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Friday night, Tim Walz tried being the ‘I’m all things to all people’ candidate during his debate with Jeff Johnson on Almanac. On one of the first questions, Walz talked about single-payer health care being where most people finally arrive at. Then Walz went into a long-winded spiel about how preventive care drives down health insurance premiums, which is why we need single-payer.

That’s BS. What drives up premiums is aging. As we get older, we reach our high-use years. Preventive care is a worthwhile thing to do because, theoretically, it keeps us healthier longer. Still, it doesn’t drive down health insurance premiums. Then Walz totally stepped in it, saying “everyone knows that there’s no plan to protect people with pre-existing conditions unless you have the ACA in place.”

Johnson jumped in at that point, saying “That’s utterly ridiculous. We did it for 30 years in Minnesota before the ACA and we did it better before the ACA. But let’s be honest about what single-payer is. Single-payer means that everybody loses their insurance. There is no private insurance and we’re all forced onto one government plan.”

That’s true. I wrote about the DFL’s single-payer bill in this post. That bill has 31 coverage requirements for each policy. Think of it this way. It’s the ACA except that it’s totally run by bureaucrats. After the rollout disaster of the ACA, that can’t sound appealing.

Next subject up was immigration. Mr. Walz went first, saying this:

I spent 24 years on national security and numerous trips to the border to actually witness how we do security in-depth and how we do it electronically and with surveillance. Every sovereign nation has the right and the need to control its borders but the issue is about stoking fear and telling us we’re not stronger because of immigration. It doesn’t matter what your plans are. The next governor of Minnesota must have the capacity to bring people together to solve problems. Immigration has always been an issue that has bound us together and what we see is this fear of telling people that they are in danger instead of coming up with real solid plans like comprehensive immigration reform that passed in the Senate but was never heard in the House.

Notice that Walz criticized President Trump, criticized House Republicans, tossed out the Democrats’ favorite go-to phrase on immigration but didn’t actually tell the moderators whether he’d advocate for turning Minnesota into a sanctuary state. Eventually, Walz admitted that he’s for turning Minnesota into a sanctuary state before lying about what a sanctuary state or city is.

Jeff Johnson immediately highlighted the fact that “there are only — what — 5-6 states in the nation that are sanctuary states in the country. We’d be the only one in the upper Midwest and what that means is that we would prohibit our law enforcement officers from cooperating with law enforcement from the federal government in any way.”

Walz denied that description, insisting that violent felons would go to prison. That isn’t at question. What’s at question is what state law enforcement officials would be allowed to do when these violent felons are released from prison.

After hearing Walz insist that Republicans have been stoking fear amongst citizens on immigration, I’d love hearing how Tim Walz would “bring people together to solve problems.”

At other points in the debate, Walz’s answers were more word salad than serious policy prescription. At one point, I hit pause on the DVR and told my roommate that “this guy is ‘The Babbler’.”

I highly recommend you watch the entire debate. Tim Walz was all over the place. Jeff Johnson’s answers were short, concise and actually fixed problems.

Special thanks to Prof. John A. Spry for writing this op-ed that highlights the constitutional weaknesses of the DFL’s health care legislation.

First things first: the bill being proposed by the DFL is HF358. The text of the bill, known as the Minnesota Health Plan, is found here. What’s interesting is the bill’s funding mechanism, which is explained “at the marketing website for the MHP.” It says “The Legislature and Governor would have no authority over the MHP revenues. This is necessary in order to prevent the use of MHP premiums to balance the state budget and would also prevent politicians from starving the health plan of needed funds, a problem that occurs in some of the countries where politicians are responsible for funding their national health plans.”

It isn’t surprising that Prof. Spry notes this:

The advocates of the Minnesota Health Plan want to take away your current health insurance and replace it with the health insurance the unelected government board decides you will have. They even want to take away your right to vote for the people who will make these decisions.

The single-payer Minnesota Health Plan puts health care decisions in the hands of people who are never accountable to the people at the ballot box. That is a terrible way to run a government.

If this is the DFL’s health care ‘solution’, then that’s proof that the DFL doesn’t care about We The People. It’s proof that they care most about bureaucracies and unaccountability.

The DFL’s single-payer health care solution creates more problems than it solves. On top of that, its funding mechanism is unconstitutional. Rather than the DFL scrapping the bill, I’d rather just scrap the DFL this Election Day.

