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Oregon legislators from Lane County area focus on pet projects and peeves in upcoming Salem session

Thursday, April 6, 2017

By Saul Hubbard, The Register Guard

Sen. Lee Beyer, Democrat, Senate District 12: Springfield –

Beyer wants to try to curb rising hospital costs with a new governor-appointed commission that would monitor and approve the prices hospitals charge patients…

Senate Bill 419 would require hospital rates for any service to be approved by the commission, unless the price is less than two times what a Medicare patient would be charged…

To charge more, hospitals would need the commission’s approval…

[ Beyer said hospitals] “have to make a reasonable profit.”

We Respond & Your Comments

That’s a terrific idea, Lee! What we need is a new commission made up of Progressives whose idea of “progress” is a bunch of “experts” deciding what a “reasonable” profit is and steering as much of it as they can to the next “Beyer For Senate” campaign. That’s the kind of central planning we love!


Oregon Health Authority Salaries Show Sharp Rise Under Saxton

Thursday, December 15, 2016

By Chris Gray, The Lund Report

The state agency has hired 862 more employees since 2013 and increased salaries on upper management by 18 percent, helping to drive a 29 percent overall increase in payroll.

…even as it forecasts a hole of $1.1 billion for the 2017-2019 biennium…

We Respond & Your Comments

Only in government can employees increase dramatically and salaries rise sharply even as you project a big drop in revenue.

But then only in government can you legally pick someone’s pocket, label it his “far share,” call it a “contribution,” and when you spend it tell the guy whose pocket you emptied that it was an “investment.”



Thursday, May 19, 2016

AG Rosenblum and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Launch Managing Someone Else’s Money Guides for Oregonians

Free, Plain-language Guides Designed to Help Financial Caregivers Understand Their Fiduciary Duties
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today joined the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB) to launch the CFPB’s Managing Someone Else’s Money, Oregon-specific guides for financial caregivers. The guides will help caregivers, particularly those who handle the finances of older Oregonians, carry out their duties and responsibilities in managing someone else’s money…

    – Democratic Party of Oregon Newsroom

We Respond & Your Comments

Taking financial advice from any “Progressive” Oregon official strikes us as about as crazy as taking medical advice from Dr. Kevorkian. Let’s review how Salem’s done “Managing Someone Else’s Money” – ours:

  • Cover Oregon losses – $300 million
  • Columbia River Crossing losses – $175 million
  • PERS investment losses, 2015 – $20 million

Then there’s the Oregon Energy Dept. – $20 million scorched in bad loans to green energy nutbars. Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler opines on this mess: “It’s in trouble.” Thank you, Captain Obvious. Yo, Ted – did it ever occur to you that these greenies only came to you because there wasn’t a bank in the world that would risk their own money on a loan to them?

So now Ted and his merry band in Salem want to teach us how to manage Gramma’s nest egg?


Does This Drive You Crazy, Or What?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Abilify, duloxetine rank on Medicare cost list

Julie Miller, Editor in Chief, Behavioral Care

Two of the top 15 most costly drugs for Medicare in 2014, according to newly released data, were Abilify (aripiprazole), which is an antipsychotic, and generic Cymbalta (duloxetine HCI), which is typically used as an antidepressant or anti-anxiety drug…

Abilify spending in 2014 topped $2.5 billion and demonstrated a 17 percent unit-cost increase over the previous year…

We Respond & Your Comments

OMG! We bought $2.5 Billion of this stupid psychiatric drug? Is somebody crazy?

Just one problem here: we didn’t. Bristol-Myers Squibb, maker of Abilify, reports in its audited 2015 SEC filings that U.S. sales of Abilify were just $1.57 billion and worldwide sales were only $2.02 billion.

What’s going on here? Medicare reported Abilify sales at the public list price of the drug, ignoring the discounted prices actually paid by insurers.

We step outside Oregon today to remind you to look behind numbers government numbers, see how they were calculated and what agenda they’re advancing. Here the agenda is to gin up anger at Big Pharma and gain support for price controls on drugs.

