Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rockford Memorial on deadline for Medicare fixes - - BusinessRockford.com

This story appears to be in conflict with my earlier posting.  See:  http://boonecountywatchdog.blogspot.com/2009/04/rockford-memorial-hospital-has-resolved.html   It looks like Rockford Memorial is doing some fast talking here.  It would appear that the hospital is out of compliance with federal/state regulation and that is what is causing the threat of suspension of Medicare/Medicaid payments.


Click on the following for the rest of the story:  Rockford Memorial on deadline for Medicare fixes - - BusinessRockford.com

Robert Reich's Blog: We Need More Stimulus, Not More Bailout

Mr. Reich’s call is that we need more stimulus but the administration will be asking for more bailout –and this may be the last time that Congress will go along with the request.

My Photo      Source:  http://www.robertreich.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We Need More Stimulus, Not More Bailout

With only $110 billion remaining in the TARP bailout fund, all signs are that Tim Geithner is preparing to return to Congress seeking more bailout money. He’ll bring along the results of his bank “stress tests,” which will probably show many that big banks are still technically insolvent, along with bankruptcy scenarios for General Motors and Chrysler, and a couple of CEO scalps – he’s already got GM’s. Congress won’t be happy but in the end it will cough up another 300 to 500 billion.
Geithner believes the only way to rescue the economy is to get the big banks to lend money again. But he’s dead wrong. Most consumers cannot and do not want to borrow lots more money. They’re still carrying too much debt as it is. Even if they refinance their homes – courtesy of the Fed flooding the market with so much money mortgage rates are dropping – consumers are still not going to borrow more. And until there’s enough demand in the system, businesses aren’t going to borrow much more to invest in new plant or machinery, either.
That’s the big issue – the continued lack of enough demand in the economy. The current stimulus package is proving way too small relative to the shortfall between what consumers and businesses are buying and what the economy could produce at full capacity. (According to today's report from the Commerce Department, retail sales fell in March, as did prices paid to U.S. producers.)

Worse yet, the states are pulling in the opposite direction. States cannot run deficits, which means that as their revenues drop in this downturn they’re cutting vital services and raising taxes to the tune of $350 billion over this year and next. This fiscal drag is wiping out about half of the current federal stimulus.

If Geithner gets Congress to give him more bailout money, Congress won’t be in any mood to do what it really needs to do – which is to enlarge the stimulus package. Voters are already worried about too much government spending. At most, the administration is going to get only one more bite at the congressional apple. Make that more stimulus rather than more bailout

U.S. Planning to Reveal Data on Health of Top Banks - NYTimes.com

It looks like a new grading systems—if the Fed grades on the”curve” let us hope the grades are not too lenient

U.S. Planning to Reveal Data on Health of Top Banks - NYTimes.com

Jim Wise comments on the local elections and the Republican Party

The following is a direct quote  from Jim Wise as posted on his Blog:   http://belviderepolitiks.wordpress.com/

On April 7, voters sent a clear message – change is coming. This is a message that the leadership of the Boone County Republican Party had better take heed of. This past election cycle, the leadership of the Boone County Republican Party chose to protect the interests of a few select individuals, and the public offices that they hold, at the expense of the needs and interests of the citizens of Boone County. This caused the Party to lose one City and one Township office and only able to hold on to several other elected offices by the slimmest of margins. The prized possession of the Party, the office of Mayor of Belvidere, was nearly lost to an Independent candidate who lacked even the most basic of qualifications to hold such an office. The Party is in trouble of losing its status as the dominant political party in Boone County and to retain its dominance in Boone County politics three things must occur.
First, the Boone County Republican Party needs new leadership. The current Chairman is void of the skills needed to sustain the Party’s dominance in Boone County politics and should be replaced in order to prevent any further decline of the Party’s membership and status within the County.
Secondly, because it has become too focused on a select few public offices and individual office holders its membership base is shrinking and candidates who previously sought County, Municipal, Township and Precinct offices as Republicans now run under the banner of the Independent Party. The Party needs to refocus its attention on the citizens – the ones that live on Main Street not High Street in order to regain its base of support from among the citizens of Boone County.
And thirdly, it needs to move beyond the old ways of governance. Its membership is comprised of both men and women, but has a woman ever led the Party? There are many women among the Party membership who have the skills and ability to lead the Party. Two who come to mind are Cathy Ward and Patricia Zickert. Studies have proven that women make better leaders of organizations where interpersonal skills are more important than brawn. The Party has plenty of brawn, but has failed to take advantage of the skills that are needed to promote, nurture and sustain the Party and its membership, skills that women in general posses.
Change is coming to Boone County in small measured steps. But change in the leadership of the Boone County Republican Party needs to take place before the next cycle of elections, before it loses its status as the dominant political party in Boone County and surely before the current leadership leads the Party to its grave.

Jim Wise

Chrysler Lenders Expected to Counter Treasury - NYTimes.com

Actions of US Treasury questioned.  Government gives Chrysler bondholders  less information than GM Bondholders and little or no upside benefit for concessions.