Prof. John Spry’s op-ed talks about the DFL’s Minnesota Health Plan. In Part I of this series, I highlighted the fact that this bill, if passed and signed into law, would have the authority to raise taxes unilaterally:

(f) Premiums and other revenues collected each year must be sufficient to cover that year’s projected costs.

Prof. Spry then notes this:

The Democrats’ legislation says that regional health boards would select eight members of the new Minnesota Health Board. The first eight members selected by regional health boards would then appoint seven additional members who would have to be members of specified health care interest groups. These 15 appointees would never be accountable to the voters at a ballot box. They would have control over life and death decisions for every Minnesotan.

This bill provides for a lengthy list of ‘benefits’ for Minnesotans. See Part I for the benefits. The DFL doesn’t hesitate in telling Minnesotans that they have to buy expensive health care plans. This is especially unfair to young healthy people. Why do they need policies with 31 different coverages?

Prof. Spry then writes:

Americans have proudly rejected authoritarian rule by unelected officials. Our Revolutionary patriots proclaimed “No Taxation without Representation.” In that American tradition, the Minnesota Constitution gives the power of taxation to an elected Legislature. It further requires that this “power of taxation shall never be surrendered, suspended or contracted away.” It is democratic to never let the elected Legislature surrender its power of taxation to an unelected Minnesota Health Board.

The thing that must be noted is that this takes virtually all decision-making out of the hands of families (in terms of what policies they want to purchase) and the legislature (in terms of taxation.) There is nothing democratic about the DFL’s bill. The DFL’s legislation is more fascistic than democratic.

That’s why it must be immediately rejected. Prof. Spry then asks this important question:

Why do Minnesota Democrats want to give the power to tax and spend to the appointed members of the Minnesota Health Board?

Then he provides their answer:

They explain at the marketing website for the single-payer Minnesota Health Plan (MHP):

“The Legislature and Governor would have no authority over the MHP revenues. This is necessary in order to prevent the use of MHP premiums to balance the state budget, and would also prevent politicians from starving the health plan of needed funds, a problem that occurs in some of the countries where politicians are responsible for funding their national health plans.”

In other words, they don’t want accountable people exercising control over their health care plan.

This legislation stands in opposition to the Minnesota Constitution. The Minnesota Constitution proclaims that all political power is inherent in the people. It provides for the regular election of public officials in the legislative, executive, and judicial divisions. It is democratic and good that legislators and the governor are accountable to the people at the next election.This fall, the DFL has run ad after ad trying to scare people into not voting for Republicans because, allegedly, Republicans want to deny people with pre-existing conditions health insurance. In the DFL’s ads, they try frightening people into thinking that Republicans will deny people coverage, which is a lie. What’s frightening is the DFL’s Minnesota Health Plan.

The Minnesota Health Plan has a lengthy list of benefits, including “inpatient and outpatient health facility services; (2) inpatient and outpatient professional health care provider services; (3) diagnostic imaging, laboratory services, and other diagnostic and evaluative services; (4) medical equipment, appliances, and assistive technology, including prosthetics, eyeglasses, and hearing aids, their repair, technical support, and customization needed for individual use; (5) inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative care; (6) emergency care services; (7) emergency transportation; (8) necessary transportation for health care services for persons with disabilities or who may qualify as low income; (9) child and adult immunizations and preventive care; (10) health and wellness education; (11) hospice care; (12) care in a skilled nursing facility; (13) home health care including health care provided in an assisted living facility; (14) mental health services; (15) substance abuse treatment; (16) dental care; (17) vision care; (18) hearing care; (19) prescription drugs; (20) podiatric care; (21) chiropractic care; (22) acupuncture; (23) therapies which are shown by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health to be safe and effective; (24) blood and blood products; (25) dialysis; (26) adult day care; (27) rehabilitative and habilitative services; (28) ancillary health care or social services previously covered by Minnesota’s public
health programs; (29) case management and care coordination; (30) language interpretation and translation for health care services, including sign language and Braille or other services needed for individuals with communication barriers; and (31) those health care and long-term supportive services currently covered under Minnesota Statutes 2016, chapter 256B, for persons on medical assistance, including home and community-based waivered services under chapter 256B.”

Prof. John Spry wrote this article about the Minnesota Health Plan. FYI- Prof. Spry is considered by may to be the best tax economist in Minnesota. He’s served on tax reform boards in the past. Here’s what Prof. Spry wrote about the MHP:

Minnesota Democrats have a plan to create a statewide single-payer health plan funded with state taxes, without lawmakers voting for tax hikes. Minnesota Democrats’ legislation would give an appointed Minnesota Health Board the unlimited power to tax. This unelected board would run the entire health care system in Minnesota with both tax and spending authority. This unelected board would enact the massive tax hikes that Democratic legislators are unwilling to support publicly.

