Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category
This article highlights some questionable activities during the SEIU Healthcare’s organizing drive. If these PCAs can get an investigation into SEIU Healthcare started, look for that investigation to thin out SEIU leadership. Several statements in the article are important for the readers to hear about.
First, Russ Brown, who is helping with the law firm’s investigation, said “We had about three teams of canvassers, we started doing postal mailings, we started doing phone banks and a website. That was based on a list that we believed to be mostly good. We were thinking the list might be off by as much as fifteen to twenty percent. As it turned out the list was mostly bad.”
The next paragraph states “Some addresses led to empty lots where there was no house. Others led to homes where people lived that didn’t match the name provided on the list. The questionable list, however, wasn’t the only thing amiss. The campaign also alleges identity theft, unlawful due deductions, and voter disenfranchisement of those opposed.”
Then there’s this:
“There was just a lot of different weird things going on,” Brown said. “At the places where we would find people we would hear stories about how all of a sudden their dues were being taken out of their Medicaid payments and they specifically told the union they were not interested.”
Then there’s this, too:
“One woman believes very strongly and provided evidence that the union forged her signature on an authorization card,” CWF Executive Director Matt Patterson told InsideSources. “The basic picture this paints, in my view, is that the election was highly suspect, and there was possibly identify theft.”
“She is absolutely certain the union forged her signature in order to take money from her,” Patterson said. “You wonder how many people this happened to that just never noticed or they just didn’t complain about it or whatever. We suspect the number is fairly high because if they did this to one person, it probably wasn’t just one person.”
This isn’t the first time that a public employee union did questionable things. After the DFL legislature passed a forced unionization bill, reports started popping up from in-home child-care providers that the union organizers told them that the cards they were signing weren’t cards asking for a unionization vote. The organizers instead said that they were cards saying they wanted more information on the bill.
When the vote finally happened, AFSCME was defeated, losing 1,014-392.
Does this sound like SEIU Healthcare is on the up-and-up?
“At one point they turned over a list that had nothing but names on it,” Brown said. “There was no other information at all. It was just names. So we cross referenced that list with the [other] list, and we found they didn’t match. And that took place about two weeks before we got the actual supposed real list, which we cross referenced, and it didn’t match that list. It was like the state was making up names and throwing them at us.”
Finally, there’s this:
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota has hit back against the decertification campaign. The union alleged the campaign has coerced members into signing cards to authorize the decertification vote. SEIU organizer Phillip Cryan sent a letter listing 12 members who claimed to have been coerced by the canvassers. Brown notes only two of the names listed were on the membership lists the state provided.
“He sent us a letter stating that our canvassers coerced the PCAs,” Brown said. “So I got these ten cards supposedly signed by people where my canvassers went to their door, which is impossible because if we never had their name or address, we just wouldn’t do that. If we don’t know they’re there, we didn’t know they existed.”
That’d be a nifty trick … if it was possible, which it isn’t. SEIU better hope a full-fledged investigation doesn’t get started. If it’s launched, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota might be in trouble.
Freshman Sen. Matt Klein, (DFL- Mendota Heights), isn’t catching on to things that quick. According to this article, Sen. Klein got upset when Sen. Carly Nelson of Rochester said “And so today we are sitting here trying to right the ship. The ship that was sailing along fine until government intervened. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t sinking like it is now.”
Klein replied “To narrate that health care was fully covered and idyllic in Minnesota 10 years ago, before the government intervened and destroyed it, is a false narrative.” Dr. Klein, your statement is an exercise in the improper use of straw man arguments. Sen. Nelson didn’t say that “health care was fully covered and idyllic in Minnesota 10 years ago.” She said that it “wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t sinking like it is now.” Nowhere in Sen. Nelson’s statement did she hint that “health care was fully covered and idyllic in Minnesota 10 years ago.”
What’s interesting is that Sen. Klein voted for SF1 after his mini-diatribe:
What’s interesting, though not particularly important, is the fact that 19 DFL legislators in the House and 19 DFL senators voted against SF1’s final passage. It’s interesting because the vast majority of these DFL legislators are from the Twin Cities. It’s interesting because a majority of these DFL legislators think single-payer is the right health care system.
