Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A giant battle over Medicaid is brewing in Minnesota

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty wants to cut health care while Barack Obama says he will continue to piss away billions upon billions of our tax-dollars supporting the Israeli killing machine in carrying out more pogroms against the Palestinian people.

Not a single Minnesota state or federal legislator has had the moral or political courage to question these screwed up priorities which places killing people before keeping people healthy and getting people well when sick.

It is readily apparent that corporate profits trump everything else... and when it comes to wars and preparations for wars the profits are huge.

An entire web of political corruption has arisen around the military-financial-industrial complex which has perverted politics in this country and left working people without any voice, power or influence in the decision-making process.

Working people will never choose bombs over health care.

This is why the Wall Street coupon clippers have squeezed the working class out of the political process as workers are tossed out of their jobs as if they are dog shit on the shoes of these capitalist pigs feeding at a trough enlarged for them by Barack Obama so more of these greedy capitalist pigs can profit from war and poverty.

These "stimulus" packages are a bunch of bullshit--- plain and simple. These "stimulus" packages are nothing more than schemes for the wealthy to steal even more of the wealth created by working people. These "stimulus" packages are plunging our country into greater debt... as Roger Jourdain warned: Debt is poverty. Big debt is greater poverty.

There are no solutions to the collapse of the capitalist system other than replacing this rotten system... as this system goes down we need to seek solutions to our problems which will fit in with the socialist alternative to capitalism--- whether in job creation or solving the health care mess.

Capitalism is on the skids to oblivion and we are on the road to perdition; what more proof do we need?

What working people need to do is give the Democrats and Republicans the boot and set up a real working class political party like the New Democratic Party in Canada... anyone who continues to say change will come through the Democratic Party is living in a fairy-tale world or misleading working people.

We have proposed the only sensible solution to the health care mess---

Health Care Reform... a real proposal for change

Read about our proposal here:

Roger Jourdain – Rudy Perpich – Floyd B. Olson – Elmer A. Benson Memorial Public Health Care System Act

Our solution is simple and cheaper than any other proposal for health care reform.

With the Roger Jourdain – Rudy Perpich – Floyd B. Olson – Elmer A. Benson Memorial Public Health Care System Act anyone in Minnesota can walk into any doctor's office or hospital and get the care they require and are entitled to with not a single question asked about how the bill will be paid... complete with a practical, common sense way to pay for this public health care system.

Health care, not warfare... finance health care the same way we finance Social Security... the solution is simple.

We will never get health care reform which benefits most people if we aren't willing to give Democrats and Republicans the boot.

Alan L. Maki


As legislators look for ways to ease budget cuts the governor will propose today, many say the budget cannot be balanced without cutting Medical Assistance.

By WARREN WOLFE, Star Tribune

Last update: January 26, 2009 - 9:28 PM

As Gov. Tim Pawlenty tackles the state's epic budget deficit this year, he faces the huge dilemma known as Medicaid.

The federal-state health insurance program for the poor, elderly and disabled is growing at a frightening pace in every state. But cutting it could end up costing the state more in lost federal revenue. Moreover, Pawlenty is up against DFLers in the Legislature who want to expand health care coverage for the poor.

Tuesday in Minnesota, the state government's $3 billion half of the Medicaid bill represents about one-fifth of its annual budget. That's expected to rise by 12 percent in each of the next two years, a total of about $8.4 billion.

Pawlenty, who will deliver his budget message today, can hardly make much headway against a projected $4.8 billion deficit without cutting public health programs such as Medicaid, known as Medical Assistance in Minnesota.

Yet paring Medical Assistance in the midst of a deep recession would sever a central strand of the government's safety net exactly when vulnerable residents need it most.

Moreover, the state loses a dollar for every dollar it cuts from Medical Assistance because the federal government matches the state outlay. State officials are hoping for help from Congress. It is now debating an economic stimulus bill that could give Minnesota about $3 billion, one-third of which might go to Medical Assistance. Even with federal help, "this is going to be the worst thing to hit us since the 1930s in terms of the economy," said Rep. Tom Huntley, DFL-Duluth.

He leads the House Health Care and Human Services Finance Division, which watches over one-third of the state budget.

He said that the state deficit actually might be $7 billion or $8 billion, which would require a 20 percent budget cut, "and you can't do that without causing a lot of pain to people and institutions."

Battle about to begin

Pawlenty's proposal today will be the opening salvo in what many predict will be a protracted battle between the GOP governor and the DFL-controlled Legislature. Like a battleship moving into position, Sen. Linda Berglin -- Huntley's counterpart in the Senate -- proposed legislation Monday to increase access to MinnesotaCare, the state's health plan for working low-income people and for children whose parents can't afford insurance.

The Minneapolis DFLer said she will try to draw a line to protect low-income people from health care cuts.

"We'll have to look at budget cuts, but that's not our only tool, despite what the governor seems to think," she said. "We do not have to cut Medical Assistance."

Doing so would be financially shortsighted, she said. If there are cuts in a similar program, General Assistance Medical Care for very low-income people, "40 percent of them have mental illnesses and they'll end up in emergency rooms or in jails."

She is working on bills to improve health care efficiency, including cheaper, non-emergency ambulance service and birthing clinics that she said would offer care at one-third of traditional costs.

Preparing for bad news

Across Minnesota, local governments and health care agencies are watching the budget drama with dread.

"There will be damage. We just don't know yet how bad it will be," said Patricia Coldwell, a health and human services policy analyst at the Association of Minnesota Counties. "The demand for help already is rising with every layoff."

Huntley said that all state programs should face budget cuts.

"If others don't share the pain, we will permanently damage hospitals, clinics and nursing homes," he said.

"We can't get by without cuts. The best we can do is minimize the damage."

Warren Wolfe • 612-673-7253