Article IV deals with the Plan’s funding. Here’s the language from the actual bill:

Subdivision 1. General provisions. (a) The board shall establish a Minnesota Health Fund to implement the Minnesota Health Plan and to receive premiums and other sources of revenue. The fund shall be administered by a director appointed by the Minnesota Health Board.
(b) All money collected, received, and transferred according to this chapter shall be deposited in the Minnesota Health Fund.
(c) Money deposited in the Minnesota Health Fund shall be used to finance the Minnesota Health Plan.
(d) All claims for health care services rendered shall be made to the Minnesota Health Fund.
(e) All payments made for health care services shall be disbursed from the Minnesota Health Fund.
(f) Premiums and other revenues collected each year must be sufficient to cover that year’s projected costs.

In other words, if the premiums and other revenues aren’t sufficient “to cover that year’s projected costs”, the unelected board has the authority to raise taxes to cover that year’s projected costs. According to this bill’s language, they don’t need to go to the legislature to raise taxes. This panel would have the authority to raise taxes on its own! Think about that a minute.

Prof. Spry then said this:

This legislation stands in opposition to the Minnesota Constitution. The Minnesota Constitution proclaims that all political power is inherent in the people. It provides for the regular election of public officials in the legislative, executive, and judicial divisions. It is democratic and good that legislators and the governor are accountable to the people at the next election.

More on this in Part II.

Saying that it was predictable that Rep. Jason Lewis was going to thrash Democrat Angie Craig in their Friday night debate on Almanac is understatement. Cathy Wurzer opened by asking Jason Lewis about Congress acting as a check “on the imperial presidency and I’m thinking that you might’ve been thinking that Hillary Clinton might be president. How’s Congress doing in its role as a check on President Trump?”

Jason replied “Well, you know, I think we did 16 CRAs taking back Article I power from the executive branch” before Eric Eskola asked “What are CRAs?” Jason then resumed, saying that CRAs are “the Congressional Review Act.” Jason then noted that those CRAs eliminated over $4,000,000,000 worth of regulations. Wurzer then said “It doesn’t really sound to some people like they’re a true check on President Trump as no one is standing up to him on things he might say.”

Jason jumped in and replied “Well, Cathy, I think we get confused between what gets said and substance. Now, if you’re talking about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which gives families in the Second District $3,000 back, I’m not going to stand up against that. I led the way in getting that done. If you’re talking about style, would I do the things that the President does? Probably not.”

That’s Jason Lewis’ opening shot against Angie Craig. It was crisp, filled with information and in a friendly, conversational tone. It was apparent that Jason felt relaxed and confident in that setting.

Whenever Angie Craig went on the offensive, Jason Lewis had a well-informed reply. When she tried attacking him on health care, Jason nailed her by highlighting the fact that she pushed for an exemption from the medical device tax for her company. While there’s no doubt that Democrats will be pleased with her performance, there’s equally little doubt as to who was the more informed, most adult candidate on stage.

While I don’t doubt that this will be a tight race, I still expect Jason Lewis to defeat Angie Craig. That’s because he constantly looked composed while she frequently looked flustered when he had substantive replies to her talking points.

Monday afternoon, Sen. Casey, (D-PA), removed his despicable campaign ad. This didn’t happen because Sen. Casey is a man of integrity. It happened because he isn’t a man of integrity.

First, it’s important to know what’s in the ad. According to the article, the “ad accuses Mr. Barletta of voting to let insurers refuse coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions. It features a woman, Stacie Ritter of Lancaster County, whose twin daughters were diagnosed with cancer saying, ‘if Lou Barletta has his way, kids like mine could be denied the care they need.'”

It isn’t difficult to figure out why Rep. Barletta, (R-PA), got upset with the ad. Rep. Barletta put this letter together to criticize his opponent:

Here’s a partial transcript of Rep. Barletta’s video:

What Bob Casey did with that commercial is one of the most hurtful, insensitive things I’ve ever experienced in my political career. Bob Casey knew that my 18-month-old grandson, who is a twin, has cancer. I told him and his wife a month ago. They knew what we were going through.”

In pulling his ad, Sen. Casey, (D-PA), published a statement that implies that the ad “involving children stricken with cancer were unintentional” and that “he takes Mr. Barletta at his word about the impact it had on his family.”