Fighting back tears, the Senate architect of the rescue package spoke directly to families facing economic distress. “To the farmers and small business owners, to the entrepreneurs on our main streets who are worried, we are listening. We are doing our very best to get you help today,” Health and Human Services Chair Sen. Michelle Benson said.
Sen. Benson got the job done. Sen. Lourey, the chief author of the Senate bill that created MNsure, voted against premium relief for farmers and small businesses. Put differently, the person who created this crisis voted to not fix the crisis. The person who’s now in charge of the Senate HHS Committee voted to fix the crisis that the DFL and Sen. Lourey created. Unfortunately, that isn’t surprising.
Republicans and the DFL found a way to compromise this week. Republicans accepted Gov. Dayton’s plan to provide premium relief for people buying health insurance on the individual market but made too much to qualify for federal premium support. Gov. Dayton accepted the Republicans’ reforms. In the end, neither side got everything they wanted, which was anticipated, but everyone got something that they wanted.
Shortly after the House passed the conference committee report by a vote of 108-19, Republicans issued a statement, saying that their bill allowed “for-profit HMOs to operate in Minnesota (like most states) which will increase options for consumers, modifying stop loss coverage to make it easier for more small businesses to offer affordable insurance to their employees, providing greater transparency for proposed insurance premium changes by requiring earlier disclosure of proposed rates, allowing Agricultural Cooperatives to offer group health insurance to their members so farmers and their families can get better access to care and more affordable coverage, ensuring Minnesota employees can benefit from the recently passed federal 21st Century Cures Act which allows employers to make pre-tax contributions toward employee health insurance costs, network adequacy reform that will assist in ensuring more options for residents in rural Minnesota while prohibiting surprise billing to protect consumers from previously undisclosed costs.”
The Senate voted 46-19 in favor of the bill.
DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin issued this statement:
Today, we saw compromise prevail. After working with Gov. Dayton, the House and Senate passed a bipartisan solution to the current health insurance premium crisis. Although the bill is nowhere near perfect, this compromise helps Minnesotans now and keeps the door open for Minnesotans’ input on further health care reforms in the future.
Minnesotans could have seen relief 3 months ago but Republicans in the legislature wanted to get something out of the deal for themselves. Instead of working to get more to help Minnesota’s families, they showed their true colors and prioritized big corporations and big profits.
While I am pleased that our legislature was able to pass this relief that so many Minnesotans are counting on, I hope that for the rest of the legislative session, Republicans remember that Minnesotans are expecting their legislature to work for them, not against them.
Earlier this week, Gov. Dayton proposed a ‘reform’ that would inflict single-payer health care on Minnesotans. That bill is all but officially dead despite Martin’s statement that this compromise “keeps the door open for Minnesotans’ input on further health care reforms in the future.”
As for Martin’s whining statement that “Minnesotans could have seen relief 3 months ago but Republicans in the legislature wanted to get something out of the deal for themselves”, the truth is that Gov. Dayton insisted that the bill not include any reforms. Gov. Dayton insisted that it just provide premium relief. Republicans insisted that there be substantive reforms because, without them, they’d be right back here next year with another bailout.
Today’s bill is a first step in a session-long effort to address the problems created by Obamacare and MNsure,” said House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown. “As the first month of session comes to a close, Republican majorities have shown an ability to get things done for Minnesotans and to work productively with the governor.”
Gov. Dayton will sign the bill.
If ever there was a reason why progressive spinmeisters should steer clear of getting interviewed by Tucker Carlson, Jonathan Gruber’s interview offers the biggest reason to avoid Carlson. During the interview, Carlson caught Gruber in his spin at least half a dozen times. Throughout most of the interview, Dr. Gruber came across as elitist and intellectually outmatched.
When Carlson asked Gruber why recent polling showed fairly strong disapproval of Obamacare, Dr. Gruber replied “I think they feel that way because there’s been a lot of misinformation about what the law has done.” Carlson immediately picked up on that, inquiring “You once famously said that the law got passed because of the stupidity of the American voter, not understanding the intricacies of the funding of this law. You since apologized but it seems as though you still feel that way. You just said people don’t like it because they don’t understand it. But I mean, it’s their health care. Are they that dumb that they don’t understand how great it is?”
