Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Frankfort faltering on ObamaCare navigator program

The ObamaCare state "exchange" web site created to make health insurance buying easier is also required to come with an army of people called navigators whose function it is to walk people through the newly created maze. Kentucky, by multiple accounts, is falling way behind in the creation of it's navigator program and I think I know why.

Beshear administration officials have been telling worried exchange employees that no new funds will be appropriated to operate the exchange and so the lawsuit to stop the exchange is baseless. While this misses the point that Beshear also violated the Constitution by creating an exchange in which he reorganizes government and spends unappropriated funds in addition to raising new taxes, it paints Beshear into corner in which he will either have to admit to the new taxes or claim he is going to pull money from another source to fund his ObamaCare scheme.

Federal law states he must make clear which way he is going.

So the statute requires an exchange to be "self-sustaining" and allows funds for its operations to come from either "assessments or user fees" which would be unconstitutional or from other sources, which would just be politically difficult. Exchange Executive Director Carrie Banahan has claimed both that illegal fees and existing funds will be used.

Administration officials are counting on this "gray area" in the funding source issue to keep the legal struggle in Adams v. Beshear quiet.

One little problem with that.

The law also requires exchanges to have a "navigator" program. And the navigator program must be funded directly by operational funds, which means revenue derived from business activity of the exchange. And that can't legally be collected or spent under Kentucky law.

So maybe Governor Beshear wants to claim the federal law allows him to pull money for the exchange from other parts of government to avoid creating a new tax. That's fine, but if even that works (and that's a big if) it all falls apart in the creation of a funding mechanism for the required navigator program.

Any questions?

Monday, April 29, 2013

We can shut Obama/Beshear down on Medicaid expansion, too

Governor Steve Beshear said he plans to announce soon whether Kentucky will expand Medicaid eligibility, an option under ObamaCare. He does not even need to file an executive order for this like he has tried to do with the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange.

The Medicaid expansion is still unconstitutional, though. Demonstrating that merely involves a somewhat different legal strategy.

While the failure of the executive order setting up the ObamaCare "exchange" revolves around neither Kentucky law nor the Constitution allowing any governor to write law, reorganize government, levy taxes and fees and spend money without legislative approval, there is a statute that appears to allow him to expand Medicaid.

The trick is that law is unconstitutional.

KRS 205.520 (3) states "it is the policy of the Commonwealth to take advantage of all federal funds 
that may be available for medical assistance. To qualify for federal funds the secretary for health and family services may by regulation comply with any requirement that may be imposed or opportunity that may be presented by federal law."

First, this is incredibly stupid law. Federal money comes with strings attached, usually, and always with Obama. We are opening ourselves up to enormous unfunded mandates in brain-dead fashion with this provision on the books. It simply shouldn't be there.

With regard to the Constitution, though, KRS 205.520 (3) opens up a very interesting can of worms by creating practically limitless current and future appropriations with no legislative approval or oversight. The legal argument from the Governor would likely be that Medicaid expansion is an "essential function" of state government. Debating the efficacy of an expanded Medicaid in open court is long overdue and would be a fight well worth taking on.

Friday, April 26, 2013

John Stossel kicking butt in Kentucky in June

Watch out for a Fox Business Network special report in June on bad government regulations with John Stossel. Of course, they are reporting on Kentucky. (Did you even have to wonder?)

This time, John is looking at the stupid law requiring new moving companies to get the permission of all existing moving companies in order to exist and compete.

RJ Bruner of Lexington's Wildcat Moving has already taped his part of the show. Hope Mr. Stossel comes back when our battle against ObamaCare gets heated up this summer.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fighting for the Constitution in Lexington

I will be a guest on the Jack Pattie Show in Lexington on Thursday morning May 7 at 9 am ET talking about the lawsuit filed to force shutdown of the Kentucky Health Benefit "ObamaCare" Exchange.

