Jim Abeler: A job well done on health, human services

  • Article by: JIM ABELER
  • Updated: July 20, 2011 - 7:11 PM

'Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Those words, penned by Ralph Waldo Emerson, represent quite well the work done by legislators, Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson and Gov. Mark Dayton on Minnesota's new health and human services budget.

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wcentralJul. 20, 11 8:23 PM

Rep. Abeler, usually a job well done proclamation is declared by other people after a decision is proven successful. You have taken the Grover Norquist Pledge, your allegiance does not appear to be to the citizens of Minnesota, but rather to destruction of government and social services and medical care for the average citizen. Norquist's avowed goal is to eventually drown the little of government left in a bath tub. Your original proposals left many, many disabled, sick and needy by the side of the road. That's where they would have been, if Dayton hadn't tempered your proposals. You seek to spare any discomfort for any citizen of means, meaning no new taxes, but don’t seem concerned about the discomfort of sick, needy, autism, elderly, poor, etc.. You repeat talking points and propaganda well, you just dont' enunciate facts well. Your side of the isle pushed hard to get rid a model health care system for government employees that has been lauded as a model of cost control by Pawlenty, who despises government. Your replacement health care was an insurance policy that wouldn't pay one cent until families had kicked in $12,000 out of pocket. If that is your ultimate goal for all citizens of Minnesota averaging $40,000/yr salary or less, I shudder.

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orpheus90Jul. 20, 11 8:56 PM

Yeah, like wcentral, I'm not buying a word of this either. I also shudder to think what decimated condition the state would be in - particularly if Emmer had been sitting the governor's office rather than Dayton - and republicans been left to their own devices in settling the budget - and that merely among so many other things, like their civic/social legislative agenda. And yes, that is truly a frightening proposition. Rep. Abeler,you and your fellow republicans should consider yourselves lucky the governor kept you on a leash, because had you gotten away with what you really wanted, well, let's just St Paul might have seen a re-enactment of the storming of the Bastille.

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jamericanJul. 20, 11 9:27 PM

I watched Rep. Abeler on public TV as he testified for the bill he crafted. I was apalled at his cockiness and flippant manner in which he answered direct questions from DFLers. He knew he had the votes to pass the bill in spite of DFL objections. He was an artful dodger and arrogant. Even his body language was seemed to say I'm a genius and if you can't understand what I'm doing then too bad. When pinned down he fell back on trust me, I'll fix the obvious mistakes you see later in the process. Anyone who trusts this man is devoid of all judgement.

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jrswanJul. 20, 11 9:27 PM

Looks like Abeler is in full campaign mode already. I suspect he has an inkling that he will face serious opposition in the next election.

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jrswanJul. 20, 11 9:32 PM

Oh my gosh, I just realized that possibly all Minnesota Republican legislators are at home writing similar propaganda. I suspect we will be inundated with pieces like this for the next year.

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m252525Jul. 20, 1110:09 PM

So wcentral, we're supposed to believe your main concern is for all the poor people who will still get free health care even with any changes in the new bill. Yet you use more space complaining about health care benefits for govt workers than anything else. Here's a suggestion. Get a job in the private sector where what you pay toward your own pension and benefits will reflect the real world, instead of expecting me and the rest of the state to see our own paychecks shrink so you can live off the efforts of others. I don't doubt govt workers do a good job, work hard, and offer a beneficial service to the rest of the state. I just don't see how you can justify the expectation that some other worker finds it harder to buy their first home, send their own child to college, replace their old car or pay their own medical bills because their paycheck is smaller than it otherwise could be so you don't have to pay as much for benefits as they do. I mean really, you honestly think it is logical that some other $40,000 a year worker like you mention should find it harder to get by because their taxes are elevated so you can pay less than they do for better benefits than they get? Request a fair salary, with a fair performance evaluation system, and good benefits that reflect what the rest of the country is paying and getting. Anything else is ripping off one middle income worker for the benefit of another.

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daltrowitzJul. 20, 1110:48 PM

The people I know at NAMI respect Representatives Abeler and Gottswald. Given how Liberal they tend to be, that says a lot. In this case, however, I think the legislation has some holes, including one very serious question: MNCare was paid for by a sales tax on health care providers. That is why it was self-sustaining prior to Governor Pawlenty raiding it to keep his "no new taxes" pledge. Therefore, if MNCare is abolished, is the sales tax on health care providers also abolished?

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wcentralJul. 20, 1111:05 PM

Let's see, we could find private sector jobs paying 6 figure salaries to package bogus mortgages together and ship the costs to the government when they fail. We've got 8 figure salaries to prevent cancer patients from getting treatment, we've got 8 figure salaries lobbying for 30 billion in tax credits for oil. I guess we should try to get all government workers being productive like that. The truth is, we are all in this together. There are very good private companies and very bad ones. There are very good government programs and very bad ones. Vilifying government workers and teachers is no more tasteful than vilifying private industry, which is no more tasteful than vilifying the poor/sick/needy. That "welfare queen" was actually a complete fabrication, yet policy was made on that basis. Last time I checked teachers and govt workers had taken pay cuts, layoffs, stagnant salaries, and the hatred of Norquist's pledge takers. Last time I checked govt workers and teachers were paying their own retirement on a 50/50 basis or less like private industry. Last time I checked insurance costs were comparable to any larger company. Many have salaries that are exactly the same dollar amount they were 10 years ago. Government workers and teachers are paid about 5 - 10% less than private sector with all factors such as education, years of service and benefits taken into account. There is no cadillac insurance for teachers and government employees, there is no 'easy street' either. I haven't heard a lot of complaints about the economic pain teachers and government workers have endured, I have heard a lot of complaints about the absolutely fabricated assertions, propaganda and lies about government workers and teachers.

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Wally_99Jul. 21, 1112:35 AM

Abeler is a hippie. He belongs in a 1972 VW bus with flowers and peace signs painted all over it. You statists should be proud of him.

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hswcbJul. 21, 11 6:35 AM

Using vouchers and high deductible gimmicks to "fix" health care costs is just a scam to move more and more of our money (personal and tax) to the private insurance companies. There is not proof that such measures will save money. There is proof that creation of a single payer, Medicare for All approach will save money. Getting the middle man (really rich ones BTW) out of the way between me and my doc is the only proven way to cut costs of our system.

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