If we were cynics we might even worry that our buddies in Salem might pull a stunt like this. They wouldn’t, would they?


Portland lawmaker takes on escalating prescription drug prices

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

   – Elizabeth Hayes, Portland Business Journal

Oregon State Rep. Rob Nosse has convened a work group to tackle one of the most hot-button issues in health care: prescription drug prices…

…the ultimate goal is to craft legislation addressing the problem for the 2017 long session…

The idea for the group came about after two bills failed during the 2015 session. One would have capped copays for specialty drugs at $100 a month and the other would have increased transparency around drug pricing….

The issue has heated up all over the country. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden also weighed in last week with results of an investigation into Sovaldi, the $1,000-a-pill hepatitis C drug…

We Respond & Your Comments

Today we make our first prediction for 2016: Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland) will start out saying he doesn’t want to do anything to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry; but he and other “Progressives” will quickly move to asking the Feds to do something to control prescription drug prices.

They can’t help it: it’s in their political DNA.

A major contributor to drug prices are the hoops the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) forces drug companies to jump through. That’s why it takes 10 years and $2.6 billion to bring a new drug to market.

Prescription drugs comprise about 10% of U.S. health care costs – the same as in 1960. 20 years ago a Hepatitis C diagnosis was a death sentence. Today a course of Solvadi costs about $84,000. Its cure rate is 90%.

How much expensive treatment and hospitalization is saved thanks to Sovaldi? And what’s a human life worth?


Health Care Law Forces Businesses to Consider Growth’s Costs

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Stacy Cowley,, reprinted in the Eugene Register Guard

When LaRonda Hunter opened a Fantastic Sams hair salon 10 years ago in Saginaw, Tex., a suburb of Fort Worth, she envisioned it as the first of what would eventually be a small regional collection of salons. As her sales grew, so did her business, which now encompases four locations — but her plans for a fifth salon are frozen, perhaps permanently.

Starting in January, the Affordable Care Act requires businesses with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees to offer workers health insurance or face penalties that can exceed $2,000 per employee. Ms. Hunter, who has 45 employees, is determined not to cross that threshold. Paying for health insurance would wipe out her company’s profit and the five-figure salary she pays herself from it, she said…

We Respond & Your Comments

Here’s a thought that seldom occurs to government wizards: When you give people an incentive not to do something, they’re likely not to do it.

In the case above our Washington brainiacs wanted to incent employers to give employees health insurance by stuffing a $2,000 per employee fine down their throats if they refused. Instead the law incented them to avoid hiring 50 employees because doing so would cost them more than the fine! Brilliant!

Whenever our “public servants” in Salem or Washington come out with a new law or regulation we ask ourselves “What does it incent people to do or not to do?” We wish they’d ask themselves before voting on it.


One For the Good Guys!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Really this is one for one very good dentist – Dr. Cedric Hayden.

Last year we featured Dr. Hayden in a three part series about his attempts to rotate his mobile dental clinic among rural Lane County cities and provide free dental care to the needy. He and his brother Matthew had already funded it with $200,000 out of their own pockets.

Unfortunately, not one city wanted it. According to Dr. Hayden, while city governments thought it was a great idea, they just didn’t want the clinic on their streets. So he shipped it to Chuuk, Micronesia, which desperately needed and wanted it.

Fast forward one year…

Now it’s Republican Representative Cedric Hayden, who sponsored House Bill 3139, which mandates that cities must allow nonprofits to set up temporary mobile clinics on private property. With the help of like minded Oregon legislators, both Republicans and Democrats, both House and Senate have passed HB 3139.

Please join us in congratulating Representative Hayden for his generosity, persistence and commitment to doing something for those in need instead of talking about it.

