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.
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 â€œHoosiersâ€ with its throwback dÃ©cor.
Long before the facility became reality and drew national attention by hosting an NBA preseason game â€” as it did Thursday night â€” it was a vision that struck Krabbenhoft while he watched his son, Joe, play summer basketball.
â€œIt was a â€˜Field of Dreams’ kind of thing,â€ said the 55-year-old health care CEO, sitting in his luxury suite above the court as the Minnesota Timberwolves went through warmups.
â€œWhen 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?â€
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;
â€œWhen we recruit high-end physicians, they always ask if they can see the children’s hospital and the sports complex,â€ he said. â€œIt 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.
â€œAt 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.â€
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.