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I Am Going To Flat Out Say It - The Leg GOP Stole This Election

Category: Health Care
Posted: 11/11/16 13:36

by Dave Mindeman

I know I promised to shut up, but this has to be said now.

In the closing days of the campaign in Minnesota, something very, very fishy was happening - and I fear this will be swept under the rug with both Houses of the Legislature in GOP control.

First, let me examine the time line. The House GOP shifted their focus to MNSure in the final month of the campaign. They used a very real problem with individual premiums for a minority of Minnesotans to develop a negative health care narrative. They left out the balanced narrative that many of them would get subsidies to offset that and they also dismissed the genuine willingness and tangible offer to help that came immediately from the Democrats.

They got a bit of a gift from Governor Dayton when showing his concern about those same individuals. He used unfortunate phrasing which said, "the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable". The MN GOP were able to use that in a focused attack on MNSure (which is NOT the ACA) and health care in general (which actually works fine for the vast majority of Minnesotans).

So they raised the element of doubt. Next, they prepared an onslaught of cable ads and mailings, and flyers, and debate narratives that #1, linked even the DFL candidates who had never run before to the overall health care policy, and #2, continued to link MNSure to the individual market - as if premiums were being set directly by an exchange instead of the insurance companies themselves.

Next, the open enrollment period started one week before the actual vote.

And here is the very sinister twist. The MNSure site was hacked with a denial of service attack on its first day. People were put on hold or had trouble logging in. Angry comments and questions ensued. But no explanation could come until the tech people could figure out what was happening.

Republicans were ready. They attacked the Democrats on MNSure like never before. The flyers started appearing in mailboxes the very next day and continued throughout the week. Master stroke of timing, wouldn't you think? But I doubt it was coincidental.

In the meantime, throughout all of this narrative building. Kurt Daudt continued to keep complaining about the individual market. Yet, even when Mark Dayton offered a quick temporary fix, Daudt made excuses to delay any potential special session. For a period of nearly 20 days prior to the elections, he argued his cased in the press, but never held a meeting with Bakk or Dayton.

Finally on November 1st (open enrollment day), Daudt and Dayton have a meeting - a meeting in which Daudt gives lip service to work on a solution.

But, interestingly enough, now that the election is over, Daudt has been completely silent on the topic. Oh, he still criticizes MNSure and vows to get rid of it - but the special session to fix the actual problem is now an afterthought....if even an issue to them anymore.

Ladies and Gentleman, if you look through that timeline, this was an ugly plot. A plot to win an election the GOP thought they were going to lose because of the unpopularity of Trump. (As it turns out, that wasn't as much of a problem as they thought.)

Democrats and the citizens of Minnesota should still demand an investigation on that DOS attack on MNSure. My political spidey sense tells me that this was a coordinated and planned political trick. The timing was too convenient. The narrative too focused. The rhetoric too canned and predictable. And the message much too coordinated to be a coincidence.

The Republicans stole the Senate majority. Stole it.

We do not have oversight capability on these matters. It takes an independent group to analyze these things. And the Republican majorities in the legislature are just going to bury this under the rug.

But we seriously need answers or this will happen again.

MNSure - The Closing Argument

Category: Health Care
Posted: 11/05/16 12:47, Edited: 11/05/16 12:49

by Dave Mindeman

There is a lot of Republican talk about the MNSure "disaster". They say it's a "crisis". That Democrats are responsible for this "bad" law.

Well, that seems to be the sum total of their argument. That is what they want us to believe. But it is disingenuous for the Party of NO to be lecturing us. The party that has been against health care change from the beginning.

The party that seems to want to go back to denying coverage to people with chronic conditions. To take struggling young adults off of their parents' insurance. To allow carriers to reinstate lifetime caps for the chronically ill. To allow insurance companies to charge higher premiums for women. To walk back free preventive care mandates. Take away the guarantee that companies can spend no more than 20% on administrative costs. Walk back the closure on the donut hole for prescription drugs. Ignore the fact that the stronger fraud enforcement in the ACA has recovered $19.2 billion in fraudulent charges. To dismiss the reduction in uncompensated hospital emergency room visits by 40%.

Yes, if Republicans want to go back on all of those "bad" ideas, then so be it. You can blame the Democrats for MNSure - but be truthful and explain how the Republican Party has no plan that will continue health care progress.

And as long as we are being truthful - these attacks ads about MNSure should at least contain a bit of truth. Because MNSure is NOT insurance; it is a comparison exchange marketplace. It has had its share of technical problems, but in 2016 it was deliberately cyber attacked to make those problems. Political motivation? You tell me.

Yeah, I guess Democrats "own" health care in Minnesota. They own it because they are the only ones willing to do something about it. And they are the only ones that, right at this moment, are willing to work to fix it.

Republicans talk. They talk a lot. And they criticize a lot. But when it comes to action - a willingness to listen - a willingness to find a way to address problems....then you want a Democrat.

Vote to continue progress in Minnesota. Vote Democrat.

The Trump Health Savings Account Scam

Category: Health Care
Posted: 11/02/16 19:50, Edited: 11/02/16 19:50

by Dave Mindeman

Donald Trump wants to repeal Obamacare...right away. He doesn't exactly say how he will replace it, but one thing is for sure - he wants Health Savings Accounts.

OK - here is what I think about Health Savings Accounts.

If I had the money to save like $3 to $6 thousand dollars a year - why would I need any health care program? If I am living paycheck to paycheck, where am I supposed to find money I can sock away into a Savings Account that saves taxes I don't owe anyway?

Really. Come on.

That isn't a health care plan - that's paying bills with cash. Or not paying bills because I couldn't find the extra money to put into a health savings account.

Seriously, if a person is struggling...and they are currently not sick, why would they look at their paycheck and say - well, if I buy less food this week I can put some money in my HSA for some future health reason that I can't predict. And when this person does get sick, what are the odds they have been utilizing their HSA..and won't have to get government assistance anyway?

It goes against the normal behavior exhibited in this country. We don't even save enough for retirement - how in the world are HSA's going to help our health care.

Donald Trump has extra dough for an HSA - he can just get it from the Trump Foundation.
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