dane smith

TruthToTell Monday, May 26- 9AM: INEQUALITY: Where Have You Been All This Time?? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7; Streaming @ KFAI.org

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, May 26, 2014

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us@TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You would think this country never before faced the reality of raging inequalities embedded in our history and culture from the flood of recent latest state and federal reports, articles, activists writers from local scholars and up to the national and international level – like Pulitzer winning columnist Paul Krugman, say, or David Cay Johnston, on the economic side, or Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow) and hundreds of other voices from inside and outside the cultures appearing all over the place in the re-emergence of criminal enforcement travesty in the rate of incarceration of men (and women) of color in this country.

Hardly new.

When a topic gets hot – for a time – the topic is made to look as though the subject had never raised its ugly face before this.

Is this another fad with its relevant – and important – writings expect to gathering dust on shelves in desk drawers when it’s all waving red flags – again – crying out for serious action and changed attitudes?

The latest – and excellent, perhaps courageous – effort to document the decline or failure to improve in addressing – seriously – healthcare disparities in a Minnesota Department of Health issued in February (directed to submit to the Legislature). Advancing Health Equity in Minnesota (Feb, 2014) It dives in and avoids sugar coatings about thestructural racism that continues to cement the inequality in healthcare access, cost and outcomes among Minnesotans of color – most especially African-Americans, Native Americans ad Latinos (documented and undocumented).

But the Health Report goes well beyond simple definitions, but succinctly inform an ill-informed public that this:

This report reveals that:

• Even where health outcomes have improved overall, as in infant mortality rates, the disparities in these outcomes remain unchanged: American Indian and African American babies are still dying at twice the rate of white babies.

• Inequities in social and economic factors are the key contributors to health disparities and ultimately are what need to change if health equity is to be advanced.

• Structural racism — the normalization of historical, cultural, institutional and interpersonal dynamics that routinely advantage white people while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color and American Indians — is rarely talked about. Revealing where structural racism is operating and where its effects are being felt is essential for figuring out where policies and programs can make the greatest improvements.

• Improving the health of those experiencing the greatest inequities will result in improved health for all.

 Take note: the mention of white privilege in a state report – a rarity. But the easier, perhaps, for public consumption is the recent essay (blog) penned by UST Law School Professor, Nekima Levy-Pounds on White Privilege.

(We had hoped to include Commissioner Ed Ehlinger or the report’s co-authors – Assistant Commissioner Jeanne Ayers and/or Melanie Peterson-Hickey, Research Scientist at Minnesota Center for Health Statistics. And we’ll try to get the on another time.)

Once more, we try to convert the written word to action by recognizing just how deeply in our DNA now that it perpetuates the notion that whites are superior, smarter, cleaner, law-abiding, etc., and that whites control the massive machinery of every aspect of American – and they barely recognize just how truly privileged they have been for centuries.

(To get us started Monday morning is a short conversation with Winona LaDuke, Indigenous Economist and White Earth activist, head of Honor the Earth, fighting the tar-sands oil pipelines being pushed across the upper plains and Indian Country land. A perfect example of White Privilege still in action as the powers march across the lands long ago usurped by our Native brothers and sisters.)

Racism, our privilege, and all the economic, education, health care and the rest we see in the disparities in action every day, subtle and not so must be seen as a dangerous, public health issue for all of us.

Inequality – and the appropriate dark cloud hanging over the self-governance promise we have yet to see one fulfilled – belies the near-apocalyptic direction we’re heading if we don’t seriously form a plan to reverse the fatal direction.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and SIOBHAN KIERANS take your mind into the depth of these issues – not to scare us away, but to see the dangers lurking if we don’t change all of it.

GUESTS:

NEKIMA LEVY-POUNDS – Director, Community Justice Project (CJP), an award-winning civil rights legal clinic and Professor of Clinical Education in the St. Thomas University Law School.


DANE SMITH – President of Growth & Justice, a broad public policy research organization addressing economic, education and healthcare inequities across the board.

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inequality in Running Pipelines across indigenous lands.

WINONA LaDUKE – Indigenous Economist; Director, Honor the Earth, former Green Party Vice-Presidential candidate

 

 

 

AND YOU! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

TruthToTell Monday, May 26- 9AM: INEQUALITY: Where Have You Been All This Time?? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7; Streaming @ KFAI.org

On-air date: 
Mon, 05/26/2014

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You would think this country never before faced the reality of raging inequalities embedded in our history and culture from the flood of recent latest state and federal reports, articles, activists writers from local scholars and up to the national and international level – like Pulitzer winning columnist Paul Krugman, say, or David Cay Johnston, on the economic side, or Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow) and hundreds of other voices from inside and outside the cultures appearing all over the place in the re-emergence of criminal enforcement travesty in the rate of incarceration of men (and women) of color in this country.

Hardly new.

When a topic gets hot – for a time – the topic is made to look as though the subject had never raised its ugly face before this.

Is this another fad with its relevant – and important – writings expect to gathering dust on shelves in desk drawers when it’s all waving red flags – again – crying out for serious action and changed attitudes?

The latest – and excellent, perhaps courageous – effort to document the decline or failure to improve in addressing – seriously – healthcare disparities in a Minnesota Department of Health issued in February (directed to submit to the Legislature). Advancing Health Equity in Minnesota (Feb, 2014) It dives in and avoids sugar coatings about the structural racism that continues to cement the inequality in healthcare access, cost and outcomes among Minnesotans of color – most especially African-Americans, Native Americans ad Latinos (documented and undocumented).

But the Health Report goes well beyond simple definitions, but succinctly inform an ill-informed public that this:

This report reveals that:

• Even where health outcomes have improved overall, as in infant mortality rates, the disparities in these outcomes remain unchanged: American Indian and African American babies are still dying at twice the rate of white babies.

