Monday, March 31, 2014

Statement on Kentucky ObamaCare defunding

The Kentucky General Assembly today almost unanimously voted to defund ObamaCare in the Commonwealth as it mandated that no general fund dollars can be spent on the Medicaid expansion or health benefit exchange in the next biennium.

"I really appreciated the widespread agreement among Kentucky's representatives that state funds should not be spent on ObamaCare," said David Adams, an ardent opponent of the federal health reform who is suing to stop state implementation of it. "The Kentucky Supreme Court does not now need to stop the waste of funds, but they do need to speak to Gov. Beshear's illegal attempt to force us into ObamaCare without proper approval. Protecting the process is their job and it's time to do it."

"The General Assembly never ratified Beshear's executive order creating the exchange and the emergency administrative regulation was filed too late to create the Medicaid expansion so the issue is very simple," Adams said.

Fear not Beshear's ObamaCare defunding veto pen

The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly is sending a budget bill to Gov. Steve Beshear with language forbidding expenditure of state funds on ObamaCare, which Beshear is expected to veto.

It doesn't matter if he does or not, though, because no ratification of Beshear's executive order creating the ObamaCare "exchange" took place, nor was it possible to repair the legal problems with Beshear's unilateral acceptance of the Medicaid expansion.

Defunding ObamaCare in Kentucky by the General Assembly makes clear the legislature's repudiation of the federal takeover of health care. For symbolism, we have that even if the governor strikes it out. If the House fails to override, Republicans have that failure to use to replace Democrats as the majority in that body.

And even if Democrats do vote to override, we have their treachery on the first House vote to defund to beat them with. In any event, the next step is to go before the Kentucky Supreme Court with our twin legal challenges to ObamaCare to set right again constitutional limits of the governor's power.

Kentucky ObamaCare public option covers abortions

Kentucky's health insurance cooperative, the "public option" created by ObamaCare with a massive federal subsidy, covers abortions in violation of state law.

KRS 304.5-160 plainly forbids insurers from covering "elective abortions," which it defines as an abortion performed for any reason other than to preserve the life of the mother carrying the baby.

On page 17 of the individual health contract provided by the Kentucky Health Cooperative Inc. It clearly defines coverages to include "therapeutic abortion," which it defines as one recommended by a doctor and clarifies that "A therapeutic abortion is one performed to save the life or health of the mother."

The phrase "or the health of" constitutes an illegal expansion of coverage limitations on abortion in Kentucky. This expansion could mean anything. Someone wishing an abortion could merely state anxiety affecting her health because of her unplanned pregnancy and get an abortion doctor to sign of, saying that the abortion is necessary for her health.

The Kentucky Department of Insurance under Gov. Steve Beshear went crazy when I first discovered their pro-abortion game a year and a half ago. Please call your legislator and also the Kentucky Department of Insurance Commissioner Sharon Clark at 502-564-3630 and demand that they follow the law and forbid insurance coverage of abortions in Kentucky.

Left-wing media figure decimates KY Obamacrats

Perry Bacon is a Louisville-born national journalist who makes no bones about his support for Obama and all things ObamaCare. He spoke with me at length while he was writing a story (link here) in which he describes ObamaCare in Kentucky as "wildly successful" and finds continued resistance hard to understand.

In the story, Bacon unwittingly gives up why ObamaCare must be taken down in Kentucky. He writes:

"Beshear over the last two years has stunned Republicans and even Democrats here with his forceful advocacy of the ACA. He unilaterally decided to create a health care exchange and expand Medicaid, (emphasis added) ignoring complaints from Republicans in the state's Legislature who either opposed those moves outright or wanted to reach some sort of compromise."

And he continues:

"Beshear, to the consternation of Kentucky conservatives, has not only implemented the law without any input from them, (emphasis added) but spent the last several months on something of a victory tour, penning an op-ed in The New York Times telling Obamacare opponents to "get over it," making regular appearances on MSNBC touting Kentucky’s success and sitting in first lady Michelle Obama's box when Obama singled him out for praise at the State of the Union address."

And this might be the best part as well as most timely now that the focus of so much attention is on the state budget:

"Beshear is looking for ways to fund the state’s health-insurance exchange (emphasis added) without using taxpayer dollars, a move that would make it harder for state Republicans to argue that implementing the ACA is draining state resources. "

So here is one of the biggest media fans of ObamaCare in the country writing a glowing article about Beshear not taking any lip from Republicans or allowing nasty little things like the Constitution get in his way contradicting Beshear's obviously false claim that he has already worked out ObamaCare exchange funding and that it doesn't take state dollars. Thank you, Perry Bacon.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Kentucky budget deal defunds ObamaCare

Kentucky Democrat budget negotiators had to choose between Gov. Steve Beshear's obvious lie that state dollars weren't necessary for ObamaCare and the language in the "Affordable Care Act" that anyone who has looked has already seen. This morning, they chose reality and joined Republicans, taxpayers and anyone who might need medical assistance in the future in denying Beshear the ability to waste Kentucky taxpayer money on the ObamaCare scheme.

Unpopularity of both the unworkable ObamaCare mess and Beshear's illegal implementation of it created significant Democrat nervousness in recent weeks and a very tepid defense of those tactics in budget negotiations.

House Democrats seeking re-election must now be ready to override a Beshear veto or spend the rest of the year and beyond trying in vain to defend the indefensible. Our two legal challenges to Beshear's illegal actions will benefit from a final budget that defunds, but will not be hurt if that process somehow fails.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Better off without a Kentucky budget

Kentucky's Constitution does not require the legislature to pass a budget. At all. And this year, not passing an executive branch budget could go a very long way to restoring liberty and some semblance of fiscal responsibility to our state.

The surest way to defund ObamaCare and Common Core is to give up on passing one big Executive Branch funding document and come back and fund what we need piecemeal. If we can't agree on all health policy spending, we just shut down the parts that aren't explicitly mandated constitutionally or elsewhere by law. Same goes for education. Economic development? Check. The Labor Cabinet? Yes, that too. Freedom lovers need to embrace this approach and spread the word quickly.

I will be in Owensboro on Saturday at noon at the Unbridled Liberty Tour event at the National Guard Armory speaking about this. If you are in the area, come on by.

We can make it happen, but it will take a lot of work. Please help fund the effort to restore fiscal sanity to Frankfort by clicking here and donating what you can.

Thanks for your continued support,

Will Kentucky media report this?

Kentucky Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark just erupted in budget negotiations in Frankfort over ObamaCare funding, asking "Do you all want a budget or not?"

No one answered his question, but the only response is "not one that funds ObamaCare in Kentucky, Mr. Speaker."

