by Steve Timmer
Sep 22, 2018, 11:30 AM

Fronting for the ghouls

Here’s the most gut-wrenching quote from Jennifer Brooks’ recent column in the Star Tribune about what our healthcare “system” does to people:

Lisa Linnell of St. Paul was 12 weeks pregnant with her first child when an ultrasound revealed that there was no longer a heartbeat. She’d suffered a loss and she was about to suffer the cold calculus of medical billing.

“Three weeks later, right before Thanksgiving, I received a bill for $300 for that ultrasound,” she wrote in one of dozens of e-mails that came in after the splinter column ran. “I was told by my insurance company that, because the baby was dead, it was no longer covered as prenatal care.”

This is beyond even Franz Kafka’s imagination. Almost literally these are the eaters of the dead, right out of pre-Islamic (ghouls) or English (yird swine) folklore.

But you will never guess who is fronting for them. Well, if you have been reading recent stories here, you will. I have posted this video before, but I really commend to you the first few minutes of Reps. Ghoulish Glenn Gruenhagen from Glencoe, who “yields” to Doug Wardlow in 2011, bleating and wailing about how the Affordable Care Act would destroy the private health insurance industry and how faceless bureaucrats would interfere with the doctor-patient relationship. It really is a piece of work.

Well, boys and girls, we know with the benefit of hindsight that the ACA didn’t destroy the private insurance industry — would that it had — and that a “customer service representative” is just as good — maybe better — at denying healthcare or refusing to pay for it.

Ghoulish Glenn Gruenhagen from Glencoe is hoping to return to the Minnesota House this fall. Doug Wardlow, who was one and done as a House member, wants a statewide job this fall: attorney general.

The James Dobson right-wing law firm, the Alliance Defending Freedom —labeled a “hate group” by the civil rights watchdog The Southern Poverty Law Center — that Wardlow has been working for since leaving the legislature has filed multiple suits against the ACA around the country.

In remarks on the TPT television show Almanac last evening, September 21, Warlow averred that he would enforce the laws of Minnesota, even the ones [paraphrasing] that he didn’t agree with.

But when the ADF has been stomping about the land dissing the ACA, protecting homophobic wedding cake sellers, and making sure a funeral home can fire a transgender employee, you have to wonder if his heart would really be in it.

Keith Ellison says, “If you want to buy a cake, you get to buy one.”

Wardlow also said we had a great system for dealing with pre-existing conditions in medical insurance before the ACA. Not in the world that most of us live in, Doug, you know, the one where the sky is blue.

At an appearance at Drinking Liberally some time ago, Rep. Erin Murphy, a nurse and legislative expert on healthcare, then a candidate for governor, took a question about high risk pools.

I thought the whole TPT segment was a great showcase of the style, policy chops, important legal and trial experience, and management experience of Keith Ellison, versus the glowering, ideological pedant, Doug Wardlow.

Keith has said he wants to be the “people’s lawyer.” It is clear that Wardlow wants to the lawyer for the insurance companies, misogynists, and homophobes.

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