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Noem Shamed on Health Care, Excludes Press from Gunstock Plant Tour

Congresswoman Kristi Noem dropped in on Mitchell diners yesterday over the noon hour. Her semi-announced visit to Mitchell was somewhat like her controlled town halls by telephone: she doesn't feel she has to let you know she's coming; Princess Kristi will deign to visit when she feels like it, and you, dear subjects, will drop what you're doing and smile and bow on her arrival.

Rep. Noem was relatively hospitable to her guests, taking time even to talk to some guy from Wisconsin who boils his politics down to the simplistic bromide of "Reduce the debt. Nothing else matters." (Sorry, Chuck Dove of Star Prairie, Wisconsin, but many other things matter.)

Rep. Noem also spoke with Mitchell resident Owen Reitzel, who managed to track her down by piecing together the time announced on the radio and the place announced in the paper. (Seriously, Noem staff? You can't do better than that?) Reitzel told his Congresswoman about his wife's struggle with breast cancer. Mrs. Reitzel was diagnosed with cancer last June. Reitzel said they were lucky to have decent insurance and that without it, their choice would have been bankruptcy or death. Reitzel said a good universal health care system would prevent any Americans from facing such a choice.

In response to this call for the moral use of our national wealth, Noem didn't have much to say, other than to turn to the press and recite the talking points about competition and malpractice reform. Funny: Noem hasn't done anything about either issue during her first year in Congress. The private insurers want consolidation, not competition. The best competition would come from a robust public option. And malpractice claims make up less than one percent of total health care costs.

So what were you saying about health care reform, Kristi?

Rep. Noem then rode out to Boyds' Gunstock plant, where "Plant officials declined to allow the media on the tour." Again, what?!? Why if I'm a Congresswoman running for re-election do I go on a tour of a great local manufacturer if I can't get pictures and soundbites for the local press? If I'm a Congresswoman, I say to the boss, "Hey, let's tour the plant. We'll bring Tom Lawrence and J.P. Skelly along. Your plant gets press, I get press, we both look good."

But no. Princess Kristi just can't risk too many unguarded interactions with the public or the media and their darned questions.


  1. Stuart Caesar 2012.01.08

    The private sector is the only place for health insurance. We have over 1,700 private health insurance companies in this country , yet, federal laws permit citizens access to only one or two per state. Choice and competition is always the answer . Companies that know the consumer can choose from any of the existing firms , will compete to keep their business. Pricing, and quality, will all be controlled by one factor;...fear of losing business to competitors. That's how the free market works . All you have to do is let it work, keep govt. out of it, and all is well. What creates high prices, poor service, and general incompetance? Answer;... the knowledge that,no matter how shoddy your sevice is; cannot go out of business . That is the nature of govt. health care. They don't need to make a profit , or provide quality service, because it's funded , by force, by us, the taxpayers. The money to run this operation, you see, never runs out. They cannot go bankrupt, because , we the tax payers are the magic money tree, that keeps getting picked.So, you can have long waiting lists to be treated , crappy service , incompetant doctors and nurses , because , as I said , the realization that the bailout never ends , creates an arrogant minded monopoly that is the very root of a socialist society. Govt. exists for one thing ;..securing our nations freedom , from enemies, foreign and domestic. That is all. And , that is all our taxes were meant for . End of story . The constitution says so , the concept of a self governed free country , says so, and most importantly, I say so, and , I am always right , and actually know everything , about anything.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.09

    Stuart, the private sector is woefully inefficient compared to the public option. Those 1700 private health insurance companies create a giant bureaucratic nightmare that sucks up 20%-30% of the dollars we should be spending on health care. Medicare sucks up maybe 3% of dollars, spends the rest on actually caring for people. Your standard libertarian fantasy-abstractions do not square with real practical experience.

  3. Michael Black 2012.01.09

    I don't know what sort of fantasy world you live in but if you think that it takes only 3% to run Medicare then you are deluding yourself. The government has conveniently defined the real administration costs as something else. The government is good at hiding the real costs through creative accounting.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.09

    Let's go over this one more time, Michael. Read this Politifact analysis. Bigger plans have lower overhead. The biggest plan, a universal single-payer system, would have the least overhead.

    And are you arguing that government has some magical ability to hide costs that our clever and sainted private insurers do not? (I think we've had this conversation before, too.)

  5. Michael Black 2012.01.09

    I am not saying that your premise is wrong.

    I am saying the numbers you quote are very deceiving. They smell for a reason.

    The government doesn't treat overhead costs the same way a CPA would define overhead costs. We need to define "care" as the treatment by doctors, nurses and other health professionals. EVERYTHING else is needed to deliver the care is overhead. And that my friend is much much than 3%.

    Let's get one thing perfectly straight. The government is not accountable for the money it spends. You want me to trust a Congress that can't pass a budget on time with my health insurance needs? I don't think so.

  6. Steve Sibson 2012.01.09

    "their choice would have been bankruptcy or death"

    That is false, the county will pick it up. Again, who has a problem committing the sin of coveting?

    "Stuart, the private sector is woefully inefficient compared to the public option."

    What have neither a fully private or fully public system. It is a combination called fascism. And yes it is inefficient with the public sector regulating and then cost shifting to the private sector. The impact is shutting out competiton.

  7. Steve Sibson 2012.01.09

    Larry, Planned Parenthood is not about women's health care. They are part of the Satan's destructive New Age Theocracy.

  8. Jana 2012.01.09

    Consider the shark jumped Sibby.

    Now why don't you cross that off of your bucket list and move on.

  9. Steve Sibson 2012.01.09

    Jana, I have the research to back me up.

  10. larry kurtz 2012.01.09

    Doctors are doing wonders with anti-psychotic medications, Steve. If you can't get relief from Big Pharma, email me and I will help you find the right medicine.

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.09

    No, no, no, no, no, Steve. There is no such thing as "research" that backs up claims that Planned Parenthood is Satan. That's rabbit-hole talk.

Comments are closed.