Despite widespread belief the General Assembly is constitutionally required to pass a budget, no such requirement exists. From the Kentucky Supreme Court decision in Fletcher v. Commonwealth: 

"There is no constitutional mandate that the General Assembly enact a budget bill, and there is no statute providing for an alternative when it fails to do so.   Despite much hand-wringing and doomsday forecasting by some of the parties to this action at the prospect that we would hold that Section 230 means what it unambiguously says, it is not our prerogative to amend the Constitution or enact statutes.   When the General Assembly declines to exercise its appropriations power, that power does not flow over the “high wall” erected by Section 28 to another department of government."

This means, very simply, that without an appropriation there can be no Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange nor can there be an ObamaCare Medicaid expansion if the General Assembly refuses to pass an executive branch budget.

WFPL contradicts KY House Dems on ObamaCare

Louisville Public radio outlet WFPL picked up on Kentucky Senate Republicans' effort to defund ObamaCare in the state budget and promptly got almost every pertinent detail of the story wrong. Interestingly, the WFPL version of events doesn't square with complaints of House Democrats.

That's a conflict you almost never see.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo argued yesterday that state funds are needed for ObamaCare, which is the opposite of what Gov. Steve Beshear -- and now WFPL -- insist on. Stumbo is right here, as the federal "Affordable Care Act" and state regulations make clear.

Kentucky is already illegally paying benefits to state employees running the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange without legal authority. Kentucky is also spending millions in Medicaid administration funds without a legislative appropriation. Worse, the federal ACA makes clear that states are responsible for 100% of the costs of running their state-run exchanges as of January 1, 2015 -- which is six months in to the budget currently being negotiated. And large Medicaid administration costs are also required in the new budget if we are to adopt the Medicaid expansion. Senate language forbidding the use of state funds to permanently expand Medicaid or create a new plan like it very effectively kills off the Medicaid expansion.

 The greatest likelihood is the legislature will close April 15 without a state budget, which also defunds ObamaCare.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Overexposed at the Kentucky Derby Festival

Kentucky Obamacrats jumped the shark a long time ago by arrogantly parading around the state in front of hostile crowds and refusing to answer their questions, spending profligately with no legislative authority and falsely claiming success on a whirlwind national media tour.

But this is even better.

The Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange has sponsored a hot air balloon for the Kentucky Derby Festival.

Spending money we don't have to buy hot air we don't need to advertise at us a product we aren't even supposed to be able to buy on the first Saturday in May.

House Dems not showing much energy for ObamaCare

House Democrats' best argument for throwing Kentucky into ObamaCare is that Gov. Beshear is lying about federal health reform.

The House budget includes funds for mandated ObamaCare coverages that are supposed to be paid by the federal government. The Senate withdrew those funds because they are supposed to be paid with federal funds through ObamaCare. Gov. Beshear has insisted that state funds are not necessary for ObamaCare, which contradicts the language of the "Affordable Care Act."

House Speaker Greg Stumbo complained that if the funds were not spent "it's not like it will be wasted," and said the Senate was being "penny wise and pound foolish." But the whole point of getting states to buy into ObamaCare is to get them to spend billions of dollars they don't have. That's always been the point.

If this is the best the House can come up with in defense of Obama's "signature achievement," Senate Republicans should have no trouble holding on a little while and waiting for Democrats to cave.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kentucky ObamaCare still has us upside down

One interesting point from Kentucky's obviously bogus ObamaCare statistics is that if 25% of new enrollees into expanded Medicaid in the state dropped or were dropped from private insurance and 25% of new enrollees in the ObamaCare health insurance dropped or were dropped from private health insurance, then by their own numbers we have 40,000 more uninsured Kentuckians that we did before ObamaCare.

Gov. Steve Beshear reports 257,477 new Medicaid enrollees, with 193,107 of them not having prior coverage. Beshear also reports 64,455 new ObamaCare health insurance purchasers, with 48,431 of them not having prior coverage. That's a total of 241,448 Kentuckians gaining some kind of new coverage. And as the Kentucky Department of Insurance reported back in November, 280,000 Kentuckians lost coverage because of ObamaCare.

The truth is very likely far worse as these numbers do not account for cancelled policies or bogus Medicaid applications, of which there have been a bunch.

Will Beshear sign Senate's defund language and then ignore it?

I talked with Perry Bacon of MSNBC this afternoon about the Kentucky ObamaCare fiasco. He has been talking to Gov. Beshear and House and Senate leaders about the budget and particularly the ObamaCare element of it. He seems to think Democrats will pass and Beshear will sign Senate Republicans' defunding language and then proceed as if its prohibitions against spending state funds on ObamaCare do not exist.

Kentucky is already spending General Fund dollars on administrative costs directly related to the Medicaid expansion. The federal ObamaCare law requires state funds to finance all ObamaCare exchange costs starting January 1, 2015. And when HB 505 dies on April 15, so will any possibility of legislative approval of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange.

This Kentucky ObamaCare fraud needs an audit

Kentucky's Obamacrats report that 75% of sign-ups for ObamaCare health plans were previously uninsured and 75% of sign-ups for expanded ObamaCare Medicaid were previously uninsured and no mainstream media reporter anywhere seems to see anything odd about that at all.

Seriously. Seventy five percent for both? Not seventy three for one and sixty eight for the other? Seventy five percent is supposed to the be the real number for both. There is no way. These statistics are screaming for an audit.

Even if you try to accept these numbers at face value, you can't. Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange employees who will talk report that attempting to enter information about an applicant's coverage status routinely results in an error message on their system. And even if only twenty five percent of new Medicaid recipients dropped private health insurance to go on Medicaid, that's one-fourth of Kentucky's Medicaid expansion costs going to cover people who were previously taking care of themselves. How would you like it if out of every four houses on your street, the government came in and made one of them a Section 8 house?

These Kentucky Obamacrats act like the old Soviet economic planners declaring victory on the latest Five Year Plan as their economy crumbled. If we had a real media left, these damnable statistics wouldn't last sixty seconds.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Beshear in a box on ObamaCare

The Frankfort media is missing the Kentucky ObamaCare defunding story simply because Gov. Beshear is telling them he won't need General Fund dollars in the next biennium to fund the "Affordable Care Act." This is inexcusable, because the federal law requires states opting in to a state-run exchange and Medicaid expansion spend state funds to do so.

Federal funds for the ObamaCare exchange run out completely on December 31, 2014. The temporary 100% federal match on Medicaid expansion only applies to medical expenses of newly eligible Medicaid recipients under the expansion. That means all exchange expenses starting in 2015 and all Medicaid administrative costs associated with the expansion and all medical expenses of previously eligible Medicaid recipients forced into the program by the coverage mandate come from the General Fund already and continue in perpetuity.