Should Chrysler be forced to liquidate, these senior secured lenders would have claims on the assets. Bondholders in G.M. hold unsecured debt, and would likely be crushed

Chrysler Lenders Expected to Counter Treasury - NYTimes.com

Rockford Memorial Hospital has resolved its issues with Medicare

This legal notice apparently no longer is in effect.  I called Patient Financial Services at Rockford Memorial Hospital.  The hospital is aware of the legal notice but stated  the issues have been resolved and that Medicare and Medicaid paid services provided at the hospital will continue after April 29, 2009.  If you have any question call Rockford Memorial’s Hot Line at 815 971 6239.





Posted Agenda of the Health Department

The following items were listed as the Health Department’s agenda for the Special April 14, 2009 meeting at which Ray Empereur  and Stephanie Seaworth were hired. 


Please look at my earlier postings regarding agendas and minutes : http://boonecountywatchdog.blogspot.com/2009/04/who-hired-administrator-or-interim.html 

I see no indication of any Board of Health action hiring Ms. Seaworth prior to March 30, 2009 and this action on April 14, 2009.  So under whose authority was Ms. Seaworth working at the Boone County Health Department in February and March 2009?   Is the Boone County Health Department exempt from the open meetings act?   Can the Board of Health authorize the hiring of their administrator (without and) before an open meeting? 



APRIL 14, 2009 – 12:00 p.m.
I. Call to Order
II. Approval of Agenda
III. Contracts
● IPHA Contract
● SWCD Contract
IV. Adjournment

Boone health board OKs contract for administrators - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star


Boone health board OKs contract for administrators

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(photo) boone health


Ray Empereur (left) and Stephanie Seaworth.


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By Kevin Haas


Posted Apr 14, 2009 @ 01:02 PM


The Boone County Board of Health has approved a contract today with the Illinois Public Health Association for the county health department’s top job.
Contracting Ray Empereur, an IPHA employee, as the administrator for the Boone County Department of Health is the board’s fix to a hiring snafu that came about when the state failed to certify its original choice.
The board picked Stephanie Seaworth in February, but the state blocked the hire because she lacked two years of administrative in a department of public health.
Empereur has 20 years experience as an administrator in public health departments. His hire has been certified by the state.
“The expertise and experience that Ray brings is an absolute outstanding opportunity and value to the people of Boone County,” said Dr. Kent Hess, board president.
Seaworth was given the title of assistant administrator, a new position created for her, while Empereur will get to highest rank in a part-time mentoring role. Board members said Seaworth will get the top job in two years.
Empereur will be paid $600 a month, plus mileage reimbursement, according to the contract.
Seaworth will make $64,000 this year, which keeps the department under the $76,500 budgeted for the previous health administrator, Malafu Tiatia. Tiatia left the department to follow his family to the Memphis, Tenn., area.
Seaworth has administrative experience and worked in public health, including time as a staff nurse in Winnebago County and as vice president of the Ogle County Board of Health. Board members thought those credentials met the state requirements, but the Illinois Department of Public Health disagreed.
“She has excellent credentials,” Hess said. “We’re very excited about her being here. She’s made the transition pretty seamless. She has the support of the staff, the support of the board and we’re excited to have her.”
Staff writer Kevin Haas can be reached at 815-544-3452 or khaas@rrstar.com.

Boone health board OKs contract for administrators - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Manzullo Urges Priority to Northern Illinois AMTRAK

April 13, 2009


Contact: Rich Carter

Manzullo Urges U.S. Transportation Secretary to
Prioritize Northern Illinois Amtrak Route for Funding

[WASHINGTON]  U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) is asking U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to set aside a small portion of the $8 billion targeted for high-speed rail this year to help fund track improvements needed to restart the Amtrak line running from Chicago to Rockford and beyond to Freeport, Galena and Dubuque.

Manzullo teamed up with Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) in seeking the federal funds to help pay for the minimum $32 million in track upgrades needed to allow Amtrak trains to run 182 miles from Chicago to Dubuque. The request is outlined in a letter Manzullo and Braley sent to Secretary LaHood on Monday.

“One of the most promising additions to the Midwest’s Chicago Hub Network is the Chicago-Dubuque Intercity Passenger Rail Corridor via Rockford, Freeport, Lena and Galena,” the letter states. “According to a 2008 Amtrak feasibility study, the Chicago-Dubuque route requires $32.3 million to improve track conditions for 50 mph service. At this speed, annual ridership is expected to be 77,500 passengers.”

Manzullo has been a strong supporter of Amtrak and commuter rail and has worked with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to encourage Amtrak to re-start the Chicago-to-Dubuque line through Rockford. In 2005, Manzullo and Durbin secured $2.6 million for a study to determine the feasibility of extending commuter rail from Chicago to Belvidere and Rockford.

“Amtrak service running from Chicago through Rockford, Freeport and Galena to Dubuque would spur economic development and give our residents another transportation option to get to their destinations,” Manzullo said. “I strongly encourage Secretary LaHood to prioritize federal funding to help pay for the track upgrades necessary to return Amtrak service to northern Illinois.”