Minnesota health care CEOs: Senate version of reform bill ‘not viable’

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trailed by reporters as he walks to the Senate floor of the U.S. Capitol after unveiling a draft bill on healthcare on Thursday.

Health industry CEOs aren’t happy. Jim Spencer, in the Strib, says, “Leaders in Minnesota’s health care community called the Senate Republican health care reform bill disappointing Thursday because of the GOP’s continued insistence on significantly cutting Medicaid, the federally paid health insurance program for the poor. The health bill ‘will seriously undermine health care in Minnesota and, therefore, the well-being of our state,’ the CEOs of some of the state’s major health care systems said in a draft of a letter they intend to send to Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. The letter, obtained by the Star Tribune, said major cuts to Medicaid, which aids the poor, elderly and disabled, ‘are not viable.’”

Meanwhile, a pediatrician has this to say about the Senate’s bill. Writes Dr. Lori DeFrance in the Duluth News Tribune, “As a pediatrician and mother, I can’t help but cringe when I think about how the children in our community could be affected by the proposed American Health Care Act. If passed by the Senate, the act could jeopardize access to primary-care providers and services for Minnesota’s most vulnerable children. That’s because it promises to cap or cut Medicaid, which covers the majority of low-income and special-needs children in Minnesota. Medicaid allows children to receive a comprehensive array of medically necessary services, including developmental, vision and hearing screenings. … Capping Medicaid funding would mean these services could be rolled back or eliminated altogether.” Hey, someone has to pay for tax reform.

At ThinkProgress, Joe Romm reports: “… Energy Secretary Rick Perry remained incredulous and defiant when confronted with climate science-related facts in a budget hearing Thursday. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) informed Perry that scientists have concluded that ‘humans are entirely the cause’ of recent warming, to which Perry responded, ‘I don’t believe it’ and ‘I don’t buy it.’ And when Franken reminded him this was the conclusion of a team of climate science skeptics funded by conservative petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch, Perry raised his voice and said: ‘To stand up and say that 100 percent of global warming is because of human activity, I think on its face, is just indefensible.’”

The Wolves make waves. At Sports Illustrated, Rob Mahoney writes, “The Chicago Bulls have reportedly agreed to trade Jimmy Butler and the No. 16 pick (Justin Patton) in the NBA draft to the Timberwolves in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and the No. 7 pick (Lauri Markkanen). … A best-case scenario would have Butler awaken something in Andrew Wiggins, an athletic wing with many of the same tools but a very different disposition. A Butler-Wiggins pairing would, in theory, make the Wolves one of the most flexible teams in the league.”

Paul Walsh Strib story says, “State leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union released squad car video Thursday of what they say is a law enforcement officer’s ‘disturbing and completely unnecessary … brutal attack’ on a motorist in Worthington, Minn., who was suspected of initiating a dangerous road-rage encounter and resisting arrest. The civil rights group is calling for local authorities in southwestern Minnesota to investigate what it alleges is the use of excessive force during the July 2016 arrest of Anthony Promvongsa, 22, of Worthington.”

This much was pretty obvious. Stribber Brandon Stahl writes, “In his five years with the St. Anthony Police Department, officer Jeronimo Yanez spent well over three months in training. Included in that time were 46 hours devoted to using force, another 36 hours on street survival and 20 hours on shooting his gun. But he received just two hours of de-escalation training two months before his fatal encounter with Philando Castile on July 6, 2016.”

Suitable for a witches’ cauldron. The MPR story says, “Poison hemlock, a toxic member of the carrot family is currently flourishing in parts of southeastern Minnesota and state officials are warning residents to not taste or eat any parts of the plant and take precautions when handling it. ‘It appears to be spreading quickly in the St. Charles and Lanesboro areas’ and may be growing elsewhere in Minnesota, the state Department of Agriculture said in a statement Thursday.”  

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Marc Post on 06/23/2017 - 09:14 am.

    Not viable?

    They’re looking at it wrong. This is not a health care bill. It’s a tax bill.

    Republicans are looking out for their rich campaign contributors. They’re taking health care money for the poor and giving it to the rich. It’s what Republicans do.

    I hope I’m wrong, but I think the bill will pass. It’s in the best interests of Republican members of Congress. Health care and the poor don’t matter.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/23/2017 - 10:28 am.

    The AHCA

    …makes a mockery of the oft-used phrase, when referring to members of Congress, as “serving the public.” They’re serving a very narrow slice of the population who have the most money, first, and second, serving an equally-narrow, but very influential (because of that money) slice of the population who are ideologically opposed to the concept of public health being aided in any way by the federal (or state, for that matter) government. Those people (and sycophantic members of Congress) are subscribing to economic thought that’s outdated by several centuries. Our current tin-pot demagogue in the Oval Office distracts media and public attention while the ideologues at local, state and federal levels do their best to take us back to the days of monarchs and vassals—and dramatically shorter life spans coupled with dramatically poorer health for all but the upper percentiles.

    Another way to describe the AHCA is to call it “class warfare,” with this faux-health-care bill being simply the latest attack by the right-wing upper crust on the rest of us.

  3. Submitted by David Wintheiser on 06/23/2017 - 11:35 am.

    Looking forward…

    …to Britt Robson’s article on the Wolves draft-day trade.

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