Read More Here >>>


Health tax credit error stings thousands

Thursday, November 13, 2014

  – Gosia Wozniacka, The Associated Press

…Officials with Oregon’s troubled health insurance exchange say thousands of Oregonians could owe money to the federal government because they were given tax credits that were too large…

According to Cover Ore­gon’s in-house analysis, 12,772 tax-­paying households are likely affected by the error. Their tax error ranges from $1 to more than $100 per month…

The errors are due to Cover Oregon using the wrong formula to calculate credits…

Federal Investigation into Cover Oregon Costing Ore. Taxpayers $146K

– Shelby Sebens, GoLocalPDX Reporter

A federal investigation into Cover Oregon, the state’s failed health exchange website, has cost Oregon taxpayers over $146,000 so far. And that figure looks likely to rise….

“The price for two years of gross mismanagement at Cover Oregon keeps adding up, especially because the current administration doesn’t have a problem throwing good money after bad,” Senate Republicans spokesman Michael Gay said…

In addition to the legal fees related to the Cover Oregon investigations, the state could be on the hook for over $1 million in legal fees related to lawsuits with Oracle…

We Respond & Your Comments

Just when we think there’s nothing more to be said and no more Oregon tax dollars to waste on Cover Oregon, guess what? There’s more. It’s like pesky STD that just won’t go away.

Today, Dear Reader, let’s look at Cover Oregon as a perfect example of Liberalism (sorry – we meant “Progressivism”).

Progressivism is founded on the belief that if you can just assemble enough brilliant people who will govern in a rational, disinterested manner, you will achieve Utopia (note: “Utopia” is Greek for “Nowhere”).

Liberalism and central planning never, ever work because: a) humans always have a personal axe to grind that supersedes their logic; b) there are always problems caused by “Oh, I never thought of that”; c) nobody is smart enough to unilaterally make decisions for millions of people; and d) people with power tend to deny all of the above.

And if central planning worked – Cuba would be an economic powerhouse. But it’s not, is it?


Cover Oregon turnaround bill at $600,000 and rising

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

– The Associated Press

PORTLAND — As he wraps up his work, a corporate turnaround expert initially hired for $100,000 to fix Oregon’s troubled health care insurance exchange has billed the state for nearly $600,000 under an expanded contract, a newspaper reported

[Clyde] Hamstreet was hired after the state agency launched a website that couldn’t come close to fulfilling the promise of seamless online sign-ups for health insurance

He hasn’t yet submitted an invoice for August, The Oregonian reported on Thursday

“We didn’t do this job to make a lot of money off the state,” Hamstreet said…

The Cover Oregon board hired Aaron Patnode, a former Kaiser executive who said Hamstreet and his executives did exceptional work on tasks that included:

Boosting morale and communication.

Our Response and Your Comments

Cover Oregon – it’s like when you put your hand under your table in a cheap diner and stick five fingers deep into a wad of well chewed bubble gum. You just can’t get rid of it.

This magnificent creation of the Beaver State government burned through $248 million, which paid for, among other things: a website that didn’t work; a bunch of goofy folk songs that made Oregon look like a state of stoned karaoke crooners at a cheap Holiday Inn; and $650,000 in bonuses to retain the brainiacs who created the stupid website and folk songs.

But that just wasn’t enough, was it? Now they’ve tossed another $600,000 of taxpayer dollars after a consultant who, for $100,000, was supposed to, among other things, boost morale and communications.

We’re sure that this clever fellow boosted his morale. How did he do with yours? After all, you paid for  it. As for “communications,” we suggest that you send some very clear messages the next time you vote. 


When $200 Million Just Isn’t Enough

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Guv Kitz and his merry crew tossed something way north of $200 million of your bucks down the Cover Oregon sumphole that failed to directly sign up even one Beaver State resident. 

But that wasn’t enough. The Guv claimed he “cleaned house” as only Salem can – by blowing more money! That’s right – he chased the $200 plus million with a $68,000 payoff to sweep chief operating officer Triz delaRosa out the door. Oh, and did we mention that he paid her salary through May – months after anyone not living on the Planet Zook knew that Cover Oregon was a disaster?