UMN Prof’s Blog goes into detail about SDDP’s losing record, and how the wind is blowing against them this election.

While Dems tried to put a happy face on their upcoming election fortunes in the Argus this weekend, one website went into detail about SDDP’s losing record, and how the wind is blowing against them this election:

Democrats are losing elections across the Mount Rushmore State at a pace not seen since the Eisenhower administration

And…

A six-decade low for Democrats? Indeed, electoral outcomes in recent cycles suggest this is so.
And…

Overall, Republicans have won 446 of 534 statewide elections in South Dakota since statehood (83.5 percent) and Democrats have generally been perennial underdogs over the last 125+ years, with the exception of two stints in the 20th Century in which the party benefited from a strong national partisan wind at its back.

And..

Secondly, the 2014 cycle also saw South Dakota Democrats get blown out in historic fashion with Governor Daugaard’s 45-point victory the largest across the 54 gubernatorial contests conducted since statehood.

The win was an exclamation mark for the GOP, which has made Democrats suffer through 10 consecutive gubernatorial losses – the longest current streak for either party in the nation.

The margin of loss was particularly disappointing for the Democrats who fielded just the fourth all-female gubernatorial ticket in U.S. history out of the more than 40 elections in which a female gubernatorial nominee had a running mate.

Thirdly, in 2010 Democrats did not run a nominee against incumbent John Thune marking the first time in state history the party failed to field a candidate in a U.S. Senate race.

And now Democrats are at risk of doing the same against the popular GOP officeholder in 2016. If that happens, it would be just the second time in U.S. history – and the first time in more than 75 years – that a Republican nominee ran unchallenged by a Democratic opponent for two consecutive cycles. (The last to do so was California’s Hiram Johnson in 1934 and 1940).

Fourthly, the depth of the Democratic Party’s troubles in South Dakota can be seen by its thin bench in the state legislature.

Read the entire article here.

SDDP Chair Ann Tornberg is so far on track to be the first american state political party chair at the helm in 75 years to allow a second bye in a row for a US Senate seat… despite her boastful claims she will have a candidate in that and all 105 legislative races.

Realistically, dems are far past the point where even a serious and legitimate candidate could be successful. Not that they have any at this point.

Just the sheer demands and amount of fundraising they should have been doing over the past six months have left them in an impossible position. No legitimate candidates, if any. And no time left to raise money.

Petition circulation begins in 12 days. Stay tuned to see how many candidates Dems actually run.

No editorial bias in favor of Democrats at the Argus. Nope… None at all.

I thought this was pretty telling of some editorial biases at the state’s largest newspaper.

Here’s the online headline posted yesterday of the story talking about Democrats misfortunes in South Dakota:

online_headline

Fairly mundane.

But then look at the front page splash that landed on doorsteps this morning:

Argus_loves_dems

Wait? What? Are those the same two stories?  Seriously, I threw up in my mouth a little when faced with the shameless and naked plug on the front page of the Argus.

I’d like to know who made that headline decision, because we should start to look and see if they had a nice Christmas bonus from the state Democrat Party.

No editorial bias at the Argus. Nope… None at all.

Should RV Owners be disqualified from participating in democracy? Maybe they could count as 3/5 citizens……

There’s a debate raging in Pennington County on the increase in the wheel tax by the County Commission, and one of the points being brought up in the debate is that a group of RV owners, who call the county home, could wield enough electoral clout to put the increase in wheel taxes down.

That’s raised the ire of State Senator Craig Tieszen, who put them on notice that he plans to introduce a measure to strip them of their South Dakota citizenship:

If Americas Mailbox customers vote in large numbers, they could be the deciding factor in the election that will not only determine whether the county can collect a wheel tax, but also whether Pennington County will qualify for part of a pool of state money for local road and bridge projects.

“Can they carry an election? They could if they wanted to,” said Pennington County Auditor Julie Pearson, who oversees the county’s elections.

That possibility has gained the attention of state Sen. Craig Tieszen, R-Rapid City. He hopes to pass legislation that would prevent similar situations in the future.

“Something needs to be done about it,” Tieszen said. “It’s reprehensible to think that people who do not live in this state could sway an election.”

Americas Mailbox co-owner Don Humes said his customers bring thousands of dollars in extra revenue to the county and state through vehicle licensing and registration fees, and they deserve a say in ballot issues that affect them financially.

