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Thursday 10-05-23 Bill Meyer Show Guest Information
(Podcasts on www.BillMeyerShow.com)
7:10 Dr. Jane Orient MD, Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. A great conversation about her latest editorial “Negative Evidence: Covid-19 and Neurological Disorders. Download the article from the journal here: https://www.jpands.org/vol28no3/orient.pdf
8:10 Diana Anderson and Gary Clark, authors of “Who Made American Schools Marxist Training Centers?”
Diana and Gary are putting on a couple of seminars fleshing out the concepts in this important book.
Oct 12 5:30p at the Phoenix Library – subject – Future of “Global Education Systems” (from cradle to grave) formulated by research laboratories from Moscow to Silicon Valley. ” Education that utilizes Social Lab style learning . . . to shift the purpose of education toward personal/collective and local/global contribution.” Seven maps detail the skills and the roles people will play in the future: as Drone Service Engineers and Mobility Advisors. Witness the “Nationalizing of Platforms and Data” and the researcher communication networks will replace “Academic Journals”. Total digital monitoring allows only the politically correct form of expression. In the Tech sector – New Human-computer Interfaces (Touch/Brain) advances.
Oct 26th 5:30p at the Ashland Library – We will recap 20 minute neighborhoods – digging deeper into the transformation of Rogue Valley communities into sustainable neighborhood units. The sustenance for a “communized” relationship between school and the surrounding community is rapidly coming to fruition – the quiet implementation to restrict freedom of movement , personal wealth building and right to property ownership. Neighborhood watch councils will become the government’s eyes and ears. Los Angeles has 99 Empowerment Councils in 99 neighborhoods, established in LA’s City Charter.
Wednesday 10-04-23 Bill Meyer Show Guest Information
(Podcasts on www.BillMeyerShow.com)
6:35 Eric Peters, automotive journalist www.EpAutos.com and today’s wheels up Wednesday drive through car reviews, politics, crazy EV pushes, etc.
7:10 State Senator Dennis Linthicum www.ElectDennis.com and today we’re talking about the Measure 113 lawsuit, and the upcoming newsletter “Unhinged, Part 2” the war on farming and other issues of liberty!
8:10 Election Integrity guest Dr. Douglas Frank, who appeared in Jo County last night. We have a discussion about the weakness in the Oregon election system.
Tuesday 10-03-23 Bill Meyer Show Guest Information
(Podcasts on www.BillMeyerShow.com)
6:35 Dr. Keith Smith – board certified anesthesiologist and co-founder of The Surgery Center of Oklahoma—we talks how Medicare payment policies fueling rising costs for patients and taxpayers can be fixed by federal legislation. Dr. Keith Smith contends: “It is time to roll back this particularly distorting Medicare payment policy, one that pits small doctor offices against large hospital systems, and limits competition. Taxpayers and health care consumers need swift action and a break from government breaking their backs.”
Dr. Keith Smith: “Do you know who owns your local doctor’s office? Most physicians owned and operated their own practices historically, but that has changed. Now, more than ever, a corporation or large hospital system will likely own your doctor’s office. A careful examination shows that current federal policies — particularly Medicare policies — are fueling this trend and increasing health care costs for consumers nationwide
Guest: Medicare payment policies fueling rising costs can be fixed by federal legislation.
Dr. G. Keith Smith
Do you know who owns your local doctor’s office? Most physicians owned and operated their own practices historically, but that has changed. Now, more than ever, a corporation or large hospital system will likely own your doctor’s office. A careful examination shows that current federal policies — particularly Medicare policies — are fueling this trend and increasing health care costs for consumers nationwide.
Medicare is one of the largest federal programs. It makes up a whopping 12% of the annual federal budget. It accounts for $900 billion in health care expenditures every year, roughly 21% of all U.S. health care expenditures. This massive amount of funding gives Medicare significant market power, so any distortions in the health care market the program causes can reverberate across the country at a large scale.
Medicare policies that reimburse physician-owned practices and hospital systems at different rates are one such distortion that drives up consumer costs. Instead of basing reimbursements on the service provided, Medicare looks at the owner of facilities where services occur and pays hospitals a higher rate. According to a recent study, primary care physicians received 78% more from Medicare when providing services under a hospital system.
Michael Chernew, professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School, correctly notes that this dual payment scheme creates “an incentive for hospitals to buy, and physicians to sell, physician practices.” In just four years, the percentage of physician practices that hospitals and corporate entities owned rose from 38.8% in 2019 to 53.6% in 2022. For the first time in American history, more than half of all physician practices are owned by hospitals and corporations.
As hospitals buy up small physician practices, competition in the health care market plummets. While corporate-owned practices get more money from Medicare, they can also in a less competitive market raise prices for everyone else. A study from Northwestern University found “that the prices for the services provided by acquired physicians increase by an average of 14.1% post-acquisition.”
Fortunately, the solution to this problem is as simple as its cause. The Medicare payment policies fueling consolidation and rising costs can be fixed by federal legislation requiring Medicare to adopt site-neutral reimbursement payments, which are based on the care provided to patients, not the facility owner. Legislation would provide equal reimbursement for the same care and remove the incentive fueling consolidation.
