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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Herseth Sandlin Ad Dismisses Health Reform... But Zachary Lars Can Walk!

I hate sound bites. In her new 30-second TV ad, Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has to reduce the biggest step toward universal health coverage for all Americans into "a trillion-dollar health care plan" that must be as bad and nasty as challenger Kristi Noem tells us.

SHS doesn't have time to explain to South Dakotans that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will save money and save lives. She doesn't have time to point out that the law stops Assurant from cancelling my daughter's insurance just because she gets sick and actually needs to use the insurance. She doesn't have time to note that thanks to this law, some 20,000 South Dakotans are getting $250 checks to cover the "doughnut hole" in the Medicare drug plan. SHS doesn't have time to educate South Dakotans as to what she plans to do next year in Congress to build on the successes of this law and pass legislation to work on cost containment.

Nope. All the Congresswoman has time for is to remind us that she voted against this historic bit of economic justice with a big smile on her face. Of course, she then has just enough time to show us a picture of her happy family, with little Zachary Lars toddling through the prairie grass.

Oh well. I guess I'll comfort myself with the delusion that SHS is just waiting for everyone to get back from the lake come fall. When she has everyone's attention, that's when she'll break out a can of leadership and explain to everyone why the health reform bill won't be repealed, why it shouldn't be repealed, and what she'll do to make it better in 2011... right? Right?!?!


  1. Any idea who is footing the bill for those 20,000 $250 checks? They weren't written from a savings account. Seems like a taxpayer IOU is producing those checks across the nation in hopes for payback this fall and beyond. Payola is alive and well in DC!

  2. Cory, keep hold of your nose. SHS knows we Dems will be voting against Noem, when we vote for her. Pandering to the right will be what we get for the rest of the season. It is risky though, she could disenfranchise enough folks that they just decide to stay home on Tuesday, after all it is a midterm.A better strategy might be to fire up her base and get the Dem vote out, judging by how many Republicans showed up for the primary? But I just don't see that happening.

  3. I'm footing that bill, Rod, just as I will foot the bill for single-payer health care (on that glorious day when we finally convince SHS to back it!).

  4. OK, let's see here. A person facing the donut hole gets a $250 check?! Wow. You do realize, don't you, that the donut hole is $3,600. All this is is an attempt to make this health care monstrosity look good for the fall election. And it's us taxpayers once again paying the bill out of a bankrupt treasury.

    Of course a person should not lose their health insurance if they get sick. That could have been simply addressed without 3,000 pages of unread and impossible to understand doublespeak that was rammed thru by hook and crook.

    And it saves money?!? Put in the doctor fix and it doesn't. Read the CBO scoring after the fact and it doesn't.

    Save lives? Listen to the new Medicare supervisor appointed during the recess (because Obama didn't want a rehash of the health care bill during a confirmation hearing) and see what he says about rationing, income redistribution, worth of an individual in deciding if he/she merits care, etc.

    Yes, there are things that need fixing in health care. This bill will not do it.

    And Herseth pledged to not vote for repeal in order to avoid a primary; that is documented unless you state Weiland was not telling the truth. This completely negates her vote against it.

  5. "Last week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final cost projections for Obamacare, finding that, contrary to White House claims, the legislation will increase national health spending by $311 billion over the next decade and will cause 14 million Americans to lose their current employer-based health coverage. "


    Also in this report:
    "...there are plenty of other alarms Foster’s report raises about Obamacare including:

    Millions Pay Fines Yet Remain Uncovered: 18 million Americans will pay $33 billion in penalties for failing to comply with Obamacare’s individual mandate.

    Firms Pay Billions to Comply with Employer Mandate: Between 2014-2019 firms that do not offer health insurance and are subject to the “play-or-play” mandate will pay $87 billion in penalties.

    Millions Placed on Welfare: Of the 34 million Americans who gain health insurance through Obamacare, over half (18 million) will receive it through the welfare program Medicaid.

