Archive for the ‘David Hann’ Category
Gov. Dayton’s budget is mostly about radically increasing taxes on every Minnesotan:
Gov. Dayton’s budget will raise taxes on everyone. Sen. Hann chided Gov. Dayton, saying that he’d raise taxes on the wealthy when, in fact, he’s raising taxes on everyone with a major sales tax increase. Rep. Daudt noted that Gov. Dayton’s math and logic are flawed, saying that his budget “includes $3.7 billion in new taxes and $225 million in spending cuts.”
Throughout the campaign, Gov. Dayton said that “the rich” weren’t “paying their fair share” and that he’d take a balanced approach to the budget in terms of spending cuts and new taxes. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that “$3.7 billion in tax increases” is significantly more than the “$225 million” in spending cuts.
The reality is that Gov. Dayton lied about taxes in his stump speech. He knew that he was proposing a massive sales tax increase.
Rep. Daudt highlighted the fact that unemployment dropped from 7% to 5.5% during GOP control of the legislature. It isn’t likely that the DFL legislature and Gov. Dayton will create many more new jobs.
Sen. Hann asked a great question when he asked how raising taxes on a person will benefit that person. That’s the question that the DFL can’t answer. Then again, they aren’t worried about doing what’s right. They’re worried about paying off their special interest allies with our money.
Sen. David Hann, the leading health care expert in the Senate, just told Gov. Dayton the health care exchanges called for by the Affordable Care Act won’t get examined until after a new congress is sworn in:
In his letter, Dayton said that Democrats and Republicans share the responsibility for creating a Minnesota exchange, or else the state will be forced to accept a federal model for how the marketplace should function.
“By working together, we can make this project non-partisan and maximize its benefits for all Minnesotans,” Dayton wrote, suggesting that action is needed since the U.S. Supreme Court in June upheld the constitutionality of the health law.
But Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, responded that “there is nothing more partisan than this health care law given the way it was passed.” No Republicans voted for the measure when it was passed by Congress in 2010.
“Most people don’t like this law,” Hann said. “As a practical matter, the Legislature will not be in session until January…Let’s give the public a chance to weigh in on this during the next election.”
What Sen. Hann is saying is that exchanges won’t get a hearing until a new president and new Congress have a chance at repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Sen. Hann also let it be known that talk of bipartisanship with regards to implementing provisions in the Affordable Care Act aren’t going anywhere after Democrats shoved it down Americans’ throats without their consent.
Now that Democrats don’t have the ability to shove wildly unpopular legislation down the American people’s throats, their tone changed from I won to ‘Let’s work together in the spirit of bipartisanship.’
It’s refreshing to hear Sen. Hann essentially say that the bipartisanship will start after the new Congress and new president repeal the Affordable Care Act.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Gov. Dayton attempt to establish these exchanges via executive order. He’s tried implementing things that way before. The good news is that the courts slapped him down before for attempting to enact legislation without subjecting the bill to legislative scrutiny.
If there weren’t strings attached to the exchanges through the Affordable Care Act, they’d be a fine idea. Since these exchanges have to comply with the minimum requirements of the federal government, things like providing free contraception coverage would be required of these exchanges.
Minnesotans would reject that without hesitation. So should the legislature.
Earlier this week, Gov. Dayton joined DFL lawmakers in Duluth to pretend that building a new Vikings stadium was all that was needed for a great Minnesota economy:
“Thousands of people are going to be working on that stadium, and on the transit center in Duluth. Those aren’t just words, those are real jobs,” Dayton said, referring to $6 million included in the state bonding construction bill for the $27 million downtown transit hub supporters say will link bus, taxi and train passengers with hikers and bikers.
Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said Republicans seemed content the past two years with passing little or no legislation to create jobs or move the state forward.
“We saved the Republicans from what would have been the largest do-nothing session in state history,” Bakk said, noting DFLers in the minority put up more votes than Republicans to get the Vikings’ stadium bill passed, 22 compared to 16 for Republicans who hold a 37-30 majority in the Senate.