Gov. Beshear set this mess up himself, which Kentucky law does not allow him to do. The following language in the Senate's budget (HB 235) moves to strike his actions down:

Subsequent to these Executive Branch actions, no executive order related to the ACA has been codified by the General Assembly, nor has any administrative regulation related to the ACA been approved by a vote of the majority of the members of a legislative committee. Providing that the Governor continues unilateral implementation and operation of the ACA in the Commonwealth, the General Assembly shall limit the ACA's impact on the 2014-2016 State/Executive Branch Budget and future biennial budgets so as not to bind future General Assemblies. Therefore, no provision within this Act shall be deemed, adjudged, or constructed as being a recognition, finding, or admission of the General Assembly's approval of the operation of the ACA in Kentucky.

This language is important because it emphasizes Beshear's attempt to force us into ObamaCare was done without legislative approval. It is not critical this language stays in the final budget because the law is already clear on how Beshear must get legislative approval, but House Democrats won't want to argue to remove it nor can Beshear complain without admitting that he didn't get and doesn't have legislative approval, which he must have. Kentucky is not a dictatorship, but a constitutional republic.

Beshear's dishonesty also presents serious problems for him when the Senate gets more specific in defunding ObamaCare. See the following passage:

The Governor is expressly prohibited from expending any General Fund resources on any expenditure directly or indirectly associated with the Health Benefit Exchange.

Again, he has said he doesn't need any General Fund dollars, so this is no problem, right? Beshear's quandary is that he either admits to lying now in order to demand funding he needs  in nine months or just gets caught later and hopes no one notices. It's already too late for both.

And then there is the Medicaid expansion.

As the only body in the Commonwealth with the constitutional power to make appropriations, the General Assembly recognizes that federal funding for the expansion of Kentucky's Medicaid Program is not recurring in nature; therefore, the intent of the General Assembly is that funds received from the Affordable Care Act, or its successor, shall not be used to permanently expand existing programs, permanently create new programs, or in any way increase the requirements to be placed on the General Fund or Road Fund above the adjusted appropriation level as of June 30, 2014.

The key here is prohibiting expenditures "above the adjusted appropriations level as of June 30, 2014." Again, Beshear must either admit he needs a lot more money quickly after saying he needs none or just wait and hope no one notices him violating Section 230 of the Kentucky Constitution by spending unappropriated funds.

House Democrats will get another chance to weigh in on ObamaCare, but they can't save Beshear. They can only expose him.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stay on them now

The Kentucky state Senate just defunded ObamaCare.

Kentucky ObamaCare statewide meltdown

People who signed up for ObamaCare across Kentucky are finding cancellation notices in their mailboxes, and customer service personnel appear to not have been given a heads up about it.

"I've been called every name in the book today," said one "kynector," who asked not to be named.

Kentucky's ObamaCare program needs legislative approval and funding, but is not at all likely to get either.

Kentucky to get defunding ObamaCare right

Expect Kentucky's Senate budget committee to act as soon as today to strip funding of ObamaCare out of the state budget.

"Congressional Republicans should take notes from what Kentucky's state Senate is about to do," said Tea Party activist David Adams. "Beshear and Obama have skated by for too long and by defunding the ObamaCare exchange and Medicaid expansion and sticking to it, we start to turn the tide right here in the Bluegrass State."

The Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee meets today at 2pm in Frankfort.

Friday, March 21, 2014

ObamaCare "B.S." piled higher in Frankfort

Lexington Herald Leader political reporter Jack Brammer, a guest on KET's Comment on Kentucky tonight, fielded a question about the possibility of a budget standoff over ObamaCare funding. He answered that Senate President Robert Stivers said all the funds were federal funds, as if to suggest there would be no struggle.

The biggest problem with this is anyone with a passing awareness of the Affordable Care Act knows the point of getting states to do their own exchanges is that as of January 1, 2015 those states have full responsibility for paying for their own exchange. Additionally, state funds going into the Medicaid expansion are immediate and immense, despite Gov. Steve Beshear's often-repeated false claims to the contrary.

So I called the reporter for clarification. Half an hour after the show, he said Stivers said "the administration" told him all the money is coming from the federal government. That's different -- and a little better. But while I know the Beshear administration has told a lot of lies about ObamaCare, this is just way too absurd. 

It's crazy that a Frankfort reporter either doesn't know this basic fact about ObamaCare or simply passed it along on television for some strange reason. If Stivers was just being sly with Brammer attempting to keep the issue out of the paper -- the Herald Leader wouldn't publish an honest article about ObamaCare if Benjamin Franklin himself wrote it with his own quill pen -- that would make sense. But if Stivers plans to betray House Republicans in addition to Kentucky taxpayers across the board who see ObamaCare not working, he is not as smart as I think he is.

Senate Republicans have very solid reasons to defund ObamaCare and no good ones to give a shred of cover to Beshear in his malfeasance. It's possible the Senate will hold debate and a floor vote on budget and the ObamaCare funding on Monday. At this point, I really hope so.

How much is the Medicaid expansion costing you?

Kentucky and New York are the only two states even asking ObamaCare enrollees if they had previous health insurance and you haven't heard a peep out of Frankfort about how many uninsured people are gaining previously nonexistent coverage through ObamaCare.

Wonder why?

Governor Beshear's attorney practically had a stroke in Franklin Circuit Court last year when I referenced statistical evidence in prior Medicaid expansions showing most of the new sign-ups dropped private coverage in order to go on the dole. His boss would surely do something to show Kentucky breaking that trend if he could.

Politics of ObamaCare turning KY deep red

Kentucky is a red state with an asterisk because it elects most of its state officials from the Democratic party despite electing nearly all federal Republicans. ObamaCare is about to change that.

After Kentucky Senate Republicans defund the ObamaCare exchange and Medicaid expansion next week, Democratic denial of failed federal health reform will get a brief test and die a swift death. House Democrats have already shown they know they are cooked on this. If leadership tries to push that funding back in, hiding the effort will not be possible.

Several vulnerable House Democrats have already gone on the record in support of ObamaCare, enough to turn the House over to a new Republican majority in 2015. That switch makes the likelihood of a Republican Governor in 2016 go way up, or at least a Republican Attorney General to prevent another round of ObamaCare illegality such as that perpetrated by Beshear.

In any event, anyone who wants to run for either of those two main state offices as a Democrat will have an interesting tightrope act to carry out. Democratic primary voters will want to hear candidates talk about forcing us back into ObamaCare or something like it, and general election voters will be looking for a clear expression of the opposite message.

The only way all this doesn't play out to the advantage of Republicans who want right to work legislation, repeal of prevailing wage mandates, pro-life laws and lower taxes, less debt and eliminated wasteful spending is if Republican senators cave in next week and fail to defund ObamaCare. If you haven't called your state senator, please do.