What’s interesting is that “the Democrat’s campaign is still running the ad in the rest of the state.” That’s the definition of a dirtbag. Sen. Casey’s ad implies that Rep. Barletta would advocate for policies that would hurt his 18-month-old grandson. Why would anyone think that pulling the ad in a small section of Pennsylvania will eliminate the Barlettas’ pain?

If I didn’t know better, I’d bet that Sen. Casey is just as tone-deaf as Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi. It takes some effort to reach that ‘level’ of insensitivity.

Tom Hauser has put several DFL ads through the Truth Test this election. The DFL’s ratings haven’t been kind to them. This time, Hauser put an anti-Jeff Johnson ad through the Truth Test.

The narrator starts the ad by saying “The list of pre-existing conditions seems endless. Cancer, diabetes, asthma – even pregnancy. Under Jeff Johnson’s health care plan, insurance companies could deny coverage for every single one.” Of course, this isn’t close to the truth. The supposed source of this information “cites Johnson’s own website.”

That’s where That’s where “the ad from the Minnesota Victory Fund PAC” falls apart. Hauser continues, saying “However, his website says just the opposite. In his ‘action plan’ for health care, Johnson calls for ‘a new approach that drives down costs and still takes care of our most vulnerable Minnesotans and those with pre-existing conditions.'”

That isn’t a minor mistake. That’s a major, intentional, statement. Then there’s this:

His plan calls for returning Minnesota to a “high-risk” insurance pool it used to have that was eliminated by the Affordable Care Act. His website says: “I will advocate for reinstating a MCHA-style pool for those with pre-existing conditions, guaranteeing competitively-priced coverage for everyone in Minnesotan.”

It isn’t surprising to find out that this ad graded out poorly:

This ad includes a mix of false, inconclusive and dated information, some of which is based on information from when Johnson ran for governor in 2014. It gets a D-minus on the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS “Truth Test.”

Here’s the explanation for Truth Test grading:

– A “D” is the result of at least half the information being false or misleading to the point of leaving a false impression.

Here’s the video of the ad:

This isn’t insignificant because health care is a major issue in Minnesota this year, perhaps even the top issue. By lying about Jeff Johnson’s policy, the Minnesota Victory Fund PAC is intentionally attempting to tilt the election in Tim Walz’s favor with a major lie. That’s the definition of dirty politics. I can’t say that I’m surprised since the DFL has, at best, a passing familiarity with the truth.

After reading this op-ed, honest people would be skeptical of anything Democrats say.

In this op-ed, Cheri Bustos, Hakeem Jeffries and David Cicilline write “For the past two years, Republicans have had total control over the House, the Senate and the White House. What do they have to show for their leadership? A tax scam that pads the pockets of millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the middle class. Skyrocketing health care costs and prescription drug prices that are forcing millions of Americans deep into debt. A culture of corruption in Washington that’s so far-reaching it’s putting our entire democracy at risk. A nation that is growing more divided and more cynical – and a politics more chaotic and exhausting – with each passing day.”

While Americans feel better with extra money in their wallets, Democrats insist that the Trump/GOP tax cuts are a scam. How is that different than what Nancy Pelosi said?

How are the tax cuts coming “at the expense of the middle class”? Is their explanation that this money isn’t being “invested” in the future? If that’s the Democrats’ explanation, then they’re the ones scamming people.

As for “skyrocketing health care costs and prescription drug prices”, Minnesota’s premiums are coming down. Further, thanks to President Trump, consumers have more choices in terms of types of policies they can buy. They don’t have to buy the policies that the government orders them to buy. Consumers actually get to make real choices.

Finally, Democrats are being little drama queens when they insist that Trump is destroying our democracy. Here’s a question that voters should ask themselves: What can the Democrats do that Republicans aren’t already doing well? Under unified GOP government, incomes are rising, consumer confidence and small business confidence is shooting through the roof, durable good orders are skyrocketing. Will Democrats improve on any of those things?

I’m betting that they won’t. In fact, I’m betting that they’ll fail. Why risk the success we’re already experiencing?

I know that it isn’t shocking to see a title claiming that Keith Ellison is a socialist. Still, what’s in this article is shocking.

The shock starts when it says “The object of the caucus is to not only answer questions about single-payer government-run health care for everyone, but also to campaign for the legislation to create it, HR676 and a companion bill from Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind.-Vt. Those measures would replace the U.S.’s current, private jury-rigged high cost health care ‘system’ with federally run health care, eliminating the health insurance industry and other for-profit aspects of health care. ‘Profit must have no place in health care,’ Jayapal said.”