That led to another misstep by Dr. Gruber when he said “Tucker, that isn’t what I said. What I said was inartful. That’s why I apologized.” Let’s get honest about something. What Dr. Gruber said wasn’t inartful. It was intentional. It was repeated:
Something that’s repeated that often isn’t off-the-cuff. It’s intentional. It’s elitist, too. Then there’s this exchange:
CARLSON: I thought this law was supposed to help everybody.
DR. GRUBER: This law was never supposed to help everybody, Tucker. The law was actually supposed to leave the vast majority of Americans alone.
That isn’t true. The plan was always intended to push people into policies that the ACA’s architects were pushing. That’s why Politifact rated President Obama’s statement that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” as their Lie of the Year” a few years back. Dr. Gruber was exposed as a political shill Wednesday night. It isn’t that Dr. Gruber was “inartful.” It isn’t that he wanted people to keep their health care plans that they liked. It’s that he wanted to tell the people he thinks of as too stupid what’s best for them.
Watch this entire video. It’s a frightening insight into a progressive elitist’s mind:
Finally, this Trey Gowdy interrogation of Dr. Gruber is must-see TV:
Technorati: Jonathan Gruber, Political Hack, Obamacare, Elitism, Barack Obama, Democrats, Tucker Carlson, Interview, Trey Gowdy, Cross-Examination, Republicans
Speaker Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka should reject Gov. Dayton’s proposal to ‘reform’ health care by going to a single-payer plan. The article starts by saying “A new form of health insurance could be available next year to Minnesotans in the individual health insurance market if a proposal by Gov. Mark Dayton gains approval of state legislators and the federal government.”
While that excites hardline progressives, aka socialists, like John Marty, the vast majority of legislators (including Democrats) will reject single-payer health care. That’s because it’s failed each time it’s been tried. Mssrs. Daudt and Gazelka should investigate the numbers that Gov. Dayton is pushing because they aren’t credible. According to the article, “The new public option would be available to most Minnesotans for an average price of $469 per month, about 12 percent less than the $538 monthly premium for private insurance in 2017, the Dayton administration said. Dayton’s office estimates the plan would save families an average of more than $800 per person annually in 2018 compared to 2017.”
The chances that those numbers are accurate are virtually nonexistent. Let’s understand that these figures come from the party that insisted that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
Further, let’s understand that Gov. Dayton’s goal is to prop up a failed government program by proposing another big government ‘solution’. As I’ve said before, single-payer either fails outright wherever it’s tried or it dramatically reduces health care options.
Then there’s this:
Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, applauded the governor’s public option plan. “Access to quality, affordable health care is the benchmark for success, and this is exactly what Minnesotans will get with this expansion,” he said. “Passage of this plan would restore comprehensive networks in rural Minnesota, and give hope to many Minnesotans who are struggling to keep up with health insurance costs.”
At the bill-signing ceremony for MNsure, Sen. Lourey said “The people won on this bill.” Considering how much pain MNsure has caused, should we think that Sen. Lourey’s opinion isn’t worthless? I certainly don’t think it’s worth anything. Watch this video before forming an opinion on whether Sen. Lourey is a legitimate health care expert or a political shill:
Technorati: Mark Dayton, John Marty, Tony Lourey, Joe Atkins, MNsure, Single-Payer Health Care, If You Like Your Plan, DFL, Politifact Lie of the Year
Nobody who isn’t comatose thinks President Trump and former President Obama are similar. The only thing that they have in common is that they’ve both been called Mr. President. I wrote this post because Rachel Maddow actually said something worthwhile when she said President Trump’s inaugural speech “was militant and it was dark. The crime, the gangs, the drugs, this ‘American carnage,’ disrepair, decay. You can’t imagine the outgoing president giving a speech like that.'”