Please call in with questions and comments to 850-253-5959. The show will be broadcast in Lexington on WVLK AM 590 and on the internet at www.wvlkam.com.

Please help spread the word on Facebook by clicking here, on LinkedIn by clicking here or by sharing this post or the links in it by some other means.

And if you would like to contribute financially to this effort, please click here and donate what you can. This case is headed to the Kentucky Supreme Court where recent precedent should result in a strong win. Getting that far is the trick. Thanks for helping out.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Beating back ObamaCare on state and federal fronts

They laughed at us last year when we suggested fighting ObamaCare with religious health sharing groups. This spring, though, we reversed a decade long persecution of Christian Medishare by Kentucky insurance bureaucrats and politicians by literally forcing passage of Senate Bill 3.

We have two more things to do to secure the existence of a free market escape hatch from ObamaCare in case we aren't able to completely dismantle it by other means. First, we need a bill for the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly to finish the job started by Senate Bill 3.

I have written a bill for the 2014 General Assembly that gives consumers legal rights if their health sharing group goes south on them. It involves removing the "no promise to pay" language in KRS 304.1-120(7)(f) and in the required disclaimer statement provided to each member.

The "no promise to pay" language in KRS 304.1-120 (7) can only be justified in terms of providing political cover for House Democrats and limiting underwriting risk for the health sharing groups. Left as it is, the consumer is the only player left unprotected in this scenario. If we think about it, fixing this makes a lot of sense.

The net effect of this suggested legislative change is that Kentucky consumers of these products, rather than being unprotected by both insurance regulators and courts, would gain protection of the courts.

Stand by for more information about this. The second item is one I need your help with right away. Please ask your member of Congress to sponsor legislation to repeal  United States Code 26, Section 5000A, (d), (2), (B) (IV). This will create the opportunity for new health sharing groups to be started, creating more competition and a healthier market for consumers.

No matter what happens with ObamaCare later this year, people will be looking for better healthcare solutions. The best chance for that is outside of government regulation, among providers regulated by competition and informed consumers. Doing everything we can to develop such a market must not be considered optional. We have to do this.

Please consider contributing to this effort by clicking here and donating what you can. Thanks for all you do.

Steve Beshear expands protection racket

If Kentucky had a racketeering statute, Steve Beshear might be frog-marching to the State Reformatory in LaGrange rather than tooling around Frankfort. 

Governor Beshear has fraudulently played on the hopes and fears of Kentuckians for years with literally hundreds of press announcements touting redistribution of wealth schemes to "create" thousands of new jobs that haven't subsequently materialized. Friday's announcement of 100 new call center jobs for the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange combines multiple enterprises of dubious value and a new state bureaucracy created unilaterally by the Governor without legislative approval.

David Adams of Nicholasville is suing Beshear in Franklin Circuit Court to shut down the Kentucky "ObamaCare" exchange.

"ObamaCare started with a promise of making health insurance more affordable," Adams said. "It's the public policy equivalent now of sending thugs around to collect money so your windows don't get broken or your wife doesn't get kidnapped."      

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Worst of both worlds in religious health sharing "fix"

The Commonwealth of Kentucky's decade long war against Christian health sharing group Medishare ended two weeks ago when the state "allowed" the Florida religious organization to return to helping members here escape the ravages of government-regulated health insurance.

The original version of Senate Bill 3 I proposed last July would have restored the most effective regulatory mechanism to health coverage -- market forces. The final compromise bill was better than the disaster we had before Gov. Beshear signed SB 3 on April 5, but the bill's protections for consumers are woefully insufficient.

Kentucky law now requires customers of Christian Medishare, Samaritan Ministries and Christian HealthCare Ministries to throw away any legal protection they might have against the organizations in the event of a dispute.

Yes, you read that correctly.

This error creates a black market in Christian health sharing for consumers in Kentucky. Think about it: if something goes wrong, you have no recourse.

