From the Department of WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED?: Uncompensated care costs down

July 24, 2014 by  
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From Healthcare Dive, an article on the impact of expanded Medicaid on the costs for uncompensated health care.

“We probably have seen an uptick in folks with the ability to pay for their healthcare,” either through the Healthy Michigan Plan, health insurance exchange plans, or a local taxpayer-funded program for indigent care, said Andy Kruse, Genesys Health System’s vice president of mission integration.

“I think in general our finance folks [are saying] that there is a leveling off or a decline in uncompensated care,” Kruse said.

This is a consequence of both the exchanges and expanding Medicaid, more financially secure hospitals. The party of business wanted nothing to do with either of those, which means the party of business was all for more hospital closures and degrading service.

Also, Pat Colbeck, the stupidest man in our ongoing experiment in the Dunning-Kruger effect, wants to replace it with something market-based. That would be state-based health care exchanges, where people can shop for health insurance. Just thought I’d point that out.

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The long, slow slide into ruination

July 24, 2014 by  
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The R’s are lining up to succeed Jase Bolger as House Speaker. One of them is my R.

LANSING, MI — Three names have surfaced in discussions of who might fill the seat being vacated by Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger, who is currently finishing his final term in the House.

Two of them are from mid-Michigan.

State Reps. Kevin Cotter, R-Union Township, near Mount Pleasant, and Tim Kelly, R-Saginaw Township, both say they are interested in the job.

My R is Cotter, and word on the street is that he has the backing of the Engler people, who are also local Rs. This would be terrible, because not only did Cotter have no experience in government before getting elected to the House, but he was in over his head in his first term. He was some Tea Party kid who get elected because the other local Rs hated the other R running for the seat.

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A spy operation right out of the Keystone Kops

July 24, 2014 by  
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This is a pretty great campaign theme: Everyone spies on everyone else, it’s just that the GOP can’t do it competently. I wish this would get national press, because the weird humor value is excellent.

The tracker can be heard asking Johnson for advice on whether Democrats in suburban Detroit should cross-over in the 11th District to vote for U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio in the Republican primary (and presumably defeat his self-financing millionaire opponent, David Trott).

“I’ve got a lot of family in the 11th District and they’re talking about possibly, they want to cross-ballot vote the reindeer guy, the Bentivolio dude,” the unidentified Republican tracker can be heard telling Johnson. “Is that just a bad strategy?”

“Nah, don’t do it,” he replied, shaking his head. “Yeah, just play it straight and let’s go win.”

Then, there was this. This is really very hilarious.

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Today in campaign news: Republican edition

July 24, 2014 by  
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All the campaign news I have this morning comes from the R side. All of it is great fun, of course. If any of you have news from the D side, please share in comments. In fact, I note that this is already happening, which is great and as God intended (if, by God, you mean the people who thought up open blogging).

*–The Hill says that Lil’ Fella looks poised to hold off Brian Ellis.

*–Someone sent me a link yesterday of a Paul Mitchell ad (his junk mail is again showing up at my home and I’m again apologizing to our local mail carriers for having to put wear and tear on their knees delivering it) of him saying he’s going to take aim at Obamacare or something like that. That is, the 4th Congressional District race will ultimately be decided based on how voters react to something from Cloud Cuckoo Land. Jesus Fucking Christ. CapCon has more.

*–Mike Bishop leads Tom McMillin in a poll. It would not make me terribly unhappy if Michigan lost another Congressional seat because both candidates destroyed it while also destroying each other.

*–Tim Skubick has a column on Bill Schuette’s poll problem. His poll problems are well deserved, since he’s used his office mostly to pursue his own agenda, which is intended to help him run for governor. More than that, however, is his track record of getting creamed in court. It’s an awful train wreck that we’re all paying for.

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Terri Lynn Land backfills paper work for $3 million oversight

July 24, 2014 by  
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I’m really happy to see this sort of coverage by our political press.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land says she’s close to filing an amended financial disclosure statement to account for nearly $3 million she’s given her campaign.

Spokeswoman Heather Swift says Land likely will fix the “clerical error” this week. Democrat Gary Peters Tuesday called on the ex-Michigan secretary of state to stop spending the money until addressing discrepancies his campaign says may be illegal.

This is the sort of thing they should be doing instead of reporting breathlessly on the latest poll or what the latest ad says. Also, this reminds me of the complaint by reporters that our benevolent overlord Rick Michigan refused to answer questions on the campaign trail four years ago. This is an aggressive media doing its job, forcing campaigns to talk rather than asking them to talk and rolling over and playing dead when they refuse. It’s a beautiful site to behold.

By the way, have the boys in the Beltway press stopped referring to her as a top-tier candidate yet? ‘Cause this is bush league garbage.

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BuzzFeed does story on John Dingell’s Twitter feed

July 23, 2014 by  
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It’s true. It’s right here.

The longest serving member of Congress is better on Twitter than all of us. Rep. John Dingell, the 88-year-old Michigan Democrat first elected in 1955, has quickly solidified himself as the best politician on Twitter.

It’s a fine diversion from the campaign trail for all of you wearing out shoes on it today.

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Today in campaign news: Hobbs endorsed by the Teamsters

July 23, 2014 by  
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*–The Teamsters Joint Council 43, to be precise.*–A new poll says that Koo Koo Kerry trails the Vampire of Misfortune by 22 points.

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John Oliver notes Aramark’s unique maggot-based prison menu

July 21, 2014 by  
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This is great.

Remember, what Michigan has done is part of a nationwide trend. So when he talks about privatized medical service in Arizona using sugar to prevent infection in a C-section, he’s talking about something that could happen in Michigan should we take privatizing Corrections to the logical extreme.

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Detroit suspends water shutoffs; Fried Chicken Frank has a sad

July 21, 2014 by  
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Just as the headline reads (except for the Fried Chicken Frank part, which I made up).Detroit — The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is suspending water shut-offs for 15 days starting Monday. The department is facing criticism worldwide for…

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With six you get Gadsden flag

July 21, 2014 by  
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I suppose attention needs to be paid around these parts to this summer’s nonsense in Vassar. I was going to a week or o ago, because someone published a story with a bunch of hilarious photos of people walking around with Gadsden flags and guns and a sign that said that Jesus wouldn’t break laws (apparently someone has confused Jesus with Ward Cleaver, which I guess is pretty understandable). That opportunity came and went, but there was another one this morning. I think this quote from the story sums up America, 2014 excellently.

“I don’t understand the guns,” said Jake Jacobson, a retired airline pilot from Lake Odessa.

That’s in response to people walking around the town heavily armed saying things like this:

“If you allow the immigrants to take over, the country will be destroyed,” said Krol, 56, a building contractor from Linden.

and this:

“My rattle is rattling,” Krol said. “Next is the bite.”

What in Hell does any of that mean? Fuck if I know. But, I think we can enjoy the joke built into the first one.

We have a problem with child immigrants, and not only do these clowns go to a town they don’t live in and start trying to strong arm local merchants into sharing their opinions but they’ve made it all about firearms.

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