Behind The Kombucha Curtain

I had a conversation last night with an acquaintance in the healthcare industry – someone who works in finance for a Twin Cities healthcare provider, and who has been attending “a ton of meetings” lately with officials from the State of Minnesota about the upcoming shutdown.  My source wants to remain anonymous for reasons that’ll be obvious to anyone who knows the Minnesota bureaucracy.

The memo I and several other conservative bloggers ran earlier this week is fairly common knowledge among upper management in regional healthcare; it’s fairly well known that the Administration’s goal is to create, as the memo said, “angst” which will impel people to pressure their legislators to demand passage of Governor Dayton’s budget.

“[The government healthcare administrators and bureaurcrats]  understand what we’re supposed to be doing; we’re supposed to be parading sick children and dying people, getting folks whipped up”, my souce observed.   “[The state wants]  to create pandemonium out there; they want to cut everything cut to the bone; saying that starting July 1, create the impression that nothing (in terms of state payments) will get paid for”.

He added “One of my lefty friends, who hasn’t really been involved in all the legislative stuff, said “the Governor can’t do that…” I don’t think he’d gotten the message!”

But my source related that his source went on to say “I gotta talk to people in the department (Health and Human Services); there’s all sort federal laws; this is crazy!”  In other words, not everyone in the regional healthcare industry believes Dayton’s move to defund health and human services for political leverage is legal at all.  My source notes that while different states handle Medicare payments in different ways, Minnesota splits its payments 50/50 with the Feds.   “If the State of Minnesota took its money up front, there’s no way Dayton can [unilaterally withhold the payments].

“One of our lawyers in DC said the same thing – the Governor can’t do that!”

Beyond the legalities, my source says we should take all “impact” numbers from the administration with big block of salt.

“I [was talking with] the to unions today – we  have no plans to shut down.  But I had to give admin a number of employees affected; all us finance people had to do this. We don’t knowwhat to do – I suspect we’ll see people talking about a big number of layoffs; it’s all bullshit”.  He noted, as an example, that the shut down could affect up to [a very large number of full time equivalent employees] at his clinic. ” I suspect [the administration] will list these as people who will be laid off by the cuts, but it’s just not true…we’re staying open during the shutdown.  If we do, we’ll recoup 95% of the money eventually; if we shut down, we’ll never see any of it”.  But he adds “Every clinic I personally know is going to stay open – we figure we’ll get paid eventually”.

He works at a larger clinic, of course; smaller ones, he allows, will likely face some serious cash flow problems; “they don’t know what to do now”.

The county governments seem, according to my source, to be joining in the stonewalling.  “”I was telling [my source’s county government] to get lawyered up.  we better have lawsuits going on July 1.  I copied county on seeing outside counsel; I was politely told to back off.  Powers that be are going to hype this.  Liberals in [my source’s] County want to strike fear into peoples’ hearts”.   The goal, said a highly-placed source to my own source, is to ” peel off a couple of moderate Republicans” to get them to support the Governor’s all-tax-hike budget.

The most frustrating part, according to my source? “Trying to get some traction”.  He’s frustrated; “why isn’t the media covering this?”

We’re all asking that.

15 thoughts on “Behind The Kombucha Curtain

  1. It seems a MOU (memorandum of understanding) is being prepared by state unions right now to make their “government shutdown experience” considerably more comfortable. It might be voted on next week.

  2. And yet he seems to be doing so well, as Republicans and Tea Partiers are becoming less and less popular.

    Even Tom Coburn, who is usually fairly far right amidst the religious righties has now come out and agreed that we have to address the revenue side at the federal level.

    Cuts only aren’t popular; Dayton’s position is, and he knows it. The oft-predicted relapse isn’t happening; the claims of crazy are not realistic.

    If he keeps this kind of governing up, Dayton’s heading for at least two terms as governor, maybe three.

    Meanwhile, I’m guessing TPaw is finding the national stage a lot harder than he thought. Maybe you should be predicting a lapse for him, into oblivion, instead?

  3. Dog Gone responds to the claim that the MN media is in the tank for dayton with “And yet he seems to be doing so well, as Republicans and Tea Partiers are becoming less and less popular.”
    Really, DG, do you read these things before you hit the “Submit Comment” button?

  4. “Even Tom Coburn, who is usually fairly far right amidst the religious righties has now come out and agreed that we have to address the revenue side at the federal level.”

    Seriously, Dog?

  5. Coburn backed reducing the ethanol subsidy, Boss Hoss. Coburn is more of a deficit hawk and pork-barrel opponent than he is a no-taxer. Dropping a subsidy for the manufacture of a product that the government mandates seems like a conservative move to me.

  6. Well, she also does not seem to realize that being, in her words, “fairly far right amidst the religious righties” says nothing about your position regarding ethanol subsidies. Sheesh.

  7. Dog Gone said:

    “Cuts only aren’t popular”

    And Republicans aren’t anywhere near a “cuts only” budget. I know you hear your friends repeat it again and again, but that repetition STILL has not made your “Republican Budget Dreams” come true.

  8. Now Troy, in Doggie’s world increases are cuts. She and Mark Dayton have a lot in common. A similar grip on reality for starters.

  9. And yet he seems to be doing so well

    …according to a poll that’s less relable than a Yugoslavian sports car.

  10. “reliable than a Yugoslavian sports car.”

    Well having driven a 1980 model year Lada and a mid 70s Trabant I would actually give the Yugo high marks relatively speaking.

    I don’t know what they used as the material for the body of the Trabant but it seemed to be pressed twine or some sort of ersatz fiberglass, either that or the east Germans perfected some novel method of oxidization – it was a highly unstable car..

    The Lada was like pre-washed jeans – it arrived from the factory resembling and performing like a Volvo with 280k miles on it.

    While driving these cars it was worth remembering that the Soviet era workers slogan was “They pretend to pay us, we pretend to work”

  11. Terry;

    I guess that I should have carried my comment further. I was aware of Coburn’s record, but I was trying to slam Doggy’s use of Coburn as a support to her non-argument.

    I guess that I was so dumbfounded at Doggy’s continued outright ignorance of econimic facts, that’s all I could do.

  12. Pingback: Shot in the Dark » Blog Archive » “The Way We Used To Do Things In Minnesota”

  13. Pingback: Dayton’s Mission Accomplished | Shot in the Dark

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