Media whiplash on KY ObamaCare will be fun

The Washington Post has another story up today complaining about how hard it is to measure "success" of Obama's health reform. In it, the paper shows again how dishonest media coverage limits public understanding of what has happened up to now and what will happen next.
From Post columnist Chris Cillizza:

"Kentucky has been getting national attention as a place that was trying to make Affordable Care Act work for awhile. The state's governor, Steve Beshear, is a Democrat, and mostly responsible for Kentucky's adoption of a state-based exchange and the Medicaid expansion, made optional by the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act in June 2012. Republican lawmakers in the state were not pleased with either move, and now seek to limit the executive power a Kentucky governor can wield." 
The biggest problem with the whole mess from Kentucky's perspective is that Beshear wasn't "mostly responsible" for Kentucky's role in ObamaCare, he is solely responsible for it. Unless you count the temporary assist he got from a Franklin Circuit Court judge, Beshear's problem is that he tried to speak for Kentucky in a way our Constitution and statutes do not allow him to speak for Kentucky. And while it is mildly interesting that Senate Republicans filed a bill to "seek to limit the executive power, " which is going nowhere, real story is that deciding to defund the whole operation is now in their hands alone.

House Democrats have already failed to present a united front for ObamaCare or Beshear's illegal and unconstitutional approaches to it. When the Senate pulls out ObamaCare funding and sends the budget back to Democrats next week, House Democrats will be forced to stand up for convictions they have already shown they don't have.

And then Kentucky will be the center of attention on ObamaCare, pointing in a much better direction.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

KY ObamaCare defunding fight starts next week

A member of Senate Republican leadership who asked to remain nameless promised today that the effort to defund Gov. Steve Beshear's ObamaCare will come to a head on the Senate floor next week.

Only 25 House Democrats voted against defunding both the ObamaCare exchange and the Medicaid expansion last week and far less enthusiasm for the federal health reform debacle is expected next week in the Senate.

"Cheerleaders for ObamaCare have been claiming for a year that Kentucky is leading the way in implementing this scam, but I expect that next week we will show that we will lead the way in pulling back from the abyss," said Tea Party activist David Adams.

"Senate Republicans have no reason to stab House Republicans in the back on ObamaCare, so I expect their support for sanity next week will effectively silence Beshear on the matter," Adams said.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Replace ObamaCare with THIS

The problem with healthcare in America for several decades has been too much government and eliminating that is the key to fixing healthcare in America.

Insurance companies love barriers to entry for new insurance insurance companies because it limits competition. This must be the first thing to go. The federal government has constitutional authority under the Commerce Clause to limit insurers' ability to serve customers across state lines and ObamaCare gives us fresh, new reasons why this is a good idea. (Check your ObamaCare policy if you don't understand.)

Coverage mandates drive up costs and cause people to neglect to read their insurance policies. Allowing insurers and their customers to decide what should be covered and how restores market efficiency that has been missing from healthcare for a very long time. The little bit of wellness incentivization talked about in ObamaCare is nothing compared to market participants with access to current technology and constant fear of being driven out of business by a more service-oriented competitor.

The insurance "industry" will HATE this, but we only need a few consumers to gain an understanding of the powerful benefits of market capitalism to get the ball rolling. Understanding that ObamaCare isn't the beginning of socialism in healthcare but the culmination of decades of incremental takeover by socialists is a pretty good start. If you get it, please share this post.

Any questions?

Matt Bevin can win on this issue

Stumbo fears ObamaCare too late

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo has killed a fellow Democrat's bill granting legislative approval of the state ObamaCare "exchange" to prevent a repeat of last week's humiliating spectacle in which only 25 House members supported funding the state's part of federal health reform.

House Bill 505 has languished in the Health and Welfare Committee since March 4 despite its sponsor, Rep. Tom Burch of Louisville, serving as the committee's chairman. Without passage of the bill's provisions creating the exchange and the tax to fund it, the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange must fold in July, under KRS 12.028.

"The biggest ObamaCare story of the year happens in Kentucky when the exchange collapses this summer," said David Adams, tea party activist and an ardent opponent of ObamaCare. "Beshear and Stumbo are left now hoping no one notices."

"But voters understand trying to put money into ObamaCare when you don't have to is supporting ObamaCare," Adams said. "Republicans will take over the House in November and the Governor's Mansion next year on that vote alone and Speaker Stumbo is figuring that out just a little too late."

Honest look at Kentucky ObamaCare can't wait

To continue to exist in Kentucky as envisioned by Gov. Steve Beshear, ObamaCare needs two things it does not have and cannot get.

First, the "exchange" needs legal authority and a legally created funding mechanism in order to exist. It has neither. HB 505 attempts to make it legal, but the bill's sponsor, Rep. Tom Burch, is afraid to call the bill in his own committee for fear someone (*hello Mr. Chairman!*) might expose its obvious fatal shortcomings. Twenty five state House members voted last week to fund the exchange despite its illegality and they were joined by 28 Democrats who hid under their desks rather than vote on the measure, so the illegitimate taxing and spending has been sent to the Senate.

The Medicaid expansion was announced by Gov. Beshear in May of 2013 but he failed to initiate necessary administrative steps until September 30, which was too late to have legally opted in to the Medicaid expansion before it was to take effect on January 1. The whole process failed the requirements of KRS 13A.

The inability of Kentucky's Obamacrats to gain Medicaid expansion will force those who would have been eligible for it to buy insurance at bloated exchange premiums without federal subsidies. Frankfort can seek a federal waiver like Arkansas did to help with this, but they have to get honest first and realize clinging to their illegal attempt creates the biggest mess.

Senate Republicans have been suspiciously silent and that must end. Please call them and wake them up.

What Steve Beshear did with $220 million

Kentucky's Health Benefit Exchange has spent over $220 million in federal grant money setting up a web site that, they claim, works better than other ObamaCare web sites around the country. The federal money dries up on December 31 and then the idea is to come after Kentuckians to finance the wild spending every year, forever.

Gov. Steve Beshear says 1.26 million people have visited the exchange web site and 60,837 have purchased an insurance policy in addition to 239,453 signing up for Medicaid. Even if we take these numbers at face value -- and there are very good reasons not to -- they don't give us any reason to expect ObamaCare is worth the waste of additional dollars.

Only in government would anyone dare suggest spending $200 per visitor to a web site is a good thing. Worse, paying nearly $750 per person who converts into a customer when  four out of five of them not only do not pay (Medicaid) but cost to keep on the books would bankrupt a rich state, which we are not. And we have paid over $3600 per enrollment into a private health insurance plan for 60,837 Kentuckians after federal mandates forced 280,000 off their old plans.

