Monday, July 21, 2014

Beshear's $8.5 million ObamaCare/Kynect problem

Governor Steve Beshear filled last year's budget hole last Wednesday with $91 million in funds shifted around from someplace else. One of those other places was Kentucky's ObamaCare exchange, which coughed up $8.5 million for the cause.

The tangled web of problems with this transaction is worth looking into.

Beshear admits up front that the ObamaCare bucks are actually Kentucky Access funds. As Kentucky Access funds, they could be considered "lapsed funds," which a divided Supreme Court just last month declared fair game for General Fund spending. Beshear moved Kentucky Access funds to the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange with an executive order filed in 2013 that expired unratified last Tuesday, the day before Beshear ordered the money to be thrown into the General Fund.

So technically, Beshear didn't raid Kentucky ObamaCare. He raided Kentucky Access, which had unspent tax funds after last fiscal year because Kentucky Access doesn't exist anymore. Otherwise, Beshear would have been taking state funds out of Kentucky ObamaCare, which funds through budget negotiations this spring he insisted did not exist and would not be needed in the new biennium.

But we are in the new biennium and, as Beshear now admits, the ObamaCare exchange does need state funds even though the legislature refused to give him any and explicitly forbade him from spending. Yes, Beshear wrote another executive order in 2014 to replace the old unratified one, but state law very clearly forbids him from doing this.

So if you are keeping score at home, Beshear just raided a fund of $8.5 million that he said in court last year that he wouldn't need even though he knew he did and now he has to replace it even though the legislature has refused to grant him the necessary authority to get it, to replace it or to spend it if he does.

Wouldn't it have been much simpler, Governor, to just be honest and follow the law in the first place? Obamacrats...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Beshear sends along critical new evidence

I just got a letter from Gov. Steve Beshear's attorney in my two ObamaCare lawsuits which he claimed was in answer to my week-old question about illegal "exchange" funding in the state budget.

In the letter, attorney Patrick Hughes advised me of state Open Records law, again, reminded me that because the cases are on appeal the discovery process is over, quoted back my question to state Deputy Budget Director John Hicks, and then answered half the question.

Hughes answered the easy part, admitting that state funds have been written into the budget. Thanks, counselor, I needed that evidence. Again, the legislature voted nearly unanimously in March to prohibit any state spending in the new biennium on anything "directly or indirectly related to the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange." There is no legal authority for the expenditure, as this letter also tacitly admits.

Beshear did not veto the defunding language because his veto would have easily been defeated by the legislature. He claimed then, falsely, that no state funds were necessary and called the spending prohibition "symbolic" and meaningless.

So much for that claim.

Thanks to everyone who shook the governor up the last couple of days to force him to cough up this invaluable admission.

Held hostage in Kentucky

It's been a week since I asked Kentucky Deputy Budget Director John Hicks to his face where he got the $37.4 million dollars to spend on the state ObamaCare exchange and under what legal authority he was spending it since the legislature almost unanimously voted in March to prohibit any such spending.

He has failed so far failed to respond. Maybe we should be worried. Perhaps Mr. Hicks has fallen ill and can't answer his email. Maybe he is being held hostage and can't answer because his head is wrapped in duck tape.

More likely, this sorry episode merely demonstrates the depravity of our state government and it is we who are being held hostage by a rogue governor and his army of overpaid minions. I would call the media, but they live too far up Gov. Beshear's rectal cavity to notice the stench of his actions. I would call whichever Republicans wield influence in Frankfort, but they are mostly too afraid of Beshear's popularity to mount any form of sustained protest.

So I come to you for help. Please forward this message as widely as you can and tell your friends to do the same. Please also contribute whatever you can afford to the fight, by clicking here to donate, so we can keep going.

The Kentucky Supreme Court is on vacation this month. We desperately need them to clarify the law for Gov. Beshear and his fellow Obamacrats when they come back to work. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease and let's keep getting louder and louder.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Halbig case about more than ObamaCare

Halbig v. Burwell turns on whether or not the IRS can change the words in a law on a whim. The suit arose because the "Affordable Care Act" says federal subsidies flow through ObamaCare "exchanges" when they are set up by individual states.

