Tuesday, 6/12/12, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

28 responses to “Tuesday, 6/12/12, Public Square

  1. Smug, arrogant and ignorant.

  2. prairie pond

    …and perhaps our next preznit.

    I know I’m a worry wort but things are really taking a turn for the worse with the economy. I’m hoping last week was just a bad week for Obama, and those things happen. Maybe things will look up for him soon. But I have my doubts.

    We’ve all known about the few things in the economy that were “less bad” than before. Really, there’s no good news in the economy, no matter how hard Obama supporters try to pimp the “less bad” things. Yes, he inherited a hell of a mess. Yes, on his watch jobs are being created, and yes, congress and repuke obstructionism are to blame for most of this mess. But I don’t think those things are going to matter much this November.

    Virtually none of the “less bad” news is trickling down to the majority of voters. No one is really seeing things look up except the one percent, and I think they know they will prosper no matter which party controls the White House.

    I’m not sure what to do about this between now and November, but I think Obama does have some responsibility for this current economy. I know he’s had to deal with the worst obstructionists in congressional history, but dammit, if he had not spent so much time kissing repuke butt in the beginning, he could have gotten a lot more done. His appeasement tactics wasted a lot of valuable time, and cost him a lot of seats in congress in 2010.

    I know there is no point in crying over spilled milk, but I think that’s why he has not been more effective in attacking and showcasing how congress has failed to act to improve the economy. He can’t do that without at least the implication that he should have been tougher with the SOB’s early on.

    I’m very worried about November. I don’t think we can stand another four years of repuke rule and all the SCOTUS judges they will appoint.

    • We are seeing some major health insurance companies jumping on the bandwagon that they are going to keep the popular parts of Obamacare even if the SCOTUS rules it unconstitutional.

      I have to wonder if this sudden change of heart is due to the fact that these Republicans are the major threat to these insruance companies’ new flush of mandated customers.

      Just imagine if the mandate is deemed unconstituional and it goes awy.

      That was the biggest fish in the bucket for these health insurers. All that mandated customers money is going bye-bye (and alot of that money was going to be guaranteed subsidies from the government) – and what corporation would turn up their nose at all that guaranteed money?

      NO – the Republicans have picked the wrong fight – and the same goes for trying to gut Medicare.

      I work in the long-term care business and believe me – if Medicare is gutted, alot of health care providers, hospitals, nursing home corporations, pharmacies are going to be hit HARD…….and they won’t stand for it.

      Republicans are just once again farting out HOT AIR about how they are going to get the budget balanced and govern with fiscal responsibility. But in the end – as we all know from history – the last Republican president to have a balanced budget was Eisenhower.

      • Mitt Romney confirmed on Tuesday that he would allow insurers to deny coverage to millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare later this month. During a speech at Con-Air Industries in Orlando, Florida, the former Massachusetts governor said that Americans who have not been “continuously insured” would not be protected from discrimination if they suffer from pre-existing conditions:

        ROMNEY: “So let’s say someone has been continuously insured and they develop a serious condition. And let’s say they lose their jobs or they change jobs or they move and go to a different place, I don’t want them to be denied insurance because they have some pre-existing conditions. So we’re going to have to make sure that the law that we replace Obamacare with, ensures that people who have a pre-existing condition, who have been insured in the past, are able to get insurance in the future so they don’t have to worry about that condition keeping them from getting the kind of health care they deserve.”

        While the Affordable Care Act would prevent insurers from denying coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition beginning in 2014, Romney’s provision is far more limited — and would only protect Americans who already have coverage.

        As The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn has pointed out, the federal government already forbids insurers from denying coverage to the continuously covered through the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). But the measure has been seen as a failure because “there is no limit on what insurers can charge under HIPAA” and the law does “little to regulate the content of coverage, leaving the door open to insurers to offer bare-bones policies.

    • I wish I could make a cogent argument against your post, Dr. Pond, but I cannot, seeing as how you said what I was going to, only you did so in a much more concise and articulate way. My compliments.

      indy, I think there might be a scintilla of protection to the LTC industry by virtue of the corporate ownership of many facilities (read corporate to mean publicly held corporations’). Otherwise, I’d suggest cut and run while the getting is good.