Further, United States Code 26, Section 5000A, (d), (2), (B) contains a grandfather clause that allows only health sharing groups in continuous operation since 1999 to continue to exist under ObamaCare. So we are protecting providers from consumers on two fronts. Not good.

Stand by for proposed state and federal fixes to this nonsense tomorrow.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Kentucky ObamaCare exchange lawsuit upgraded

Late this past week, plaintiffs in Adams v. Beshear picked up vital new weapons and added a novel legal approach which might be fun to watch.

First, Adams v. Beshear became Adams, Cloyd and Durand v. Beshear. Michael Dean, of Irvine, Kentucky, then joined the plaintiffs as attorney on the case. Some credit Dean's aggressive legal tactics with prematurely ending the political career of former state Senator Ed Worley.

Dean's first act on the case was to challenge the constitutionality of KRS 12.028 which brings Attorney General Jack Conway into the fray, essentially as a very uncomfortable witness for the prosecution.

The strategy works like this: in his original executive order, Governor Steve Beshear claimed KRS 12.028 gave him the authority to set up a permanent ObamaCare exchange all by himself which it clearly does not. Dean is challenging the constitutionality of the statute itself so that the Attorney General must either argue it is clear and doesn't allow the governor to set up the exchange or that it is vague and violates Sections 27, 28 and 230, which also prohibits the governor from setting up the exchange. Jack will only be called on to testify if the judge doesn't first throw out Beshear's odd claim of authority under the law.

If that doesn't happen, Jack is in a box either way he goes. And so is Governor Beshear's illegal and unconstitutional Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Louisville Courier Journal's reckless disregard

A full week has passed since Louisville Courier Journal columnist Joe Gerth repeatedly and apparently intentionally defamed me in his most recent column by falsely and incorrectly referring to a left-wing group facing multiple controversies as "Kentucky Progress."

He was quickly made aware of this gross error and yet it persists on the paper's web site even now.

Corrections, clarifications and apologies shouldn't be too much to ask for, right?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Like a child swallowing a Rottweiler whole

Eight months ago, Lexington Police stormtroopers raided a local business and illegally confiscated tens of thousands of dollars in inventory. Today, armed only with a judge's order, Botany Bay's Ginny Saville (pictured below with fellow Liberty fighter Bruce Layne) went to police headquarters on Main Street to recover some of her property.

In terms of the man-bites-dog story media types usually look for, this is like a child swallowing a Rottweiler whole. Come on reporters, where are you?

Mitch McConnell jacks price of pain meds

If you or someone you care about is in enough pain to need OxyContin, Sen. Mitch McConnell just compounded your suffering by making the federal government raise the price of your relief simply because some people abuse the drug.

When will these nanny state ninnies get it that raising prices on innocent people doesn't hurt drug traffickers and doesn't stop drug abusers? I'd really like to know if McConnell and fellow drug war beneficiary Rep. Hal Rogers understand the economic and fiscal failure of their policies or if they are simply lining pockets with these games and don't care who knows it.

If you are looking for a good reason to oppose Sen. McConnell's re-election from the right, you are looking at one.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Greg Stumbo's big chance

On May 27, 2004, then Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo filed suit in Franklin Circuit Court against Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher for spending state money without legislative approval. Now that Democratic Governor Steve Beshear is attempting a far more egregious usurpation than that of Gov. Fletcher, Stumbo can show consistency by standing up for the legislature he currently has a hand in leading as Speaker of the House.

The Kentucky Supreme Court subsequently agreed with Stumbo in 2005 that the Governor may not spend funds beyond those appropriated by the legislature. In multiple recent media appearances, Gov. Beshear has claimed constitutional authority for setting up the Kentucky "ObamaCare" Health Benefit Exchange but has failed to specify which section of the Constitution provides him such authority.

