Posted: 10/27/14 22:58
by Dave Mindeman
The Star Tribune has endorsed Stewart Mills III for the 8th District.
That is absolutely incredible! and ridiculous!
And their reasoning is even more stunning. Listen to this;
Having begun his Fleet Farm career scrubbing toilets and emptying trash, Mills today is vice president in charge of the chain's health care plan, covering 6,000 employees and their dependents. He has developed a hands-on understanding of the intricacies of the health care marketplace, coming to see wellness and prevention as keys to controlling costs.
Mills says his objections to the Affordable Care Act are central to inspiring his run for Congress. His candidacy follows what he calls the "Hunting Camp Rule": If you complain about something, you get the job of fixing it. His condemnation of the ACA is too sweeping, given that he backs the law's key goals. But the market-based approaches he prefers -- including more price transparency and tort reform -- could contribute to needed improvements in the law.
Stewart Mills III understands the "intricacies" of health care? Really? That is one of the main reasons you decided to recommend Mills for Congress?
I can't begin to say how completely wrong that scenario is.
I have worked in health care for 40 years. I have dealt with and studied the ACA ever since it was passed in 2009. I have watched its development; I have done comparisons; I have examined its flaws.
A person who operates health care for one company, his own company, does not develop expertise in health care. THEY DO NOT.
The Star Tribune has been rolling out a lot of endorsements. I even endured the endorsement of John Kline by their editorial board. I half way expected that one - because they tend to stick with incumbants and they have a history with Kline.
Mills has worked with group insurance at Mills Fleet Farm. He deals in employer based health care. Obamacare doesn't change that - it left that aspect alone (unfortunately, as far as I am concerned, but employer benefit health care did not change). Mills' job in health care was to shop carriers for the best group rate deal and then implement it.
How does that make him an expert in health care? Especially Obamacare?
Mills does not have a clue as to how to deal with the individual market place. It is a completely different animal - and it is why we had high rates of uninsured Americans in the first place. Mills went by the group rules set up by the carrier he chose. He had a large enough group that they could sometimes override some of the insurance rules, provided the company was willing to pay the override cost.
But people outside of a group rate protection is something Mills has no idea how to approach. He pretends that his company group health experience is all he needs. That assumption is, itself, dangerous and naive.
The Duluth Tribune was fooled by this facade as well....
"I am for health care reform ... that actually brings down costs and increases access, and I'm also for the goals of the Affordable Care Act, which is making sure that people don't have to worry about pre-existing conditions, lifetime maximums, or, if they have a catastrophic health condition, that they don't have to worry about where the care is coming from," Mills said in a candidate forum this week in Duluth sponsored by the News Tribune and the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce.
Anybody can say that they want to make sure they take care of people with pre-existing conditions, care about lifetime maximums, and catastrophic care. You can say that and it will sound compassionate.
The problem is how to incorporate it into a health care system with adequate cost containment. Has anyone asked Mills how he would pay for his assumptions? Yes, he probably can take care of a few individual health care problems within the confines of a employer group policy with 6,000 individuals to spread out the cost. But an individual in an exchange? How does he handle that.
I guarantee you, he does not know. HE DOES NOT KNOW.
If the Star Tribune couldn't dig down deep enough to pull back the layers of rhetoric that hide that simple fact, then they shouldn't be endorsing anyone.