A little homegrown health
Our own UnitedHealth got another slapdown, the New York Times’ Danny Hakim and Reed Abelson report. They’ll have to give up an industry database that under reimbursed patients who see out of network docs; New York’s AG says customers were defrauded. With $50 mil of UHC cash, a still to be determined university will run a replacement database that accurately measures “reasonable and customary cost.” Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports UHC will lose about 5 percent of its enrollment this year.
DFL legislators designated their first bills as catch alls for the economic stimulus Barack Obama will fling from Washington, the PiPress’ Bill Salisbury reports. Democrats sa michael kors y it’s to be ready when job creation cash comes, and to give them the power to disburse. Republicans call the prioritization a symbol of local irresponsibility, but that may also apply to ruling out tax hikes to close the gaping deficit. Minnesota Independent’s Andy Birkey says Republicans might be open to some “revenue enhancements.”
AP’s Martiga Lohn details the fantastical alternative reality where the state balances its budget for four years, not two, and maintains a $2 billion plus surplus for tough times. A bipartisan budget panel says up to 40 percent of our current deficit is because of insuffient taxing and excess spending; a longer budget horizon would keep surpluses from being disgorged hastily. No statehouse reaction. Back in Realityville, the Strib’s Pat Doyle says state tax revenues are falling faster than expected.
Meanwhile, WCCO’s Pat Kessler says lawmakers are fast tracking a bill to extend unemployment benefits for up to 4,000 workers, even as we lose about 1,000 jobs a week.
Just months ago, Minnesota and Wisconsin couldn’t agree michael kors on tuition reciprocity; now they want to buy stuff together? AP says Gov. Pawlenty and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle will announce joint purchasing efforts to help with their massive deficits. Senate election contest. The PiPress calls Judges Hayden, Marben and Reilly a “tripartisan trio,” since they were appointed by Perpich, Ventura and Carlson, respectively. Worth remembering: Minnesota has used a judicial selection commission for years, so those judges don’t necessarily match up with the guv’s party unlike Supreme Court appointments, which usually do. The contest starts within two weeks.
Al Franken tried to bum’s rush his way to election certification, only to be spurned by Republican Tim Pawlenty and DFLer Mark Ritchie, the Strib’s Patricia Lopez and Mike Kaszuba note. State law requires the court contest to be over first. The Franken folks tried to get that thrown out, too, calling Coleman’s filing “scattershot.” Sounds like Al’s now playing the same game.
Money for lawyers was the day’s subplot. In a Federal Elections Commission complaint, the state DFL charged a GOP lawyers group with illegally using corporate cash to help Coleman, or defrauding donors if they’re not. There’s no proof Coleman benefited. Meanwhile, the Strib piece notes Franken and the DFL are legally soliciting “contributions as high as $12,300″ double normal campaign limits. That’s allowed because it’s a joint effort.
After watching “The Wire,” I’m not sure I can ever trust police stats; still, FBI numbers for michael kors the first half of ’08 show crime up in St. Paul but down in Minneapolis. The PiPress’ Mara Gottfried notes the 0.2 percent uptick in Chris Coleman’s burg amounted to “10 more crimes,” while Minneapolis was down 9.2 percent. Robbery and larceny inflated the St. Paul number; everything was down in the Mill City. Strib chart here.
A Minneapolis cop’s defamation lawsuit will go forward after a judge ruled Chief Tim Dolan may have acted with actual malice. The Strib’s Rochelle Olson recounts the murder of Mark Loesch, a Minneapolis father killed while biking. After a police lieutenant said drugs may have been involved, investigator Charlie Adams objected publicly, and Dolan just as publicly said michael kors Adams was “insubordinate.” Apparently, the fighting must be done in private.
Will new homes be required to have $4,000 sprinkler systems? It’s not happening yet, maybe not ever, but the PiPress fronts the news. In September, an international fire code group recommended the change, which is likened to air bags, but no one can say how many lives it would save, Bob Shaw reports. Builders respond with a very specific number: for every $1,000 in price hikes, 5,400 Minnesotans lose mortgage affordability.
Ford will keep buying out St. Paul workers, the PiPress’ Gita Sitaramiah reports. About 240 of the remaining 771 workers are eligible, and Ford has never turned down a buyout request. It’s the first buyout round since December 2006; the plant’s life was recently extended from 2009 to 2011, and so far at least, that hasn’t changed.
If you want to see a 92 year old woman dragged around by an assisted living worker, check out this video from Fox9’s Trish Van Pilsum. An alleged assault at the Chanhassen center happened off camera; the worker’s attorney denied that happened.
Killer carp killed; the Strib’s Laurie Blake says 90 percent of the bottom stirrers at Chanhassen’s Lake Susan were yanked. The details and video are fun; carp huddle in winter, making the removal of 3,000 easier; many were decades old. The lake was purged because 95 percent of its fish were carp; the trick will be keeping new ones from getting back in through streams. No cost estimate provided, but the fish will become either food or compost.
No duh headline from KSTP: “Officials: Toss salmonella linked peanut butter.”
Sleepwalker gets outside, has frostbitten feet, from Fox9’s Ellen Galles. The station looks at a more widespread frigidness impact: homeless shelters staying open 24 hours. It doesn’t mean there’s room to keep everyone from freezing.
The PiPress’ Nicole Garrison Sprenger says a St. Paul company has created an online Bailout Game, where you get to disburse billions and blow up financial institutions. It’s like Monopoly, she writes, though if you Go To Jail, it’s really a penthouse with Bernie Madoff in it.
David, a small point of idiomatic usage, but it seems to this reader that Franken cannot be properly said to have tried to “bum’s rush his way to election certification,” as you put it, so much as he was GIVEN the bum’s rush by Pawlenty and Ritchie; as bum’s rush means to unceremoniously remove someone who is unwelcome. Think, well, a “bum” and a bar bouncer.
I suppose you could say Franken was trying to give Coleman the bum’s rush out of office. But you don’t bum’s rush yourself into somewhere or something.