• Inequities in social and economic factors are the key contributors to health disparities and ultimately are what need to change if health equity is to be advanced.

• Structural racism — the normalization of historical, cultural, institutional and interpersonal dynamics that routinely advantage white people while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color and American Indians — is rarely talked about. Revealing where structural racism is operating and where its effects are being felt is essential for figuring out where policies and programs can make the greatest improvements.

• Improving the health of those experiencing the greatest inequities will result in improved health for all.

 Take note: the mention of white privilege in a state report – a rarity. But the easier, perhaps, for public consumption is the recent essay (blog) penned by UST Law School Professor, Nekima Levy-Pounds on White Privilege.

(We had hoped to include Commissioner Ed Ehlinger or the report’s co-authors – Assistant Commissioner Jeanne Ayers and/or Melanie Peterson-Hickey, Research Scientist at Minnesota Center for Health Statistics. And we’ll try to get the on another time.)

Once more, we try to convert the written word to action by recognizing just how deeply in our DNA now that it perpetuates the notion that whites are superior, smarter, cleaner, law-abiding, etc., and that whites control the massive machinery of every aspect of American – and they barely recognize just how truly privileged they have been for centuries.

(To get us started Monday morning is a short conversation with Winona LaDuke, Indigenous Economist and White Earth activist, head of Honor the Earth, fighting the tar-sands oil pipelines being pushed across the upper plains and Indian Country land. A perfect example of White Privilege still in action as the powers march across the lands long ago usurped by our Native brothers and sisters.)

Racism, our privilege, and all the economic, education, health care and the rest we see in the disparities in action every day, subtle and not so must be seen as a dangerous, public health issue for all of us.

Inequality – and the appropriate dark cloud hanging over the self-governance promise we have yet to see one fulfilled – belies the near-apocalyptic direction we’re heading if we don’t seriously form a plan to reverse the fatal direction.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and SIOBHAN KIERANS take your mind into the depth of these issues – not to scare us away, but to see the dangers lurking if we don’t change all of it.

GUESTS:

NEKIMA LEVY-POUNDS – Director, Community Justice Project (CJP), an award-winning civil rights legal clinic and Professor of Clinical Education in the St. Thomas University Law School.


DANE SMITH – President of Growth & Justice, a broad public policy research organization addressing economic, education and healthcare inequities across the board.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WINONA LaDUKE – Indigenous Economist; Director, Honor the Earth, former Green Party Vice-Presidential candidate


AND YOU! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

TruthToTell Oct 8: FELON VOTING: Deserved or Disenfranchised?; TruthToTell Oct 1: EDUCATION FUNDING: Grasping for Elusive Adequacy

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Important Reminder: 

If you were convicted of a felony in Minnesota or any other state and as of Election Day you are NOT incarcerated, on probation, on parole, or supervised release, YOU CAN VOTE! In fact, the minute you have completed your felony sentence and are "off paper," you can register to vote OR you can register at your polling place on Election Day.

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor you NEVER lose your right to vote. If you are in jail on Election Day and are not serving a felony conviction sentence, you have the right to vote by absentee ballot.

From time to time, we find it imperative to talk about incarceration rates in Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States – and the toll such imprisonment – behind bars and out front of them – takes on a huge slice of our humanity and that of those incarcerated.

The lifetime branding of anyone jailed for anything in the US is devastating to them, but also to the community and families from which they come and to which most will one day return.

We’ve taken on an ethos about imprisonment and punishment that is uniquely American in its cruelty and disproportionate impact on offenders from poverty and, more often than not – of color.

In an excellent New Yorker Magazine piece, “The Caging of America,” Adam Gopnik quite eloquently relates the following on this subject earlier this year:

“…no one who has been inside a prison, if only for a day, can ever forget the feeling. Time stops. A note of attenuated panic, of watchful paranoia—anxiety and boredom and fear mixed into a kind of enveloping fog, covering the guards as much as the guarded.

“For most privileged, professional people, the experience of confinement is a mere brush, encountered after a kid’s arrest, say. For a great many poor people in America, particularly poor black men, prison is a destination that braids through an ordinary life, much as high school and college do for rich white ones. More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height. That city of the confined and the controlled, Lockuptown, is now the second largest in the United States.

“The accelerating rate of incarceration over the past few decades is just as startling as the number of people jailed: in 1980, there were about two hundred and twenty people incarcerated for every hundred thousand Americans; by 2010, the number had more than tripled, to seven hundred and thirty-one. No other country even approaches that.”

Burning up the wires now, among other issues, is the proposed Minnesota constitutionalamendment requiring a state-issued photo ID to vote or even register at the polls in future state elections. The ballot question is seen by many as a remedy for fraud that is very hard to prove and harder to be concerned about at the rate of illegal voting supporters keep citing as the reason why Minnesota should back away from its very liberal methods for ensuring higher turnouts than in any other state in the union.

Not so liberal are the various rights accorded those exiting jails and prisons after convictions have imprisoned them either physically or with paper – paroles and probation – at least inMinnesota, among them the right to vote. ((Other states have varying rules about the extent of such limitations.) The restriction is limited to felons (vs. the less severe misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors) and others adjudged incompetent or under guardianship (this is under major challenge as well). But it is the felons who voted in the last election that Voter ID proponents believe justifies this much broader restriction on voting – as if by voting, all of these offenders and ex-offenders are committing fraud by casting ballots, and purposely distorting the popular vote in this state.

The question for us is: Why? Why do we deny the voting franchise to convicted offenders at all? And, if we must deny the franchise to these men and women – most of whom are citizens of color – why should they not be allowed to vote after leaving prison, parole or not, probation or not? What are the percentages in essentially removing the citizenship of men and women who have done time or remain incarcerated? Just how much punishment is required of people who have already had their freedom to move freely outside of prison taken away?