That's because this question has already been answered: there is no such authority. Beshear appears determined to drag the Commonwealth through another pointless argument in his blind support for President Obama. Stumbo has made statements suggesting he suffers similarly with allegiance to the failed Obama. He could start to break free of these chains by taking on Beshear now and standing with the Constitution and the citizens he is so keen to lead.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What exactly Is Mitch McConnell's definition of crazy?

Last week, Senator Mitch McConnell said federal gun grabbing activities should focus on disarming those the government deems "a threat to society."

Today, the Department of Defense is googling "Kentucky conservatives."

I've had about enough of Mitch McConnell deciding winners and losers in America. How about you?

Obama porn coming: fight fire with tsunami

The Federal Communications Commission under President Obama is apparently tired of banning profane language and soft pornography on television and conservative groups across the land are organizing email comments in protest.

That isn't the way to do it.

Not only is a torrent of emails unlikely to persuade left-wing feel-gooders in charge to stop trying to coarsen society as they have been working for decades to do, it's the wrong way to fight the fight.

My target is the people who provide the entertainment, not the government that regulates it. If ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox want into my home after this policy change occurs, they need to all make clear that ObamaPorn won't be broadcast on their stations. There are two weaknesses in this plan, though they aren't quite as bad as emailing the FCC: they are a package deal so if one goes Obama as far as I'm concerned they are all gone and, second, they won't have far to go because they are already pretty bad.

Still, demanding federal authorities prohibit service providers from delivering something they want to give consumers who want to get it to make those who don't want it happy is the wrong way to go. The path of government force deserves to lose this fight and it will.

So I will be unplugging the converter box that delivers these broadcasters into my home until such time as I'm convinced ObamaPorn is off their stations. If we really want to win the battle of the airwaves, that's our approach.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Two new plaintiffs join Adams v. Beshear

Two very active tea party leaders in Kentucky have joined the lawsuit to force Governor Steve Beshear to follow Kentucky law and stop trying to set up the ObamaCare health insurance "exchange" without legislative approval.

Sarah Durand, President of the Louisville Tea Party, has represented liberty issues on the state and national level extremely well for several years.

Dawn Cloyd would probably be president of the Lexington Tea Party if there were such a thing. Her boundless zeal in supporting free markets and free people has also been an inspiration to many.

These extraordinary women bring significant intellectual and organizational firepower to this effort merely by lending their names to it. Stay tuned for more exciting updates.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Another fun case of mistaken identity

In February, liberal Super PAC Progress Kentucky gained international attention for tweeting about Mrs. Mitch McConnell. Due in part to confusion in the similarity between their name and my blog's name, I got a few unsolicited nasty phone calls from people who thought I was them. I got a good laugh out of it and no harm was done.

Well, I'm still not them.

I figured that wouldn't help much with the most recent "wire-tapping" issue stirring our names up again, but it may be even worse than I thought. I just noticed the Department of Homeland Security has taken a break from sorting out good brown people from bad brown people to check on a couple of liberal activists in Louisville and their search appears to have inadvertently brought them here.

The President promised he wouldn't send drones out after American citizens, right?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mitch McConnell caves on gun control, betrays 2nd Amendment

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell broke his recent silence on guns this morning with an anti-Second Amendment statement inconsistent with the beliefs of his constituents.

"I believe the government should focus on keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals and those with mental issues that could cause them to be a threat to society," McConnell said in a press release.

This is the same kind of faulty reasoning that leads big government politicians like McConnell to support anti-liberty legislation like the Patriot Act and NDAA. The Second Amendment says the right to keep and bear arms "shall not be infringed." There are no "ifs and buts" and there is no wiggle room in the Second Amendment.

If Senator McConnell thinks he has figured out some magical way to keep guns out of anyone's hands, let him take a timeout from gun-grabbing and list-making and explain to us just how that is supposed to work.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Will the left help tear down ObamaCare in Kentucky?

Just got off the phone with Huffington Post's Howard Fineman about the new lawsuit to rescind Governor Steve Beshear's ObamaCare executive order filed in 2012.