First, this should be a warning siren to Republicans. They’d better put aside their differences and vote. If they don’t totally swamp the polls, these idiots will try passing this crazy health care plan. And yes, they’re idiots. Anyone that thinks that “profit must have no place in health care” is an idiot and then some.

Without profit, nothing happens. Innovation is the first thing that stops. Efficiencies cease because the pay is the same whether they’re efficient or inefficient.

This is just part of the Democrats’ lunatic agenda. Based on their public statements, Democrats want to kill the American health care system entirely. They want to abolish ICE. Finally, they want to get rid of your tax cuts. Don’t believe me? Here’s what Nancy Pelosi said:

It’s pretty clear that Democrats think you’re keeping too much of the money you’re earning. It’s pretty clear that Democrats think that government, not families, do a better job of managing their health care needs. Finally, it’s pretty obvious that they think they know what’s best.

Sidenote on Ellison: It’s obvious that rational thought isn’t part of his DNA. There isn’t a single policy of his that could’ve passed when they had real legislators like Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Hubert Humphrey and other giants. Ellison is a mental midget.

It’s time for people to walk away from the Democratic Party. They’re the mean-spirited party, the hate-filled party. This is the agenda that Obama wanted to pursue but didn’t have the cajones to attempt. This should be ridiculed mercilessly:

Single-payer government-run health care will help end that problem by eliminating those costly middlemen, whose tab patients—or public hospitals such as Stroger—must foot, Jayapal said.

That’s right. Lazy government bureaucrats will take the place of the profit makers. Instead of the profit makers making profits and creating incentives for innovation, those government bureaucrats will take the profits, then give themselves bonuses.

Sound familiar? It should. That’s a description of the VA system from 4 years ago.

Last week, President Obama said anyone found to have manipulated or falsified Veterans Affairs records “will be held accountable,” even as he defended Shinseki.

A week later, Gen. Shinseki resigned in disgrace.

Whether you call it Medicare for All, VA Care for All or whether you call it a failed, corrupted system is irrelevant. Single-payer health care systems have never worked because they kill innovation while incentivizing corruption. The people at the top, aka those that play the role of the oligarchs, reap all the rewards.

Though these dipsticks don’t want to admit it, that’s how all systems operate. There’s corruption in every system. Pretending that government employees are somehow more virtuous than the rest of society is a fallacy. Milton Friedman explained that fact brilliantly in this interview:

Keith Ellison has announced that he’s running for Attorney General of Minnesota. Think about this — he thinks that white police officers are bigoted and don’t know it. He thinks that the VA hospital system as constructed a few years ago was patriotic and corruption-free. Now he’s telling us that getting rid of profits in the health care industry is the path to innovation and health care for all.

Which of these things sounds craziest? Good luck with that. I’ll be damned if I know which idea is craziest.

Saying that Angie Craig doesn’t want MN-2 voters to know what she stands for is the truth. It isn’t difficult to find out what she’s against. This statement on the Trump/GOP tax reform is a perfect example of Ms. Craig telling voters what she’s against. In the statement, Ms. Craig said “Paul Ryan finally released the tax plan that Jason Lewis has been talking up for weeks and it’s just as bad as we thought. This isn’t real tax reform. This is a giveaway to big corporations and the rich, paid for by tax increases for the middle class.”

First, Ms. Craig is relying on the Democrats’ talking points. It’s worth noting that the Democrats’ chanting points are dishonest. (Go figure, right?) As people have found out, everyone has gotten a tax cut. The middle class have gotten rather significant tax cuts. That’s in addition to many of them getting significant bonuses, significantly increased benefits from employers and lower out-of-pocket health care expenses. Other than those significant benefits to the middle class, the Democrats are right. If not for those benefits to the middle class, the middle class would’ve gotten the shaft.

In terms of health care, Craig is a bit of a radical:

Before he ditched his constituents, Keith Ellison announced that he was taking over the Democrats’ single-payer health care bill. In the above video, Ms. Craig said that Keith Ellison told her that he wanted her at the table when they figured out health care. That’s what makes this so funny:

Let’s get serious. When Craig is talking to her DFL activist allies, she knows exactly what she wants. When she’s talking with John and Jane Q. Public, she’s as transparent as Rod Rosenstein’s DOJ.

As the lit piece shows, Jason Lewis’s supporters know him to be a man who doesn’t moisten his finger to figure out where he stands on the issues. That’s why he’ll win re-election this November.