Remember these dates as you read this commentary :
May 7, 2017 after the House approved HR 1628 repealing the Affordable Care Act ( 217 Republican YES votes versus NO votes from 20 Republicans and 193 Democrats), Jim Hagedorn said “I will continue to strongly support the efforts of President Trump and the congressional GOP majority to repeal“
March 13, 2020 the American College of Surgeons called on physicians to halt nonessential procedures as hospitals focus on COVID-19 cases.
March 19, 2020 Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order directing “all non-essential or elective surgeries and procedures, including non-emergent or elective dental care, that utilize PPE or ventilators must be postponed indefinitely.” The order defines as non-essential surgery or procedure as “…a surgery or procedure that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of the patient,”
May 5, 2020 Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-51 which allows doctors, dentists and other health care providers to resume elective surgeries, visits and other care.
May 6, 2020 The Trump Administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court to throw out the Affordable Care Act while acknowledging that 944,222 people with Medicare in Minnesota would lose benefits and pay more.
May 8, 2020 Congressman Jim Hagedorn issues The Hagedorn Report 5.8.20
The most prominent message in Congressman Hagedorn’s May 8th report is to inform his constituents of his May 1st letter that ” Congressman Emmer (MN-06), Congressman Stauber (MN-08) and I wrote a letter to Governor Walz encouraging him to establish guidelines for the responsible, safe and prompt reopening of hospitals and other medical care providers to the general public. As someone whose life has been saved due to an accidental and unexpected medical diagnosis and prompt cancer treatment, I am concerned with the likely loss of life related to Americans who are being denied medical care or are frightened to visit the doctor due to the coronavirus. It is time to get healthcare professionals back to work so all Americans have access to life-saving and timely, quality medical care.”
How timely … The May 8th Hagedorn Report is informing us of something that should have been in his May 1st report … and fails to mention that Governor Walz had already issued an order to reopen medical centers.
And fails to mention why the facilities were closed … the concern for lack of protective equipment — the precious masks and gowns that are in short supply and were being redirected to those treating highly infectious COVID-19. No mention of the Trump Administration’s fumbling on the supply issue or the delay/reluctance to invoke the Defense Production Act, for example, to direct a medical device manufacturer and place a large order for ventilators. The law requires the manufacturer to treat the order as a top priority, fulfilling it before any commercial orders previously received Further, doctors were concerned about bringing patients who may already be immunocompromised into hospitals where they may be exposed to the virus. Governor Walz made the right decision in March and the right decision in May … these are decisions made based on the evolving medical situation … similar executive orders were also made by Republican governors in numerous states. The timing of the Hagedorn Report suggests that his real intent is to score political jabs.
Congressman Hagedorn does acknowledge his own health condition which he states as “an accidental and unexpected medical diagnosis” discovered during a routine physical examination … which begs the question, was Jim Hagedorn an annual physical exam guy or was this a case where in his new career, he received health insurance as part of his employment as Minnesota’s First District representative. The question does not need to be answered, as to date from the US Census Bureau indicates that a total of 27.5 million Americans had no health insurance during 2018 … so there is a good chance that many people would not have known they had “an accidental and unexpected medical diagnosis” until it was later than optimum.
But we do know that Congressman Hagedorn opposes the current ObamaCare program even though according to the Trump Administration’s filing with the pending Supreme Court case, an estimated 2,761,583 people in Minnesota would lose the federal guarantee of preventive services — such as cancer screenings – which are now provided at no extra cost to consumers.
No, what Congressman Hagedorn has advocated is
- Establishing Association pools to encourage pooling of risk among farmers and small businesses
- Expanding Flexible Spending Accounts to allow all Americans,
Considering the current crisis impacting farmers and small businesses, as well as the 20.5 million job losses in April — many of which are at a brink of losing their employer-provided healthcare, ya gotta wonder how many people have money laying around to fund flexible spending accounts ?
The November elections are less than six months away, but everyday, ya gotta wonder what happens if the Supreme Court with five of the justices being appointed by Republican presidents, sides with the Trump Administration … and do you want Jim Hagedorn to write the replacement ?