      • I’ve seen LTC corporations who are only in this business to keep the buildings for a few years – skim the Medicare, Medicaid and Private Pay money off the top and then parcel back to the buildings a skeleton of what they took to run the building.

        Then, in a few years, these folks will sell the buildings. Of course, all the time they own these buildings, the surveyers will cite them for deficiencies but they keep putting them off – stalling for more time to fix things – and knowing full well that they plan to NEVER fix the prob lems.

        I’ve seen it happen all too many times. Not all corporations are this way – but the majority of them – I would have to say lean towards the ‘let’s get the money and run’.

      • The noticeable exceptions tend to be the private held LTC companies and the non-profit groups – ie church related companies that have been in this LTC business for decades.

      • prairie pond

        Indy, we had this happen in our community. Eventually, the county bought the building. Not because they had an obligation to do so, but because the people in our county did not want the facility to close when it was foreclosed upon. The county put it up for a vote and the people spoke. They told the county to buy it and operate it in addition to the LTC facility the county/hospital operate at the hospital. There has been a waiting list for both facilities as they’ve pretty much been full from the get-go.

        They invested county money to remodel and make one wing an Alzheimer’s unit. They made the rooms more attractive to folks in transition from living at home to living somewhat assisted or assisted. The county lost a lot of money the first couple of years, but as time has gone on, they’ve at least broken even and are recouping some of their investment.

        Overall, I think the county and taxpayers are happy with what they’ve done. Had the county not taken over, it would have been auctioned off to god knows what corp. and crappy care. At least now we have enough beds to keep our old people here and ensure their care is good. And the county just wants to break even, not gouge for a profit. However, if the Ryan or Cat Food plans go through, or brownbackistain guts Medicaid, we could be in a world of hurt. We can’t toss out the folks already there, we cant turn away the locals who need to be there, and a lot of farm families will have to sell just to keep their loved ones in care.



  3. WTF…..If this is up to the discetion of the police officer – doesn’t that allow it to be abused?

    From what I read, there are some kids using profanity in the downtown area. If this new law is enforced against one kid but not the kid of the rich guy living upo n the hil overlooking the town – isn’t that just setting up the scene for a complete meltdown?

    I witnessed something similiar to this when I lived in Rose Hill. A popular middle school teacher chose to resign after being humiliated and told to back off one certain student because ‘her father was on the school board’.

    Oh – so being a daughter of a school board member gives her the right to be abusive and obnoxious in class?

    This is why I question this new law in this town about profanity – if left up to the discretion of the police officer – then watch out, certain daddy’s little precious darlings will get away with anything they want while the other kids get the privilege of paying the $20 fine.

    That is what is rwong with when govenrment tries to run evertyhing..


  4. prairie pond

    Indy–Things are going to be even worse for LTC if pastor sam has his way and guts Medicaid. WTF are they going to do with all the people in nursing homes? Throw them out on the street? So many seniors get their nursing home care paid by Medicaid, and few families can pay the 4-5 K every month that it takes to keep them in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility.

    If all that happens, you’re gonna see a lot of farm land change hands…

    • You know this…..I know this……But do you think the average Kansan knows about this?

      What do you think these families are going to do when their family members are told they have to leave the nursing home because they cannot pay their bills?

      How many families do you think will step up to the plate to pay the iblls?

      How many of those mega churches do you think are going to step up and pay for those folks’ care?

      I dare say – not too many.

      • BTW – How many families are going to be able to keep their family members in their own home – possibly to quit their own jobs to take care of them in their homes?

        I dare say – alot of those TEa Party Republcians are going to be ina for a rude awakening if Pastor SAm gets his way.

      • prairie pond

        How many of the families CAN pay the bills even if they are willing? Most of us out here don’t even MAKE 5k per month, much less have it to pay extra for our loved ones.

        And exactly zero churches will step up. Too many golden calves to build.

        I think people are so damn stupid in Kansas to have elected brownbackistain in the first place that they don’t have the brains to see what he and his ilk are up to.

        And a good number of people kind of know, but they just are overwhelmed at the thought and stick their fingers in their ears and sing “Lalalalala. I don’t want to hear it.”