She’s right. Former President Obama would’ve papered over the problems. Let’s correct that. For 8 years, he papered over the nation’s problems. Obamacare wasn’t the solution to a problem. It was the Democrats’ holy grail, the thing that no other Democrat had achieved.
President Obama left office personally popular. President Trump enters office being personally unpopular. That isn’t the only difference. President Obama’s policies were rejected each time President Obama’s name wasn’t on the ballot. By contrast, many of President Trump’s policy initiatives are highly popular. Tax reform is one of those initiatives. Another thing that’s popular, except with Democrats, is enforcing existing immigration laws. Still another Trump initiative that’s popular where it’s applicable is reining in the EPA and other environmental regulatory agencies.
President Trump isn’t the great orator that President Obama was. The thing about Obama, though, was that he never moved the needle in terms of support for his policies. In the weeks ahead, President Trump will move votes on his initiatives because they’re solutions to things that are broken.
Though this isn’t entirely on point, another major difference between these presidents is that President Trump has actually run big things before taking office. When his VA secretary is confirmed and sworn in, rest assured that VA administrators’ heads will roll. Trump is a man of action. Obama was a talker who didn’t get things done.
Tina Liebling’s most recent e-letter update is a portrait of the DFL’s hysteria. I first noticed Rep. Liebling’s hysteria when I spotted this hysterical tweet, which said “House GOP passed plan to let insurance companies sell junk insurance w/o coverage for things like cancer, Lyme disease, autism.”
Rep. Liebling didn’t like it when I challenged her by saying “We’ll determine what’s junk & what isn’t if you don’t mind. Your record of predicting what’s good for us isn’t exactly inspiring.” Rep. Liebling’s reply to my initial tweet said “If you get cancer and your insurance policy doesn’t cover cancer, it’s junk.” I followed that up by saying “Why think that people, consulting with their physicians, can’t figure this out? Catastrophic policies are great for young people. Your thinking seems based on the theory that people can’t figure these things out. Shame on you for thinking that!”
Rep. Liebling’s I-know-what’s-best-for-you thinking continued in her e-letter update:
Republican legislators are also taking the opportunity to help corporate insurance companies. They are proposing sweeping and risky changes to the insurance system–including allowing for-profit health insurance companies to operate in Minnesota. Changes to the insurance system could potentially cause even more instability and rate increases next year, but the GOP in both House and Senate have rushed them through committees. They refuse to pass relief for consumers without their other proposals. This is holding hostage the over 100,000 Minnesotans who need insurance in place before the end of open enrollment–January 31.
Republican legislators have said that they’re tying reforms to the relief because they don’t want to have to revisit this DFL-created crisis next year. This is what Speaker Daudt said in this statement:
“Our plan provides emergency premium aid while preserving access for life-saving care for thousands of Minnesotans struggling under the effects of Obamacare,” said House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown. “Minnesotans know we need to start fixing this problem now so we don’t find ourselves in the same situation next year. Republicans have and will continue to lead on this issue and offer concrete solutions to fix the health care mess Democrats created.”
It’s clear that Rep. Liebling just wants to spend money without fixing this crisis. Speaker Daudt has put a higher priority on fixing this DFL-created crisis.
It’s apparent that Democrats are overplaying the CBO’s report on repealing the ACA. It’s apparent after reading this Washington Post article.
That’s apparent based on the opening paragraph of their article, which says “At least 18 million people would lose health insurance in the first year if Republicans move ahead with plans to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan, estimates a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.”
The first telling part is when CBO says 18,000,000 “people would lose health insurance in the first year if Republicans move ahead with plans to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan.” That sentence alone nullifies the importance of the CBO’s analysis. That’s because Republicans have consistently said that they’d pass the repeal and replace in the same piece of legislation. They’ve also promised to not let anyone get left hanging while transitioning from Obamacare to the new and improved health care system.
This doom and gloom is helping Democrats overplay their hand:
The number of people without insurance would grow to about 32 million within the first decade if congressional Republicans follow a 2015 plan to repeal the health-care law without an alternative, the new report says. It also estimates that health insurance premiums for people buying individual non-group coverage would double within a decade, further complicating GOP promises that people will not lose coverage under their plan.