Beshear has been hiding behind staffers and attorneys since Monday on this issue, but may not be able to keep that up for long. The main issue here is not whether socialized medicine is good or not. The main issue in this case is whether the Governor of the Commonwealth can violate state law and the Constitution to do whatever he wants in office.

This case may reach the point quickly at which Democrats want it to end faster than Republicans do.

Monday, April 08, 2013

David Adams sues Steve Beshear over ObamaCare exchange

Exactly three months after a January 8, 2013 Capitol Rotunda rally calling for an end to ObamaCare, I have filed a lawsuit in Franklin County Circuit Court to force Governor Steve Beshear to rescind his Executive Order 2012-587 and shut down the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange.

Governor Beshear cited as his authority for creating the exchange by executive order a statute requiring him to get approval from the General Assembly. KRS 12.028. This statute permits the Governor to create new government entities by proposing them to the General Assembly "for its approval."

He has obtained no such approval.

He also claimed constitutional authority, in the Kentucky Constitution, but didn't specify where that authority could be found.

Assuming no one has been able to locate a "Good and Plenty" clause or something else we don't know about that might make this legal, the only thing I can think of is Section 80, which allows the Governor to call a special session.

He could, of course, call legislators back in solely to approve Kentucky's continued head-first dive into ObamaCare's empty swimming pool of promises. It would make much more sense, though, to admit defeat and shut the whole thing down right now before this mess is supposed to take effect October 1.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Greg Stumbo should change House "discharge petition" rule while he still can

Governor Steve Beshear says he will sign Senate Bill 3 today, possibly ending the state's decade-long harassment of Christian MediShare, a religious alternative to government regulated health insurance.

The bill nearly died before a discharge petition was filed by Rep. Stan Lee on March 5. Discharge petitions in legislatures allow a minority of members to force a floor vote on a bill being held up by leadership. As it turned out Lee's discharge petition was ruled out of order and negotiations by Senator Tom Buford broke the bill free from House leadership's grasp.

House rules relating to discharge petitions render useless what could and should be a very beneficial tool for better representation in Frankfort. House Rule 48 should simply be amended to require 25 House member signatures on a petition to force a floor vote within one day of its filing. As it is, the rule has been gunked up with nonsense about reporting a bill in a "reasonable time" and then only kicking it back to the Rules Committee where more games can be played to forestall actual action on the bill.

Given the increasing probability that Kentucky Democrats will lose their House majority in the 2014, they should move now to straighten up House Rule 48 to work for the people and not just a tiny group of power-hungry politicians.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Mitch McConnell's earmark/bailout downgrade

When running for re-election in 2008, Sen. Mitch McConnell campaigned heavily on his ability to bring home bacon. He proved the point by voting for bailouts and massive piles of debt most Republicans realize we can't afford.

As the wind has shifted, so, of course, has Sen. McConnell. In fact, he took a break recently from caving in on the next debt ceiling deal to post a web site promoting a "Team Mitch" rewards program. Featured items include a War on Drugs protective helmet (for entertainment purposes only) and a Stimulus Package, complete with a broken window and coupon for a free pretzel at a mall near you.

It seems, however, not everyone is impressed with this latest offering (click to read):

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

KY Republicans shame themselves, again

How surprised can anyone be that 75% of Kentucky state Republican Senators and 83% of Kentucky state Republican members of the House of Representatives who pledged to never vote for a tax increase failed on that pledge in the waning moments of the 2013 General Assembly?

A bipartisan cabal inserted approximately $100 million a year in tax increases into HB 440 on the evening of March 26. It's likely most of these people were unaware of what they were voting for, which would be horrifying if our expectations weren't already so low.

The supposed purpose of the bill is to provide additional funding for public employee pensions.

You can look up the final vote on HB 440 by clicking here. And you can cross-check it with the Taxpayer Protection Pledge these people signed when they wanted your vote.