And Beshear has not reported a single cancellation of ObamaCare health plans for any reason, though estimates suggest around half of Beshear's "enrolled" number is bogus. Even if you give him the benefit of the doubt, we are still spending more than $5000 to throw someone into ObamaCare. That's per person, or $20,000 for a family of four.

With all this, it's unconscionable that Senate President Robert Stivers can't muster whatever he needs to muster to strip funding for the exchange and the Medicaid expansion out of the budget. Please call him at 800-372-7181 and tell him to stop dragging this out and cut funding for ObamaCare now.

The 2014 General Assembly has screwed around on this for way too long. If they really wanted to cut healthcare costs, they would repeal Kentucky's certificate of need laws and quit playing the Obamacrats' silly games.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How many fake ObamaCare sign-ups?

Multiple sources inside the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange report Beshear administration officials in a white hot panic in the last two weeks of ObamaCare open enrollment trying to find bodies to sign up to justify their existence.

It's not going so well.

Applications with fatal errors such as Medicaid recipients who can't be located or verified as existing and health insurance policy applicants who never made their first ObamaCare premium payment have cut deeply into the publicly reported Beshear "success" story, cutting by as many as half the number of people touted as signing up for the program.

And those numbers were already pretty lousy.

Internally, the exchange reports failed insurance applications as "Pending." Exchange Director Carrie Banahan previously promised that unpaid insurance plans would be canceled in January, but she now says they will be dropped off the rolls at the end of March, giving Kentuckians of clearer picture of the disaster.

Monday, March 17, 2014

KY Senate shows sign of life on ObamaCare

The Kentucky Senate has called a special meeting of the Appropriations and Revenue committee for tonight after the session adjourns. They will make a case for withdrawing state funding for at least the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange.

This is a good first step. They must also remove funding for the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion in support of common sense, fiscal sanity and House Republicans who already voted to do so.

Governor Beshear has already gotten way too much help from Senate Republicans during his time in office. There is absolutely no reason to continue that nonsense, particularly not for ObamaCare.

Thanks to everyone who called in to Frankfort and otherwise encouraged legislators to find their spines. Keep it up. Chopping up ObamaCare is a multi-step process that ends in the Kentucky Supreme Court.

No time for squishy Republicans

Kentucky's Senate majority leaders must pronounce all ObamaCare funding and legal authority dead on arrival immediately and make clear that no horse trading will bring it back to life, tea party activist David Adams said.
"Robert Stivers could have saved us a lot of trouble and a lot of money by standing up against ObamaCare two years ago," Adams said. "He would cut House Republicans off at the knees if he caves in now. We need a decidedly non-squishy statement from him right away."

KY Senate GOP must kill ObamaCare today

Frankfort Senate Republicans have to know there is no time for playing games with the budget. Today is the day for declaring they will not fund ObamaCare. Not a dime for the illegal ObamaCare "exchange" and not a dime for the illegal Medicaid "expansion."

Tell your state Senator right away that this must happen today.

Gov. Beshear caused the budget problems by attempting to force Kentucky into ObamaCare to serve his Washington D.C. masters and to pave the way for his son to run for Attorney General with big leftist campaign cash. Tell your state senator we will not be pawns in this absurd game.

From their perspective, Senate Republicans have no reason to fund ObamaCare. It doesn't work, it busts the budget and it only delays starting the process to fix what is really harming healthcare in America -- government involvement.

Forcing Beshear to try to run ObamaCare without legislative approval and legislative funding when all the federal seed money runs out pushes him back into court where the Kentucky Supreme Court gets to decide literally if we still have a Constitution or not. Frankfort judicial politicians may be ready to throw away our republican form of government on the ObamaCare nightmare, but Supreme Court justices need votes from other parts of the state from people who aren't sufficiently drunk on big government poison.

Call your senator right away at 1-800-372-7181 and tell them they do not have your permission to fund ObamaCare.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

McConnell wants to party like it's 2008

The Weekly Standard asked Sen. Mitch McConnell if GOP Congresses during the Bush years spent too much money. McConnell said, essentially, that they did not.

As he often does when asked a direct question, McConnell offered an evasive answer to this one: "I think it's time to quit relitigating the Bush years." This means, of course, that the bailouts and the wasted billions would be continue to be welcomed by McConnell if he is given another term in office.

He also reiterated his attack on conservatives who fought to defund ObamaCare, a strategy that only failed because weak "leaders" in Congress -- Boehner and McConnell -- caved in to Obama and friends.

You can read the whole article here.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five damned ObamaCare supporters in Frankfort

Yesterday, House Reps. Sannie Overly, Bob Damron, Johnny Bell, Jeff Greer and Gerald Watkins voted in favor of ObamaCare in Kentucky, effectively turning their seats over to Republican candidates this fall.

There were three dozen more Democrats who did the same, but these will be sufficient to turn the House of Representatives over to Republicans this fall. Again, congratulations and good job, Jeff Hoover.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Start calling Jeff Hoover "Mr. Speaker"

Kentucky House Democrats just threw away their majority tonight in order to campaign for ObamaCare funding in the state budget.

Highlights of the debate included Rep. Tom Burch saying, again, that we should just get over it and Rep. Bob Damron claiming falsely that we have no choice in the matter.

These people are thoroughly disgusting and being forced to listen to them as the majority in the House is not something I will miss.

There is no reason at all for Senate Republicans to cave in on this now. Right, guys?

ObamaCare debate happening now

The Kentucky House of Representatives is debating funding for ObamaCare right now.

3:47 pm: Speaker Stumbo tried a little legislative sleight-of-hand to avoid taking a vote specifically on ObamaCare funding and House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover crammed it back down his throat.

3:54 And Stumbo just slipped back out of it. But House Republicans immediately moved to shift the discussion back to ObamaCare. The fight is on.

3:57 We are now in a full blown budget crisis over funding for ObamaCare in Kentucky.

3:59 Rep. Joe Fischer is properly framing the debate as one dealing with proper gubernatorial powers and the abuse of same by Gov. Steve Beshear.

House Republicans are the only people speaking.

4:13 First test vote on ObamaCare funding passed with 52 votes.

4:14 Now taking up first floor amendment to strip out ObamaCare funding. Democrats are using their majority to shut off debate about ObamaCare.

4:29 Rep. Stan Lee is arguing for making Attorney General Jack Conway pay for Gov. Beshear's appeal of the federal court marriage amendment lawsuit. The legislative trick Democrats used to avoid a vote solely on ObamaCare is now forcing them to take a position on marriage they did not want to take.

4:44 Rep. Lee's amendment failed. Some of the cowards who took a pass on this one will have trouble with this pretty soon. Thinking specifically about Bob Damron's Democratic primary for Jessamine County Judge Executive.

