Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Turelli and Neerhof Continue Battle on Medicare Reform in 58th Legislative District Race

So, what do you do if you are running for the Illinois General Assembly, and there simply aren't frequent enough debates scheduled to engage your opponent on the issues? Well, how about a proxy war by dueling press releases? It seems, anyway, that this is the strategy that Lauren Turelli and her opponent, Dr. Mark Neerhof, have worked out.

Think of Team America as no-man's-land on the 58th District front: one candidate sends me a press release, so we send it to the other side for a response. And respond they do!

As before, since we gladly provide this public service, Team America has the first crack at putting these releases back to back to continue the heated discussion about how to best reform the Illinois Medicaid program.

Here's Turelli's next shot:


LAKE FOREST – Republican State Representative candidate Lauren Turelli challenged her opponent in the March 20th primary election, Mark Neerhof, to justify why he opposes common-sense reforms to Illinois' Medicaid program that could save Illinois taxpayers over $2 billion per year.

"As the Medicaid rolls skyrocket due to mismanagement and fraud, it's time to implement key reforms to ensure that the Illinois citizens who truly need this assistance are being served, and that taxpayers are not being fleeced," said Turelli. More to the point, Turelli noted that, "my opponent’s refusal to support common-sense reforms that save billions of dollars show he is not the real deal – not a true fiscal conservative."

At a recent candidate forum where Turelli reiterated her support of $2 billion in proposed Medicaid cuts, her opponent said ‘that makes no sense’. Turelli’s proposed reforms will look at all components – providers, patients, managed care, income tests and asset verification – of the broken Medicaid system to achieve significant cost reductions. These reforms and other common-sense measures are estimated to save taxpayers over
$2 billion per year.

"In order to fix Illinois, we need transparency and an end to currying favor with special interest groups. Dr. Neerhof needs to explain why he is opposed to common-sense reforms – a true fiscal conservative will back $2 billion in common-sense cuts", concluded Turelli.

And Neerhof fires back:
Dr. Mark Neerhof Supports Bold Medicaid Reform
Turelli-Quinn Plan Fails to Address Medicaid’s Problems and Worsens Patient Care
Lake Forest, IL 2/21/12-  Last week Lauren Turelli, Dr. Mark Neerhof’s Republican Primary campaign opponent came out in support of Liberal Democrat Governor Pat Quinn’s Medicaid plan.  Republicans, conservatives, patients and physicians alike have lambasted the Turelli-Quinn plan.  The Turelli-Quinn plan worsens the problems of access to care and Illinois’ unpaid bills.
Under the leadership of Governors Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn 20% of Illinoisans are now on Medicaid.  Just like Quinn, Lauren’s ideas of reform worsen the problems created by the Blagojevich and Quinn Administrations.  Turelli’s comments today claiming that Dr. Mark Neerhof does not support ‘common-sense’ reforms is a foolish accusation from a candidate that does not understand the fundamentals of what Medicaid is and what reform should look like.
Dr. Neerhof has dedicated his career to providing patient care to all patients including those on Medicaid. His plan for Medicaid calls for bold reforms, something that the Turelli- Quinn plan rejects. Medicaid already has 2.5 billion dollars of unpaid bills from last year.  This year, Illinois is expected to have in excess of 3 billion dollars in unpaid bills, and the Civic Federation has recently announced that the total of unpaid Medicaid bills is expected to total 21 billion dollars by the end of 2017. Nowhere in the Turelli-Quinn proposal is there a plan for paying off the state’s Medicaid debts.  These debts must be paid under law along with the ever-compounding interest the taxpayers owe providers each month, when the state misses payments. 
Dr. Mark Neerhof:  "Ms. Turelli claims that I am motivated by special interests. She is right. They are called patients.  Lauren does not understand what the problems are with Medicaid. She does not work within its confines every day.  As a physician, I see the problems in Medicaid and know what must be changed. Unlike Lauren, I do not support the Democrat Governor’s Medicaid plan.  Rather, I support bold reform."
Dr. Neerhof’s plan would provide means-based premium assistance to patients in need to assist them in obtaining their own low cost health insurance policies.  By doing so, we will provide lower cost, higher quality healthcare to the patients that need it the most.


Anonymous said...


Lauren has some explaining to do.

Sloth said...

What I see in DOCTOR Neerhofs release is he is worried about getting PAID. He is worried about cutting his pay and getting reimbursed. He quotes the Civic Federation white paper on Medicaid but then rejects the solution that the Civic Federation calls for. So let’s repeat from my earlier posts on this subject. The state is behind in paying Medicaid providers like DOCTOR Neerhof because the state has expanded eligibility for care beyond what it can afford to pay. The state has a problem paying providers like DOCTOR Neerhof because the state has added on many options beyond what is mandated by the Federal government. The state has these Medicaid liabilities and cannot pay DOCTOR Neerhof because there are no teeth in verifying income or residency. DOCTOR Neerhof, with his years of experience, rejects the very solution to solve these problems that Turelli and the Civic Federation are in favor of.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight, you think doctors SHOULDN'T get paid? What happens to needy children on Medicaid when the Governor and Mike Madigan cut provider reimbursement to the point where doctors and hospitals can't care for them anymore?

Rather than attacking Dr. Neerhof, maybe Turelli's staff should try explaining why she sides with the people who have driven Medicaid into the ditch.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I also love the use of the word "DOCTOR" as a pejorative. Definitely go with that.

Anonymous said...

One: Neerhof wants to cut costs and preserve patient care and limit government. Unless you're a relative of Lauren's that should be clear. Just cutting appropriations is going to leave more unpaid bills which accrue interest. It doesn't cut costs. That's more debt for us.

Two: She lied about graduating from Cambridge?! This is an electability issue now. She should cut her losses and get out of the race. The Party doesn't need this kind of embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why Dr. Neerhof who is so concerned with his patients would abandon them to try to become a state representative?

Trebor of Libertyville

Anonymous said...

Seriously Trebor?

Sloth said...

ANON 8:59,
Can you read?  Turelli did not say cut appropriations she said cut eligibility.  Your right there is a difference.  Eligibility expansion is the main driver of the out of control Medicaid program.  I realize DOCTOR Neerhof has to make up things to attack Turelli.  He is getting his behind handed to him in this race and his polling shows it.  All desparate candidates go negative.  DOCTOR Neerhof has just been forced to go negative much earlier.

Haldir said...

"Just cutting appropriations is going to leave more unpaid bills"

So your position is that the state budget – including our Medicaid reimbursement mechanism – is currently as lean and efficient as possible, and that it is totally unreasonable to ask Springfield to do with a little less?

This is commonsense fiscal conservatism. When the miraculous day comes where the liberals in Springfield are willing to swallow a spending cut of any size or type, you thank the Lord and take them up on it before the unions can bully them into changing their mind.

You honestly don't think there is any fat to trim? This is standard liberal rhetoric, claiming that any spending cut under any circumstances will leave everybody up a creek. Do you realize this is a Republican blog? Does Neerhof realize this isn't the Democrat primary?

Anonymous said...

All desperate candidates accuse their opponent of being desperate. Fact.

Anonymous said...

When is Turelli going to explain her fake Cambridge degree? Why does Cambridge say she never graduated? Pretty obvious... She's been dishonest with us since she ran for Supervisor here.