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Minnesota hospitals see big decline in cost of charity care under Obamacare

REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Modest. But significant. Christopher Snowbeck of the Strib says, “As health insurance coverage has expanded under the federal health law, hospitals in Minnesota have seen a significant decline in costs to cover free and discounted care. The 10 largest hospital systems in the state last year spent about $236 million on what the industry calls charity care — a decline of $43 million, or 15 percent, from 2013, according to a Star Tribune analysis.”

The Strib editorial board concurs with the Center of the American Experiment’s recent study depicting a grim state of the state economy. “It will be a shame if the new report on the Minnesota economy by the right-leaning Center of the American Experiment is dismissed in DFL quarters as partisan propaganda. To be sure, the center’s orientation is pro-Republican. But that does not mean that the report it commissioned and the trends it highlights do not warrant bipartisan attention.” I’m sure they’ll all work together.

Here’s the Strib’s Paul Walsh on the abduction and murder of 5-year-old Alayna Ertl. “Alayna was last seen when she was put to bed at 2 a.m. Saturday. At 8 a.m. her mother, Kayla Ertl, discovered she was missing, according to an Amber Alert issued by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). [Zachary T.] Anderson, who was staying over at the Ertls’ home that night, was also gone — along with a pickup truck belonging to the girl’s father, Matt Ertl, the alert read. Nine hours later, authorities found Alayna’s body in Cass County by Wilderness Park, outside Motley.”

Mary Divine’s story in the PiPress says, “Cass County sheriff’s deputies found the truck on property owned by Anderson’s family in rural Cass County. No one was inside the vehicle or a cabin on the property located in the 4900 block of Iroquois Trail Loop SW in the southern portion of Wilderness Park Estates, a residential park located about three miles east of the village of Leader in Cass County. The park is about 100 miles north of the Ertls’ house in Watkins. Additional law enforcement personnel were brought into the area to search. K-9 officers found Anderson about 4:24 p.m. in a wooded area about a quarter-mile from the cabin. He didn’t attempt to run, didn’t have a weapon and didn’t resist arrest. Based on information Anderson provided, investigators found Alayna’s body about 5 p.m. Saturday in a swampy wooded area a few yards from the cabin. She was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Here’s another story from Divine. “When Scott Masterton’s GoPro camera ended up at the bottom of Lake Superior during a scuba dive trip Sunday, he thought it was lost forever. The Blaine man didn’t count on the eagle eyes of Jim Anderson, a volunteer diver with the Washington County sheriff’s office water recovery team, which was training at the Madeira shipwreck on Sunday. Anderson, 50, of Forest Lake, brought the camera to the surface. … ‘The odds are astronomical,’ said Masterton, who drove to Stillwater on Wednesday to retrieve his treasure. ‘We were down 110 feet. It’s pitch-black down there.” That’s gotta be some great video.

And how is the sound at our billion-dollar stadium? Says Chris Riemenschneider of the Strib, “Seated in Sec. 230 midway between the stadium floor and the nosebleed seats, Stillwater couple Lacey and Jim Moses also had a money-related reaction during the kickoff concert at the new Minneapolis stadium. The Stillwater couple had trouble even understanding Bryan and the other performers when they talked. ‘It seems like the acoustics are really bad for the price,’ Lacey Moses said, referring to the $250 the couple paid for their two tickets and the $11.50 beer in her hand, not the $1 billion construction costs.” 

For WCCO-TV, Kate Raddatz says, “On Twitter fans also talked about the long lines. One fan called the acoustics ‘subpar.’ Sky-high parking rates were also a complaint. Event parking at the Metrodome was around $15, but now it costs $25.” Of course, I suggest Personal Acoustic Licenses.

And how loud was Metallica?  Ross Raihala of the PiPress says, “It wasn’t just the 49,000 or so fans inside the football stadium who weathered the band’s monstrous, crushing riffs. Neighbors from more than a mile away reported via Twitter that they could hear the concert – which took place in an indoor stadium – inside their house. Many fans complained about poor sound during Friday night’s Luke Bryan concert … . That stopped once Metallica began playing. So overwhelming was the band’s wall of sound, it was tough to do much beyond submit to it.”

Here’s Walsh again on a classic example of a guy who should get his license pulled. “A motorist purposely rammed another vehicle twice on a road in western Minnesota, sparking a police chase that led to the suspect’s highly resisted arrest. Curt M. Craven, 32, of Miltona, Minn., remained jailed Sunday in Douglas County on suspicion of assault, drunken driving, reckless driving and other charges. The drama began in Alexandria … when a driver told 911 that someone in a truck ‘intentionally rear-ended’ him twice, according to police.” I mean, I could understand it if it was over a parking space in Uptown, but come on!