Eventually these rights must be restored, but is it really all that important to deny the voting rights of anyone considered a citizen of the US, the state, the city in which they live?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with post-incarceration advocates and at least one political animal who supports the law as it stands.

GUESTS:

 MARK HAASE – Vice President, Projects and Operations, Council on Crime & Justice; Officer,Second Chance Coalition


 SARAH WALKER – Chief Administrative Officer, 180 Degrees, Founder, Second Chance Coalition

 

 


 MICHAEL BRODKORB – politics.mn blogger; Communications, social media, public affairs & research consultant; former Communications Director, Minnesota Senate Republican Majority Caucus

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, October 1, 2012

Just a couple of days left to help approve of KFAI respecting your time and your patience this Fall with ONE WEEK’s worth of membership seeking. CALL NOW: 612-375-9030 – or go online atwww.KFAI.org and PLEDGE PLEDGE PLEDGE!

Can we make our stated goal of $90,000 in one week instead of two? Only you can answer that question and set a new standard for minimal pledging time and maximum donations in half the time. HERE”S THE GOOD NEWS: we’re almost 25% there after just three days. KFAI – the stand-out community programming service for music and public affairs throughout the Twin City Metro AND online at KFAI.org – is YOUR radio station in this crowded market. Please – step up to the plate and keep us on the air. Call 612-375-9030 OR give online at www.KFAI.org. And thanks to all!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One more THANKS to all of you who put your dollars toward CivicMedia’s mission to make TruthToTell a premier program of state, local and regional public affairs coverage. We, too, need special commitments to what TruthToTell does for issues:www.TruthToTell.org – click on the DONATE button or in the Give to the Max box there.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As we enter the last few weeks of the election season, we’ll be bombarded with so many messages our heads will spin, probably causing most of us to scream “Enough!!.”

Even those of us proud to claim political junkie-hood – call us policy wonks or whichever monkey is on our back at the moment – will want the spin to stop spinning our heads. Never will so many channels be switched and switched away from the inundating and vapid commercials touting the candidate of the moment or denouncing and distorting his or her opponents as they will be starting about now. None of them is immune and is off the hook for their crimes of lying to the public or bloviating over the records of their candidate or their opposition.

But, we can be sure of one thing: the issues themselves don’t change and neither do the candidates’ position on them.

One of the most important, needless to say, is education, the way we pay for it and how much we’re willing to lay out for our children and grandchildren to become the citizens, business owners, civic leaders and educators of tomorrow.

Year after fiscal, never-take-a-riskal year*, Minnesotans have allowed their education systems to slide into reverse both in terms of the amount allocated to the Constitutional mandate of adequate and quality education for all children, but from where those funds come. Before 1972, it was all about local property taxes. Soon, the so-called Minnesota Miracle was passed by a huge wave of DFL majorities putting the burden of state education equalization – or distribution of the funding burden – more heavily on the income tax on the theory that our kids’ education shouldn’t rest on the artificial fluctuations in property values.

That seemed to make sense, but subsequent state legislatures allowed the funding base to slip back on to the property tax and the excess levy referendum was born, allowing some districts to seek approval from voters for additional dollars to enrich their academic and extracurricular activities. Of course, that was a lot easier for family-rich suburbs where education investment was a no-brainer. But in the core cities where the poorest of the poor live and aging populations represented DIS-investment in schools – sometime understandably, sometimes selfishly – excess levy referenda became tougher to pass. (St. Paul is venturing back into this marketing arena with a referendum this November. Watch and listen for our October 15th TruthToTell on this.)

Add to this the frustrations of recession, the resulting rise of conservative governance – say, election of Tea Partiers – a few years of tearing down the very soul of educational achievement – good teachers, and the yawning achievement gaps in a re-segregating education system of many Metro Areas, especially the Twin Cities – and you have a formula for persistent crisis management of the schools and the failure of too many Pre-K-12 students by poverty level.

Governor Mark Dayton’s failure to convince a newly emboldened GOP legislative majority in 2010 and 2011to add a dime’s worth of new revenues to the state budget and you have the makings of a kamikaze legislative leadership style that would rather watch its own children starve for knowledge – and maybe food as well – rather than back down from Grover Norquist’s imposed and intimidating no-new-taxes pledge.

Back in June, a  27-member Education Finance Working Group, established as part of Governor Dayton's Seven-Point Plan to establish better school funding, the goals of the reform proposals crafted by the working group are to:

·      Improve the adequacy, equity and stability of pre-K-12 education funding

·      Simplify education funding

·      Preserve local control

·      Close the achievement gap

·      Promote high achievement for all students

·      Direct resources closest to students, teachers and the classroom

What to do about education funding or investment? Despite legislative entrenchment, almost all surveys show that sizeable majority of taxpayers willing to cough up several hundreds of dollars more taxes per year to meet the fiscal demands of a successful schools climate. And, because this is true, it’s up to voters to show their elected officials and candidates just how much they believe schools and students – our children and grandchildren, to be sure, have taken it in the neck for too long and for all the wrong reasons: political expediency, among the leading causes.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI spend this Pledge Week’s conversation talking with two leading members of that Education Finance Working Group and try to get a handle on what to expect with respect to future public education financing and investment – election or no election?

