Kevin Roche: My struggle with the Star Tribune

Kevin Roche was general counsel of UnitedHealth Group in Minneapolis, then founder and CEO of its Ingenix division. Since leaving UnitedHealth he has invested in and sat on the boards of a number of health care companies, including one with our friend Brian Sullivan. He writes at Healthy Skeptic. I have known Kevin since we were classmates at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Kevin wrote a column on the current Coronavirus panic that he sought to place as an advertisement in the Star Tribune on Monday. He titled the column STOP THE ECONOMIC SUICIDE. It is consistent with much of what we have written on Power Line and is well within the scope of respectable opinion, yet Kevin has not yet succeeded in placing the ad.

He writes: “I have had an astounding back and forth with the paper in regard to the ad they are refusing to place, but won’t give me any specifics on why. Since the paper has published many advocacy ads over the years, I was stunned by this refusal….I suspect someone just wants to suppress the viewpoint, which is purely along the lines of the need to balance the harms of the lockdown versus whatever damage might occur from the virus.”

Citing his background in the business of health care, he notes that it shouldn’t make a difference to the value of his views, but he obviously writes from an informed perspective. Kevin comments: “It is a little frightening that the only paper in a significant metropolitan area should be able to decide arbitrarily hat does and doesn’t get paid for to be an ad.”

In part 2 of this series we publish Kevin’s email exchange with the Star Tribune. In part 3 we conclude with the text of the column Kevin seeks to place in the paper in the form of a paid advertisement.

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