– – SUGAR ISLAND FEST 2013 – –

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The 3 Day Sugar Island Fest was reestablished over a decade ago as a fundraiser to help finance local projects, including black- topping a main island roadway and improving access to a beautiful piece of recreational beach. Come join us for music, local crafts, food vendors, camping and fun for the entire family. A large group of organizers, staff, groundskeepers and musicians volunteer their time and talents each year to provide audiences with the best entertainment and activities & food Info: Bob 989-624-5096 sugarislandfest.org Visit our website: http://www.sugarislandfest.org/
Site http://www.sugarislandreview.com

Homestead Road Dedication

Ribbon Cutting On 7/5/2013RIBBON CUT READY TO CUT PRADE 2 PARADE 28 PARADE 29 PARADE ATTENDER PARADE START PRADE 1 PARADE 27 PARADE 26 PARADE 25 PARADE 24 PARADE 23 PARADE 22 PARADE 21 PARADE 20 PARADE 19 PARADE 18 PARADE 13 PARADE 14 PARADE 15 PARADE 16 PARADE 17 PARADE 8 PARADE 9 PARADE 10 PARADE 11 PARADE 12 PARADE 7 PARADE 6 PARADE 5 PARADE 4 PARADE 3 CONNIE & HAROLD DON McLEAN LOOK AT ME PARADE --The final touch to the over thirty year effort to improve the road to the “South End” of the Island is complete with the Ribbon Cutting shown in the top picture. A wonderful conclusion to what started about 30 years ago with Jack Harrington and the “Build A Mile Of Road Day” on Sugar Island.

What a GREAT DAY FOR SUGAR ISLAND!!

More Pictures from the Parade held after the Road Dedication. A good time was had by all as the pictures will attest too. I hope you can find yourself in one of them sharing in the fun.

For a bigger view of any picture simply double click on it.

Jesse

 

Most states earn ‘F’ in price transparency! Michigan One Of Them

Could the unwillingness of our Michigan State Legislature to provide the Health Care Registration of available Health Insurers in Michigan, as apparently mandated by the Feds, have anything to do with “Kick Backs, or other forms of Pay Offs in the Campaign Fund Word”? Is this why our legislators have waited until the threat of loosing Federal money is over their heads and still not responded in a positive way? Do any of our Legislators really care about our health care?

Is there a Campaign Fund contribution Cancer so contagious to our Legislators, from Health Insurers and Drug Companies, that they are willing to give up all forms of honesty they previously committed to their electors? How many of these Legislators have ever made the simple statement “I promise to be 100% honest with you (the electorate) at all times during my term”?

I have posted today’s report below along with the map of states.

Jesse Knoll

Most states earn ‘F’ in price transparency: report By Melanie Evans

Posted: March 18, 2013 – 12:01 am ET

Tags: Access, Costs, Finance, Hospitals, Insurance Exchanges, Insurance, Insurers, Legislation

Most states have limited laws or no laws at all to guarantee patient access to information on hospital and clinic prices, according to a newly released report that found poor disclosure and incomplete information in three dozen states.

The report, released by the Catalyst for Payment Reform and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, awarded an F to 29 states—including seven without any price laws whatsoever—and gave another seven states a D. State laws were graded on how easily disclosed prices could be seen by the public; whether laws required disclosure of prices or discounts paid by insurers; and how many providers and procedures were included.

Even among two states that earned an A, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, disclosure was lacking, the reports’ authors said.

“We graded on a curve,” said Suzanne Delbanco, executive director of the Catalyst for Payment Reform, an employer group. “I think there’s room for improvement, even among the As.”
Read more: Most states earn ‘F’ in price transparency: report | Modern Healthcare http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20130318/NEWS/303189959#ixzz2NzOzYIGT

Glenn Melnick, a healthcare finance professor at the University of Southern California, described the report as “pretty lenient” and said it underscored “how bad things are right now.” Melnick said he believed the report did not emphasize enough the value of the discounted prices paid by insurers instead of sticker prices, or charges. “Charges, unless they represent the real prices, are not useful information,” he said.

“The real challenge will be to combine detailed services into common bundles of services that consumers are likely to buy and then give actual prices,” Melnick said in an e-mail. “Right now, pricing is far too detailed and after the fact to be helpful to consumers.”

As households pay a larger share of the medical bill, pricing information is increasingly important, Delbanco said.

Francois de Brantes, executive director of the not-for-profit Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, said he was saddened by the results “when you consider the weight of healthcare costs for the average family and what it has become, and while a lot of people are talking about it, nobody seems to be worried about concrete action.” Publishing prices would be one such action with the power to directly benefit consumers, he said. “If you’re fumbling around without any pricing information, you’re at the mercy of whoever is setting the prices.”

More laws are necessary, he said. Voluntary efforts have so far failed to significantly improve disclosure of prices. Without legislation, consumers have little hope of getting access to prices for the hospitals and doctors they visit.

He called for laws that require health plans to disclose more price information to patients. State health insurance exchanges, new markets scheduled to launch this year under the 2010 health reform law, can also develop regulations to require such disclosure, he said. States should also ban hospitals and clinics from including clauses in health plan contracts that prohibit health plans from publishing price information, he said.

