton of cigarettes so they can pay for the chest x-rays ... give the consumer some freedom to decide. Sound familiar?

Without reform, what dreams will our children have to give up? Our children will enjoy even less health care security than we have today, and pay more to care for us. We have an opportunity right now to finally overcome the obstacles that have defeated reform for decades, but we all need to work together to make it happen. Do you know anyone else who might join you in action? Forward this e-mail to them so they can send their own message.

OMG. I cannot believe you brought the kids into this. I'll tell you the dream they have to give up ... the dream of ever getting out of DEBT you ignorant TWIT! And health care security? Seriously, is anyone secure in regard to their health care? Ok, maybe PRISONERS! I'll tell you what we have an opportunity to do ... we have an opportunity to avoid yet another government intrusion into our lives, the greatest and likely final one. In the next 40 years, spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will double. DOUBLE. And we can't afford it now, genius. How are you going to pay for this? And don't give me that 'budget neutral' crap. If it's budget neutral, why do I have to start paying for it now, but it won't kick in for three more years? It's 'budget neutral' in exactly the same way that Social Security is self funded. What a maroon you are. And what exactly is it that you want to make happen? The destruction of our economy and our country?

Oh, and I'm forwarding this email alright ... I hope you'll be hearing from them.

Sorry I can't give you a 'Best Buy' rating ... although you scored "Excellent" in the sanctimony, arrogance and fascist categories they are not the features in which most consumers are interested.

Consumers Union ... an anagram of So, Con-men, Ruin Us. I should have known better than to subscribe in the first place.


A former subscriber

* Horse


  1. Thanks for the timely posting! It helped tremendously in filling out the questionnaire I just got from the about why I had canceled my subscription... :-)

  2. Wow! That really covers the ground.

    I can see that you put a lot of thought into it.

    Anyway, glad to get to know you. Keep in touch and thanks for visiting American Daughter.

  3. Aug~Sep 2009: Similar experience - multiple letters to Guest - same results - cancelled subscription after nearly 20 years. Also cancelled AARP membership and local newspaper - all for the same reasons. Join your local Tea Party now!