Steve Sebilus nails Shelly Berkley and her unethical behavior.
From the LVRJ: "Shelley Berkley stood up for everybody in Nevada who was on
dialysis," Copeland says in the ad. "When people say Shelley Berkley put
money in her own pocket to keep the transplant center open, that's
ridiculous. It's all about taking care of people in Nevada, keeping
people alive, saving lives."
Copeland is right that Berkley didn't
profit. Although Lehrner's medical practice oversees UMC's entire
kidney program, the contract he had with the hospital would not have
changed even if the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had
terminated transplants. (Lehrner's practice doesn't perform transplant
But this is not just about saving lives. Berkley
wrote to and telephoned the head of the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services to plead for the program, without disclosing her
husband's involvement. That's questionable, even without a pecuniary
Moreover, Berkley did not need to be personally involved.
With fellow Reps. Dean Heller and Jon Porter on board, to say nothing
of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the program would have been saved
even if Berkley had abstained because of her conflict.
In a second ad, kidney patient Patrick Clary says he was scared when
he heard the transplant center would shut down. Without UMC, patients
would have to travel to Arizona or California for surgery.
wasn't Clary equally concerned about the reasons the federal government
had for shutting down the program in the first place? Four people died
after undergoing transplants at UMC, deaths the hospital itself
acknowledged as failures. The attention brought to the issue by the
threatened closure helped turn the program around, but it wasn't as if
Medicare officials acted arbitrarily.
A third ad, however, glosses
over a salient point: "When cuts were threatened to reduce Medicare
coverage, Shelley Berkley fought to stop them. And because her husband's
a doctor, now she's being accused of wrongdoing."
being accused of wrongdoing because she allegedly used her position in
Congress to contact fellow elected officials and ask them not to cut
Medicare reimbursements for kidney care, which prevented Lehrner from
losing money. That's a direct pecuniary benefit to Lehrner, and by
Sebilus is about as liberal as they come int he Las Vegas media. He is very liberal and for him to go after Berkley says to the casual observer was wrong, very wrong for her behavior in trying to retain funding for the kidney program.
Again, as most lack of ethical behavior goes, it's not the crime that gets you, it's the cover up and Berkley is guilty of covering up her role in KidneyGate 2012.
At the Magnolia Café...
43 minutes ago