4:58 Rep. Robert Benvenuti is making the case for dropping ObamaCare funding because it has nothing to do with healthcare and is only about a federal takeover.

5:02 Rep. Mary Lou Marzian is the first rank and file Democrat to stand up in support of ObamaCare. She hates insurance companies. Really isn't saying anything else.

5:06 Rep. Kim King talked about being kicked off her private health insurance due to ObamaCare.

5:08 Rep. Tom Burch says ObamaCare is the law and we should just get over it. Said we will have single payer in five years and people won't be fat or smokers.

5:11 Rep. Rick Rand said if ObamaCare funding is not included in the budget Frankfort will undergo a government shutdown in July.

5:28 Rep. Jill York, Richard Heath, David Floyd and Bam Carney took to the floor to talk against other forms of waste in the budget.

5:34 Rep. Jim Wayne appreciates Gov. Beshear being "wise enough" to throw us into ObamaCare.

6:00 Rep. Jeff Hoover on ObamaCare: "We don't agree with it and we want to know what Democrats in the House think about it." By all accounts, Democrats in House are for it. Twenty nine Democrats who are in attendance today did not vote on the ObamaCare amendment.

6:22 Democrats are whining about "no" votes, saying that voting against the budget means you want children to starve and old people to freeze to death.

6:27 Rep. David Watkins spoke in favor of ObamaCare.

6:28 Rep. Tim Moore criticized Democrats' "procedural manipulation" which shut off all Republican amendments to make the budget "acceptable to all." Said voting against budget is not a vote against everything in the budget, but against the entire measure.

6:42 Rep. Bob DeWeese: "I have voted for every budget since I have been over here, but I'm not voting for this one."

6:48 Rep. Bob Damron: "The federal law didn't give us any options. The only option we had was about the Medicaid expansion." "I don't know if it will work or not but there is not a single member on this floor who has taken a vote or can take a vote on ObamaCare." This is not true. Damron voted for it when he passed on the motion to suspend the rules and take a vote on an amendment to delete ObamaCare funding. Damron: "We've been talking for three and a half hours about how much we hate ObamaCare but, Mr. Speaker, we don't have a say in whether we do ObamaCare or not."

6:57 Rep. Stan Lee: "The people want us to not fund it (ObamaCare.)

7:03 Budget passed House 53-46.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Frankfort's first ObamaCare vote delayed until tomorrow

The House of Representatives just announced that the budget bill with ObamaCare funding will not be voted on until tomorrow. Do you know how your representative is going to vote?

First real Kentucky ObamaCare vote TODAY

The Kentucky House of Representatives is expected to vote on the executive branch budget House Bill 235 this afternoon and go on the record on funding for ObamaCare, which we can't afford.

Rep. Joe Fischer has filed House Floor Amendment 13 to HB 235 to pull funding for the Medicaid Expansion and the Health Benefit Exchange out of the budget. Any vote for the budget without HB 13 is a vote for ObamaCare.

Kentucky ObamaCare bill twisting in Frankfort wind

I have to laugh every time I tell someone about the Kentucky bill (HB 505) seeking to make the ObamaCare exchange legal here. There is almost no public understanding of what is about to happen and the latest indication is that it when it blows up it will be a shock to almost everyone.

The House Health and Welfare Committee just released its agenda for tomorrow's meeting and House Bill 505 is not on it. The committee's chairman, Rep. Tom Burch, is the sponsor of HB 505 and would surely pass it onto the House floor if he had the votes in his committee.

Letting his own bill linger at this late date in the session is very telling.

The legislative fight is coming down to the budget with Republicans having no reason to support ObamaCare and Democrats writing the campaign commercials for their opponents this fall if they (Democrats) do.

I'm not seeing any desire by Republicans in Frankfort to turn in support of Gov. Beshear on ObamaCare now, are you?

How many Frankfort reporters can screw in lightbulbs?

The ObamaCare sales pitch presented to the Senate budget committee yesterday was by any objective viewing a disaster. Health and Family Cabinet Secretary Audrey Haynes was arrogant and dishonest, telling Sen. David Givens that state funds are not necessary for Medicaid Expansion in the next two years, telling Sen. Tom Buford that no new tax is necessary to fund the ObamaCare exchange and telling Sen. Bob Leeper that we can unilaterally drop out of the Medicaid Expansion when we realize we can't afford it.

She spent most of the rest of her time apologizing for not knowing answers to legislators' questions.

But the funniest line may have been when Audrey Haynes justified forcing men and infertile women to be covered for maternity care like this: "As a woman, I would say that I probably paid for tests that you have to take as a man that I pay for in my health insurance policy. And so, women have been unduly sort of penalized by having to get riders on their policies unless they have some terrific policy which is why we have always with Medicaid you could be up above the 38% of poverty, it went higher than that, for poor women who were pregnant because they, first of all it is expensive as we all know to have a child and so now we will all be able to share in that expense."

Well, that certainly clears that up. What is less clear is why not one single Frankfort reporter covered the hearing. Fortunately, there is video on KET. Click here to watch it under "March 11 Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee." The part about Medicaid starts twenty four minutes in and runs to the end.

There is no way Senate Republicans can justify putting this nonsense in the budget, which must be completed April 15. If House Democrats insist on wasting more money on ObamaCare -- and they might -- that means a budget stalemate that must be resolved with yet another special session before June 30. The fact this possibility has not been explored by a single reporter is inexcusable after yesterday's hearing.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

More Beshear lying on Medicaid today

Kentucky Secretary of Health and Family Services Cabinet Secretary Audrey Haynes testified falsely to the Senate budget committee this afternoon that if (when) it becomes clear we can't afford the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion in our state, we will be able to opt out of the program then.

She said, again, that we can drop out later. There is nothing in the federal law to confirm this. Governor Beshear has not legally implemented the Medicaid expansion. The time to get out is now.

Also, Haynes said the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange funding source has already been created so a new tax is not necessary to fund the exchange going forward. This is not true. HB 505 creates that funding source but there is no chance of the legislature passing HB 505.

This is about to get really fun and if you depend on the mainstream media for your news, you are missing it all.

Madison likely not Kentucky ObamaCare hot spot

The ObamaCare talking point of the day is that the number of uninsured people in America is dropping precipitously, proving that ObamaCare works. Don't buy it.

Measuring the number of people without health insurance because they can't afford it has long been the holy grail of leftist orthodoxy, but not so much the stuff of demographic accuracy. In other words, it's all fake.

In Kentucky, Obamacrats put together a county-by-county list of uninsured Kentuckians made up of wild guesses. So when they report that Madison County ranks at the top of the state for ObamaCare compliance with 121% of the uninsured population covered on the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, ask for proof.