GUESTS:

 MARY CECCONI – Executive Director, Parents United for Public Schools

 DANE SMITH – President, Growth&Justice – progressive think tank

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*See “How to Succeed in Business…”

TruthToTell, Monday Oct 1-9AM: EDUCATION FUNDING: Grasping for Elusive Adequacy; PODCAST: Monday Sept 24: EMPOWERING U: Civic Engagement for the Disengaged - AUDIO PODCAST BELOW

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, October 1, 2012

KFAI is respecting your time and your patience this Fall with ONE WEEK’s worth of membership seeking. Can we make our stated goal of $90,000 in one week instead of two? Only you can answer that question and set a new standard for minimal pledging time and maximum donations in half the time. HERE”S THE GOOD NEWS: we’re almost 25% there after just three days. KFAI – the stand-out community programming service for music and public affairs throughout the Twin City Metro AND online at KFAI.org – is YOUR radio station in this crowded market. Please – step up to the plate and keep us on the air. Call 612-375-9030 OR give online at www.KFAI.org. And thanks to all!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One more THANKS to all of you who put your dollars toward CivicMedia’s mission to make TruthToTell a premier program of state, local and regional public affairs coverage. We, too, need special commitments to what TruthToTell does for issues:www.TruthToTell.org – click on the DONATE button or in the Give to the Max box there.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us@TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page. 

As we enter the last few weeks of the election season, we’ll be bombarded with so many messages our heads will spin, probably causing most of us to scream “Enough!!.”

Even those of us proud to claim political junkie-hood – call us policy wonks or whichever monkey is on our back at the moment – will want the spin to stop spinning our heads. Never will so many channels be switched and switched away from the inundating and vapid commercials touting the candidate of the moment or denouncing and distorting his or her opponents as they will be starting about now. None of them is immune and is off the hook for their crimes of lying to the public or bloviating over the records of their candidate or their opposition.

But, we can be sure of one thing: the issues themselves don’t change and neither do the candidates’ position on them.

One of the most important, needless to say, is education, the way we pay for it and how much we’re willing to lay out for our children and grandchildren to become the citizens, business owners, civic leaders and educators of tomorrow.

Year after fiscal, never-take-a-riskal year*, Minnesota has allowed itself to slide into reverse both in terms of the amount allocated to the Constitutional mandate of adequate and quality education for all children, but of the source of those funds. Before 1972, it was all about local property taxes. Soon, the so-called Minnesota Miracle was passed by a huge wave of DFL majorities putting the burden of state education equalization – or distribution of the funding burden – more heavily on the income tax on the theory that our kids’ education shouldn’t rest on the artificial fluctuations in property values.

That seemed to make sense, but subsequent state legislatures allowed the funding base to slip back on to the property tax and the excess levy referendum was born, allowing some districts to seek approval from voters for additional dollars to enrich their academic and extracurricular activities. Of course, that was a lot easier for family-rich suburbs where education investment was a no-brainer. But in the core cities where the poorest of the poor live and aging populations represented DIS-investment in schools – sometime understandably, sometimes selfishly – excess levy referenda became tougher to pass. (St. Paul is venturing back into this marketing arena with a referendum this November. Watch and listen for our October 15th TruthToTell on this.)

Add to this the frustrations of recession, the resulting rise of conservative governance – say, election of Tea Partiers – a few years of tearing down the very soul of educational achievement – good teachers, and the yawning achievement gaps in a re-segregating education system of many Metro Areas, especially the Twin Cities – and you have a formula for persistent crisis management of the schools and the failure of too many Pre-K-12 students by poverty level.

Governor Mark Dayton’s failure to convince a newly emboldened GOP legislative majority in 2010 and 2011to add a dime’s worth of new revenues to the state budget and you have the makings of a kamikaze legislative leadership style that would rather watch its own children starve for knowledge – and maybe food as well – rather than back down from Grover Norquist’s imposed and intimidating no-new-taxes pledge.

Back in June, a  27-member Education Finance Working Group, established as part of Governor Dayton's Seven-Point Plan to establish better school funding, the goals of the reform proposals crafted by the working group are to:

·      Improve the adequacy, equity and stability of pre-K-12 education funding

·      Simplify education funding

·      Preserve local control

·      Close the achievement gap

·      Promote high achievement for all students

·      Direct resources closest to students, teachers and the classroom

What to do about education funding or investment? Despite legislative entrenchment, almost all surveys show that sizeable majority of taxpayers willing to cough up several hundreds of dollars more taxes per year to meet the fiscal demands of a successful schools climate. And, because this is true, it’s up to voters to show their elected officials and candidates just how much they believe schools and students – our children and grandchildren, to be sure, have taken it in the neck for too long and for all the wrong reasons: political expediency, among the leading causes.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI spend this Pledge Week’s conversation talking with two leading members of that Education Finance Working Group and try to get a handle on what to expect with respect to future public education financing and investment – election or no election?

GUESTS:

 MARY CECCONI – Executive Director, Parents United for Public Schools

 DANE SMITH – President, Growth&Justice – progressive think tank

INVITED: Rep. Carlos Mariani Rosa/Jennifer Godinez – Minnesota Minority Education Partnership

AND YOU! Call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page. 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*See “How to Succeed in Business…”

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Become a Friend of TruthToTell. and let us put you on RADIO! We want to THANK YOU for coming to and/or donating to TTT’s 5thAnniversary Bash last Thursday, Sept. 20th. Your help will keep our weekly shows exploring and examining the issues that matter most – and expand our reach into other corners of the community and Greater Minnesota! If you were unable to join us or donate thus far, you can do so now: Always time to become a part of our family HERE! Welcome aboard!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Collaborative efforts between and among advocacy and service groups seeking social justice and eliminating disparities – race, class and otherwise – are nothing new, but Heartland Democracy, Twin Cities RISE! and 180 Degrees have figured out how to take the time necessary to touch many age groups finding it tough to succeed in today’s world.

