Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or convalescing after surgery are being confronted by an unexpected visitor: A debt collector at bedside.Jessica Silver-Greenberg of The New York Times • In the lede of an article analyzing Minnesota attorney general Lori Swanson’s recent allegations that a debt collection firm has been stationing its employees in hospital emergency rooms. Employees for Minnesota-based Accretive Health would allegedly disguise themselves as hospital staff, request up-front payment from patients, and — if patients did not have a credit card on-hand — were instructed to reply, “If you have your checkbook in your car I will be happy to wait for you.” Accretive declined to comment on whether or not their practices were being investigated, but did release a short statement saying, “We have a great track record of helping hospitals enhance their quality of care.” source (via • follow)
» The waitress says it’s a tip, but the mother of five still reported the large sum of cash to police who told her to wait 90 days before spending it. After further inspection, authorities said the money smelled like marijuana, and are now holding it as part of a drug investigation. But Stacy Knutson has grown tired of waiting, and filed a lawsuit in Clay County District Court to have the money returned to her. What do you think — valid tip, case evidence, or both?
X = President Romney. Y = a Republican Senate. X + Y = Z. Solve for Z. Z could mean the end of Medicare as we know it.Sen. Al Franken • Writing a fundraising e-mail for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee using a math metaphor. Franken is a self-proclaimed “math genius,” apparently — he’s big on showing off the Pythagorean Theorem to elementary school kids in Minnesota — but this math equation doesn’t seem particularly complex to follow. He follows it up with some firm language: “But, alas, it’ll take more than elementary geometry to help the DSCC reach its $90,000 goal before Saturday night’s deadline. We need your help. By which, again, I mean your money.”
I don’t stand here and claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama.Rick Santorum • Offering up a bold line while speaking to supporters in St. Louis, who picked him for the non-binding primary in Missouri last night. He also won caucuses in Minnesota, and somewhat surprisingly, Colorado. Two weeks ago, it looked like Gingrich was the guy going toe-to-toe with Romney. Now, with last night’s wins, that storyline looks old hat. Does Santorum have a shot at going all the way? source (via • follow)
What NOM and its allies are doing in Minnesota is shockingly bold.Human Rights Campaign’s Kevin Nix • Commenting on allegations that the Minnesota branch of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) skirted campaign finance laws in a series of emails directing contributions to the Minnesota Family Council. John Helmberger, chairman of NOM, is also the acting head of the Minnesota Family Council, a non-profit organization that backs NOM and is not required to disclose its donors. source (via • follow)
That’s the cool thing about it. The book is kind of a living document.Minnesota high school statistics teacher Michael Engelhaupt • Discussing how his school, Blaine High School, decided to write their own textbooks, rather than pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for textbooks which would be out-of-date and ill-suited to the school’s state testing. Right now, students can pay $5 to buy a printed-out version, or print from the Web, but eventually they’ll be able to access the material with computers everywhere. And, as things change, they can update the textbooks yearly. The difference in cost to the Anoka-Hennepin school district, by the way, was staggering: It would’ve cost $200,000 to buy textbooks; to get Engelhaupt and his fellow teachers to write them (and to pay for offline versions) cost just $25,000. Not a bad deal. source (via • follow)