Notice how the DFL was quick to tout the need to go into debt to create jobs that won’t help the Iron Range? Apparently, the Executive Council isn’t interested in creating good-paying jobs on the range. Prof. Kent Kaiser criticized the State Executive Council for not creating jobs on the Iron Range:
This month, Minnesota’s State Executive Council, which includes the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state auditor, voted to delay 77 leases to explore for copper and nickel on private lands in northern Minnesota.
This short-sighted action was initiated by Gov. Mark Dayton and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. It was unfortunate for the job situation in the Northland, and I know many Minnesotans are terribly disappointed.
After all, the people of Minnesota own the rights to minerals in the state, including those under private land. Anyone from Northeastern Minnesota knows this; I remember learning this fact in elementary school.
Dayton and Ritchie said they were responding to the complaints of a handful of Isabella-area landowners who supposedly didn’t know about the state’s century-old mineral laws. Yet most of the people testifying against the leases actually live in the Twin Cities area or are only transplants to the Northland. I think most Northlanders would agree: It’s inconceivable that someone from the Twin Cities or elsewhere would buy property in Northeastern Minnesota without being astute enough to learn the laws relevant to that land. If they didn’t: well, tough.
Gov. Dayton and the other DFL politicians on the Council caved to the militant environmentalists rather than doing what’s right for the mining families that live on the Iron Range.
That’s becoming typical thinking for anti-industry progressives. Think President Obama shafting the construction unions in not approving the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
In fact, it’s becoming apparent that the GOP cares more about getting construction workers employed than does the DFL, the party that continuously talks about putting construction workers to work.
Prior to his becoming the Senate Minority Leader, I thought that Sen. Bakk was a semi-intelligent man. I even held out hope he might resemble a capitalist. Now that he’s in a position of leadership, his true colors shine through. He’s just like the other DFL politicians who think that jobs come from creating debt.
When HF1 was signed into law, it streamlined the permitting process, which made it easier to expand businesses and create jobs. Apparently, Sen. Bakk doesn’t think that making it easier to expand companies creates jobs.
When Rep. Abeler, Rep. Gottwalt and Sen. Hann reformed HHS, they shrunk the HHS per biennium spending increases from 16% to a mere 5%. That’s a per biennium savings of $1,100,000,000.
That politicians think of saving the taxpayers $1,100,000,000 per biennium as not being a major accomplishment is stunning. That the DFL didn’t figure out how to save the taxpayers $1.1 billion per biennium should be enough to seal their fate of being the minority party for the next decade.
Bakk noted that the governor was sent only 245 bills over the two years of the biennial legislative session, the fewest of any Minnesota Legislature since 1869 when lawmakers met only every other year.
“They just didn’t think anything was important. They didn’t care if they passed any bills,” Bakk said of Republicans who control the state House as well as the Senate.
The first thing that came to mind when I read that was that Sen. Bakk said he didn’t see the need for the DFL to propose a budget. Let’s remember that the DFL didn’t put a set of redistricting maps together, either.
Think about that because it’s stunning. Redistricting is a once-in-a-decade responsibility. Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen thought it was so unimportant that they didn’t put a set of redistricting maps together even though it’s required by law to do so.
Think about the DFL hiring some redistricting specialists at the cost of $66,000 per specialist, then not putting a set of redistricting maps together.
If that’s got you furious, think about this: One of the people that the DFL hired was Jaime Tincher. If Ms. Tincher’s name rings a bell, it’s possible you remember that she ran then-Speaker Kelliher’s gubernatorial campaign.
Not only did the DFL think putting a set of redistricting maps wasn’t important. Not only didn’t they think it was important to not piss away $188,000 of the taxpayers’ money. No, it’s that the DFL pissed away that amount of money one political cronies that didn’t do a damn thing.
And Sen. Bakk has the chutzpah to say the GOP didn’t think anything was important? Sen. Bakk is a joke. To put it politely, he’s full of the stuff that makes plants grow.
Tags: Minnesota Executive Council, Mark Ritchie, Lori Swanson, Rebecca Otto, Mark Dayton, Tom Bakk, President Obama, Keystone XL Pipeline, Mining, Stimulus, Debt, DFL, Steve Gottwalt, Jim Abeler, David Hann, HHS, Unions, MNGOP, Election 2012
One of the few things that I’ve ever agreed with Chris Matthews about was his questioning GOP presidential candidates in 2000 what type of America they wanted to live in. It’s a great question which is scalable to state and local levels, too.
