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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Senate Bill Favors South Dakota Frontier Counties; Will SHS Bite?

South Dakota Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandling defended her nay on the House health care bill saying it wasn't what was best for South Dakota. Among her issues was "undue financial pressure" on Medicare for South Dakotans.

As Seth Tupper points out, it looks like the Senate bill eases some of that pressure:

Another item in the package would increase Medicare payments to hospitals and doctors in any state where at least 50 percent of the counties are “frontier counties,” defined as those having a population density less than six people per square mile.

And which are the lucky states? The bill gives no clue. But the Congressional Budget Office has determined that Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming meet the criteria [Robert Pear, "Deep in Health Bill, Very Specific Beneficiaries," New York Times, 2009.12.20].

The health care bill is some serious legislative sausage. SHS, will you bite, or will you just keep up the Blue Dog bark? America—and South Dakota's Democrats—eagerly await your answer.


  1. Do I hear a "I voted against it before i voted for it...."

  2. Cory,

    So which state gets the biggest piece of the taxpayer's pie is all this is to you. Then count youself among the greedy. When are we going to make decisions that look out for the best interests of America as a whole?

  3. This whole bill is a disaster. It borders on the criminal and unconstitutional. So SD gets in on the bribery given to Nelson? Kill this bill and we don't have to worry about increased mandated medicaid and start over and address actual problems and fix them. Anything that has to use bribery, coercion, etc is nothing to be proud of. Dems will rue the day when they passed it, if they insist on the insanity. Kudos to the one Dem Representative who switched to Rep today as he could not abide the corruption of his own party any longer.

  4. This Health Bill is Chicago-style politics at its finest. Might as well call it the Mayor Richard Daley bill with all the back alley deals that are being made simply to pass it.

    Most health insurance companies are non-profit and those who are for-profit work on a 3-5% margin which is minimal. Companies have come out with tremendous inexpensive plans for younger singles and families that nobody's talking about.

    The underlying issues in healthcare can be repaired with legislation directed at those flaws. The billions in Medicare fraud can be repaired through legislation and enforcement. This is nothing more than a grab for power, larger government and future votes from impoverished families. We don't need a new system, we need to tweak the best system in the world.

  5. I agree completely, Rod. We do need to tweak the best system in the world... the Canadian system.

  6. We already have the Canadian system. It is called Medicare, Medicaid, and Indian Health Services. And there is where we find the problems as they cost shift to those of us who are paying for private plans. Reform should be to shrink the government health care, not expand it. But reform in DC means bigger government and bigger corporate monopolies. The system is corrupt. Start reading Tim Carney's research, and get your heads out of the sand.

  7. Cory, I'm thankful you finally see the light on the Canadian healthcare program. Thank you very much! Canada does need tweaking to be more like our system. Canada needs faster appointment turnaround times, more physicians, improved priorities for high risk health issues such as cancer, heart disease, and others, and to have such operations as routine hip replacements move up the ladder of importance instead of forcing patients to wait months or years to have an operation, based on the Canadian government's priority list or quality of life standards. Many of my friends who lived here, then moved to Canada, feel Canada's system is "hurry up and WAIT" while medical urgency is recognized in the US. We have flaws in our system, but no law says we are "entitled" to health insurance in a capitalistic society.


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