    Millions Lose Medicare Advantage: 7.4 million seniors who currently get such services as coor­dinated care for chronic conditions, routine eye and hearing examinations, and preventive-care services would lose their existing private coverage.

    Seniors Lose Access to Care: Obamacare’s top down price control Medicare cuts will make 15% of all Medicare providers unprofitable thus 'jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries.'"

  6. I've been reading some of your entries(don't know if that's the correct term) about health care for the past couple months. I've also read the comments. Your commentary on the subject is pretty much what I've noticed the "Everyman" would say. I'm talking about the guy who has never made more than 10-15 dollars an hour and is just getting by with what little they have. These are the people that need health care reform, and they are the most silent on the subject. They are getting the bare minimum of health care cause that's all they can afford. They can't afford to take a day off work to go see a doctor so they put off symptoms till they get so bad they can't move. I'm hesitant to say they are the people who make this country run, but a lot of them are. Do the politicians and everyone who is against this really want these people to keep suffering.

    Of those who complain about the cost of this new law, how many of you have really been without health insurance. I was for a very long stretch of time, at least 10 years. It's not much fun knowing that one little fall which could possibly break a bone could basically bankrupt you. You have no way of paying the emergency room, the doctor, no physical therapy; the best you can do is tell them you will send what you can. Which for most people would be about 50 bucks a month. And that is cutting close to "Do I pay the gas bill this month or let it go 30 days so I can pay the hospital bill?" zone.

    I do think there are problems with this reform law. For one, it's the insurance companies who should be fined if an employer or individual doesn't have insurance, since more than likely the companies aren't offering any plans that they can afford.
    I've read the comments about taking from Paul to pay for Sam's illness. An how the commenter thinks that's wrong. Isn't that what insurance is doing now? Everyone's payments go to a big "fund" to cover expenses. They don't say "Oh this is Jim's money and it can only be used for his expenses." Banks do the same thing, I haven't heard anyone complaining about their money being used to help Joe buy a new house.

    If we could someday get everyone to understand that universal coverage is a good thing because you don't have to worry about getting sick, or breaking your ankle, or whatever else. You know that you are covered and can go to the hospital or doctor and have it taken care of, rather than let it go till it's worse or goes away. And universal coverage doesn't necessarily mean that we "kill all insurance companies". We could easily take what we pay for insurance now, send that to the government who then sends it on to whatever insurance company you are covered by. For example, each state could work out a deal with the insurance companies, saying we will have you be our insurer for all our residents. Cities and towns do this now all across the country for utilities. That would give the insurance company an 800,000 person risk pool. All paying premiums (single or family) and would allow for better coverage than every little mom and pop company trying to make the best deal they can. Of course being businesses they wouldn't have to do that, but it would be part of being the insurance carrier for the State of South Dakota.

    I know this came across more as a rant, sorry. I have been holding it in for a while and get tired of reading comments by people who either forgot what it was like to struggle or have never had to. This goes for SHS, Thune, Johnson and most of the other SD politicians as well as some of the more avid posters to this blog.

    Jim Hock

  7. No need to apologize, Jim. Others have ranted more about less. Thanks for chiming in!

    And thanks for pointing out the fundamental reason we need more serious health insurance reform: lots of regular working people are suffering exactly the financial/health bind you refer to. It's hard to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness when you live in constant fear of financial ruin because of a simple sickness or injury.

  8. Reading Mr Hock's comments also brings to mind the point that the whole reason that the Government had to get involved with health insurance in the first place, was the private sector's failure to address the needs of working people and small employers.

  9. This cartoon is something I would share with Rep. Herseth Sandlin, Sen. Thune, and all those concerned with deficit while they chirp they've voted against needs of people stateside.

    There seems to be no reining in spending on war. We can't afford health care reform because we're funding war. We will belly ache about stimulus to create jobs and withhold unemployment insurance benefits (that people have paid into for situations like this) for war.

    The biggest elephant or monster in the room is obvious.


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