        Grim days ahead for this state if brownback has his way, and grim days for the nation if mittens takes the helm. Hell, it’s still grim days ahead even if Obama wins. We’re in such a deep shithole it will take decades to straighten this out. If that’s even possible…

  5. prairie pond

    IIRC, those “gut Medicaid” plans are also in Paul Ryan’s budget and the Simpson Bowles Cat Food Commission plans.

    This is not the America I grew up in or was promised when I was young.

  6. For a change in topic, see this: http://www.climatecentral.org/news/the-heat-is-on/

    Of course, given the state of things, most of us won’t be around to see act 2, never mind act 3, of this play.

    We now return you to regularly scheduled programming.

  7. For my funny comment (OT, of course :-)) of the day, I’m tutoring the sister-in-law of one of my nieces in (get this, Dr. Pond) Managerial Economics. This is the final course she needs to complete her MBA, and one in which she has enrolled and dropped previously. The first thing that made me wonder just WTF I’d gotten myself into was the need to take the derivative of a supply function and a demand function, to find the slope of the respective curves described thereby. I proudly announce that even though it was over 42 years since I’d last had to do this, I did it w/out the need to consult the math major elder or the younger whose last Calculus course was but a mere five years ago. A multiple regression came next (stat packs for spreadsheets are wonderful things), completed successfully, and now I’m becoming a bit arrogant. Review for the first exam commences Saturday. I’ll keep you amused by my tales from time to time, but my “tutee” ‘s concentration is in Marketing. She’s not a numbers person.

  8. BTW, prairie pond, you have your Doctorate of Humane Letters from the 6176 University, have you not?

    • prairie pond

      Oh, 617, I only WISH I could have obtained such a degree from such a prestigious body! I’m a total wanna be.

      I’m mightily impressed with your dissection of Managerial Economics. My eyes would have rolled back in my head had I tried the feat you accomplished. That’s exactly why economics is called the dismal science.

      That math thingy is also why I WRITE about economics and no longer practice the discipline or do research. Sometimes, laziness is a virtue. Who knows what I might have accomplished in life had I been blessed with the hard work gene and not the bullshit chromosome.

      As Rick would say “heeeeee.”

  9. While on the subject of LTC – have you noticed how many brand new – huge and gorgeous new Assisted Living/Memory Care/Skilled Nursing LTC are being built in town?

    It seems there is a new one on every corner.

    What I want to know is – who is going to be able to afford to pay for their care at these fancy-ass places in the next 10 or 20 years?

    The people in there now are probably those that worked at the same aviation company for 30 or 40 years making good wages, retired with a good pension and good health care plan. These are the folks that were able to buy their houses and build their net worth.

    But what about the current 30-40-50 year olds of today? How many of these people have had the luxury of working at the same place for 30-40 years and with a pension plan – let alone the health care plan provided.

    I just don’t know how all these brand new facilities are going to be able to keep their doors open – let alone make a profit.

    And if Medicare is gutted – WHOA……

    Medicare does pay very well for a LTC resident – and Medicare is guaranteed money – and they are usually very good about paying on a timely basis. Not like some private health insurance companies that drag their feet and never want to pay….

    I remember when my husband was first transferred to Kansas in 1983. In order for a LTC company to build a new facility – they had to apply for and receive a Certificate of Need for the new facility. The company had to have a study done that proved there was an actual need for the new building and that it could be sustainable.

    The CON was done away with – and I don’t remember exactly when that was – because we were transferred back to Kansas in 1992.

    Does anyone else know what I am talking about – 6176 – maybe you know when the CON was done away with and the reasons why it was put into mothballs?

    • Indy, not for sure. I think it might have been during Reagan’s second term, but don’t hold me to it.

      • Do you know what the biggest money maker is for LTC? Physical, Occupational and Speech therapies….

        And 99% of all Medicare Skilled admits are for therapies of some kind.

        That is where the money is…..

      • BTW – There is a reason all the corporate-owned and CAtholic-owned LTC have their own therapy providers in-house.

        It’s all about the money.

        Medicaid does not pay for the costs to keep the resident.

        But, hey, if that Medicaid patient has a fall or a stroke – BINGO…..it’s golden goose paydirt time….

      • correction: Medicaid payment does NOT cover the costs to keep the resident – which is why Medicare Skilled is the Golden Goose – right behind total private pay.

        But private pay residents are getting harder to come by…..