Entries Tagged 'Healthcare' ↓

ALEC’s tinkering with the ACA (H/T – GP)

From Thom Hartmann’s blog;

ALEC wants to kill Obamacare

The American Legislative Exchange Council is pushing new legislation to prevent insurance companies from accepting subsidies under the healthcare law. In public, the new legislation is being called the “Healthcare Freedom Act,” but behind closed doors it’s known as the “Obamacare Kill Bill.” The law would suspend the licenses of health insurers who accept Obamacare subsidies, making it virtually impossible to insure those who can’t afford new plans.

If one of these laws were to actually go into effect, it would force insurance companies to try and collect premiums from patients, or lead them to stop doing business in the states in which it was enacted. Already, the measure has been introduced in Ohio and Missouri, despite the fact that it would be preempted by federal law. States do regulate their own insurance licenses, but the law is an obvious conflict to the federal Affordable Care Act.

Even after more than 40 attempts to repeal Obamacare, a government shutdown, and Ted Cruz’s make-believe filibuster, Republicans don’t seem to get the point that the healthcare law is here to stay. This new legislation is just another pathetic attempt to dismantle the law, at the expense of millions of Americans who need health insurance. ALEC’s legislation doesn’t represent “healthcare freedom,” it represents partisan lawmakers and corporate interests who will do anything to undermine our president.

Wonder which SD legislator ALEC member will sponsor this legislation?

Whatever happened to spending healthcare revenue on patient care?

As the independent candidate for governor, Mike Myers said during his speech at Democratic Forum (in between yoga and pushups) “Hospitals should be spending their revenue on patient care, not on basketball stadiums.”(sic) to which he received an applause.

Tell that to this guy;

As Kelby Krabbenhoft drove toward the outskirts of Sioux Falls in his pickup Thursday evening, he had plenty on his mind.

The Sanford Health chief executive officer was headed for the Pentagon, a five-sided, $19 million basketball wonderland featuring an old-fashioned Heritage Court that seats 3,250 and harkens back to “Hoosiers” with its throwback décor.

Long before the facility became reality and drew national attention by hosting an NBA preseason game — as it did Thursday night — it was a vision that struck Krabbenhoft while he watched his son, Joe, play summer basketball.

“It was a ‘Field of Dreams’ kind of thing,” said the 55-year-old health care CEO, sitting in his luxury suite above the court as the Minnesota Timberwolves went through warmups.

“When Joe was playing AAU ball, you’d go into these stale gymnasiums and get the feeling that if you ever had a chance to do something special, you would do it right. How great would it be to go back in time and try to capture the history of the game?”

Something special? Participating in wrestling tournaments throughout ‘stale gyms’ in this state, I never once thought it hampered the experience. In fact, there was a bit of charm to many of the school gyms across the state, I still laugh about the time we hit the showers in Lake Andes after a bout and the water shot from the wall instead of the shower head. But this should come as no surprise from a man who just went bear hunting (a trip paid for by sick people). And watches a game from a ‘luxury suite’.

Of course Kelby justifies it all;

“When we recruit high-end physicians, they always ask if they can see the children’s hospital and the sports complex,” he said. “It benefits us and everybody when we can boost the community like that.

So this is what we are building this town for? High end physicians? What about the nurses and techs that work at your facility? What about the working poor and middle class of this town? We now can justify using money from sick people who can barely afford medical care and use it for basketball stadiums so your physicians can be entertained? Forget calling this place Sanford Falls, I liken it to Rome.

“At Sanford, it’s the law of big numbers, and it’s hard for people to wrap their minds around that. But we spend one-third of 1 percent of our budget on community dividends, which means that 99.7 percent is spent on health care.”

What he doesn’t tell you is that .03% is millions of dollars that could be spent on patient care. Which brings me to the government shutdown. Whether you are for or against Obamacare, doesn’t really matter. The whole purpose of the ACA was to address the healthcare industry and the way they treat patients (like dirt). Isn’t it the epitome of Sanford to be building a basketball stadium while the Feds are screaming THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY IS SCREWING US OVER!

Oh the hypocrisy and irony of it all. And the crying babies in both parties whose only solution to reforming ACA (and it needs some reform) is to shut down the entire government instead actually just debating and reforming the actual law.

And while we have thousands of dead cattle and sheep in the West, we play basketball in the East and you can hear a faint murmur from Kristi Noem in some Mitchell, SD hair salon.