Here’s another reason why you don’t harrass and spit on Trump folks, as protesters are accused of doing at a Minneapolis fundraiser Friday night. Jazz Shaw at the conservative site Hot Air writes, “Does anyone really believe this is an isolated incident? I suppose they might if they restrict their news consumption to one or two cable channels, but the reality out on the streets is quite different. I don’t know if all of these folks are all pro-Hillary liberals, #NeverTrump spoilers or a mixture of the two, but the result is the same.” People, they’re melting down just fine on their own.

Finally, more data on Target’s bathroom policy. At Seeking Alpha, Mat Litalien says, “Many of the articles and comments relating to Target’s (NYSE:TGT) bathroom policy which allows transgender individuals to utilize the bathroom of their choice, or in which they self-identify, have been fairly negative. … I’ve seen calculations and those estimating that the impact to Target’s earnings could be as high as $5-10 billion in lost sales annually. Unfortunately, most of this is pure speculation and I’ve yet to see any analysis that might take into account how loyal the LGBT community are to each other. … 70% of LGBT adults stated they would pay a premium for a product from a company that supports the LGBT community. … 78% of LGBT adults and their friends, family and relatives would switch to brands that are known to be LGBT-friendly.”

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/22/2016 - 06:59 am.

    Also on Hot Air

    First and most direct indication I’ve seen that Trump’s early attempts to “pivot” might be seen as an unforgivable betrayal by the rabid base that he so earnestly courted during the primaries.

    If you ask me, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy . . . . .

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/22/2016 - 08:57 am.

    AND the Strib Returns to “Chamber of Commerce”

    talking points, quite predictably agreeing with the “Center for the American Experiment”‘s piece of propaganda regarding Minnesota’s economy.

    And what does C.A.E. recommend?

    why, massive cuts in taxes for the “job creators,”…

    and the complete removal of every kind of wage, hour, safety and anti-pollution regulation,…

    in order that those “job creators” should be freed up to pursue their business enterprises without any impediments whatsoever,…

    with the shrinking middle class left to pay almost all the taxes collected in the state,…

    and clean up the messes after those “job creators” have stripped each local economy of whatever’s not nailed down,…

    and despoiled if not destroyed the local ecosystems.

    I can’t help but wonder what year this “American Experiment” started in – I strongly suspect the year was somewhere in the 1970s.

    The trouble is, we’ve TRIED their approach, locally under Tim Pawlenty,…

    and nationally under every Republican president since Ronald Reagan,…

    and especially under he whose name shall never be spoken by Republicans: George W. Bush,…

    and it was a MISERABLE failure,…

    for everyone who was not in the top 1%.

    Minnesota only began to return to its economic power house days when Gov. Dayton turned us away from the C.A.E./State Chamber of Commerce approach,…

    but I guess the only problem the C.A.E. sees is that the rich in Minnesota are falling behind in their race to create MAXIMUM income inequality,…

    a problem they are very anxious to correct (to the detriment and deficit of the rest of us).

    • Submitted by Bill Willy on 08/22/2016 - 11:59 am.


      Really well and concisely put.

      More on this some other day, but the contribution of “journalistic neutrality” to the zombie-like survival of Trickle-down, supply-side, Reaganomics as some kind of realistic and eminently debatable approach that needs to be taken seriously by all concerned is, if you ask me, one of journalism’s greatest failings of the past 30 years.

      “Does it work or doesn’t it?” is NOT that complicated or difficult a question to ask and answer. Yet “the News Media” (nearly the entire news media) has steadfastly opted to “remain neutral” on that topic and, instead, allow “each side” to continue to “present its side of the story.”

      Again: When an individual — let alone an entire news organization — takes a close look at the mountain of 30 years worth of facts, data, results, it’s not that difficult a question to answer . . . Yet “objective reports,” “editorial board opinion pieces,” etc., that reflect or support of the “conservative” approach to management of public resources keep being presented to the public as a “valid position for consideration and debate” which, to me, is like saying, “No one should be quick to judge because everyone needs to remember: The living dead are people too.”

      Anyway . . . Well said.

    • Submitted by Peter Zeller on 08/22/2016 - 02:50 pm.

      CAE opened it’s doors in 1990

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/22/2016 - 11:00 am.

    Don’t believe it

    Having heard speakers representing the Center for the American Experiment several times since my arrival in the Twin Cities a few years ago, my take is that the CAE is as ideologically stringent as any Ayn Rand disciple might wish for. They’re as disconnected from reality as most of their brethren among the right-wing faithful, unless the reality in play is that of the 1%, or those who worship them. There are few areas of individual or community life for which “lower taxes” for the wealthy provides the best reasonable answer.

    Customer demand is, by far, the most powerful job creator. There’s no reason to reward in excess companies and executives who merely provide ways for that demand to be fulfilled.

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