Entries Tagged 'Healthcare reform' ↓

Is healthcare money being used to promote a Sales Tax increase?

Proponents of M15 hard at work

J-Ellis wrote a great column today about how the healthcare industry in SD is pushing to promote a sales tax increase that will pump up to $85 million into their coffers;

Well, the U.S. House advertising won’t win any awards. But on the horizon comes the long-awaited campaign from the people who hope you’re going to vote to raise your own taxes. According to documents collected by Argus Leader reporters and reporter David Montgomery’s account, the people running Moving South Dakota Forward are preparing to spend more than $250,000 in October on television ads.

We won’t know until the campaign reports donations, but it’s a safe bet that the effort will be bankrolled by the major nonprofit hospital systems in South Dakota. And by major nonprofit hospital systems, you can count those on one hand, even if that hand happened to lose a couple digits in a blender accident.

The two hospital goliaths in Sioux Falls spent a good chunk of change to help win voter approval of a new events center last November. One of them, and this is no place to name names, subsequently has spent more money to secure the partial naming rights for said facility. That same nonprofit hospital system is building a fancy sports complex of its own, thanks in part to a generous tax subsidy.

So let’s assume the hospitals are the major contributors to the IM 15 campaign. It won’t be lost on a lot of voters that the hospitals stand to make a lot of money if IM 15 passes. After all, they see a lot of Medicaid patients, and injecting $85 million a year into Medicaid certainly would mean higher reimbursement rates for the professionals and organizations that provide those services.

Few campaigns are perfect. IM 15 asks the state’s voters to sacrifice more of their money in the name of children, the poor and the elderly. That will be a tough sell.

But the sales job will only be tougher if voters think that by opening their wallets, they are only contributing more to the coffers of the nonprofit hospital systems.

Remember just a few years ago the same organizations pumped thousands of dollars into newspaper advertising to help kill Medical Marijuana Measure 13 which was polling well until the ads came out, crushing M13. Of course the healthcare industry had a lot to lose if M13 passed. They want you to use and buy their expensive narcotic painkillers instead of a natural, less expensive, more effective drug like marijuana. They will use the same tactics this time around to suck more money out of us. And they will probably use the tired old argument that if we don’t increase sales taxes there will be an income tax. Hogwash. As long as Republicans run Pierre (which will probably be for the next 1,000 years) there will be NO income tax in SD. Remember also, if this tax increase is approved by voters, this will just give the state the go ahead to spend the other 4 pennies on whatever they want, like refunds and bailouts to companies and corporations that want to locate here. Tune out there message as much as possible and vote NO on M15, unless of course you like subsidizing Sports Complexes and Entertainment facilities.



Thune agrees, Obamacare is killing people (H/T – Helga)

I’m amazed that our local media never picks up on this stuff;

Unimpressed by the timeline, Hewitt pressed Republicans to move faster. He compared the urgency of repeal to Congressional action in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and argued that people are already “dying” from the law. Thune seemed to agree with the sentiment:

HEWITT: Yeah, the reason I balk a little bit is only because I know people are out there dying under the burdens of this thing.

THUNE: Yeah.

HEWITT: And they expect, you know, the light speed for Congress is like molasses for the rest of the real world.

THUNE: Yeah.

HEWITT: And so it just seems to me that after 9/11, you guys moved fast, and I would hope it would happen again.

Like I have said in the past, I don’t agree with everything in the healthcare bill, but it certainly isn’t ‘killing’ people. That is the Republican’s plan. Ironic Johnny is famous for calling the kettle black.

As Helga pointed out to me;

Apparently people are dying right and left because of “Obamacare.”  Even though it hasn’t gone into effect yet, only portions have gone into effect, Thune says “yeah” people are dying. It appears, surprise, surprise, he doesn’t give a shit about the people of South Dakota, the people who need healthcare the most. But why should he care, he has his healthcare.”

I have often said that is the motto of rich powerful Republicans, ‘F’ck U! I got mine!’


So some think the healthcare law is unconstitutional . . .

Yet it is perfectly legal to force people to have car insurance . . . hmmm.