From Heartland’s website:

Empowering U is Heartland’s deep civic empowerment program. Through a series of guided discussions, participants discover the tangible benefits of involvement in community, politics, and self-governance. They develop the motivation and tools to become active, informed members of their communities. Heartland Democracy works with partner groups serving our neighbors with little or no experience of participation in community, government, or politics. Hence, Twin Cities Rise!, which provides employment training to adults who have faced challenges in gaining and holding jobs, is a natural host. TCR! understands that when their participants learn the methods for networking to achieve a community or political goal, that same network pays off in job networking, the identification of resources, financial stability, and wealth. In other words, when you can till the roots of democracy, you can cultivate the roots of the economy as well. Similarly, HD is working with juvenile ex-offenders under the auspices of 180 Degrees. Both cohorts are in St. Paul.

Policy analysis and progressive advocacy group Heartland Democracy is able to bring Empowering U to our St. Paul area neighbors at Twin Cities Rise!, 180 Degrees, and, later this year, Unity Center for Youth Leadership's high school internship program with the generous support of the F. R. Bigelow Foundation and the St. Paul Foundation. In this way, Heartland and cohorts are helping Minnesotans realize their own self-interest in the full range of citizenship.

Citizenship is really what TruthToTell has been about, lo, these past five years-plus. Civic engagement is the source of survival for our entire democracy.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL urges you to listen to Empowering U stories of the young men and women this program is meant to assist in gaining a grasp of public life and citizenship coming out of more troubled pasts.

GUESTS:

TOM VELLENGA – President, Heartland Democracy

KEITH SIMONS – Director of Personal Empowerment, Twin Cities Rise!

MONICA SANDERS – Alumna of Twin Cities Rise! Program

TruthToTell Oct 1: EDUCATION FUNDING: Grasping for Elusive Adequacy - AUDIO PODCAST BELOW

On-air date: 
Mon, 10/01/2012

Just a couple of days left to help approve of KFAI respecting your time and your patience this Fall with ONE WEEK’s worth of membership seeking. CALL NOW: 612-375-9030 – or go online at www.KFAI.org and PLEDGE PLEDGE PLEDGE!

Can we make our stated goal of $90,000 in one week instead of two? Only you can answer that question and set a new standard for minimal pledging time and maximum donations in half the time. HERE”S THE GOOD NEWS: we’re almost 25% there after just three days. KFAI – the stand-out community programming service for music and public affairs throughout the Twin City Metro AND online at KFAI.org – is YOUR radio station in this crowded market. Please – step up to the plate and keep us on the air. Call 612-375-9030 OR give online at www.KFAI.org. And thanks to all!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One more THANKS to all of you who put your dollars toward CivicMedia’s mission to make TruthToTell a premier program of state, local and regional public affairs coverage. We, too, need special commitments to what TruthToTell does for issues: www.TruthToTell.org – click on the DONATE button or in the Give to the Max box there.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As we enter the last few weeks of the election season, we’ll be bombarded with so many messages our heads will spin, probably causing most of us to scream “Enough!!.”

Even those of us proud to claim political junkie-hood – call us policy wonks or whichever monkey is on our back at the moment – will want the spin to stop spinning our heads. Never will so many channels be switched and switched away from the inundating and vapid commercials touting the candidate of the moment or denouncing and distorting his or her opponents as they will be starting about now. None of them is immune and is off the hook for their crimes of lying to the public or bloviating over the records of their candidate or their opposition.

But, we can be sure of one thing: the issues themselves don’t change and neither do the candidates’ position on them.

One of the most important, needless to say, is education, the way we pay for it and how much we’re willing to lay out for our children and grandchildren to become the citizens, business owners, civic leaders and educators of tomorrow.

Year after fiscal, never-take-a-riskal year*, Minnesotans have allowed their education systems to slide into reverse both in terms of the amount allocated to the Constitutional mandate of adequate and quality education for all children, but from where those funds come. Before 1972, it was all about local property taxes. Soon, the so-called Minnesota Miracle was passed by a huge wave of DFL majorities putting the burden of state education equalization – or distribution of the funding burden – more heavily on the income tax on the theory that our kids’ education shouldn’t rest on the artificial fluctuations in property values.

That seemed to make sense, but subsequent state legislatures allowed the funding base to slip back on to the property tax and the excess levy referendum was born, allowing some districts to seek approval from voters for additional dollars to enrich their academic and extracurricular activities. Of course, that was a lot easier for family-rich suburbs where education investment was a no-brainer. But in the core cities where the poorest of the poor live and aging populations represented DIS-investment in schools – sometime understandably, sometimes selfishly – excess levy referenda became tougher to pass. (St. Paul is venturing back into this marketing arena with a referendum this November. Watch and listen for our October 15th TruthToTell on this.)

Add to this the frustrations of recession, the resulting rise of conservative governance – say, election of Tea Partiers – a few years of tearing down the very soul of educational achievement – good teachers, and the yawning achievement gaps in a re-segregating education system of many Metro Areas, especially the Twin Cities – and you have a formula for persistent crisis management of the schools and the failure of too many Pre-K-12 students by poverty level.

Governor Mark Dayton’s failure to convince a newly emboldened GOP legislative majority in 2010 and 2011to add a dime’s worth of new revenues to the state budget and you have the makings of a kamikaze legislative leadership style that would rather watch its own children starve for knowledge – and maybe food as well – rather than back down from Grover Norquist’s imposed and intimidating no-new-taxes pledge.

Back in June, a  27-member Education Finance Working Group, established as part of Governor Dayton's Seven-Point Plan to establish better school funding, the goals of the reform proposals crafted by the working group are to:

·      Improve the adequacy, equity and stability of pre-K-12 education funding

·      Simplify education funding

·      Preserve local control

·      Close the achievement gap

·      Promote high achievement for all students

·      Direct resources closest to students, teachers and the classroom

What to do about education funding or investment? Despite legislative entrenchment, almost all surveys show that sizeable majority of taxpayers willing to cough up several hundreds of dollars more taxes per year to meet the fiscal demands of a successful schools climate. And, because this is true, it’s up to voters to show their elected officials and candidates just how much they believe schools and students – our children and grandchildren, to be sure, have taken it in the neck for too long and for all the wrong reasons: political expediency, among the leading causes.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI spend this Pledge Week’s conversation talking with two leading members of that Education Finance Working Group and try to get a handle on what to expect with respect to future public education financing and investment – election or no election?

