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In this post last night, I wrote about the untold story behind the immigration crisis. It’s called the health epidemic crisis. This article highlights what’s happening at the border.

What’s frightening is that diseases not seen in the US in literally decades are showing up at our southern border. What’s more frightening is that it isn’t likely that these diseases will be contained at the border.

Thus far, Democrats have insisted that the border crisis was a “manufactured crisis.” After it became obvious that this wasn’t a manufactured crisis, Democrats switched to saying it was a “humanitarian crisis.” Now that contagious diseases are getting detected, will Democrats, led by Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Schumer, continue to put Americans’ lives at risk? Will they ignore this crisis, too?

Jon Anfinsen is a National Border Patrol Council vice president and based in Del Rio, which includes Eagle Pass, where most Congolese are arriving. Anfinsen represents approximately 1,000 agents who are based out of 10 regional holding stations. Anfinsen has been an agent 12 years and said the number of people in custody and subsequent illnesses among that population is “unprecedented.”

“Scabies, chickenpox, we had one case of the mumps here in Uvalde. I wanna say we had measles, plenty of the flu, plenty of colds, body lice, just assorted. And some of these things, they spread like wildfires when you get into a cramped holding cell. It happens,” Anfinsen said.

The continuous breakouts — in part caused by the overcrowded conditions in facilities and difficulty quarantining each sick person — are taking both a physical and mental toll on agents.

This wasn’t unforeseen or unpredicted, either:

That interview happened 3 months ago. The CDC said then that they were “playing catch-up” with vaccinations. Since then, it’s quite possible that things have gotten worse.

What’s particularly upsetting is the fact that Democrats haven’t lifted a finger to fix the immigration problem. What’s worst is that they don’t seem at all interested in fixing the problem because they see it as a partisan political issue. How sad is that?

In 2020, voters have a decision. They can vote for the party that puts partisanship ahead of patriotism and doing what’s right. A vote for a Democrat is a vote for this type of malfeasance. It’s a vote for the failing status quo.

If you’re satisfied with communicable diseases spreading nationwide, then you need to rethink things ASAP.

For a couple of months, Democrats have admitted that there’s a humanitarian crisis that’s related to illegal immigration. I won’t dispute that but it’s far more than that. During an interview with Brian Kilmeade, Dr. Drew Pinsky highlighted what’s happening in California. Specifically, he highlighted what’s happening in the homeless districts in LA.

During Kilmeade’s program, Dr. Pinsky made this dire prediction:

“I want to give you a prediction here. There will be a major infectious disease epidemic this summer in Los Angeles,” he said. “We have tens and tens of thousands of people living in tents. Horrible conditions. Sanitation. Rats have taken over the city,” he told Kilmeade. “We’re the only city in the country, Los Angeles, without a rodent control program. We have multiple rodent-borne, flea-borne illnesses, plague, typhus. We’re gonna have louse-borne illness. If measles breaks into that population, we have tuberculosis exploding.”

This is how LA dealt with this potential epidemic:

Despite efforts last October by Los Angeles officials to clean up the trash which had led to several cases of flea-borne typhus, garbage has accumulated again. The trash heaps attract rats and other rodents which can carry the diseased fleas, potentially infecting humans who come in contact with them.

The past 2 weeks, local news stations have reported the increase in reported cases of tuberculosis:

Los Angeles has a growing problem with diseases borne by both flea and feces. An LAPD officer was just diagnosed with typhoid fever along with two more from the same workplace displaying symptoms. Meanwhile, cases of typhus, caused by a different bacterium, have soared in California from 13 in 2008 to 167 in 2018. In addition, there have been outbreaks of hepatitis A, tuberculosis, and staph in L.A. and other West Coast cities.

Why is this happening—and will [it] spread to other cities? The city of Los Angeles itself links the disease outbreaks to the area’s growing homelessness problem.

Since this article was written, Dr. Drew Pinsky was interviewed by Laura Ingraham. Here’s what Dr. Pinsky said:

Across the nation, previously unscreened people from other parts of the planet are being diagnosed with tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. This isn’t just a humanitarian crisis, as Democrats insist. It’s a medical crisis and a national security crisis, too. Anyone that thinks that shipping illegal aliens that carry these diseases to other communities is inviting a crisis.

In fact, this nation is on the verge of multiple crises. One crisis that must be fixed, not contained, is the health epidemic that’s being triggered by the homeless crisis. As explained earlier, the epidemic is the result of “rodent-borne, flea-borne illnesses” like plague and typhus.

Another crisis is the health crisis that has a higher-than-likely chance of spreading nationwide, thanks in large part to illegal immigration. This article should get everyone’s attention. Here’s why:

With the southern border being overwhelmed with 100,000 people a month being apprehended attempting to enter illegally, there is no ability to enforce any sort of massive health check. The border patrol does its best to notice who may be showing symptoms of illness, but there’s nothing to be done about those who are unaware they’re ill with no obvious indications of sickness.

