Over at MPR, Tom Scheck brings us the latest DFL chanting point; the “links” between two GOP legislators (Rep. Gottwalt and Sen. Hann) who pushed a healthcare privatization bill in the last session, and the insurance industry.
State Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, led the GOP effort to cut spending in the state’s Health and Human Services budget when the Republicans controlled the Legislature. Now, both he and his Senate counterpart [Hann] have business links to the insurance industry, which has some other lawmakers asking whether the arrangement violates ethics rules.
This is a chanting point that the DFL’s been working up for a while here. The DFL’s beef is that…
…some Democratic lawmakers are raising questions about the arrangement.
“I can see why the owner of the business was pushing for the bill. It’s more business for him,” said Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville. “The fact that [Gottwalt] is now working for him, I’m disappointed in that.”
Health insurance brokers backed the legislation, championed by Gotttwalt’s counterpart in the other chamber, state Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie.
The incoming chairman of the House ethics committee, Rep. Tom Huntley, DFL-Duluth, said: “If these are payoffs, then the ethics committee needs to look at it.”
And if there are not payoffs – and there aren’t – then will Huntley, Marty, and the idiot leftyblogger chanting point bots apologize to Hann and Gottwalt?
Read Scheck’s piece for the details.
But I have a few questions, here:
Who else are you going to have working on healthcare finance policy? A bunch of lawyers and social workers? Who knows the financial side of the healthcare industry better than people who, y’know, work on the financial side of the healthcare industry?
Aren’t we cherrypicking the outrage we choose to feed to the media, DFL? Shouldn’t we bar teachers from committees on education appropriations? . Union activists oughtta be at least recusing themselves from votes on Right to Work and unionizing daycare and personal care workers! Do we want lawyers writing laws? And don’t be trying to hide, there, Erin Murphy; I’m told you were the executive director of a nursing lobby group, and became the ranking DFLer on the Healthcare Committee. Or Ryan Winkler, who is employed (heh) at Ted Mondale’s government-data-mining software company, sounding off about legislation that’d involve another data-mining company?
Of course, the DFL finds these kinds of non-corrupt “corruption” all the time, while practicing it themselves.
If only we had some institution – maybe with printing presses and transmitters, and people whose job it was to run down little facts like this? Perhaps those people working for that institution could think of themselves as a holy, truth-seeking monastic order? Call themselves “high priests of gatekeeping”, perhaps?
Just a thought.
By the way – lost in the contrived, DFL-agenda-driven “hubbub”: the program that Gottwalt and Hann developed has been a huge improvement for the Minnesotans it was intended to serve. ”Healthy Minnesota” gives its participants vouchers enabling them to buy a standard insurance plan on the open market; it’s cheaper than UCare, and the participants get better, more personally-focused coverage than provided by the state. There are gaps – every insurance plan has ‘em – but it was, as advertised, a huge improvement over UCare at lower cost.
In other words, it’s a government program that does what it’s supposed to do, and saves money to boot.
But “big business” is invovled, and that thought apparently gives DFLers explosive diarrhea.