GUESTS:

 MARY CECCONI – Executive Director, Parents United for Public Schools

 DANE SMITH – President, Growth&Justice – progressive think tank

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*See “How to Succeed in Business…”


45:39 minutes (41.8 MB)

TruthToTell, Monday, June 25−9AM: RELIGION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Will You Speak Up?; TruthToTell, June 18: HEALTHCARE REVOLUTION FOR MINNESOTA: A Unified System Debuts

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

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TruthToTell, Monday, June 25−9AM: RELIGION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Will You Speak Up? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org


Time was – back in the 1950s – those of us from Catholic grade schools who found ourselves attending public high schools – in my case Central High School from St. Luke’s Parish (now St. Thomas More) in theArchdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis – religious education was continued by way of what were called “Release” classes. Every Wednesday afternoon, the agreement between the schools and the church allowed Catholic students to be “released” from their class(es) early to walk a few blocks to a Catholic Church (in our case, St. Peter Claver – where the “Black Catholics” go. Still do, but very mixed now), sit around talking some catechism and all that for an hour, then woke up and went home. Probably between ten and twelve showed up each week.

This went on for the first year, perhaps another half-year before I gave up on that nonsense.

Meanwhile, in place of the discredited high school fraternity/sorority system that prevailed in Minnesota until thrown out in the early 50s under a somewhat scandalous shadow, came the Hi-Y (boys) and Y-Teens (girls) clubs established under the rubric of the YMCA and YWCA, respectively. About five to seven clubs for each gender and themselves taking on Greek names (Kappa Hi-Y was the one I joined). Of course, we Catholics were theoretically forbidden to belong to one of these because the Y’s are “Christian” – meaning Protestant (horrors!). The Catholic answer to all this were the CYC’s – Catholic Youth Centers – all put together to keep us Catholic and away from all the others. Our school was St. Paul’s true melting pot. About 80% of the city’s Jewish kids attended Central (you’d know many names) and they had their own groups. The boys belonged to AZA, the girls – B’nai B’rith.

All this to say that religion and religion youth groups have forever been part of a teen’s life in Minnesota’s public schools. But, those organizations, while well-attended and active, were off-campus, and, as far as I know, the elementary schools were out of bounds altogether. No religious group claimed the right to use public school resources or spaces for their religious or social activities. Meetings, classes, social events and dances, etc., were all staged elsewhere and the classrooms were free of such intrusion.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has tracked most of this record of court cases and disputes between churches and state institutions. One of their surveys may shock you:

“Federal courts, …civil libertarians point out, have consistently interpreted the First Amendment's prohibition on the establishment of religion to forbid state sponsorship of prayer and most other religious activities in public schools.

“Despite that long series of court decisions, polls show that large numbers of Americans favor looser, not tighter, limits on religion in public schools. According to an August 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center, more than two-thirds of Americans (69%) agree with the notion that ‘liberals have gone too far in trying to keep religion out of the schools and the government.’ And a clear majority (58%) favor teaching biblical creationism along with evolution in public schools.”

This is shocking news, running counter to Supreme Court rulings dating to 1940 that were clearly designed to separate public schools from intrusive religious credos. Until 2001, when, in a 6-3 decision (Child Evangelism Fellowship [CEF] vs. Milford (NY) Central School), the US Supreme Court threw out a district policy forbidding the use of school property for religious purposes, effectively freezing out CEF from establishing its “Good News Clubs” there. Such a ban violated freedom to promote a viewpoint, said the majority. Outside groups could be banned, but not based on their views. The dissenters rabidly stated that the CEF was using Good News Clubs to proselytize, but the majority said that doesn’t matter. A Minnesota case is pending in the Federal Court of Appeals.

Much of this would no doubt be buried in the arcane business of local school governance and the courts were it not for 1) a series of articles by MinnPost.com’s Education Reporter and Columnist, Beth Hawkins, and 2) a new book by investigative reporter Katherine StewartThe Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children. The latter will be in town to appear and sign books and talk about this phenomenon under the auspices of Americans United (for Separation of Church and State). All of this in advance of a Child Evangelism Fellowship strategy conference to be held here in MInneapolis in July.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI will talk with the reporters/authors and an AU representative about the legal history, the political climate and the future of the precedents in the arena of religion on the public schools.

GUESTS:

 KATHERINE STEWART  - Free-lance Investigative Reporter (The New York TimesThe Guardian, theDaily BeastBloomberg View, and Religion Dispatches); Author, The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children.


 BETH HAWKINS – Education/Public Policy Reporter/Columnist and Blogger (Learning Curve), MinnPost.com

 

DEREK BIRKELAND – Board Member/Treasurer, Americans United (for Separation of Church and State) – Minnesota

Katherine Stewart presentations and book-signings:

MONDAY, JUNE 25, 7:30 P.M. – MAGERS & QUINN BOOKSELLERS
 - 3038 Hennepin Ave.  Minneapolis

TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 7:00 P.M.
– COMMON GOOD BOOKS
 - 38 Snelling Ave. S.
– Saint Paul

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TruthToTell, June 18: HEALTHCARE REVOLUTION FOR MINNESOTA: A Unified System Debuts - PODCAST HERE


Listen to or download this episode here: 

Facebook: Search TruthToTell; Twitter: @TTTAndyDriscoll; Email: andydriscoll@TruthToTell.org

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE! 

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Just in time for our next show this Monday on health care comes a StarTribune story about the exponential rise in the number of Minnesotans on Medicaid – to be sure, double the national rate over the last two years, according to Reporter Warren Wolfe’s June 13th article.

