"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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A religious conversion: I don't think so


Fri, May 29th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



This week the American Health Insurance Plans organization (insurance trade organization), along with 5 other health care groups, notified the administration they were on board for healthcare reform. The one caveat they have notified the administration of is, there should be no public run or government insurance plan. They didn't have to fight against a one party payment system the politicians took that off the table before the medical-industrial consortium could get to it.

Medicare for all is, of course, a one party payment system with the advantage of dictating payments to all healthcare entities. Obviously, Medicare payment procedures are the most effective and efficient way to control costs. Costs are, after all the major reason to do reform.

You can talk about access to medical care. You can talk about the effectiveness and appropriateness of care. You can talk about statistics and rankings of care all you want but if the care was affordable there would be no impetus for reform.

The rest is beyond most of the politicians' ken. If the last 10 years have taught me anything it is that the best and brightest (especially when it comes to anything remotely connected with science) do not decide to go into politics.

There is so much still wrong with the direction this reform is taking one has to limit it to narrow bites so you can chew on it long enough to make any sense at all.

Let's just take on the public insurance policy controversy. This is apparently a deal breaker for most of those now promising restraint they could have had for the past 30 years.

The insurance people, and some politicians, who seem less concerned about 125 to 130 thousand people who, in good times, enter bankruptcy due to medical bills than they do for insurance companies, claim any government sponsored health insurance plan would be unfair competition for the for-profit insurance companies.

These are the same people who lobbied for or voted in Congress for supplemental payments for Medical Advantage Plans. These are the for-profit insurance plans that were to show Medicare how to save money because of their efficiency and innovation and ended up costing initially 11% more than standard Medicare in 2003 and upward ever since. This year Medicare will pay 17 %more than standard Medicare on average to these plans for each person covered. This year alone this will amount to 11.4 billion dollars more than if everyone was in s .....
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One Moment, Please...

Fri, May 29th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

As I indicated shortly after my wife and I purchased the newspaper on February 2, 2009, this is YOUR newspaper.

Last Monday, May 25, I opted to publish a commentary piece at the request of Art Callanan, a resident of Preston and long-time Jo ..... 
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Pawlenty and Legislature fail to best serve the people

Fri, May 22nd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Sadly, the Republican governor and the DFL-led legislature were unable to compromise and play "let's make a deal" and do what is in the state's best interest as their session ended on May 18th at midnight. Pawlenty had given the legislature an ultim ..... 
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Foxes in the hen house

Fri, May 22nd, 2009
Posted in Commentary



The foxes are not just in the hen house they want to build the next hen house complete with an easily breached fence. The American Health Insurance Plans, the American Medical Society, PHARMA and other healthcare organizations that have pros ..... 
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It costs too much

Fri, May 15th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



The conventional wisdom is that now is the time for healthcare reform. Of course, the Republicans are saying we cannot do it now because of the economic crisis. We couldn't do it before because of the economic boom and anyone that wanted to ..... 
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One moment, please...

Fri, May 15th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



It's not often that we'll have two editorial cartoons on these fashionably sequenced pages, but today is a special treat.

OK, let's not get carried away. Just relax and keep the excitement to yourself.

The reason for two too ..... 
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One moment, please...

Fri, May 8th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



Remember SARS or the West Nile Virus? Ah, those were the good old days.

Back when viruses left food sources alone.

Throughout my 15 years in the media business, it will never cease to amaze me how the national media feasts on ..... 
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Folks we don't know

Fri, May 8th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



Heroes and Villains share an important commonality; they are always outside of our personal social systems. When I was a kid, all the boys wanted to be cowboys even if they had never seen a horse up close. Girls wanted to be Princesses thoug ..... 
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One moment, please...

Fri, May 1st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I don't usually write book reviews, but this one is worth writing and reading.

This past winter, I read a book that I had purchased long ago with every intention of reading -- but it didn't happen until recently. It was one of those books yo ..... 
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