Site-neutral payments would result in massive savings for consumers and taxpayers. The Committee for Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) estimates that the Medicare program would save $153 billion over 10 years following the implementation of site-neutral payments.
Savings would not be limited to the federal government alone. The average American also would see cost savings. According to Jackson Hammond of American Action Forum, site neutrality also could help to stop “the cost-increasing consolidation of the U.S. health system [where] hospitals [can] purchase physician practices in order to receive higher payments and reduce competition.” In fact, CRFB estimates the total savings for national health expenditures would exceed $450 billion, including a $386 billion reduction in commercial insurance premiums.
The best government policy is invariably the repeal of prior government policy and this issue is no exception. Government distortion of a functional medical marketplace runs deep, but this is an easy one to fix.
This is the moment for bipartisan and common-sense legislation. It is time to roll back this particularly distorting Medicare payment policy, one that pits small doctor offices against large hospital systems, and limits competition. Taxpayers and health care consumers need swift action and a break from government breaking their backs.
Dr. G. Keith Smith is a board-certified anesthesiologist and co-founder of The Surgery Center of Oklahoma.
7:10 Mike O’Neil
Supreme Court Term Preview:
The Top Five Cases to be Heard by the Court in 2023-24
The United States Supreme Court’s 2023-2024 term set to start on Monday, October 2nd. Here are five of the most important cases to be following in the coming months.
- Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo
In Loper, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is under scrutiny for their rule requiring small fisherman, such as Loper Bright Enterprises, to pay the salaries of NMFS monitors who are required to occasionally inspect the practices of these fishermen. The case is highly important because of its potential to overturn Chevron Deference, a policy that dictates that judges defer to regulatory agencies when considering an ambiguous statute where the agency’s interpretation is “reasonable.” Chevron has been used to expand the regulatory state massively and thus its overturning would likely lead to far more cases about potential bureaucratic overreach. Landmark filed an Amicus Brief in this case, which can be found here. In this brief, Landmark argued that Chevron doctrine gave excessive power to regulatory agencies and may even violate the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) by forcing judges to defer to these agencies.
Oral arguments for Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo have not yet been scheduled.
- Moore v. United States
Moore v. United States focuses on an obscure portion of the U.S. tax code known as the Mandatory Repatriation Tax (MRT). The Moores, who owned around 11% equity in a foreign company, were forced to pay an income tax on their pro-rata share of that foreign corporation’s income since 1987, despite never having any form of cash dividend from their shares in the company. They sued the United States, arguing that the MRT was an unconstitutional direct tax. Read more about direct taxation here. Landmark filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of the Moores, arguing that because the Moores did not actually realize any income, the MRT could not be considered an income tax, and therefore must be a direct tax. Given that this direct tax was not apportioned, it was therefore unconstitutional, and Landmark has urged the Court to strike down the MRT. This case holds potentially massive implications for the tax system, as a blow to the MRT would also likely doom a potential wealth tax too, unless it were to be apportioned among the states.
Oral arguments for Moore v. United States have not yet been scheduled.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, et al. v. Community Financial Services Association of America, Limited, et al.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a government agency born in the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis. The CFPB is tasked with creating rules to regulate the financial sector, including mortgages, credit cards, and other forms of financial services. However, when the CFPB was created, its funding mechanism was placed outside of Congressional control. The CFPB was provided financial independence, being funded by the Federal Reserve. Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSAA) sued CFPB over an adopted rule which prevented lenders from withdrawing funds from borrowers’ bank accounts after two consecutive failed attempts as a result of lack of funds. CFSAA has accused the CFPB of being unconstitutionally funded, an argument that the Fifth Circuit Court agreed with. Landmark filed an Amicus Brief in this case, which can be found here. Landmark argued, in part, that the funding mechanism for the CFPB was a violation of the Separation of Powers, giving the executive branch the power of the purse, which is meant to be one of the legislature’s checks to executive power.
Oral arguments for this case are scheduled for Tuesday, October 3rd.
- Lindke v. Freed and O’Connor-Ratcliff v. Garnier
These two cases are grouped together as they touch on similar constitutional issues. Both involve public officials, James Freed and Michelle O’Connor Ratcliff respectively, who deleted comments from, and ultimately, blocked private citizens on social media accounts which they used for official government business. The question which the court will be considering in both cases is whether these public officials blocking private citizens constituted a violation of their First Amendment rights, and when officials using their social media accounts constitutes state action that could run afoul of constitutionally guaranteed liberties. Read the brief Oyez summaries of Lindke and O’Connor-Ratcliff here and here, respectively.
Oral arguments for both cases will be heard on Tuesday, October 31st.