Medicaid – not to be confused with Medicare – is the federal health program for the poor, but is handled differently in just about every state. In Minnesota we call it Medical Assistance. Of Minnesota’s population of 5 million folks, fully 733,000 of them are on Medical Assistance to the tune of $4 billion per year. This represents a big jump of 125,000 over the last two years and increases the percentage of us on Medical Assistance to fully 15% of all Minnesota’s people, but big in part because Gov. Mark Dayton added 80,000 to the rolls, thanks to the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA).

There’s more to this, but the questions remaining for all of us as the Supreme Courtapproaches a decision on what those who call the ACA “Obamacare,” is what the states’ responsibilities for providing healthcare coverage and access to their citizens, no matter what that decision may be. After all, even if the court throws out one or more of the ACA’s provisions – or the entire law (unlikely) – the need for health coverage for all of us remains as dire as ever.

As it is, most states and health insurers have already implemented many of the law’s provisions – dropping of precondition exclusions, coverage of children up to age 26 under most circumstances, etc. Most major insurers, including Minnesota-based United Healthcare, have no intention of returning to their old ways and exclusions and states have started designing their mandated health exchanges when patients without employer-supplied health plans need some sort of coverage without resorting to the all-too-expensive option of using emergency rooms for routine care.

We know that the public, perhaps even Republicans, support the ACA’s consumer protections:

• Abolishing annual and lifetime caps on benefits paid.

• Ending rescission (dropping people from insurance when they get sick), except in cases of fraud.

• Ending exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

• Ending price discrimination based on gender and medical history. (Higher premiums can still be charged based on tobacco use, age and geographic region.)

• Allowing children to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26.

• Phasing out Medicare’s “donut hole” (the gap in prescription drug coverage).

• Establishing a minimum medical loss ratio – the percentage of premium that must be spent on health care rather than on administration or profit. (source: Growth&Justice)

Most physicians and consumers support some sort of single-payer system – where our tax dollars would pay for health care that would remain delivered by private providers (like Aspen, HealthPartners, and Allina). Many are suggesting this model would be a Medicare-for-all option. Current administrative costs through even nonprofit private insurers (BlueCross/Blue Shield, HealthPartners, Medica and UCare) amount to almost 30% of every healthcare dollar, whereas the administration of Medicare amounts by law to no more than 2%. How much more efficient would that revision be when another quarter of the healthcare dollar could actually be spent on caring for people.

A new 38-page report from one of Minnesota’s premier progressive voice on state economic issues, Growth & JusticeBeyond the Affordable Care Act: An Economic Analysis of a Unified System of Health Care for Minnesota makes a strong, well documented case for a state-based single-payer system, ACA or no ACA. G&J recommends a “unified system” that takes in many other benefits.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI ask the report’s author and advocates to explain the report’s findings and conclusions, the why of this particular recommendation and what the politics might be toward adoption.

On-air guests: 

DANE SMITH – President, Growth & Justice Policy Developers

AMY LANGE, RN, MS, CNM – Policy Fellow on Health Care, Growth & Justice; Author, Beyond the Affordable Care Act: An Economic Analysis of a Unified System of Health Care for Minnesota

ELIZABETH FROST, MD – Family Physician; Board member, Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP)-Minnesota Chapter; Advocate, Health Care for All-Minnesota

TruthToTell, Monday, June 18 − 9AM: HEALTHCARE REVOLUTION FOR MINNESOTA: A Unified System Debuts - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

TruthToTell, Monday, June 18 − 9AM: HEALTHCARE REVOLUTION FOR MINNESOTA: A Unified System Debuts - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

 

NOW: CALL or TWEET or POST ON FACEBOOK AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION Monday morning: Phone: 612-341-0980 

Facebook: Search TruthToTell; Twitter: @TTTAndyDriscoll; Email: andydriscoll@TruthToTell.org 

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just in time for our next show this Monday on health care comes a StarTribune story about the exponential rise in the number of Minnesotans on Medicaid – to be sure, double the national rate over the last two years, according to Reporter Warren Wolfe’s June 13th article.

Medicaid – not to be confused with Medicare – is the federal health program for the poor, but is handled differently in just about every state. In Minnesota we call it Medical Assistance. Of Minnesota’s population of 5 million folks, fully 733,000 of them are on Medical Assistance to the tune of $4 billion per year. This represents a big jump of 125,000 over the last two years and increases the percentage of us on Medical Assistance to fully 15% of all Minnesota’s people, but big in part because Gov. Mark Dayton added 80,000 to the rolls, thanks to the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA).

There’s more to this, but the questions remaining for all of us as the Supreme Courtapproaches a decision on what those who call the ACA “Obamacare,” is what the states’ responsibilities for providing healthcare coverage and access to their citizens, no matter what that decision may be. After all, even if the court throws out one or more of the ACA’s provisions – or the entire law (unlikely) – the need for health coverage for all of us remains as dire as ever.

As it is, most states and health insurers have already implemented many of the law’s provisions – dropping of precondition exclusions, coverage of children up to age 26 under most circumstances, etc. Most major insurers, including Minnesota-based United Healthcare, have no intention of returning to their old ways and exclusions and states have started designing their mandated health exchanges when patients without employer-supplied health plans need some sort of coverage without resorting to the all-too-expensive option of using emergency rooms for routine care.

We know that the public, perhaps even Republicans, support the ACA’s consumer protections:

• Abolishing annual and lifetime caps on benefits paid.

• Ending rescission (dropping people from insurance when they get sick), except in cases of fraud.

• Ending exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

• Ending price discrimination based on gender and medical history. (Higher premiums can still be charged based on tobacco use, age and geographic region.)

• Allowing children to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26.

