Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Will Kentucky lose game of 'Medicaid chicken?' That's a question for Trump and Clinton

ObamaCare cheerleaders in the media keep talking about Gov. Matt Bevin's attempt to renegotiate Kentucky's abysmal Medicaid expansion deal into a somewhat less abysmal deal, but they continue to leave out the most important point. Gov. Bevin's claim that he might unilaterally withdraw from Medicaid expansion is not supported by federal or state law or relevant case law, but federal officials don't want to make that clear because they are still trying to suck other states in by letting them believe there is an escape hatch.

There isn't.

Medicaid is a federal/state partnership for government-run healthcare in which the federal government pays most of the bills and retains total control of how the program is run. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that ObamaCare was simply a tax instead of an unconstitutional usurpation of individual and state rights by the federal government according to the plain language of the Tenth Amendment, it slightly trimmed back the usurpation by deeming the Medicaid expansion to be each state's choice rather than a requirement as previously stated in the "Affordable Care Act."

Some states blindly jumped in to the Medicaid expansion without asking any questions. Gov. Steve Beshear abused state law to add Kentucky to that number. Others negotiated slightly less horrible deals and accepted expansion, claiming falsely to have an ability to withdraw from the expansion later if it proved too expensive.

Obama and Hillary Clinton want to keep pushing holdout states to take the Medicaid expansion by keeping alive the falsehood that states have an ability to escape it later on if they choose. Kentucky would be the first to test this if Gov. Bevin's reform proposal is rejected and he then follows through on his threat to then reverse Kentucky's entrance into expansion. The feds' interest in suckering the holdout states may well inspire them to accept at least most of Bevin's requested reforms.

If, instead, they decide to fight, Bevin could drop excess Medicaid recipients and wait for the feds to sue. Presumably, a President Trump would not fight us and President Clinton would. (Good question to ask both of them.) President Clinton would win the lawsuit, but Trump is POTUS and there is no lawsuit, Kentucky will win big by joining the states opting out of ObamaCare.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Louisville Rep. files state sovereignty bill

State Representative Kevin Bratcher has filed a bill which would tell the federal government where to stick unconstitutional mandates against state governments which exceed federal authority. The bill, filed as a joint resolution, could be an effective election issue for Republicans seeking a majority in the state House of Representatives.

"Bratcher's resolution states clearly the General Assembly's demand to the federal government to take its proper place as a limited agent of the states with specific, limited powers spelled out in the Constitution," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "Hillary Clinton Democrats in Frankfort will hate this and they should be asked that on the record as often as possible between now and November."

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Let's get rid of Baby Beshear

Watching a craven Andy Beshear recklessly and repeatedly attack Gov. Matt Bevin with state tax dollars from the Attorney General's office for no better reasons than that his father shook down the Democrat donor class to buy him the office and because he can is getting pretty old. He needs to be impeached.

The one sticking point is Republicans must take a majority in this November's elections and then have the courage to follow through on the impeachment process.

The Kentucky Constitution Sections 66 to 68 governs how the process would work and it is not much different than the federal process, which you may remember being applied to Hillary Clinton's husband when he violated Paula Jones' civil rights.

One likely question in the process is the Constitution specifies that impeachment can result from "any misdemeanors in office." While Beshear may well be guilty of any number of crimes, what's interesting is that case law is overwhelming in affirming the Senate's ability to define terms and make its own rules for an impeachment process. In any event, neither prior nor subsequent court conviction for any crime is necessary for a constitutional officer to be impeached by the House and convicted and removed from office by the Senate. If the legislature wants him removed, they can do it.

Clearing this bad actor out of the Attorney General's office to be replaced with a more serious public servant is a very worthwhile pursuit worth campaigning for this fall.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bevin to Obama: Beshear wrong about Medicaid

Governor Matt Bevin's formal request to federal authorities to rein in Kentucky's failed Medicaid expansion contains a one line critique of the lawless Beshear Administration that will make Frankfort ObamaCare cheerleaders in the media mad when they read it.

"The reality is that Medicaid expansion does not pay for itself as envisioned by the prior administration," Bevin's Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver Application says, "and the Commonwealth of Kentucky cannot afford the cost of the Medicaid expansion program without this demonstration waiver."

Bevin Administration officials will present their requested changes Wednesday in Frankfort to the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare at 10am in room 129 of the Capitol Annex.