The DFL’s special interest allies started their barrage of lies against the GOP legislature by accusing the GOP legislature of being a do-nothing legislature. Those attacks took another hit thanks to Mark Sommerhauser’s article:
Rep. King Banaian, R-St. Cloud, sponsored a provision included in a broader colleges and universities act, which he says should help students shop for textbooks. The provision requires the price of textbooks and other key information be posted online with a college or university course schedule, and requires that information be available to students longer before the start of an academic term.
This is a great first step in reducing costs for students. This legislation alone won’t reduce book prices but it’ll make it impossible for professors to hide the cost of books.
This legislation will be popular on Minnesota’s campuses, though not necessarily with all of the professors.
Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, took a lead role, along with Rep. Jim Abeler and Sen. David Hann, in crafting an omnibus health and human services act described by Gov. Mark Dayton’s office as “a remarkable example of bipartisan negotiation.”
Thanks to the work of these gentlemen, the rate of increase in the HHS budget went from 16% per biennium during the DFL’s control of the legislature to 5% per biennium with a GOP legislature. When you’re dealing with a budget pushing $10,000,000,000, that’s a $1,100,000,000 per biennium savings.
Of all the budget items from the 2011 budget session, that’s the biggest costsaver by far. The HHS savings either shrink the 2014-15 deficit by $1,100,000,000 or add $1,100,000,000 to the surplus. Thanks to the reforms included in other GOP HHS bills, these are genuine cost savings, not cuts to programs.
By comparison, Gov. Dayton proposed spending $37,000,000,000, which is $3,000,000,000 more than the budget he signed into law. Gov. Dayton’s budget, which the DFL enthusiastically supported, didn’t cut costs. It didn’t impose fiscal discipline on state or local government. It would’ve raised taxes without requiring government to rethink their priorities and spending habits.
The question facing Minnesotans this election cycle is straightforward. Do Minnesotans want a legislature that’s in love with their special interest allies? Or would they prefer a legislature that insists on accountability, fiscal responsibility and that’ll listen to all of their constituents?
Right now, the DFL is the party that’s all about listening to special interest organizations that want government to do more and more and more. The GOP is the part whose young leaders want government to do the basics well but that don’t want government to do everything on lobbyists’ wish lists.
The bottom line is that the GOP legislature passed lots of reforms since taking over control of the legislature, reforms that Gov. Dayton vetoed because he owed the special interests too many favors.
If people want government of, by and for the public employee unions, then they’ll vote for DFL legislators. If they want a legislature that’ll limit the influence of government out of people’s lives, they’ll vote for GOP legislators.
Tags: Higher Education, King Banaian, Steve Gottwalt, HHS, David Hann, Jim Abeler, Surpluses, Accountability, Fiscal Restraint, Accountability, Reform 2.0, Fiscal Restraint, MNGOP, Special Interests, Mark Dayton, Unions, DFL, Election 2012
Ramsey County Judge Dale Lindman ruled today that Gov. Dayton’s Executive Order calling for the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) to oversee the unionization of child care providers is unconstitutional.
Judge Lindman, an appointee of Gov. Arne Carlson, said that Gov. Dayton’s EO is “an unconstitutional usurpation of the Legislature’s right to create or amend laws”, which “is a violation of the Separation of Powers principle.”
This is a stinging defeat for Gov. Dayton, AFSCME and the SEIU. Judge Lindman said that the BMS doesn’t have statutory authority through Chapter 179 to get involved in this dispute, adding that they only have the authority to mediate in employer-employee disputes.