As of May 31, we have 981 cases of measles in 26 states. For a disease we thought eradicated, we are now on track to surpass 1,000 this week, eclipsing the previous record in 1994, which reported 963 for the entire year.

Speaker Pelosi and other House Democrats put us all in danger if they don’t start taking illegal immigration seriously. Last fall, House Democrats insisted that this was a “manufactured crisis.” Now that that’s been discredited, it’s time to take action to prevent a major health epidemic.

I’m tired of hearing Democrats ignore crises while they investigate myths about presidential collusion. Instead of investigating hoaxes, Democrats should take action to save people’s lives.

It’s understatement to say that House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt didn’t compliment the DFL after this session. Rep. Daudt criticized House DFL leadership, saying “I am not going to stand for this dark of night, making decisions behind closed doors with no one knowing what’s the bill. The authors of the bills didn’t know what was in the bills, we didn’t have spreadsheets, the spreadsheets that we did get didn’t match the bills. This is an absolute shame on the Democrats who are running the chamber on the Minnesota House of Representatives.”

If Minnesotans care about performance, then they should fire the DFL and replace them with people that know how to make things run properly. The DFL, especially Speaker Hortman and House Majority Leader Winkler, have a variety of nickname options. One legitimate option is the gang who couldn’t shoot straight. Another option would be ‘the not yet ready for primetime players.’

Here’s why Leader Daudt was upset:

This has been the least productive, least transparent session in the history of this state. Minnesotans should be ashamed of the process at the end of this legislative session.

Look how out-of-touch Speaker Hortman looks in this picture:

Walz looks like he’s about to blow a gasket while Hortman is smiling. What’s up with that? Here’s Leader Daudt’s press availability:

I’m with Leader Daudt. The DFL should be utterly ashamed of their incompetence. Unfortunately, the DFL won’t be ashamed of their incompetence because that would require a conscience, something that the DFL hasn’t had for 20 years. In light of Leader Daudt’s information about the Sick Tax, the DFL’s insistence on the Sick Tax is, at best, puzzling. That’s being charitable. If the federal government covers the things that the Provider Tax was originally put in place to cover, then the Sick Tax can’t be part of the final budget. If it’s being used as a slush fund for DFL special interest vote-buying, then it’s gotta go.

The more information that I gather about the budget agreement, the more I’m certain that Republicans should hold up the bills until the DFL caves on the health care provider tax. Period. That shouldn’t be part of the final budget.

In 2020, DFL freshmen will have to campaign with a handful of millstones hung around their necks. First, the House freshmen will have to explain why they voted for the biggest potential tax increase in Minnesota history. Next, they’ll have to explain why they voted to increase health care costs to pay for a DFL slush fund. Third, these DFL freshmen will need to explain why they were part of the least productive, least competent legislative majority in recent Minnesota history.

Good luck with that.

Based on Briana Bierschbach’s article, there’s 4 things hanging up a budget agreement. Here are the 4 items:

1) Provider tax
2) Gas tax
3) Other tax increases
4) Spending

What it really comes down to is the DFL wants to spend Minnesota into oblivion. We’re already running a surplus because we’re taxed too much. That expected surplus is already being revised upward. There’s a ton of money flowing into Minnesota’s coffers. Tim Walz and the DFL want to raise taxes even higher and spend money at an unsustainable rate.

Gazelka, R-Nisswa, said there are several pots of money that already exist in the state to spend more on education and public safety, including the state’s $1 billion budget surplus, as well as the more than $2 billion in state budget reserves, which were recently fed even more when revenue collections came in nearly $500 million higher than expected last month. “We can get to places of compromise that still do not need any tax increases to work,” Gazelka said.

Republicans need to say no to the DFL’s tax increases and spending increases, starting with the HCAF tax increase. (HCAF = the Health Care Access Fund.) HCAF funds some subsidized health insurance programs but it frequently gets raided, too. A loyal reader of LFR contacted me and told me that monies have been shifted out of HCAF and into the general fund, where it can be used for who knows what.

Further, I read a recent commentary that says that 77% of the money in HCAF gets moved into the general fund as a sort of “slush fund” to pay off the DFL’s special interest allies. In other words, they could cut the HCAF tax substantially and still have enough money to fund the programs they currently want to fund. That’s before we talk about the gas tax increase, which is obscene, and the other tax increases. Let’s put it this way:

  1. we’re already running a surplus
  2. revenues are coming in faster than predicted
  3. Minnesota’s Rainy Day Fund has $2,523,000,000 in it, the largest in state history
  4. Despite all this, the DFL wants to increase taxes by another $12,000,000,000 over the next 4 years.

What types of drugs are the DFL using? Perhaps the DFL has gotten ahold of the newly legalized magic mushrooms and are using them. This isn’t insane. It’s galaxies beyond insane.

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.