According to Jackley the Supreme Court upheld the individual insurance requirement because it declared that the penalty for not having coverage by the deadline in 2014 can be collected as a tax.

Jackley says it violates individual and state constitutional rights and puts a burden on small businesses.  He says they might not be able to offer the same type of coverage for families.

So forcing me to insure my car is constitutional? Give me a break. While I have mixed feelings on forcing people to get health insurance (It is just a bailout for the insurance companies) I am opposed to the healthcare bill for other reasons. I think if you cannot afford private insurance the government should insure you through medicare with a payroll deduction. I think taking out the single-payer option was the worst thing for this bill. It gave the insurance companies what they wanted, a monopoly.


Who needs healthcare when we have fire power?

“Harry Reid has caved so many times he has miners trapped inside of him.”

Not sure if you watch GRIT tv, but this clip of Fugelsang talking about healthcare reform is hilarious.

Noem; Government subsidized Healthcare is good enough for me, but not for my constituents

Okay, we all know Noem is a gigantic hypocrite, and isn’t a good liar. Like when she complains about TARP yet takes farm subsidies, or wants to be a lawmaker and breaks the law and doesn’t even make court appearances. As Madville pointed out a few days ago, she thinks the same about healthcare reform. Similiar to farm subsidies, it seems she is okay with getting taxpayers to subsidize her, but they should not receive the same benefits;

It’s not much different than any other employee-based policy that’s offered to people working jobs across this country. And it is completely different than what was included in the health care bill and what that would do to our country, so it’s baseless, and they’re searching for something to criticize and it shouldn’t continue,” Noem said.

It’s not any different then an employee-based policy? Huh? It is different, because taxpayers who are not afforded the same insurance plan have to pay for yours. Not only are you a hypocrite, but you are a fat turd liar. You are however telling the truth about it being different then what is in the healthcare bill. Obama and other Dems allowed the Republicans to strip out the public option before it passed.

Should I be mad at Noem about this? Not at all, just your typical hypocritical greedy SD Republican. I’m mad at the voters for not seeing the blatant hypocrisy of Noem during the campaign and voting the dumbass into office.

Professor Gerdes is a brilliant man. He’s pretty funny to.

Image; Argus Leader

I consider myself lucky to have met Martin a few years ago as a regular at the Touch of Europe. Unlike most intellectuals, Martin has a fantastic sense of humor, and loves to talk politics and baseball. Especially politics. I have had several engaging conversations with him over the years, and he has reinforced my populist views on several occasions. He told me about the work he was doing on heart disease over a year ago, and I am glad to see he is finally getting the press he deserves for his hard work. Martin’s philosophy on heart disease is simple;

Why treat the disease when we can prevent it?

Well, it is simple really, there is a lot more money to be made treating the disease. Why do you think our hospitals spend millions on building heart care facilities and pennies on research? One wonders.

One more reason we need socialized medicine, eliminate doctors suing insurance companies (H/T- Helga)

It seems that Mr. Unruh promised more then he could provide;

Oh, but that’s the ‘catch’ of a quacktor-pracktor, “You’ll be fine if you just keep coming in to get ‘treatments’ ” I told my mom once “If bone-benders really worked, why do you have to keep going back to them for treatments?”

#25403 WEDNESDAY, Case 3, Unruh v. DeSmet Insurance

Dorothy and Henry Lentsch were injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by the negligence of a driver insured by DeSmet Insurance Company (“DeSmet”).  Unruh Chiropractic Clinic (“Unruh”) treated Lentsches for their accident-related injuries.   Prior to treatment, Lentsches executed assignments of the “proceeds” of their personal injury claims against the negligent driver.  The assignments were limited to the extent chiropractic services were provided. The assignments gave Unruh a right to the proceeds from any settlement DeSmet paid on behalf of the negligent driver.

Unruh served notices of the assignments on DeSmet.  The notices informed DeSmet that if Lentsches had any unpaid chiropractic services, DeSmet “must include” Unruh as a payee on any settlement checks.  Lentsches’ son, as attorney-in-fact for his parents, subsequently settled their claims and executed releases.  The releases provided that the Lentsches would be responsible for paying their medical care providers.  Thereafter, DeSmet delivered the settlement checks directly to the Lentsches, and Unruh was not made a joint payee.