“I’m surprised any politician would tell any citizen of the United States that they shouldn’t be allowed to vote,” Humes said.

and…

That changed following a 1972 U.S. Supreme Court opinion in the case of Dunn v. Blumstein. The court ruled that so-called durational residency requirements violated the constitutional right of Americans to travel freely between states without surrendering their ability to vote in federal elections.

and…

Theoretically, the South Dakota Legislature could pass a law imposing 30-day residency requirements — like those imposed in municipal, township and school elections — on special county elections that are not held in conjunction with federal elections.

South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, who is the state’s top elections official, said she is open to discussing that kind of legislation with lawmakers. The 2016 legislative session begins five days after Pennington County’s wheel-tax election and continues into March.

Read the entire article here.

I think we can look at this by noting that the Supreme Court has spoken definitively on the topic, because the alternative is to create an even bigger mess.

If we passed legislation to strip those people of a portion of their voting rights, in a November election, would those RVers only be able to vote for President, US Senate, and Congress, leaving the rest of the ballot blank?  And who would be responsible for marking them as Democracy limited on the voter rolls?

Since they will only be able to vote on a portion of the ballot, maybe we could declare them as only 3/5 South Dakotans, while taxing them at 100%.  Just in case someone tries to slip by, maybe we could have them take a South Dakota Literacy test before they vote….

Yeah… that’s the kind of stuff we’re talking about when someone wants to try to limit ballot access, or qualify them as only a portion of a state citizen. It’s not just a little discriminatory.  It’s utterly discriminatory.

What was that thing we fought a little war over? Something about “No taxation without representation…?”  These people, who declare their residency here in a completely legal manner are taxed as South Dakotans, are licensed and register their vehicles as South Dakotans, and considered in census and legislative districting as South Dakotans.

Trying to strip them of a portion of their voting rights because they call South Dakota home, but like to drive an RV around the country is offensive, and should be a measure that’s dead upon arrival in the legislature.

US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Ending the Flawed Common Core Mandate

thuneheadernew John_Thune,_official_portrait,_111th_CongressEnding the Flawed Common Core Mandate  
By Sen. John Thune

Parents around the country will tell you that for their children’s success, it’s important to have an effective educational system with teachers and administrators who are accountable to the local community. It’s local control, not big government mandates, that hold the key to efficiently implementing educational plans that work best for kids, because what works for students in New York City might not work well for students in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and vice versa.

For too many years, though, that had been the case: a big-government, one-size-fits-all approach to education. This wasn’t good for teachers, and it wasn’t good for students. With the sweeping education reform bill that was recently signed into law, we will thankfully reverse that trend and return control to the people who know students the best, like their parents, teachers, and local school boards.

We’ve all heard the phrase “teaching to the test,” which was born from the nearly 15-year-old No Child Left Behind (NCLB) policy that was intended to boost teacher accountability. After hearing from school districts around the country, it became clear that while accountability has a role in our school systems, it’s also important for school boards to have the flexibility to set and administer standards that meet their own local needs. Ending the NCLB policy was long overdue – after all, more than 40 states were operating under NCLB waivers, which will no longer be necessary under the new law.

Perhaps most importantly, the Every Student Succeeds Act puts an end to the U.S. Department of Education’s bureaucratic Common Core mandate that has been a hotly debated topic for South Dakota teachers and families. Gone are the days of an over-reliance on standardized testing that consumed teachers’ time and frustrated parents and students alike. The long-standing education policy received a failing grade, and I’m glad that states will now be able to determine their own academic standards and assessments without the heavy hand of the national school board that is the U.S. Department of Education getting in the way.

The education reform bill and the changes it will make have been endorsed by teachers, superintendents, school boards, state legislatures, and governors, and according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it “strikes a balance between accountability for the taxpayers’ investment on the one hand, and state and local control on the other.” This is a win for everyone involved and will put students in a better position to succeed.

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US Senator Mike Rounds’ Weekly Column: Counting our Blessings this Christmas

RoundsPressHeader MikeRounds official SenateCounting our Blessings this Christmas
By Senator Mike Rounds

The Christmas season is a special time that allows us to reflect upon the blessings in our lives and spend quality time with our loved ones. Jean and I are blessed to call South Dakota home, and we are especially grateful for our continued health and the health of our family. This year, we welcomed two new grandchildren – eight in all! We look forward to spending additional time with them and the rest of our family in the coming weeks.

