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1530342 tn?1405016490

Bachmann's husband got $137,000 in Medicaid funds Presidential candidate has often blasted growing welfare programs

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43570552/ns/politics-decision_2012/

While Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., has forcefully denounced the Medicaid program for swelling the "welfare rolls," the mental health clinic run by her husband has been collecting annual Medicaid payments totaling over $137,000 for the treatment of patients since 2005, according to new figures obtained by NBC News.

The previously unreported payments are on top of the $24,000 in federal and state funds that Bachmann & Associates, the clinic founded by Marcus Bachmann, a clinical therapist, received in recent years under a state grant to train its employees, state records show. The figures were provided to NBC News in response to a Freedom of Information request.

The clinic, based in Lake Elmo, Minn., describes itself on its website as offering "quality Christian counseling" for a large number of mental health problems ranging from "anger management" to addictions and eating disorders.

The $161,000 in payments from the Minnesota Department of Human Services to her husband's clinic appear to contradict some of Michelle Bachmann's public accounts this week when she was first asked about the extent to which her family has benefited from government aid. Contacted this afternoon, Alice Stewart, a spokeswoman for Bachmann, said the congresswoman was doing campaign events and was not immediately available for comment.

Questions about the Bachmann family's receipt of government funds arose this week after a Los Angeles Times story reported that a family farm in which Michelle Bachmann is a partner had received nearly $260,000 in federal farm subsidies.

Read more reporting by Michael Isikoff in 'The Isikoff Files'

When asked by anchor Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" about the story's assertion that her husband's counseling clinic had also gotten federal and state funds, Bachmann replied that it was "one-time training money that came from the federal government. And it certainly didn't help our clinic."
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At another point, she said, "My husband and I did not get the money," adding that it was "mental health training money that went to the employees."

But state records show that Bachmann & Associates has been collecting payments under the Minnesota's Medicaid program every year for the past six years. Karen Smigielski, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services, said the state's Medicaid program is funded "about 50-50" with federal and state monies. The funds to Bachmann & Associates are for the treatment of low-income mentally ill patients and are based on a "fee for service" basis, meaning the clinic was reimbursed by Medicaid for the services it provided.

Smigielski added that these were not the only government funds that Bachmann & Associates has received. The clinic also participates in managed-care plans that are reimbursed under a separate state-funded Minnesota Health Care program. But the state does not have any records of payment information to the individual clinics that participate. (During her Fox News appearance, Bachmann was not asked about Medicaid payments, and she made no mention of them.)

Another state official, Patrice Vick, communications manager for the Human Services Department, said she was puzzled by Michelle Bachmann's assertion on the broadcast that the funds under the state grant went to employees. While the grant was to train employees to help them treat chemical dependency, the money did not go directly to those being trained, she said. "It went to the clinic," Vick said.

"The contract was with the clinic," Vick added later. But she  had no immediate information about whether the clinic passed it along directly to the employees being trained or used it to cover its costs of training.

The issue of her receipt of government aid has gotten attention because Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite, has been a fierce critic of federal spending programs and has called for drastic cutbacks. This has especially been the case on health care, including the expansions of Medicaid called for under the new health care law.

When Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed an executive order earlier this year expanding the state's Medicaid program for more than 95,000 state residents, Bachmann was joined state Republican lawmakers in denouncing the move.

"Right now, Governor Dayton is wanting to commit Minnesota taxpayers to add even more welfare recipients on the welfare rolls at a very great cost," Bachmann said at a news conference in St. Paul in January.

"She's giving hypocrisy a bad name," said Ron Pollock, executive director of Families USA, a consumer health care advocacy group, when asked about the Medicaid payments to Bachmann & Associates. "It's clear when it feathers her nest she's happy for Medicaid expenditures. But people that really need it — folks with disabilities and seniors — she's turning their backs on them."
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1530342 tn?1405016490
For someone that sure is against MEDICAID and government ANYTHING, her and her husband benefiting from MEDICAID payments!!!! Just be honest Michelle....The TRUTH will come out and it shall set you free......
Helpful - 0
585414 tn?1288941302
    Yes I support Medicaid and understand why it is necessary (and have assisted people with receiving it and appeals in the past) but the issue with inappropriate connections to various politicians as regards health and human services is not limited to republicans. Some specifics as I have noted before which include the institutional bias of Medicaid funds instead of the funds being directed to people living in the community have lobbies that have influenced almost all politicians who often change their stance on this issue despite the noted reduction in expenditures.
  On a larger scale if all the campaign contributions, political connections and support from various lobbying groups with all politicians would be divulged then we would overall have a better picture of who would be worth voting for and I don't see any politician as clean in this regard.
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Avatar universal
No its not limited to Republicans at all. However for this article we are talking about a republican and one running for president of the united states. lol And one that wants to cut those very services? Or am I not getting it? These things are good to know when contemplating voting for someone to run our country. imo
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1310633 tn?1430224091
Hypocrisy at its finest.
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Avatar universal
I'm guessing I'd have to re-read the article again.  From what I get, Mr. Bachman didn't personally benefit from the Medicaid "donations", but rather the clinicians and or the patients were the ones benefitting and its my beliefs that that is what the system is in place for.

With all due respect, I'd prefer the clinicians at treatment centers like this to be fully trained/educated in order to treat ones mental health issues.  I'd hate to think that any of you would be running to me with mental health issues..... Jeez, that would be bad, bad, bad!

I guess when you look at this, you can pick it up from any side.  The more I think about it the more confused I get myself.  Personally, I think if one is trained to be a mental health clinician, they paid their financial obligation in order to receive the training they got, it would be their obligation to further their education.... not the governments.  On the other hand, if government funding is paying their wage, it could be the governments obligation to take care of the education.....

This is a place where I like the free market.  Being in the free market, you can or cannot except government monies for services rendered if you desired.  You chose this field, so it is your obligation to keep up on the latest treatments.
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