Unruh contacted Lentsches and demanded that they pay their outstanding balances due for the chiropractic services provided.  Lentsches refused.  Unruh then demanded payment from DeSmet.  DeSmet also refused.

Unruh sued DeSmet, seeking to enforce the assignments.  DeSmet brought the Lentsches into the lawsuit as third-party defendants.  Unruh and DeSmet filed cross motions for summary judgment.  A magistrate court granted summary judgment in favor of Unruh and against DeSmet.  The court acknowledged that an assignment of a “claim” for personal injuries is invalid and unenforceable under the common law. The court, however, concluded that an assignment of “proceeds” is distinguishable from the common-law prohibition on the assignment of claims. Therefore, the magistrate court concluded that Lentsches’ assignments of proceeds were valid and enforceable.

DeSmet appealed to the circuit court, arguing that assignments of proceeds violate public policy.  The circuit court acknowledged a split authority in other states regarding the validity of assignments of proceeds of personal injury claims.  The circuit court followed those authorities distinguishing between assignments of proceeds and assignments of claims.  The court also found that there was no public policy reason to preclude an assignment of proceeds.  It therefore held that the assignments in this case were valid, and it affirmed the magistrate court.

DeSmet now appeals to this Court.  The Court must determine the validity of assignments of proceeds of personal injury claims.

Mr. James R. Even, Attorney for Plaintiff and Appellee A. Unruh Chiropractic Clinic

Mr. Larry M. Von Wald, Attorney for Defendant and Appellant DeSmet Insurance Company of South Dakota

Healthcare reform? WTF is that?

I have a solution, why don’t we all just drop our health insurance tomorrow and refuse to pay our bills and doctors, that oughta drive down the price of healthcare;

I was very much taken back by the article in the June 6 Argus Leader regarding Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield’s plans for an 18 percent rate hike in South Dakota.

As with the 18th-century saying, “Let them eat cake,” the Wellmark spokesman who suggested in the article that a healthy 60-year-old just “grin and bear it on the insurance” is likewise oblivious to the problem.

According to the chart that accompanied the article, Wellmark has doubled the premiums on its individual health insurance policies in only six years (remember, you must compound, not only add, the numbers in the chart).

This last statement in this letter to the editor says it all;

Our health care system, especially when it comes to cost, needs a radical overhaul, something the recent federal legislation will not accomplish. The system is more than just a little bit broken.

One must beg the question of who represents the health care consumer? From my perspective, no one, no one at all.

I find it ironic that after the insurance industry beat the crap out of Washington and got their way the next thing they did was raise their rates, 18%, even though it was 18 times higher then the rate of inflation.

And you think DaCola is famous for political potty mouthness

I guess this is what a ‘Big F’ing Deal looks like.’

Joe Biden Nails it!

Washington (CNN) – In the White House room where Abigail Adams used to air out her clean laundry, Vice President Joe Biden used some dirty language.

A microphone picked up Biden uttering the “F” word Tuesday in the majestic East Room of the White House, as President Obama signed the historic health care reform bill into law.

After delivering a rousing introduction of the president in which he praised Obama’s “perseverance” and “clarity of purpose,” Biden turned to embrace his boss.

As the crowd of approximately 300 people cheered wildly, Biden turned to Obama and said with a big smile, “This is a big f– deal!”

The president did not react to the comment, apparently aware that the microphones may have picked up the words.

Shortly after the ceremony, White House Press Secretary used his Twitter feed to try and diffuse any controversy.

“And yes Mr. Vice President, you’re right…” Gibbs tweeted from his @PressSec Twitter account.

An aide to the vice president pointed reporters seeking comment to Gibb’s tweet.

The vice president is known for unscripted moments, but not in such a high-profile setting as a bill-signing ceremony in the East Room. According to the White House Historical Association, first lady Abigail Adams was famous for using the room to dry her laundry. President John F. Kennedy lay in state in the East Room after his assassination in 1963.