January 9, 2008

"Free" Health Insurance

I must admit, I am bit perplexed. I cannot seem to grasp why two experienced reporters who cover Niagara County politics continue to state that Sean O'Connor will be getting free lifetime health insurance. Buffalo News columnist Tom Prohaska, in his most recent column on the issue stated, "As Republicans sought legal fine points that might be used to deny Niagara County Legislator Sean J. O’Connor free lifetime health insurance". GNN reporter Mark Scheer, who has quickly become the least biased of the two, wrote "He (O'Connor)resigned at the end of last year to circumvent a Republican-led rule change that would have barred him from collecting free coverage".

Newsflash! The "free" lifetime health insurance benefit that O'Connor may get is paid for by taxpayers. I'm not sure if the word "free" is meant to divert attention away from the fact that O'Connor has found a way to manipulate the system, or if it's designed to make O'Connor look like a victim.

The taxpayers are the victims here, not O'Connor. Now that he's back from another vacation, he's all over the news saying how this has been so traumatic for him and his family. Boo hoo, Sean. I hope you're not going to go Hillary on us next time you have a camera stuck in your face.

That's not to say that Prohaska isn't doing his part to make O'Connor out to be the victim. Prohaska stated that "O’Connor said he changed his mind about leaving public office altogether after talks with his family and out of loyalty to his constituents despite GOP harping on the insurance issue". Really? Taking the position that "if somebody was paid for work he did not perform, that money should be returned. I think the taxpayers would agree with that", as Majority Leader Rick Updegrove stated, is "harping"? And using the word "harping" is editorializing, Tom. Leave the big words to the Editorial Staff.

The bottom line is that O'Connor knowingly took funds he was not entitled to and took no measures to prevent this situation from occurring.

Not once has any reporter covering this story done an analysis of what the shenanigans pulled by O'Connor will cost the taxpayers of this county. Once again, it's easier to talk about "politics at its worst" - it makes for good soundbites.

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Shaq said...

"Boo hoo, Sean. I hope you're not going to go Hillary on us next time you have a camera stuck in your face".

LMAO, I can picture Seanny getting all teary eyed!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Prohaska and Scheer are saying "free" as in it's free to O'Connor.

Anonymous said...

That's probably true. But I think the point is that neither of them mention the cost of Sean's "free" lifetime health insurance to taxpayers.

Clark Griswold said...

It is pretty sad when a majority leader like Updegrove justifiably calling for action against a legislator's wrongdoing is seen as "harping" by some in the media. Predictable, probably. Sad, defenetely.

GOP Shill said...

It is absolutely time for a board of inquiry into Sean O'Connor knowinlgly taking money that he was not entitled to. He could have paid it back but he hasn't.

The dollar amounts involved are irrelevant. It's the principle that he has STOLE, YES STOLE taxpayer money.

We've fired public works employees for taking a free tank of gas. Clearly, Shifty Sean's actions are worse than that.

nicky said...

You guys need to get a life. You excuse everything the GOP does and say that if it is a Dem it must be bad. If you want to discuss a waste of money what about the GOP patronage factory in the county leg.

Little Joe said...


You are a moron. Name a patronage position that the Dems at one time didn't put one of their own in? To the victor goes the spoils.

Now, if the GOP puts a real hack in the PIO position you may have a ponit. But until that happens, you are nothing more than an apologist for the Minority Caucus.

Anonymous said...

Little Joe you missed the blog entry "Free" Health Insurance. The GOP is Mel Needler. This blog has nothing to do with patronige positions. Automatic payment are automatic and not stolen the Treasurer or HR should have picked up on it like all other employment agencies.