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State health care economist: ‘Lid’ is on to control costs

Steve Karnowski of the AP files a piece with the state health care economist saying the “lid” is being kept on health care costs: “[T]he state’s official health care economist says its efforts to put a lid on rising costs seem to be paying off. Those moves include bipartisan legislation in 2008 under GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty, additional initiatives under Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton that dovetail with the Obama administration’s health care overhaul, and new delivery strategies that have come from the state’s health care providers and insurers, said Stefan Gildemeister, director of the Health Economics Program at the Minnesota Department of Health. Minnesota’s annual health care spending growth has been under 4 percent for several years and it’s been ‘very slow’ since 2009, Gildemeister said. And while the final data won’t be available until next month, he said it looks like 2011 may have seen the lowest cost growth since the state began measuring it.”

The Security Hospital in St. Peter is getting more bad press. Dan Browning of the Strib reports: “The troubled Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter has been fined $2,000 and had its conditional licensing status extended by one year after authorities documented two cases of patient maltreatment and a number of ‘serious’ record-keeping violations related to the use of restraints and seclusion. Lucinda Jesson, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, said in a statement that the agency is “deeply concerned” about the incidents that prompted the conditional licensing extension.”

In The West Central Tribune, Susan Lunneborg reports: “The Clarkfield woman interviewed earlier this month in a homicide investigation admitted giving birth to the two babies whose remains were discovered last fall in eastern South Dakota, court documents say. Kelly Jean Anderson-Person, 34, was interviewed Aug. 13 by two South Dakota investigators in the homicide case and now is subject to a civil commitment hearing after she pulled a gun and pointed it at her head with her right hand while she was holding her infant child in her left, according to civil commitment documents filed in Yellow Medicine County. She was disarmed in a struggle and no one was injured.”

We’ll see if the front-page treatment creates any forward motion … Randy Furst of the Strib says: “Of 439 cases involving Minneapolis police misconduct handled by a new office created last fall, not one so far has resulted in discipline of a police officer. … the lack of discipline resulting from the 439 cases has raised eyebrows. ‘It certainly would raise red flags about the objectivity of the office,’ said Brian Buchner, vice president of the National Association of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. ‘People should be asking questions and the council should be asking questions about whether it’s effective … Any time you have as significant a revamping as has been done in Minneapolis, the decision makers have an obligation to evaluate the impact.’ ”

A couple of Minnesota lawmakers — including Our Favorite Congresswoman — get the video slapdown treatment in a piece produced by

Speaking of … The Daily Beast’s Ben Jacobs checks out “Bachmannistan,” the new e-book, and says: “[Iowa State Sen. Kent] Sorenson said he could offer, according to Waldron, ‘an extensive grassroots network with a substantial number of leaders [that could] … provide momentum through the straw poll and into the caucus,’ but that proved to be an exaggeration, he said. Meanwhile, the campaign was paying Sorenson more than $100,000 for his endorsement, Waldron said. While Sorenson seemed like a natural fit for Bachmann at the time, Waldron described him as the ‘darling of Iowa conservatives, feared by the left and not trusted by RINOs,’ the negotiations over Sorenson’s endorsement, Waldron said, focused on how to pay him without having to report to the Federal Election Commission. ‘A wise campaign would have walked away,’ Waldron said.”

At Salon, Alex Seitz-Wald and Alex Halperin write: “A new book co-written by a former senior staffer on Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign alleges that the conservative congresswoman is a fake Christian diva who fires pregnant staffers on Christmas Eve and takes advantage of her devoted supporters, when not being taken advantage of by the political consultants she hired. … We read the whole book today so you don’t have to, and here are some of the juiciest allegations:

  • “She fired a staffer with seven children, the eighth on the way, on Christmas Eve.”

  • During Bachmann’s 2006 campaign, Andy Parrish, her former chief of staff who is now testifying against her (the guy he replaced learned he was fired via Politico), allegedly grew concerned with ‘her reliance on World Net Daily, which he thought just a little too tin foil hat, even for him.’

  • Bachmann knew about the theft of a home-schooling mailing list from a volunteer, ‘Bachmannistan’ alleges, but didn’t say anything even after the volunteer was kicked off the board of directors of her home schooling organization. Finally, at the campaign party on the night of the Iowa Caucus, Bachmann told the volunteer, that, ‘yeah,’ Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson stole the list (he is also under investigation in Iowa).”

So let’s not complain about February … and March … and April ever again.
Bill McAuliffe and Steve Brandt of the Strib say: “Day Three of a sweltering heat wave took a toll across the Twin Cities on Tuesday, testing everyone’s ability to stay cool and keep their cool and even keeping people away from the Minnesota State Fair. … Frustration mounted at schools without air conditioning, such as north Minneapolis’ Patrick Henry High School, where students said the heat is making it hard to study. It’s one of 18 Minneapolis public schools without air conditioning; 11 are partly cooled. … Monday’s fair attendance numbers, released Tuesday afternoon, showed a dramatic drop in attendance over last year. Numbers were down Sunday as well.”

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 08/28/2013 - 03:53 pm.

    Bachmannistan – from the front lines

    From the Amazon website, where the rubber really meets the road, early results are in from actual real, paying, customers.

    Unfortunately it does not look good for John Gilmore and his co-author. There are eight reviews – hardly a statistical sample – but they don’t look good. The average is 1.6 out of 5. It would be lower except the worst readers can give is a 1.0 and some of them have complained about this. The median of the reviews is one star.

    Currently the book is #338 on the Kindle list of paid books. Hard to know what to make of this.

    Some comments from the comments:

    “The worst”

    “Terrible. And Not In a Good Way”

    “I wanted to like this book, but…”

    “Not Sure I Want To Continue Past Author’s Intro”

    “Don’t waste your time progressives”

    “I found most of this verbose third-person narrative simply unreadable. The only positive from this time wasting endeavor was that it was free, albeit still overpriced. ”

    The author refers to the fact that one can get it for “free” if an Amazon prime customer.

    Sic transit gloria, Gilmore.

  2. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 08/28/2013 - 04:44 pm.

    “… free, albeit still overpriced.”

    Not exactly a resounding review that’ll get people beating down your door to buy the book.

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