Monday, March 10, 2014

ObamaCare's April Fool's joke on Kentucky

The most obvious failure of ObamaCare in Kentucky so far has been the large numbers of Kentuckians willing to face the possibility of tax penalties rather than purchase insurance on the "exchange." At the very most, eighty percent of those put on ObamaCare coverage in the state have been stuck in Medicaid and if you think that's bad, you haven't seen anything yet.

A little known fact is that after the ObamaCare open enrollment ends on March 31, the entire sales force associated with the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange turns their attention one hundred percent to signing people up on Medicaid. That starts on April Fool's Day.

Despite Gov. Beshear's lie about that the federal government picking up the entire cost of Medicaid expansion for the first three years, the truth is the expansion busts our Medicaid budget immediately and this effort will only make it worse if it is allowed to continue.

Kentucky is already spending unappropriated Medicaid administration funds illegally and the state Senate appears to going squishy on the issue of throwing more money for this mess into the new budget. Please tell your state representative and senator not to fund the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion in the budget they start voting on this week.

Are you paying attention?

Anyone who tells you the ObamaCare mess is permanent and the fight is over is either clueless or hopes you aren't paying attention. Even with squishy members of Congress neglecting to cut off the excessive spending required to keep the federal takeover of healthcare going, ObamaCare faces a very difficult 2014.

There are four federal lawsuits making their way to the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the ability of Obama and the IRS to tax and spend ObamaCare subsidies in states that refuse to set up an ObamaCare exchange. The Court already rejected the federal attempt to make Medicaid expansion mandatory. They did this by a 7-2 vote. The law clearly states there are to be ObamaCare subsidies only in states with state-run exchanges. Three dozen states refused to set up an exchange and the law collapses without them.

Better, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has tried to illegally force an unwilling Kentucky into a state-run exchange. House Bill 505 wouldn't even make it legal, though it does try. This bill has no chance of passage even, I think, in the Democratic majority state House. But it certainly has no chance in the Senate. A state legal challenge is headed to the Kentucky Supreme Court based on clear legal language requiring legislative approval which has not and will not be granted. Fixing this will put Kentucky with the vast majority of states smart enough to opt out.

Beshear also illegally implemented the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion in Kentucky. A separate state court legal challenge can soon set this right, too.

Any questions?

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Beshear Death Spiral already baked in

With less than three weeks before the end of ObamaCare open enrollment in Kentucky, the President's target rate for exchange sales to young people ages 18 to 34 is hopelessly out of reach. So far in Kentucky, barely 22 percent of those enrolled in private health plans belong to that key demographic, while the official estimate needed to avoid a catastrophic death spiral for exchange insurers is 40 percent.

Gov. Beshear has been hiding this failure by reporting coverage of young people to include children under 18 and young people on Medicaid. In doing so, Beshear provided a distorted view of marketplace activity. Children under 18 are not part of the coveted so-called "young invincibles " and so Gov. Beshear's misleading claim that 48 percent of enrollees are under 35 does almost nothing to prevent older and sicker policyholders from quickly driving up insurance premiums in ObamaCare.

The figures in this report were provided by the Beshear administration (click here for proof).

Saturday, March 08, 2014

"Public option" only insurer making ObamaCare sales

Governor Steve Beshear reports federally funded Kentucky Health Cooperative is the only health insurer in the state to make its projected ObamaCare sales numbers for 2014 as open enrollment nears its mandated end.

According to Beshear, the Cooperative has sold over 40,000 policies after predicting sales of 19,508. The credibility of the Governor's enrollment numbers is not very good, but in any event the Cooperative has made the most of their federal seed money and probably did outsell Anthem and Humana by a wide margin.

The Kentucky Health Cooperative is a new entity that was able to price their policies lower than their competitors thanks to a $58.8 million federal "loan" granted at their founding. It's too early to tell if the Cooperative has gained enough real customers to benefit from the horrible results of their competitors.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Humana crushed by Kentucky ObamaCare

Humana Health Plans said last summer they expected to have 34,630 Kentucky ObamaCare health customers all twelve months of 2014. With three weeks left in open enrollment for the year, they have slightly more than 6500, according to Gov. Steve Beshear.

In a filing with the Kentucky Department of Insurance last summer, a Humana actuary predicted Kentucky's individual health insurance market would grow by 58.4% in 2014.

KY ObamaCare devastates Anthem Health Plans

Anthem expected to provide twelve months of health insurance coverage to more than 172,000 ObamaCare plan purchasing Kentuckians in 2014 at an average monthly premium of $342.25, according to a filing with the Kentucky Department of Insurance obtained through an open records request. They were only off by about 96%.

Anthem has sold fewer than 7100 ObamaCare policies on the Kentucky "exchange" since October 1, 2013, according to Governor Steve Beshear, and only three weeks remain in the 2014 ObamaCare open enrollment.

"The individual market is expected to grow by approximately forty percent," said Carmen Laudenschlager of Anthem in an email dated August 16, 2013. "Additionally, many of the healthiest members in the current Individual market are likely to drop coverage in 2014, due to rate shock. These shifts would bring the expected Individual morbidity in 2014 more in line with the current Small Group experience.

Hope Carmen's job didn't depend on that little prediction. Anthem has been the largest individual health insurer in Kentucky for many years.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Men or mice ObamaCare update

Following up on today's earlier post (click here), I called again to Jodi Whitaker in the Senate President's office just now and she said she didn't know Republican leadership's position on providing funding for ObamaCare.

I asked if she could find out and let me know and she assured me that she would.

I'll withhold further comment on this for now for no good reason whatsoever, but that won't last long.

Will Kentucky Senate be men or mice on ObamaCare?

I just left a voicemail message with Kentucky Senate President Robert Stiver's press secretary Jodi Whitaker asking if the Senate Majority has taken a position on budget funding for the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange or the optional Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare.

Waiting patiently for a response.

Please ask this question of your state Senator as well and post what you hear.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Devastating blow to Kentucky ObamaCare

House Speaker Greg Stumbo refused to grant the Kentucky ObamaCare bill a special waiver today so it could be heard in committee tomorrow. Time in the 2014 General Assembly now runs very short for the bill Gov. Beshear has been insisting in court for a year was not even necessary. His position is clearly contradicted by KRS 12.028.

If the legislature does not pass HB 505 or does not fund it in the budget by April 15, only a special session could possibly save Beshear's illegal implementation of ObamaCare, for which he has received national left-wing accolades. Stumbo's refusal today paints the clearest picture yet that sufficient support for ObamaCare in Kentucky does not exist.