It’s clear that the new plan to replace the ACA will be significantly different than anything that’s been used before. Further, Democrats are setting themselves up for failure. The only way that the Democrats’ strategy will work is if Republicans totally drop the ball. The chances of that happening with President Trump, Vice President Pence, HHS Secretary Price, Speaker Ryan and Sen. John Barrasso leading the push is virtually nonexistent.
Rest assured that President Trump’s first State of the Union Address will include details of what the replace plan will include. I’d expect that legislation will have been submitted by then. Further, I wouldn’t be surprised if the legislation will gotten its first hearings by then. Once President Trump blasts this information out to the nation, the Democrats’ handwringing and demagoguery will put them in God’s little acre — between a rock and a hard place.
Technorati: Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Tom Price, HHS Secretary, CBO, Paul Ryan, Repeal and Replace, John Barrasso, Republicans, Affordable Care Act, Uninsured, Propaganda, Charles Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Democrats
If there’s anything more disheartening than the Democrats’ dishonesty about the Anything But Affordable Care Act, I can’t find it. Elizabeth Warren’s op-ed is the latest in a lengthy list of dishonest anti-Republican diatribes.
In the opening paragraph of her diatribe, Sen. Warren, aka Pocahontas (according to President-Elect Trump), she said “For eight years, Republicans in Congress have complained about health care in America, heaping most of the blame on President Obama. Meanwhile, they’ve hung out on the sidelines making doomsday predictions and cheering every stumble, but refusing to lift a finger to actually improve our health care system.”
It must be nice to be able to outright lie and never worry that the Corrupt Media will expose you as a liar. The man who will soon be the US HHS Secretary, Tom Price, has introduced the Empowering Patients First Act “in the 111th, 112th and 113th Congresses.” Sen. Pocahontas can criticize Dr. Price’s plan. That’s fair game. She can’t say it doesn’t exist. That’s lying, which isn’t tolerated at LFR.
This is laughable:
Many Massachusetts families are watching this play out, worried about what will happen, including thousands from across the Commonwealth that I joined at Faneuil Hall on Sunday to rally in support of the ACA. Hospitals and insurers are watching too, concerned that repealing the ACA will create chaos in the health insurance market and send costs spiraling out of control.
It’s frightening to think that a US senator is either too blind to see that health insurance premium prices are already spiraling out of control or too dishonest to admit that the ACA, aka Obamacare, has caused health insurance premiums and deductibles to skyrocket.
Why won’t Sen. Pocahontas admit that “Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming will have only one insurance company offering plans through the Obamacare health insurance exchange in 2017, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation”? Sen. Warren said that the Republicans’ plan is “repeal and run”, which is catchy. Meanwhile, the Democrats’ plan for passing the ACA was to hide the product until the final product was voted on. Does Sen. Pocahontas remember this infamous quote?
I don’t have a clever slogan for the Democrats’ strategy. I’m just left with the responsibility of telling people how Democrats ignored them while shoving terrible legislation down our throats.
Yesterday, I got my weekly e-letter update from my state representative, Jim Knoblach. Jim wrote “The 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access bill is on track to soon reach the House floor for a full vote of the body after Democrats delayed passage last week. While the governor’s proposal provides immediate relief, House Republicans offer a plan that not only provides short-term aid, but includes reform to improve the long-term outlook. The House Republican position is that both relief and reform are necessary. As important as it is to lessen the burden now, it also is crucial to make sure we don’t end up in this same unfortunate situation next year.”
Last night, I attended the SD-14 fundraiser, which Jim attended, too. We talked briefly about what he’d written in his e-letter update. Basically, Jim explained that the bill Republicans are pushing includes premium relief but it also includes other features, too. For instance, it provides the ability for a person receiving life-saving care from a hospital or clinic to stay with that clinic until that treatment is finished.
I told Jim that that’s the right thing to do. People suffering through a life-threatening situation don’t need the disruption of changing health care providers.
Other legislators attended the fundraiser, too. Most of them were hopeful that Gov. Dayton would sign the bill once it got put together in conference committee.