• Phasing out Medicare’s “donut hole” (the gap in prescription drug coverage).

• Establishing a minimum medical loss ratio – the percentage of premium that must be spent on health care rather than on administration or profit. (source: Growth&Justice)

Most physicians and consumers support some sort of single-payer system – where our tax dollars would pay for health care that would remain delivered by private providers (like Aspen, HealthPartners, and Allina). Many are suggesting this model would be a Medicare-for-all option. Current administrative costs through even nonprofit private insurers (BlueCross/Blue Shield, HealthPartners, Medica and UCare) amount to almost 30% of every healthcare dollar, whereas the administration of Medicare amounts by law to no more than 2%. How much more efficient would that revision be when another quarter of the healthcare dollar could actually be spent on caring for people.

A new 38-page report from one of Minnesota’s premier progressive voice on state economic issues, Growth & JusticeBeyond the Affordable Care Act: An Economic Analysis of a Unified System of Health Care for Minnesota makes a strong, well documented case for a state-based single-payer system, ACA or no ACA. G&J recommends a “unified system” that takes in many other benefits.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI ask the report’s author and advocates to explain the report’s findings and conclusions, the why of this particular recommendation and what the politics might be toward adoption.

On-air guests: 

DANE SMITH – President, Growth & Justice Policy Developers

AMY LANGE, RN, MS, CNM – Policy Fellow on Health Care, Growth & Justice; Author, Beyond the Affordable Care Act: An Economic Analysis of a Unified System of Health Care for Minnesota

ELIZABETH FROST, MD – Family Physician; Board member, Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP)-Minnesota Chapter; Advocate, Health Care for All-Minnesota

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TruthToTell June 11: HEALTH INSURANCE COMEUPPANCE: Companies Make the Case for Their Replacement - PODCAST HERE


Listen to or download this episode here: 

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every time I think we may be returning too often and concentrating on the health care issue on this program, I’m upended by the plethora of stories coming from every quarter of the health care universe – most of them unearthing fraudulent or deceptive practices by a healthcare system run amok. To wit:

  1. Locally, the Health Care for All Minnesota group, which under its former banner, Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition, is peopled by a mix of physicians, former healthcare providers and health insurer types, not to mention citizen advocates of extraordinary dedication to the idea that the medical and insurance system in the USA and Minnesota is riddled with uncaring incompetence and a focus on the money to be made or saved by providing the absolute minimum levels of care to everyone – or no care to many while their bottom lines bloat and their collection tactics smell (see Accretive Health and Fairview Medical). Attorney General Lori Swanson’s report has blown up Fairview’s management.
  2. From a Stateline (Pew) report on Medicaid fraud: “Nationwide, the federal government estimates it lost $22 billion of its share of Medicaid funding last year to what it calls “improper payments,” according to its payment accuracy survey. This suggests that the loss to state treasuries was also in the tens of billions.”

    Improper payments refers to Medicaid paying out those billions to fraudulent providers. Do these stories hit the mainstream media? Rarely. How does the public generally view Medicaid (and welfare) fraud? As perpetrated by the legendary “welfare queens” so often heard about in drunken bar conversations and on Fox News. The tiniest percentage of assistance recipients may game the system – but it’s a flea on a pinhead compared to the blanket billions of taxpayer dollars vacuumed up by thousands of doctors, dentists and other providers, each of whom can hit on the Medicaid Fund to the tune of millions per month, compared with a few thousand over a full year for an unscrupulous recipient.

  3. And not so finally, the health insurance industry whose sole purpose for being appears to be in denying, not supplying, health benefits. In fact, an assessment by one of Minnesota best-known health insurance analysts,Kip Sullivan, talks about the new wrinkle in what we used to call HMOs (health maintenance organizations) and are now called ACOs - accountable care organizations – although there are, indeed, some distinctions, namely the size of the risk, the number of enrollees (that’s us) and the provider pool (the medical-dental-hospital community). Beyond this, this will involve Medicare and Medicaid recipients under the new Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare?). We’ll learn more about these Monday, we trust.

    But, the health insurance industry is a study unto itself. We’ve heard for years that any notion of a single-payer or healthcare for all system smacks of socialism or that it would be too costly and that “the Best Health Care System on the Planet” would be fatally compromised. The fact is, the insurance industry has claimed millions of lives and ruined others through its coordinated denial of health care services and exploded costs to the tune of 16% - or nearly ten times the overall national inflation rate – per year. This, from the former CIGNA executive, Wendell Potter, author ofDeadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans, whom Barack Obama cited as an authority in his quest for health care reform legislation. Potter, now a senior analyst at the The Center for Public Integrity, among other positions, was CIGNA’s spinmeister, if you will.

Mr. Potter joins our discussion along with local insurance whistleblower, David Feinwachs and Dr. Ann Settgast of Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP). As usual so much to cover, but important in its own right and as a set up for the following Monday’s show on a report – Beyond the Affordable Care Act Web.pdf – issued by our local progressive policy group, Growth & Justice on which we’ll feature G&J’s president, Dane Smith and the report’s author, Amy Lange, RN, MS, CNM and Growth & Justice Policy Fellow on Health Care, and Dr. Elizabeth Frost, also of the PNHP and HCAMn.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI start this week with the status of state and national health insurers as we work our way toward full implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act – unless it’s thrown out in the middle of our conversations with our reform advocates.

On-air guests: 

WENDELL POTTER – former health insurance executive turned whistleblower; author of Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans (Bloomsbury Press hardcover, November 2010, now in paperback)

DR. ANN SETTGAST - practicing physician in Internal Medicine and board member, Physicians for a National Health Program

DR. DAVID FEINWACHS – Attorney; former Corporate counsel for Minnesota Hospital Association – Fired as a Whistleblower over indiscriminate taxpayer payments to HMOs