Some three dozen states did not fall for the offer of federal seed money to start an exchange and the reason for this is simple. States dumb enough to set up their own exchanges would then be responsible for the costs of running their exchange perpetually while refusenik states were liberated from paying the same costs. Also, because of how the law was written, states opting out of state-run exchanges would not see their health insurance markets further distorted by federal subsidies. It was a risk-free way for a state to vote against ObamaCare -- which is both their right in such a circumstance as well as their responsibility in the face of federal overreach.

Both sides in the case agree that if the Plaintiffs win, ObamaCare will be ripped apart. Most states would be exempt from much of the carrot created to sucker people into the dependency of ObamaCare, while their citizens would be forced to pay full price for the stick of ObamaCare's wild federal coverage mandates. Federal representatives of such states would have no leg to stand on to insist their people continue to suffer under ObamaCare because the new subsidy-receiving constituency would no longer exist.

Obamacrats campaigning against the lawsuit are placed in the untenable position of arguing that the language of the law should be ignored because following it would lead to a result that, according to them, would not comport with the purpose of the law as stated in its title, which is of course the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."

The hard truth is ObamaCare does nothing to lower the cost of healthcare, it merely shifts those costs around which actually increases them. Attempting to ignore the language of a law because following it frustrates your administration's imaginary purpose is a truly unique legal argument by a truly unique presidential administration.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Beshear budget fraud update

I stopped in the office of Kentucky Deputy Budget Director John Hicks five days ago to ask him about the curious appearance of state spending in the current budget for the ObamaCare exchange after Gov. Beshear spent months lying about the need for state funds and the legislature succeeded in -- nearly unanimously --defunding the exchange.

Mr. Hicks asked me at that time to send him an email with my question. I sent an email on July 9 at 2:27 pm which read as follows:

John,

Thanks for talking with me earlier today. If you could, please provide me with the source of budgeted restricted funds for the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange in the current biennium and any statutory authority related to such funds.

Thanks,

David Adams
859-537-5372

I have yet to receive an answer. Surely there is someone out there who won't be stumped by such a straightforward request.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Herald Leader selling Beshear math

In a story about Kentucky state overspending -- they call it a budget "shortfall," of course -- the Lexington Herald Leader unquestioningly prints another piece of Gov. Steve Beshear's budget propaganda as fact.

"The governor has cut $1.6 billion in state budgets since taking office in 2007," reports Herald Leader reporter Jack Brammer without attributing the questionable statement to anyone.

According to state budget documents available to anyone who bothers to look, Revised Fiscal Year 2008 state spending was $24.3 billion. Revised Fiscal Year 2014 spending $29.7 billion. And you probably aren't supposed to remember Beshear got and spent $3.4 billion in federal "stimulus" funds right in the middle of that.

We're looking at spending going up an average of almost a billion dollars a year under Beshear and almost another billion a year in one-time money blown through, but Beshear and his cronies in the media keep repeating his "budget cutting" fiction.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Beshear budget fraud on Page 209

When the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly enacted budget language forbidding spending on anything directly or indirectly related to ObamaCare, Gov. Beshear declined to veto the provision because, he said, sufficient federal funding would be available to run the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange in 2015-16.

That was never true.

Now the actual state budget (on page 209) shows $37.4 million state dollars being transferred to the Exchange as state restricted funds and spent in clear violation of the explicit legislative instructions in the current state budget. An active state budget is the supreme law of the land in Kentucky next to the Constitution.

I have made a request of Deputy Budget Director John Hicks for an explanation of this illegal action by the Beshear Administration.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Abortion zealots attacking Nicholasville Hobby Lobby store TODAY at 4pm

In an attempt to gin up pro-abortion activists for mid-term elections, Democrats are trying to make an example out of Hobby Lobby with protests around the country at the Christian-owned stores.

Local media sources report the same thing will happen today at 4pm at the Brannon Crossing Hobby Lobby store in Nicholasville.

Left-wing activists are upset because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Obama couldn't force Hobby Lobby to pay for abortifacients for the company's employees.