- United States v. Rahimi
The Rahimi case concerns whether individuals who are subject to domestic violence restraining orders are permitted to own firearms. In this case, Rahimi had a restraining order put in place against him after hitting his girlfriend. The order prohibited him from owning a gun, which he was caught in violation of, and sentenced to 6 years in jail. Rahimi’s sentence was thrown out by the Fifth Circuit Court after the Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, as this case required all regulations on firearm possession to be in keeping with traditional regulations on firearms. The circuit court deemed this regulation was not and found that Rahimi retained his right to bear arms even while under this restraining order. The Supreme Court will consider whether this restriction on firearm ownership is consistent with their test set forth in Bruen. Read SCOTUSBlog’s description of the case here.
Oral arguments for United States v. Rahimi will be heard on Tuesday, November 7th.
7:35 Jo County Commissioner Herman Baertschiger – the DC controversy over the speaker and more about the new Jo County anti-drug taking in public ordinance. Second reading at tomorrow’s meeting!
8:10 What’s it like being on a criminal jury? Meri Hawrorth shares her experience from last week’s conviction of Thomas Murphy.
Monday 10-02-23 Bill Meyer Show Guest Information
(Podcasts on www.BillMeyerShow.com)
Sorry about the short show today – one of my stations went off the air just before I went on the air, and had to put on the engineer hat and fix it. Full 3 hours tomorrow!
8:10 Dr. Powers, retired professor of Business Law at SOU. www.DennisPowersBooks.com
By Dennis Powers
Second-generation logger, Jack Erickson, leased in 1971 an S-64E Skycrane helicopter from Sikorsky Aircraft and pioneered a new way to transport logs out of forests. Jack renamed his “Erickson Lumber Company” with his success to “Erickson Air-Crane” and a new business. Numerous small worldwide operations were experimenting then with helicopter logging, but with little success due to the high cost of flying the craft.
Looking like a huge “Praying Mantis,” the S-64E has a 6-bladed main rotor, can lift over 10-tons, and its middle had a huge-space for cargo. Understanding the Skycrane’s advantages and limitations, Erickson used his years of logging experience to develop a system and be financially successful. It is a flying crane without a fuselage for internal loads.
One year later, he purchased his first S-64E, followed soon by three more. Erickson developed applications other than timber harvesting. In 1972, the company used the S-64 for powerline-tower construction with major utilities. Over the years, Erickson throughout the U.S. and internationally carried large HVAC units, as well as lifting and installing ski lifts.
In the 1975 construction of the CN Tower in Ontario, Canada, the Aircrane carried and placed the 7-ton sections comprising the antenna and weather-metering systems at the top of the 1,850-foot-plus structure. Another unusual feat was pulling in 1982 a hoverbarge over snow, ice, and water. The company in 1983 brought in large construction equipment to build a 9-mile access road in remote Alaska. Ten years later, an Air-Crane removed and replaced the “Statue of Freedom,” on top of the U.S. Capitol Dome in Washington D.C. in the renovations.
In 1992, Erickson Air-Crane acquired the rights from Sikorsky Aircraft to be the manufacturer, repairer, and parts supplier for all S-64s. That same year, it designed a 2,650 gallon tank with computer-controlled tank doors, a “Hover Snorkel,” and a ram scoop for firefighting. A versatile and powerful heavy-lifting helicopter, Erickson made over 1300 changes to the design over the years for improvement (including composite rotors) and different uses.
In 2007, ZM Equity Partners acquired the company and moved the corporate headquarters to Portland from the operations outside Central Point; ZM sold off portions of its holdings in 2012 to enable Erickson Air-Crane to trade publicly on the NASDAQ and used the proceeds in paying down debt.
With its main facilities in Central Point, the support for its S-64 continued thorough out the world. Its international subsidiaries operated in timber harvesting, fire suppression, and heavy construction. Its European subsidiary with headquarters in Florence, Italy, was the only European certified and authorized S-64 Aircrane operator.
The company announced in March 2013 that it was purchasing Evergreen Helicopters in McMinnville, Oregon, for $250 million, payable in cash (75%) and the rest in Erickson notes and stock. Evergreen was an international cargo airline that owned and operated a fleet of Boeing 747s; an aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility; an aircraft ground handling company; and an aircraft sales and leasing company.
Borrowing heavily to finance the Evergreen purchase, Erickson was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and emerged in 2019 under private ownership. With operations located now from Canada, Peru, and Italy to China, South Korea, the Philippines (and more), its near-60 fleet involves “fixed wing” (i.e., Beechcraft 1900s), “medium lifting” (Bell and Airbus medium-sized helicopters), and “heavy lifting” (S-64s) craft—for both military and civilian applications.
Its current fleet of 15 S-64 heavy-lift helicopters works globally, primarily on fire-protection, oil & gas, powerline, logging, and infrastructure construction missions. (Erickson gives each of its S-64s (with its orange color) an individual name, the best-known being “Elvis”, used in fighting fires in Australia alongside “The Incredible Hulk” and “Isabelle”.)
In 2022, the company had near $300 million in revenues with 800-plus employees and its main operating facilities in Central Points. Although Jack Erickson is not longer involved with the company, it can be said that he founded a very successful one.
Sources: “Erickson History” at History; 2022 Erickson Corporate Brochure at