"Beshear abused Kentucky law KRS 205.520(3) to justify jumping into ObamaCare Medicaid, but the statute's admonition to take advantage of all available federal health funds would better have been followed by avoiding the expansion altogether because it was such an obvious trap to sink the state deeper into debt," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "We're trapped now and Gov. Bevin's attempt here is our best option, ObamaCare cheerleaders be damned."

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fayette County "Boys of Color" program misguided

Fayette County Schools has received a $600,000 charitable grant to start a doomed program which deserves immediate awareness so its inevitable failure may not be a total waste.

With overheated fanfare, Fayette Superintendent Manny Caulk announced the start of another attempt to reduce racial education achievement gaps, telling the Lexington Herald Leader "today we stand before our community to say we will no longer allow a child's demography to determine his destiny."

Caulk emphasized starting a volunteer reading program for elementary students, tutoring and leadership training in middle schools and drop-out prevention and college/career readiness in high schools. No one should be surprised to see the $600,000 won't last long funding these not-so-revolutionary ideas.

Twenty four years ago, when I was starting my career in Atlanta, I was also volunteering with ninth grade students in two area high schools. One day, I asked each group separately how many of them expected to one day play professional sports. In the poor, black, inner city group, about half the boys raised their hands. In the middle class, suburban, all-white-except-one-kid group, every hand pointed at one black kid sitting quietly in his desk. His hand was not raised, but a few years later he played some minor league baseball before starting a ten year career in the NFL. He was not a star and you wouldn't likely recognize his name, but he made it. None of the others did.

I appreciate any emphasis on lifting up young people, particularly any from disadvantaged circumstances, but participants in this "Boys of Color" scheme will become pawns in a political game to roll a $600,000 one time grant into a permanent spending spree for services of which most should have already been provided.

Mr. Caulk calls the $600,000 grant a "game changer," but he needs to demonstrate quickly that he isn't just playing the same old game. That won't happen. Education is a real pathway to success, but waiting around for government to give it to you is a sucker's game. If you want to help a young black child to succeed, teach him this:

Humana just made things worse here and Matt Bevin can do something about it now

Humana has withdrawn its request to raise ObamaCare premiums 33.7% next year and Gov. Matt Bevin should use the move as a reason to start pushing for repeal of Kentucky's certificate of need laws.

The withdrawal is related to Humana's pending merger with Aetna, whose 5.6% individual market rate hike for 2017 has already been approved. That's bad news for Aetna's ObamaCare members because those former Humana members whose health costs necessitated a $33.7% increase now want to join up with them or one of the other companies with a relatively healthier insured base.

And that means higher costs for everyone.

Underlying dramatically increasing health insurance premiums, of course, are similarly rising healthcare costs and they have been made worse by Kentucky's burdensome regulatory impact on the industry, specifically its certificate of need statutes, or CON. CON keeps prices artificially high by limiting competition between healthcare providers. Gov. Bevin should take to his bully pulpit to encourage legislators to get government out of the way on this key issue. Resistant legislative incumbents deserve to be replaced.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bevin deserves kudos for latest ObamaCare move

Former Gov. Steve Beshear and Frankfort House Democrats made a huge mess of the rule of law attempting repeatedly the last few years to cram ObamaCare down our throats. Gov. Matt Bevin just quietly took a big step to clear up what could have been real chaos on that front as part of keeping his campaign promise to shut down Kentucky's state-run ObamaCare exchange.

Beshear's cartoonish repeated attempts to create "Kynect" with illegal and illegally reissued executive orders which were never ratified by the legislature and House Democrats' repeated attempts to ratify them anyway left Gov. Bevin entering July unable to shut down the illegal exchange immediately while negotiating with Obama officials to shut it down soon and no legal construct for keeping it going another day. So Bevin issued a carefully worded executive order creating "Kynect" long enough to shut it down with as little disruption as possible.

"Gov. Bevin deserves a ton of credit for walking behind Frankfort Democrats with a big pooper scooper to clean up this ObamaCare stuff," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "It's telling that after hyperventilating over every lie, bogus statistic and illegal Beshear ObamaCare move for years now, Kentucky's media is almost completely ignoring this responsible move by Bevin."