See you there?

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Steve Beshear admits it

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear did not veto budget language earlier this spring defunding ObamaCare in the Bluegrass State because, he said, federal funds would be available to fund it throughout the two year budget cycle.

That was a lie and he just admitted it in writing.

In an executive order filed with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes late yesterday, Beshear attempted for the third time to administratively create the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange with the following admission:

"WHEREAS, operation of kynect in Kentucky will be funded entirely with federal funds until January 1, 2015, at which time its operations will be wholly funded from revenues generated by and through the Exchange." (emphasis added)

Generating revenue "by and through the Exchange" would require the creation of a tax and an appropriation, neither of which can the governor do on his own. Beshear's two previous attempts to create the exchange by temporary reorganization executive order, which is what this is, failed in the 2013 and 2014 General Assemblies when the legislature declined to ratify them as required by the relevant statute KRS 12.028. Subsection 5 of the same law forbids the governor from putting its provisions into effect until the next session of the General Assembly. He has now violated this law three times, despite stating on federal grant applications requesting over $200 million in federal funds that the exchange had been legally created.

Two current lawsuits in state court seek to clarify the constitutional issues limiting Beshear's authority in this matter. They are 13-SC-652 and 13-SC-667.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Beshear quietly grants 200,000 Kentuckians two year ObamaCare reprieve starting Tuesday

Nearly 200,000 Kentuckians facing health insurance cancellation under ObamaCare starting Tuesday July 1 will instead have two more years before they have to worry about narrow provider networks and excessive costs associated with the Affordable Care Act's insurer loopholes and coverage mandates, the second such extension announced by President Obama and Governor Steve Beshear since last November.

Insurers are supposed to notify affected customers if they are among the lucky few allowed to avoid the ObamaCare pool a while longer. Anthem said about 130,000 of their customers make the cut, as do Humana's 32,000 small group enrollees. Also benefiting are more than 6000 Time Insurance Co. customers, 9000 with Bluegrass Family Health, 11,000 with UnitedHealthcare.

Kentuckians shouldn't have to beg their politicians for permission to keep their health insurance and such permission should not be granted piecemeal. The arbitrary and capricious -- and illegal -- implementation of ObamaCare in Kentucky is currently being challenged by two lawsuits in state court, 13-SC-652 and 13-SC-667.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Beshear hires $400/hr. D.C. lawyers for Medicaid debacle

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has hired a Washington D.C. law firm at $400 per hour to provide "legal advice and consulting services regarding the development of various funding mechanisms and management initiatives for the Medicaid Program," according to a document filed with the Secretary of State's office.

The massive fees will be split 50/50 between the federal government and the Commonwealth for Covington & Burling of 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.

Earlier this spring, the Kentucky General Assembly defunded the Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare amid wildly excessive costs greatly exceeding Beshear's rosy projections. Two state lawsuits also seek to stop Beshear's foolishness before too many more millions of dollars are wasted. The cases are 13-SC-652 and 13-SC-667.

The contract specifies "Covington  & Burling shall also provide legal representation to the Cabinet in Medicaid related litigation."

Will Steve Beshear try 2nd ObamaCare "mulligan?"

When Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear failed to get legislative approval for his 2012 temporary reorganization executive order attempting to create a state-run ObamaCare exchange in his state, he got sued. His response to that failure and that lawsuit was to illegally file another executive order.

That second executive order not only did not get approved by the legislature, it sparked very clear legislative language enacted into law in the state budget forbidding Beshear to proceed with his ObamaCare fiasco.

But Beshear seems to think he deserves another mulligan.

The illegal second executive order expires July 15. Federal authorities have been formally notified of Beshear's multi-million dollar fraud against them. The only way this doesn't get a lot worse is for Beshear to come clean now and admit that his ObamaCare gambit has failed.

Unfortunately for all of us, again, Beshear seems convinced that he deserves another shot at his pipe dream. Two Kentucky Supreme Court cases (13-SC-652 adn 13-SC-667) seek to clarify for Gov. Beshear the error of his ways.