Judge Lindman said that there isn’t an employer-employee relationship between the state government and the child care providers, most likely because of Minnesota’s definition of a government employee, which I wrote about here:
Subdivision 14. Public Employee or Public Employer
“Public employee” or “employee” means any person appointed or employed by a public employer except:
(a) elected public officials;
(b) election officers;
(c) commissioned or enlisted personnel of the Minnesota National Guard;
(d) emergency employees who are employed for emergency work caused by natural disaster;
(e) part-time employees whose service does not exceed the lesser of 14 hours per week or 35 percent of the normal work week in the employee’s appropriate unit;
(f) employees whose positions are basically temporary or seasonal in character and: (1) are not for more than 67 working days in any calendar year; or (2) are not for more than 100 working days in any calendar year and the employees are under the age of 22, are full-time students enrolled in a nonprofit or public educational institution prior to being hired by the employer, and have indicated, either in an application for employment or by being enrolled at an educational institution for the next academic year or term, an intention to continue as students during or after their temporary employment.
Simply put, Judge Lindman ruled that independant small business owners aren’t government employees because they don’t fit the definition in Minnesota law.
Sen. Hann issued this statement:
“I am pleased with Judge Lindman’s ruling today on the side of Minnesota small businesses. Last year, we filed an amicus brief in support of child care providers, expressing deep concern over the Governor’s desire to create law through executive order, a process we believe is unconstitutional. We want to thank the providers for taking the time and effort to stand up for their rights as independent, privately-owned and managed day care providers,” said Senator Hann.
Sen. Parry issued this statement on today’s ruling:
“This is great news for child care providers in Minnesota! We strongly believe that the Governor does not have the authority to hold a union election for child care providers and Judge Lindman’s decision today confirmed our belief. We will continue to push back against the Governor’s troubling pattern of ignoring the law, overreaching into the private sector and are optimistic that we will continue to prevail as we have today,” concluded Senator Parry.
Gov. Dayton’s willingness to ignore clearly written state law in the hopes of helping his political allies is disturbing. When the law isn’t applied uniformly, that’s the definition of the ends justifies the means.
That isn’t justice. That’s the heart of political patronage, which leads to cronyism and other types of corruption.
Follow this link for more on the child care/unionization court fight.
Gov. Dayton won’t say no to his special interest allies. That’s why he’s contesting Judge Lindman’s ruling:
Gov. Mark Dayton will continue to argue on behalf of his right to order an election on unionizing child-care workers, he announced today. His office issued a one-sentence statement reading: “The Governor has decided to contest the issuance of the Temporary Injunction at the January 17, 2012 hearing.”
Sen. Hann and Sen. Parry responded with this statement:
“Judge Lindman was very clear in his decision to block the scheduled unionization vote, stating concerns that the governor was circumventing the legislature, the governor does not have authority to enact a law of this type through executive order, and the governor is potentially harming the thousands he excluded from the democratic process.
“With this information in hand, the governor had the opportunity to withdraw, rethink and reconsider his executive order, but he has instead decided to forge ahead while his union allies cheer him on. We agree with Judge Lindman’s statements from the bench that it is likely the providers will prevail, and we continue to stand in their support.”
Judge Lindman’s ruling was clear in stating that he saw Gov. Dayton’s executive order as an attempt to bypass the legislative process.
Clearly, Gov. Dayton is intent on fighting for his political allies to whatever extent he needs to. Here’s a partial transcript of Judge Lindman’s ruling:
But I do find one thing dispositive for purposes of today’s hearing. And that issue is whether the governor has the power to enact a law such as the one that is involved here and that is being done here by executive order.
It occurs to this court that if unionization of day-care providers is to become the law of the State of Minnesota, it must first be submitted to the law-making body of the state. That is to say that it should be vetted through the law-making process.
Judge Lindman didn’t stop there. Here’s another important part of Judge Lindman’s ruling:
Articles three, four, and five of the Constitution of the State of Minnesota delineate the powers granted to the courts, the legislature, and to the governor. The legislature is the law-making body of the state.
This court believes that the seperation of powers provisions of the Minnesota Constitution do not allow the governor to enact by executive order a law that should be initiated by the legislature.
There’s nothing in Minnesota’s laws that says public employee unions have the right to force a union vote on people who aren’t public employees. That’s why Judge Lindman correctly stated that this requires legislation to be written and passed in the legislature and signed into law by the governor.
Judge Lindman is essentially saying that a) Gov. Dayton is attempting to create a law through executive branch fiat and b) Judge Lindman isn’t ok with that because Minnesota’s Constitution gives Minnesota’s lawmaking responsibilities to the legislature.