It is well-known that the Rounds extended family is quite large. This year, just like years past, we expect at least 80 family members at our house on Christmas Eve. After attending 5 o’clock church service, we all gather to enjoy a meal of homemade chicken noodle soup and open presents. Grandpa Don reads the young ones the story of Christmas, reminding us all of the birth of our Lord – the greatest gift of all.

Despite the many challenges facing our nation today, all of us have many gifts to be grateful for. We are all fortunate to call ourselves Americans and South Dakotans, living in the greatest country in the world where we are free to celebrate Christmas without fear of persecution. Our God-given freedoms as written in the Constitution must never be taken for granted.

We are also thankful for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States of America and their families who make incredible sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms. They are the reason we are able to celebrate this season safely here at home with our loved ones. During these uncertain times, they should be enormously proud of their contributions to our national defense and security.

This season, more than 160 South Dakotans are currently deployed. The South Dakota National Guard’s 155th Engineer Company is stationed in Kuwait, and several other South Dakota soldiers are also stationed away from home. We would like to express our gratitude to the men and women who are deployed and their loved ones who are unable to spend the holiday together. The holiday season can be particularly tough for them. May they continue to find the strength to persevere, knowing they will soon be reconnected.

I also want to take this time to express my gratitude for all South Dakotans who took time to write, call or meet with me as I traveled across the state this year. Your views and opinions are important to me as I work to make the best decisions for South Dakota. It is truly an honor to represent you in the United States Senate.

While there are tough challenges ahead, I believe we are strong enough to tackle them head on. I look forward to working with my colleagues in 2016 to address them. Jean and I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thanks for all you do to make South Dakota great.

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Congresswoman Kristi Noem: Anticipation for Tomorrow

noem press header kristi noem headshot May 21 2014Anticipation for Tomorrow
By Rep. Kristi Noem

In our family, Christmas morning begins with the ring of a bell. No one could leave their rooms and see what Santa had delivered until that bell was rung.  I remember our kids waiting in eager anticipation, hoping and trusting that they’d been good enough all year for Santa to leave them the toys they had asked for.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the excitement of those mornings recently – probably because it isn’t quite the same now that the kids have grown up a bit.  But it’s made me think: what would our world be like if we all carried the hope and anticipation of Christmas morning with us every day?

I admit it would be very hard to do.  The world so easily weighs us down. Whether we’re talking about a struggling economy, the threat of terrorism, or challenges at home, it is natural to become cynical, frustrated, and even angry.  I know I’ve felt that way a time or two.  In fact, it’s why I ran for Congress in the first place.  I was so frustrated with all the administration was doing and desperately wanted to change the direction of this country.  I still do and I still believe we can.

We live in the greatest country on earth.  We believe that family is the cornerstone of a society and that freedom is not a privilege, but a right.  We believe opportunity is all that is needed to build a healthy economy.  And we remain committed to the American Dream, doing everything we can so our children and grandchildren can have a better life.  Nowhere else in the world are those beliefs so ingrained into an entire country’s way of life.

When the bell rings at the Noem house this Christmas, I will be saying a prayer of thanks. While America’s anticipation for tomorrow may not be the same as a child’s on Christmas morning, we continue to believe there is hope for a better tomorrow in this country. Of course not everything is happening as we’d like it to in this country, but we fundamentally trust that we are empowered to change it.  I pray we never lose that hope.

From my entire family to yours, I hope you have a very blessed Christmas and I pray that in all the busyness of this day, you take the time to celebrate the root of all hope, Jesus Christ.

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Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: Taking Time This Christmas

daugaardheader DaugaardTaking Time This Christmas
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

According to a national study, Americans project they will spend an average of $882 on Christmas gifts this year. That’s just gifts. The figure doesn’t include the decorations, the Christmas cards or Christmas dinner. And it’s only an estimate.

A few years ago, Katie Hunhoff wrote a piece in South Dakota Magazine about a Christmas in South Dakota during the Great Depression. Hunhoff told the story of Hilda McKnight and her husband who ran the Home for the Poor in Charles Mix County at the time.

Hilda did all she could to provide clothing for the residents in need. One girl who lived at the home expressed appreciation for the great effort Hilda expended to provide clothes for the children, but then the girl said, “It doesn’t really matter, I guess. I have this lovely skirt and they still call us ‘poor house kids’ at school.”