Sacrificial Lamb

Though I would like to take credit for this, I did get help writing this toon. They would like to remain anonymous. I hope that is okay with Stormland-TV News.

UPDATE: SD Republicans, never a part of the solution only their self-interests

I can’t believe we let this CLOWN work in the Secretary of State’s office. What a ‘TRUE’ waste of taxpayer dollars. His lastest post about Dems being the root of out of control spending in Pierre is not only far-fetched, it is hypocritical. SD Republicans seem to have amnesia when it comes to corporate bail-outs, no-bid contracts to campaign supporters, increases in FTE’s, state airplanes, prisons and blatant nepotism. All under THEIR watch. Because there is one area I do agree with them on, Democrats are powerless in Pierre. But it doesn’t stop them from denying WORKING people healthcare;

These aren’t the elderly. These aren’t children. They’re able-bodied people who have the use of both hands and feet, who are actively in the workforce. And Democrats want 48,000 of them to be on “Health care welfare.”  At taxpayer expense.

It just staggers my imagination.

Governor Daugaard’s address today pointed out that “because of the uncertainties we need to be conservative to committing to future ongoing expenses.” And, hence, the optional expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare was not recommended.

Ironically, they point out the very reason why these people deserve healthcare, they are working, which means they pay payroll taxes to the Federal government. Governor Doo-bad calls it welfare. Last I checked, people receiving welfare are not working.

What amazes me is how hard these same jackasses fought single-payer (using our taxdollars and resources to fight it), but if it would have been implemented it would have saved states billions of dollars in Medicaid costs, because it would have been funded through payroll taxes. But the insurance companies (who profit from sick and dying people) cried they would go out of business. Good. Now if we can just put Republicans out of business in Pierre.

Some SD Legislators get it

UPDATE: from my email box;

I wrote this a couple weeks ago when this was a headline in the Argus.  I didn’t send it, but it p’d me off just the same and it still does. And today you wrote about it.  SD has the largest number of women who work 2 and 3 jobs to support their family. They all can’t afford healthcare.
The headline for this story in the Argus is totally wrong.  SD did not opt out, it was the governor who chose to opt out of the health exchange even though there are so many people in the state who need these health benefits and the gov’t. is paying for him.  All these stupid republican states opting out is disgusting, they are only doing it because they don’t like President Obama.  Plus the gov’t. pays for the healthcare for the first 2 years. 
And then once again the people on Dailykos are coming to the aid of people on the reservation in South Dakota so they will have Thanksgiving dinner and heat.  They did the same thing a year ago.  And where is/are the governor and past governors……no where to be seen. But you can bet your bottom dollar they are stealing money that is suppose to go to the people on the reservations.  I know the funds to make it easier for them to vote has been used else where. And they could certainly use a clinic and healthcare along with a lot of people who are barely making it in wonderful South Dakota.
It’s pathetic.  

 S.D. opts not to run health exchange

By David Montgomery


DEADLINE : Under the Affordable Care Act, states had until today to tell the federal government whether they plan to operate a health care exchange themselves. The deadline was extended to Dec. 14 after several states requested more time.

S.D.: Gov. Dennis Daugaard is carrying through with his decision not to run an exchange for South Dakota, according to spokesman Tony Venhuizen.

WHAT IT MEANS: The federal government will build and operate South Dakota’s health care exchange, which is a marketplace on which individuals can buy health insurance and, if eligible, receive subsidies.

WHY: Daugaard says he thinks the cost of operating an exchange would be too high — up to $7 million per year.

WHEN: On Jan. 1, 2014, exchanges will be operational.

EXCHANGES: Insurance plans on the exchange are required to sell to anyone and can vary the cost of premiums based only on age and whether individuals smoke. People will be eligible for government subsidies depending on family income, with subsidies for families up to 400 percent of the federal poverty line.

Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Maine Gov. Paul LePage, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to the list of Republican governors who are continuing to protest Obamacare by refusing to establish health insurance exchanges, in the process forcing the federal government to step in and create the exchanges itself.Starting in Oct. 2013, the exchanges will be the marketplace for individuals to obtain insurance if they do not have coverage through their employer, Medicare, or Medicaid. Beginning Jan. 2014, the new insurance plans will take effect, giving nearly every American citizen health care coverage.

Under Obamacare, if a state does not establish a health insurance exchange, the federal government must do it for them. Therefore, while ostensibly a protest against the expansion of federal power, these governors are actually forcing the federal government to expand the scope of its operations.


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?

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.