Shortly after Judge Lindman’s ruling, AFSCME Council 5 issued this statement:
In issuing a temporary restraining order, Judge Dale Lindman said the unionization issue should have gone through the Legislature. But taking our case to the Legislature would be futile. It’s led by the same Republican legislators whose lawsuit denies providers their right to vote and have a voice in decisions that affect their work and the families they serve.
AFSCME’s justification for bypassing the legislative processs is that the legislature won’t pass their legislation. It’s difficult to picture that argument being persuasive in court. If that’s AFSCME’s argument, they should
save their money because they won’t win spend their money because they’ve got lots of money to burn.
What’s astonishing is Gov. Dayton’s and AFSCME’s disregard for Minnesota’s Constitution and Minnesota’s lawmaking process. A persuasive argument could be made that AFSCME and Gov. Dayton believe that they should ignore Minnesota’s Constitution because the ends justify the means.
UPDATE: Kim Crockett, the President of the Minnesota Free Market Institute, left a comment that’s worthy of greater attention. Here’s Kim’s statement:
The brave childcare providers need to raise another $35-$40,000 to fight the Governor’s office and unions. Unlike the state, providers do not have access to taxpayers funds to fight. Your readers can help here:https://www.wepay.com/donate/65011
Kim Crockett, President
I urge my loyal readers to click this link & contribute to these small business’s legal defense fund. This is an important fight, one that must be won.
Yesterday, I wrote this post citing the statements from Sen. Majority Leader Amy Koch, Sen. David Hann and Sen. Mike Parry. Here’s a quote I received from in-home child care provider Hollee Saville:
It sounds like the judge agrees that Governor Dayton overstepped his authority by signing this executive order and we’re hopeful that our freedoms will be affirmed by the judge at the January 17th hearing. This is about self-employed business owners being forced to unionize through a vote that they did not want and one in which more than 7,000 out of 11,300 were not allowed to express their opinions.
It’s been more than a full-time job working to educate providers about the facts; the providers pushing for unionization are paid union employees, but we’ve been SPENDING our own money to get the truth to providers and the public. We already have so many awesome organizations working for us; I hope that providers who think they don’t have a voice reach out to other providers and these associations so they can see how we can all work together to improve the lives of childcare providers and the children for whom we care, all without the costs and detriments of unionization.
The unions certainly have pounded the message that they’re the only people who can successfully negotiate with these independent businesses’ best interest at heart.
Think of how silly that sounds. When’s the last time that unions’ highest priority was a business’s best interest? Better yet, has there been a time when the unions’ highest priority was a business’s best interest?
Annette Meeks of the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota issued this statement:
Today’s developments are great news for the scores of childcare providers from across Minnesota who have worked tirelessly to preserve their independence and fight against a coercive and intrusive unionization scheme by the governor and labor unions.
For the past year, the Freedom Foundation has worked alongside providers who have asked for nothing more than to be left alone by the unions and by state government. Instead they’ve been targeted by an unwanted, unwarranted, and unfair campaign by union operatives. We’re pleased that, at least for now, that campaign is on hold.
Instead of looking for ways to reward his labor allies at the expense of small businesses and families, perhaps now the governor will focus instead on pro-growth policies and improving our state’s economic climate.
Gov. Dayton and the unions pursued this with the same disregard for what the people wanted as President Obama pursued Obamacare. In-home child care providers didn’t welcome this development. A handful of the state’s 11,300 in-home child care providers wanted it but it certainly wasn’t something that the majority of them wanted.
That’s why Gov. Dayton attempted to rig the vote:
About 2,300 of the providers are organizing with Council 5’s Child Care Providers Together. That includes providers in Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis Counties, and most other counties in the northern two-thirds of the state. SEIU is organizing providers in other parts of the state.
Getting people in Ramsey, Hennepin and St. Louis counties to sign a unionization card isn’t exactly difficult. It’s substantially more difficult to get signatures in stoic central Minnesota. That’s why Gov. Dayton limited the voting to 4,287 child care providers.