Read more: Most states earn ‘F’ in price transparency: report | Modern Healthcare http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20130318/NEWS/303189959#ixzz2NzPH3fKm

price_trans_leg_map

“NO” SAYS COMMISSIONERS COOPER & KINSELLA TO PEOPLE IN NEED OF HOSPICE CARE IN CHIPPEWA COUNTY

The two Tribes in Chippewa County made an agreement “Pact” with the State of Michigan to turn over 2% of the proceeds of the Slot Machine money to the local governing bodies when they were given permission to set up (OPEN) their casinos. The Bay Mills Tribe just mails in a check for the amount so to speak, no strings attached. The Sault Tribe has a process where local organizations can apply for a portion of the money on a one time or recurring basis. This application must be approved by a local governing body, (Township or County) per the rules set up by the Sault Tribe in their Pact with the State. If they didn’t handle the dispersal of the money in this way, it is possible that they would be unable to meet/satisfy the 2% “Pact” requirement with the State of Michigan. Mail it in or dole it out, either way the 2% is paid by the Tribes from their slot machine revenues.

Since the Sault Tribe chooses to dole it out they must first have it approved by a governing body. This money is considered by the State to be in the same category as any other revenue that the governing body may be able to receive or disperse such as taxes or fees. For this reason the only things the County Board or Township Board may approve are items equally available to or having the capability of benefiting all County or Township residents equally, no matter what the use the money is applied to.

In March of 2009 Debbie Sirk representing the Lutheran Child and Family Services requested $7,500.00 from 2% money through the County. The request was approved by the County Board and the funds were dispersed. At that time a question arose in my mind about the granting of the request in that it was going to a specific (Lutheran) religious group. I do believe fully in the separation of church and state.

I placed the question to the County’s Administrator for clarification of the rules governing the dispersal of County General Fund money. It took several months for the determination to be made. It was determined that as soon as the money was turned over to the County Board it did in fact become a normal revenue to the County such as a tax or fee, thus fell under the rules that apply to all funds in the County’s General Fund.

It now became clear that any appropriation of County Funds to a Special Interest Group such as the Debbie Sirk’s request for the Lutheran Child and Family Services Organization was illegal and we were told these actions could be held personally accountable by each commissioner.

In September of 2009 another request from Debbie Sirk for the Lutheran Child and Family Services was presented to the County Board. For the reason stated above concerning these 2% funds I voted “NO” along with all other commissioners. The exception was Commissioner Cooper who voted for the transfer of the money to Debbie Sirk’s employer. I have placed the exact transcript of the September 16th 2009 Board action below.

” A two percent request was submitted by Lutheran Child and Family Services. A discussion on two percent money took place.

It was moved by Commissioner Knoll, supported by Commissioner Moore, to stop accepting two percent pass through requests through the County.

Commissioner Cooper didn’t see any harm in continuing the process until someone says stop.

Commissioner Moore stated that the townships have discontinued the process because the MTA was told by their legal people in Lansing not to pass thru money that they wouldn’t pass from their tax payer dollars already.

Chairman Shackleton stated that the County had a red flag on their audit report a couple years ago saying the County shouldn’t be doing this.

On a voice vote, the motion carried with Commissioner Cooper voting no.”

When the meeting was over Commissioner Cooper expressed his very deepest negative thoughts to the rest of the Board concerning our vote on the subject.

On September 6th 2012 a Finance Committee meeting was held that I sat on as a member. I have quoted the subject of 2% requests as the minutes reflect below.

Two Percent Request From CCHD
A two percent request from the Chippewa County Health Department was presented for EUP Hospice Services.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Moore, to approve the CCHD request for two percent money for EUP Hospice in the amount of $25,730.

On a voice vote, the motion CARRIED with Commissioner Kinsella voting no.

Please note that Commissioner Kinsella was the only Commissioner voting against the Chippewa County Health Departments request for 2% funds, for the Hospice House, with the vote carrying anyway. You should also be aware that both Commissioner Cooper and Moore sat on the Board of Health at that time.

Two Percent Request for Lutheran Family Services
A two percent request was submitted by Lutheran Child and Family Services in the amount of $7,500.00. A discussion ensued on the legality of the request. The administrator was instructed to get more information for the Board meeting from the auditor. A discussion ensued.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper to approve the two percent request for Lutheran Child and Family Services.

The motion failed for lack of support.

On April 9th 2012 I was called anything but human by Debbie Sirk for my voiced concerns about the legality of giving tax payer money to a particular religious group. I believe it was my concerns that caused Commissioner Cooper’s motion to die for lack of support. I believe that it was my comments in the Finance Committee that triggered the verbal lam basting I received at the County Board meeting by Debbie Sirk as quoted from the minutes below.

Public Comments

Debbie Sirk expressed her disapproval of a Commissioner’s comments at a prior Finance meeting, concerning Lutheran Child Family Services of Michigan.

On Monday March 11th 2013 a request for 2% funds by the Chippewa County Health Department to be used by the Hospice House was read by Commissioner Cooper. He would not make a motion nor second the motion to allow the funds for the Hospice House. Commissioners McLean and Postula made and seconded the motion. The vote was then taken with Commissioners McLean and Postula voting in favor and Cooper and Kinsella voting against. Since Commissioner Shackleton was absent, the motion in a tie vote, failed and cannot be brought up again anytime soon.

The losers, in this possible reprisal to my earlier objections to funding a specific Religious Organization’s  request for 2% money, are the Chippewa County residents, of all denominations, that need the help afforded to them by the Chippewa County Health Department through the Hospice House.

I believe every Chippewa County law abiding resident has the right to die with care and dignity!

Jesse Knoll

Former County Commissioner

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