Hilda turned to a pile of clothes just delivered and said, “Let’s see what treasures we can find.” The two dug through the donations which seemed full of useless items, until the girl found a chiffon scarf which Hilda told her to keep.

That scarf became the girl’s most prized possession. She would sit on her bed and stroke the soft scarf and when she put the scarf away, it was always neatly folded.  It made her feel special and as if, when she wore it, she was somewhere else.

As you can imagine, those who resided at the Home for the Poor didn’t expect to receive much for Christmas. Neither did Hilda. But when Christmas came, the girl insisted that she had a present she wanted to give Hilda. So Hilda opened the box wrapped in paper and found the girl’s chiffon scarf. “It’s all I have, Mrs. Mac,” the girl said.

Today, in a time of greater abundance, when we spend so much on gifts, it might seem odd that something as simple as a scarf could mean so much. But it reminds us that giving is not measured by the size or value of the gift, but by the love with which it is given. Gifts made with a true and sincere heart, to those we love, are tokens of our deeper feelings. Christmas is a time to be thoughtful toward the people in our lives and show our loved ones how much they mean to us. It’s also a time to be charitable toward those in need.

The man who shovels his neighbor’s driveway, the little girl who gives her allowance to the bell ringer and the church that opens its doors to someone without shelter – they’re expressing the true spirit of Christmas.

This Christmas, take time to add sincere appreciation and love to the tangible gifts you give. Find the means, if only in a small way, to be a blessing to someone in need. Don’t underestimate the immense value of your life and the difference you can make in the lives of those you touch.

Merry Christmas.

-30-

SDDP November FEC – $15.8K raised, but National Dems kicked in $8.7 k of that

It’s looking to be leaner times for South Dakota Democrats by the numbers on their November FEC Report.

Because, of the $15.8k they raised for their federal account in November, $8,776 – over half of it – came from the National Democrat Party.

November SDDP 2015 FEC Report

According to the report, this puts the total amount of money that National Dems have transferred in to keep the State Dems afloat this year at $78,145.

Otherwise, in November, State Democrats spent $22.8k, leaving them with $10.1k cash on hand in their federal account moving into December.

And by the way? It’s now two weeks until petitions can be circulated, and they still don’t have an opponent lined up for the US Senate Race.

Noem Seeks Information on Critical Conditions within Indian Health Service Facilities

noem press header kristi noem headshot May 21 2014Noem Seeks Information on Critical Conditions within Indian Health Service Facilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Kristi Noem today sought information about the quality of care provided at Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities in South Dakota.  In a letter to IHS Principal Deputy Director Robert McSwain, Noem discusses documented instances where patients were put in serious danger when receiving care at an IHS service unit and raises concerns about losing accreditation from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  Noem also solicits information about what steps are being taken to correct the problems.

This letter comes in the wake of IHS service units in Rosebud and Pine Ridge being notified that they are at risk of losing CMS accreditation, which would force many tribal members to find help miles and miles away from their homes.

“Safe and efficient Indian Health Service medical facilities are critical to the well-being of the more than 100,000 Native Americans in the Great Plains Area. For Tribal members who live in rural areas, IHS hospitals are the only health care facilities within a hundred miles or more. Sadly, the experiences of my constituents in South Dakota indicate that IHS Great Plains Area facilities are failing to provide quality care, and Tribal members are paying the price,” wrote Noem.

Noem further details problems discovered at the IHS Service Unit in Rosebud recently:

  • Staff washed surgical instruments by hand because the sterilization machine had been broken for six months;
  • No infection control measures were taken for a patient with a history of an untreated highly infectious disease. When the patient was transferred, no documentation was created to inform the accepting facility of his history with the disease;
  • Staff left a pregnant patient unattended and she delivered her premature baby on the floor of a hospital bathroom. The baby was initially not breathing. Staff intervened, but when the doctor arrived 20-30 minutes later, staff did not notify the doctor that the baby was premature or that it had been found on the floor. No equipment was available to deal with the situation. While staff obtained equipment, the baby was not placed in a warmer and was not given oxygen.

Noem also outlines problems of Schedule II drug theft that were discovered in a 2010 Senate Indian Affairs Committee report.