Here’s the statement issued by the Minnesota Free Market Institute:
Why are the childcare owners a legitimate target of public unions? They are not state employees or employers–and there is no common or single employer to collectively bargain against as they are employed by parents, not the state. This is crazy stuff but the unions have already succeeded in other states so we have to take this seriously.
I heard Gov. Dayton say that we and other opponents were against elections (apple pie, children, and his new puppy. You get the idea). Yes, we are against elections that are not lawful.
Let’s suppose that a majority of licensed chiropractors (or dentists or doctors) wanted to unionize so they could get higher subsidies for patient care and other benefits from the state. Would that be lawful? Of course not—and those professionals would fight to fend off any union campaign just like these daycare providers have done. But childcare providers do not have paid lobbyists working for them—they are busy taking care of children and running their own businesses. The last thing they need is a knock on the door from their local AFSCME or SEIU rep.
(We keep hearing stories about union organizers coming during lunch or other busy times—pretending that the union card is just for information, rather than signing “yes” to join. Really ethical behavior. Shows a lot of respect for these busy business owners. My advice? Call the cops and report them as trespassers.)
SEIU and AFSCME have been pictures of unethical behavior. And yes, it’s been documented multiple times. AFSCME and the SEIU don’t care about the child care providers. They want what they want when they want it.
Everything that needs to be said about how popular this is is shown by the fact that the DFL didn’t issue a statement on Judge Lindman’s ruling. As of 7:30 am Tuesday am, their last news post was about the budget forecast. Ditto with the Alliance for a Better Minnesota’s website.
Technorati: Child Care Providers, Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, Minnesota Free Market Institute, Dave Lindman, We The People, Small Businesses, Conservatives, Mark Dayton, AFSCME, SEIU, Corruption, DFL
David Hann is one of the smartest legislators in St. Paul. He routinely gets re-elected in what would otherwise be a swing district. As such, when he says something, it’s worth the time to listen. Pay attention to Sen. Hann’s challenge to the Dayton administration in this video:
Here’s the line that caught my attention:
Now you testified the other day that in you, in your analysis, using some sort of dynamic figuring, can figure out that when we do certain things at the state level, then local jurisdictions are going to decide on their own to raise taxes. Although, on your chart here, it shows that property taxes have gone up every year since 1995 and I don’t think Republican budgets have been passed every year since 1995.
It’s painfully obvious to thoughtful people that the DFL’s claims linking LGA with property tax increases are nonsense. In fact, Mitch’s post does a fantastic job of exposing LGA myths:
The top 14 cities in terms of Local Government Aid – Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Duluth, Saint Cloud, Winona, Hibbing, Austin, Moorhead, Mankato, Rochester, Faribault, Albert Lea, New Ulm and Virginia – do indeed soak up over half of the state’s entire LGA budget.
More interestingly, the top thirty cities in population – from Minneapolis (population 390131) down through Brooklyn Center (30330) get a grand total of about 172 million dollars from LGA.
But twenty of the top thirty cities – Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Plymouth, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Burnsville, Maple Grove, Woodbury, Blaine, Lakeville, Minnetonka, Apple Valley, Edina, Saint Louis Park, Maplewood, Roseville, Cottage Grove, Shakopee, Inver Grove Heights and Andover, receive absolutely no local government aid.
In other words, the DFL can’t prove their LGA-property tax allegations if their lives depended on it. The DFL will blame everyone except their irresponsible mayors for higher property taxes.
If mayors and city councils don’t hesitate in spending money beyond their city’s means, then their citizens should pay for their recklessness. The rest of the state shouldn’t subsidize these cities’ irresponsible spending habits.
It’s never wise to reward foolish behavior. Too often, that’s what LGA is.
Sen. Hann is exactly right in calling the DFL for their playing fast and loose with the truth. The Twin Cities’ media didn’t investigate whether the DFL’s allegations had merit. That’s why that responsibility was left to Sen. Hann.
Thankfully, Sen. Hann was totally capable of explaining that LGA isn’t tied to rising property taxes.
During Sen. Bonoff’s interview with WCCO’s Esme Murphy, Sen. Bonoff said that the Senate’s HHS bill is the DFL’s biggest cause for concern. She then said that “the HHS bill is probably of the biggest concern” because “that budget would have somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 Minnesotans not on health insurance.”