Friday, July 08, 2016

Bevin should make medical marijuana tax free

As Kentucky moves closer to legalizing marijuana for medical use, tax policy deserves special consideration in treatment of the plant and Kentucky can lead the way nationally by leaving all elements of production and distribution untaxed. At issue is the fact that federal designation of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug allows the Internal Revenue Service to prohibit the use of any deductions of business expenses for products deemed illegal by federal law.

This policy has the effect of heavily increasing federal taxation on marijuana even in medical marijuana states, which costs are then passed along to patients.

"Kentuckians increasingly see past anti-marijuana scare tactics and Gov. Bevin's campaign pledge to support medical use of the plant provides solid proof of that," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "Excessive federal taxation, at least while it lasts, should be met with a completely tax-free status of marijuana in the Commonwealth to help both our providers and consumers."

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Kynect "insurance" enrollment dropped in Gov. Steve Beshear's last year in office

Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear continues fumbling around the state in support of the ObamaCare debacle, but soon to be released statistics will show even constituents drawing federal subsidies to purchase jacked-up health policies in the last year dropped them here about as quickly as in any other state.

"Premiums are skyrocketing, doctors are quitting and people are suffering while politicians and their media-based pets who crammed this garbage down our throats illegally pretend everything will be fine if we throw a few more billion dollars at the problem," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "Gov. Bevin should stop collecting the illegally transferred Kentucky Access tax and shut down Kynect right away."

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Rand Paul can aid Matt Bevin Medicaid negotiations

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has threatened to reverse expanded Medicaid here if federal officials reject his proposed reforms, but federal law does not allow him to follow through on his threat. The interesting wrinkle is the feds don't want to call his bluff now because they are still trying to trap more Republican governors like those in Arizona, Florida and Ohio in the Medicaid expansion roach motel.

That is, "you can check in, but you can't check out."

Senator Rand Paul should file a bill to explicitly give states the right to reverse acceptance of Medicaid expansion and start campaigning for this right away. Such a bill would pass the House and Senate and force Obama and Hillary Clinton to either confirm the trap ObamaCare puts states in or to reverse it.

Either way, freedom is advanced.

"The more people learn about ObamaCare, the more they understand the disaster it is," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "Obama and Hillary need to decide if they want to go down fighting for power most Americans won't want them to keep."

Donald Trump has me on the wrong fundraising list

Hey, I got an email from Donald Trump just now.

Today is a big fundraising deadline for the presidential race, so the generic email request for money I got is not a surprise. But I would like to state publicly why I won't respond positively to this one.

"With your help today," the email reads, "we can turn our great country around and Make American Great Again. We can secure our borders, create jobs and keep our families safe."

Making America Great Again is an effective campaign slogan for lots of people, as is leading with policy proposals to attack illegal immigration, spur economic activity and pursue a strong national defense, especially since Hillary Clinton's campaign appears focused on raising taxes, matching small dollar campaign contributions with tax dollars, abortion and "strengthening regulation of 'puppy mills.'"

Nevertheless, the campaign I want to support would seek to restore greatness by getting government out of commerce and out of education and out of the wealth redistribution business. Donald Trump will get plenty of votes and lots of campaign contributions being slightly better than Hillary Clinton. But I'm not investing a dime in slightly better than Hillary Clinton.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Democrat state employees don't hate Matt Bevin

A political sea change appears underway in Frankfort which could be very bad news for Kentucky Democrat operatives accustomed to ruling the roost.

It seems the largest voting block in Franklin County, Democrat state employees, appreciates Gov. Matt Bevin's keen interest in reversing the Gov. Steve Beshear policy of using public pension money to pay off political cronies. They also like the competence of Bevin political appointees, which represents another dramatic shift from the prior administration.

This could prove to be very bad news for the eager but inept Attorney General Andy "Baby" Beshear and we should know that pretty soon.

"The person to watch is Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "The last time he ruled on a governor's reorganization powers, he had no problem ignoring the law for ObamaCare to benefit a Democrat governor because his own Franklin County constituents were pro-ObamaCare. I think his constituents want Gov. Bevin treated fairly on KRS 12.028 in the University of Louisville Board of Trustees case which would involve Judge Shepherd following a law he abused the last time it came in front of him. If Gov. Bevin wins his U of L case in Franklin Circuit Court, things start to look very bad for Democrat operatives Baby Beshear and Greg Stumbo."