In light of this, Noem has requested a robust report from IHS by January 31, 2016, that details:

  • Which IHS facilities are facing CMS termination notices and why;
  • What reforms IHS and the Great Plains Area have taken in response to a 2010 Senate report outlining many underlying problems in the Great Plains Area;
  • Instances of Schedule II drug theft;
  • Instances where a health care provider offered care while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Instances where a health care provider was practicing with a lapsed license, accreditation, or certification; and
  • The total amount spent in the Great Plains Area on administrative expenses.

A full copy of the letter can be found below.

Mr. Robert G. McSwain
Principal Deputy Director
Indian Health Service
Department of Health and Human Services
The Reyes Building
801 Thompson Avenue
Rockville, MD 20852

Dear Mr. McSwain,

Safe and efficient Indian Health Service (IHS) medical facilities are critical to the well-being of the more than 100,000 Native Americans in the Great Plains Area. For Tribal members who live in rural areas, IHS hospitals are the only health care facilities within a hundred miles or more. Sadly, the experiences of my constituents in South Dakota indicate that IHS Great Plains Area facilities are failing to provide quality care, and Tribal members are paying the price.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently notified the Pine Ridge and Rosebud IHS service units that they did not meet basic CMS guidelines in terms of quality care. If the hospitals do not fix the problems CMS identified in its review, their agreements with CMS will be terminated. Disturbingly, this is not the first time CMS has raised concerns about Great Plains Area hospitals. These notices come on the heels of CMS’ termination of its agreement with the Winnebago IHS service unit in Nebraska, also located in the Great Plains Area.

The CMS termination notices are not the only urgent problems facing my constituents. Just over a week ago, the people of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe were blindsided with the sudden closure of their hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) on the grounds that it was simply too dangerous to treat patients there. It is my understanding that, the weekend the ED closed, three rape patients and one stabbing patient were forced to travel an hour away to Nebraska for care.

The lack of quality health care for Tribal members in the Great Plains Area is not a new problem. As I visit reservations across South Dakota, my constituents share all manner of anecdotes describing negative experiences with IHS facilities. Their stories are backed by congressional oversight work. In September 2010, Byron Dorgan, then-Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, convened a hearing titled, “In Critical Condition: The Urgent Need to Reform the Indian Health Service’s Aberdeen Area,” for which your predecessor, Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, provided testimony.[1] At the hearing, and in the subsequent December 2010 Committee report of the same title (see attached), the Committee depicted the frightening reality that Native Americans in the Great Plains Area face when they rely on IHS for medical care.[2]

The Committee’s work detailed the Aberdeen office’s lack of coherent policies and procedures governing even the simplest activities across the Great Plains Area, resulting in bureaucratic paralysis at best and a physical danger to patients at worst. The report contains a litany of instances in which the Aberdeen office’s lack of guidance and oversight facilitated low standards in facilities across its jurisdiction. According to the report, for example, Great Plains Area facilities failed to secure narcotic drugs, which contributed to employee thefts of pills by the thousands and the dispensing of powerful Schedule II drugs almost indiscriminately. Additionally, the Committee found Great Plains Area facilities engaged in substantial amount of diversions or reduced services, resulting in unnecessary costs and potentially affecting health care access for numerous Native Americans. Most shockingly, the Committee found that employees at Great Plains Area facilities put patients in serious danger by conducting surgical procedures under the influence of controlled substances.

Among the more disturbing South Dakota-based anecdotes listed in the report:

The [Rapid City IHS Hospital] pharmacy submitted a report of theft or loss of controlled substances dated March 19, 2008, which indicates that 5,569 Hydrocodone tablets were missing due to employee pilferage. On that same day, the pharmacy issued an amended report indicating the loss of 5,417 Hydrocodone tablets; 965 Darvocet tablets; and 187 Xanax tablets, totaling 6,569 missing controlled substances in one day. The report identified employee theft as the reason for loss [sic] pills.[3]

The [pregnant] patient arrived at the [Rosebud Hospital] ER with contractions every five minutes and was triaged as urgent. One and a half hours later, she was discharged from the ER. The patient proceeded to the outpatient department due to her continued contractions and was told to walk around and go to the bathroom for a urinalysis. Forty-one minutes after the patient was discharged from the ER, she delivered the baby in the outpatient clinic bathroom.[4]

The following is a summary of the key issues identified [at the Rapid City IHS Hospital]:

  • Two medical doctors with expired state licenses;
  • Six doctors and family nurse practitioners with expired CPR certifications;
  • Eight family nurse practitioners and physicians with lapsed ACLS [Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support] certifications; and
  • One family nurse practitioner with an expired DEA [Drug Enforcement Agency] license.[5]

Five years have passed since Sen. Dorgan released his report, more than enough time for the IHS and the Aberdeen office to make the changes that were desperately needed. Nevertheless, my constituents’ experiences and CMS’ recent findings at the Pine Ridge and Rosebud IHS Hospitals suggest little has changed. For example, among the myriad problems discovered at Rosebud in recent weeks:

  • Staff washed surgical instruments by hand because the sterilization machine had been broken for six months;
  • No infection control measures were taken for a patient with a history of an untreated highly infectious disease. When the patient was transferred, no documentation was created to inform the accepting facility of his history with the disease;
  • Staff left a pregnant patient unattended and she delivered her premature baby on the floor of a hospital bathroom. The baby was initially not breathing. Staff intervened, but when the doctor arrived 20-30 minutes later, staff did not notify the doctor that the baby was premature or that it had been found on the floor. No equipment was available to deal with the situation. While staff obtained equipment, the baby was not placed in a warmer and was not given oxygen.

In testimony at the Senate Indian Affairs Committee’s 2010 hearing, Dr. Roubideaux acknowledged the challenges facing the Great Plains Area, and noted that funding levels are not solely to blame. Rather, she said, “we [IHS] can and we must make meaningful progress toward addressing these issues utilizing the resources we currently have.”[6] I agree with her assessment and hope you do too.

In light of the appalling situation in some of South Dakota’s IHS service units and to help me determine what meaningful systematic changes IHS has made since the 2010 report, please provide the following information by January 31, 2016:

  • An exhaustive list of IHS facilities that have been served with CMS termination notices for the time period January 1, 2012 to present. In providing this information, please include:
    1. The facilities whose CMS contracts were terminated and of those, the facilities that are currently in good standing with CMS.
  • Describe in detail the reforms IHS and the Great Plains Area made in response to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee report titled “In Critical Condition: The Urgent Need to Reform the Indian Health Service’s Aberdeen Area,” as well as any supporting documentation;
  • A list of any instances of Schedule II drug theft from any facility in the Great Plains Area for the time period January 1, 2012 to present. In providing this information, please include:
    1. The kind and amount of drug involved;
    2. Whether an IHS employee was found responsible for the theft;
    3. If an employee was responsible for the theft:
      1. List whether the employee was disciplined;
      2. Describe the nature of the discipline;
  • A list of any instances in which any health care provider employed by any facility in the Great Plains Area was found to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the conduct of their job for the time period January 1, 2012 to present. In providing this information, please include:
    1. Whether the employee was disciplined;
    2. Describe the nature of the discipline;
  • A list of any instances in which any health care provider employed by any facility in the Great Plains Area was found to have lapsed in any license, accreditation, or certification for the time period January 1, 2012 to present. In providing this information, please include:
    1. The provider’s job title;
    2. The facility where the provider was posted at the time of the lapse;
    3. The type of license, accreditation, or certification that lapsed;
    4. The amount of time the license, accreditation, or certification had been lapsed before it was reinstated;
  • Provide a full accounting of funding allotted to the Great Plains Area, as well as the total amount spent by the Aberdeen office on administrative expenses (including administrator salaries and bonuses), each year for the time period January 1, 2012 to present.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter. If you have questions about my request, please contact my staff at 202-225-2801.

Sincerely,
KRISTI NOEM
Member of Congress

CC:       The Honorable Sylvia Burwell, Secretary, HHS

Mr. Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator, CMS

Mr. Ron Cornelius, Great Plains Area Director, IHS
Mr. Gary Cantrell, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, HHS OIG

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[1] U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. In Critical Condition: The Urgent Need to Reform the Indian Health Service’s Aberdeen Area. S. Hrg. 111-873 (September 28, 2010).
[2] U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. In Critical Condition: The Urgent Need to Reform the Indian Health Service’s Aberdeen Area, Report of Chairman Byron L. Dorgan. 111th Congress (December 28, 2010).
[3] Report at 18.
[4] Id. at 24.
[5]Id. at 28.
[6]Hearing at 9.