Sen. Bonoff then said that the budget that just passed “literally unraveled Minnesotacare” before alleging that “people making between $5,000 and $7,000 a year would no longer have access to health care coverage.”
As dishonest as Sen. Bakk’s statements were, Sen. Bonoff’s statement was significantly more dishonest. David Hann wrote the Senate HHS bill. Anyone who’s met Sen. Hann knows that he’s one of the most gifted legislators in St. Paul, especially when the subject is health care. That Sen. Bonoff is accusing him of writing an HHS omnibus bill that excluded the poorest of the poor from MinnesotaCare is disgraceful.
It’s important that Sen. Bonoff be forced to point out which amendment to the HHS bill stripped out coverage for those making $5,000-$7,000 a year. Or is she suggesting that Sen. Hann’s legislation never included covering people making $5,000-$7,000?
Sen. Bonoff said in the interview that she’d won re-election in a swing district. Some savvy GOP strategist should archive this interview because it’s indicative of Sen. Bonoff’s lack of character. It says that she’s either willing to say things that she knows aren’t true or that she really thinks of conservatives as evil.
Either way, this isn’t a shining moment for Sen. Bonoff.
FWIW, I think it’s more a matter of her being willing to say anything to gain a political advantage. That’s what desperate politicians do. You won’t see Paul Ryan resorting to such desperate tactics.
I suspect that Sen. Bonoff will pay a steep price for her willingness to say anything and for her desperation.
MN2020 has alot of ideas that are a fair amount outside the mainstream but their idea of affordable health care is totally warped:
Few pieces of legislation reflect conservative public policy sentiment quite as neatly as State Senator David Hann’s Health and Human Services Bill. It would strip $1.8 billion from affordable healthcare spending and eliminate care for hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans.
What Mr. Van Hecke describes as affordable, actuaries would call unsustainable. Increasing HHS spending by “$1.8 billion” equates to a 40+ percent spending increase for a single biennium. That might be sustainable for a small budget like veterans or agriculture but it isn’t for the fastest-growing budget item, especially when that item is the second biggest budget item in the state general fund budget.
Then Van Hecke misrepresents Sen. Hann:
Hann, R-Eden Prairie, proposes that low-income Minnesotans receive a modest state subsidy to facilitate enrollment in privately-provided health insurance. This action will require a federal health-care waiver for implementation. Instead of being part of a state-lead purchasing pool, negotiating for a group rate, Minnesota’s lowest income-earners would face the market only as an individual. That’s a little like buying a car by purchasing each individual piece separately.
Actually, Van Hecke is wrong about this part. I sought clarification on this from Rep. Steve Gottwalt because, as chairman of the House HHS Reform Committee and member of the House HHS Finance Committee, he easily qualifies as an expert on the subject. Here’s what Rep. Gottwalt said about Van Hecke’s statement about shoveling “low-income Minnesotans” into a high-priced plan for individuals:
The basic approach that Sen. Hann and I have promoted is to provide a straight subsidy to low income Minnesotans to purchase a private insurance policy. This gets them better overall coverage, and at a rate that the state can afford. Most of us agree very low income Minnesotans (those making less than 75% of the Federal Poverty Guideline FPG) need a different approach because most have serious mental health and chemical dependency issues.
Rep. Gottwalt further explains their approach:
By reducing the increases (not “cutting”) we are also putting us on a sustainable path. Our HHS bill contains numerous real reforms that help us keep promises, achieving better outcomes for people in need with a smaller increase in dollars.
Van Hecke is right that a federal waiver is needed to implement this program. Rep. Gottwalt has already spoken to the HHS about this. Early indications are that they’re willing to give Minnesota some flexibility because of Minnesota’s track record of excellence on this issue.
Where MN2020 and other progressives go wrong is in thinking that we need to stay wedded to the same status quo stupidity that we’ve been locked in from the outset. We don’t need to take that approach. In fact, we shouldn’t take that approach because it’s the path to unsustainability and increasing costs.
Why would we pick the path to unsustainability?