Opponents of ObamaCare can now expect the ObamaCare bill to come up for a hearing in the House Health and Welfare Committee on Thursday, March 13 at noon in room 169 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort. After the bill fails, Kentucky will default to the federal exchange which is being challenged in multiple federal lawsuits because the clear language of the "Affordable Care Act" law allows tax subsidies only in exchanges run by states.

"Waive" bye-bye to Speaker Greg Stumbo

The leading ObamaCare proponent in the Kentucky legislature has been begging House Speaker Greg Stumbo to rush through his bill to give his bill to make the federal healthcare takeover legal. So far, Stumbo doesn't seem to be going for it.

House Bill 505 would ratify Gov. Beshear's executive order creating the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, dealing a blow to the legal challenge against Beshear's order and creating a possibility that Kentucky's ObamaCare exchange will survive legally past the end of the fiscal year.

Rep. Tom Burch filed HB 505 last Friday and wants to sneak in a hearing on the bill tomorrow before opponents can mobilize for a noon meeting of the House Health and Welfare Committee. For that to happen, Stumbo would need to waive a three day posting requirement in the committee today. Posting wavers require a voice vote on the House floor, which would ostensibly pull all the House Democrats on the record in favor of ObamaCare. Most of the House Democrats do not want to go on record in favor of ObamaCare.

Stumbo could call the voice vote and then rule however he wants, so the unpopularity of ObamaCare isn't a certain stumbling block to this happening today. But it isn't at all likely Stumbo wants to die on this hill. If he gives ObamaCare a thumbs up today, his chances of maintaining a Democratic majority in the House fall to zero.

Stumbo's chances of clinging to power after November are probably nonexistent anyway, but a procedural move for ObamaCare today would cinch it.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Anti-ObamaCare action alert for Kentucky

After a year of Gov. Beshear's legal team insisting he did not need legislative approval to create the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange for ObamaCare bureaucracy and taxes to fund it, a bill which would give him that authority was posted to the Health and Welfare committee today.

That means the bill could come up for hearing as soon as this Thursday. Please call 502-564-8100 during business hours and ask for DeeAnn Wenk, administrator of the House Health and Welfare Committee. Ask her if the committee schedule for Thursday will include House Bill 505. If she says no, ask if the schedule is complete or subject to change.

The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, March 6 at noon in room 169 of the Capitol Annex. Please make plans to attend and bring friends.

More bad news for Kentucky ObamaCare

A left-leaning political blog with unusual access to Kentucky's ObamaCare enrollment statistics reports that 75% of health policies sold on the Kentucky health "exchange" have come from the federally funded "public option" plan called Kentucky Health Cooperative. This is bad because under-pricing of these policies and poor sales overall will devastate policyholders next year when reality is more fully priced into the market.

By all accounts, Kentucky ObamaCare's paying customers are older and sicker than necessary to maintain much pricing stability for policyholders beyond the first year of the health scheme. Competing firms Anthem and Humana hoped to make up for being required to cover all applicants by signing up large numbers of them. They have failed spectacularly. The Cooperative has succeeded so far on the strength of massive federal funding and on setting its premiums far lower than its competitors. It's ability to continue on this path depends heavily on the federal government's willingness and ability to bail them out of losses due to their mis-pricing.

Kentucky's political class is starting to admit they can't rely on Gov. Beshear's illegal implementation of ObamaCare to insulate them from blame in this mess. We really can't shut down the state-run program fast enough and default to the federal exchange, which faces multiple federal court challenges. Kentucky's ObamaCare efforts remain under the cloud of a state court challenge. All these things are slowly bringing us closer to defeating ObamaCare.

Why I'm attending Hal Heiner's gubernatorial announcement event in Lexington this morning

Former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner will announce he is a candidate for Governor this morning and I will be there. I'm looking for three things from any Republican candidate for the top executive branch job in Kentucky in 2015 and that search starts with the first announced candidate.

This short list is not intended to be comprehensive; it's just a start. But I think the things I am looking for form a solid foundation for anyone running to replace the disastrous Beshear regime, both politically and in terms of moving the state in a good direction.

First is an unwavering commitment to use all available tools to get Kentucky out of Common Core and away from the traditional view of public schools here as political tools for crass politicians to wreck all manner of waste, fraud and abuse upon Kentuckians. Candidates who lead with this can be considered serious about fixing Kentucky.

Second is a clear denunciation of government control of healthcare in Kentucky. Repealing certificate of need and stripping the Department of Insurance of most of its weapons in addition to moving Kentucky as far away from ObamaCare as possible must happen to improve health outcomes in the Commonwealth. No serious candidate will fall short in this critical area.

And the third issue for legitimate candidates for governor to embrace completely is proper management of the state budget. Beshear's legacy among honest and aware chroniclers will be his unprecedented abuse of state finances, made all the worse by his serial dishonesty about it. Properly funding state pensions and getting out of corporate welfare, labor micro-management, covert deficit spending and counterproductive tax policy will create a very potent right-sizing of state government.

I'm looking for candidates who will embrace these issues and that search begins today at 10 am at Star Manufacturing in Lexington, 1200 Russell Cave Rd, at the campaign announcement of the first candidate.

Monday, March 03, 2014

McConnell's moronic MIT misstep

`Mitch McConnell is a political genius, according to people who work for him. But everyone not on the payroll is left to wonder, without hope of ever getting an answer, why a genius who never seems to tire of telling people how conservative he is now has built such a consistent record of voting to make government bigger and less affordable usually while directly benefiting corporate sponsors.

Decades of unbalanced budgets. Bank bailouts. Corporate welfare. Indefinite detention of citizens. Domestic spying. Funding for ObamaCare. Declaring war on the tea party. McConnell's hostility for conservatives is barely concealed by slick marketing.

And then came Matt Bevin.

Or to be more specific, Matt Bevin's LinkedIn page on the internet. Before Matt was even a candidate to replace McConnell representing Kentucky, Mitch was combing Matt's background looking for dirt. After failing to find any, he decided to make something up. His invention will be his undoing.

Matt attended a seminar years ago at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and listed the activity on his LinkedIn page. Unable to find another point of attack and unable to run on his own lackluster record, McConnell decided to focus his millions of dollars in political firepower on creating a fiction as the focal point of his re-election effort.

So McConnell started telling people that Matt claimed to have graduated from MIT. After masterminding attacks on Rand Paul in 2010 for "crazy ideas" and saying "he can't win" and watching his protege get crushed by 24 points, Mitch got cocky, inexplicably, and tried to launch a similarly deceptive attack on Matt Bevin. It is proving to be an historic miscalculation.

McConnell keeps doubling down on his MIT lie because it is all he has. McConnell's deceitfulness has created such significant unpopularity that he is more likely to lose in the fall than his Republican challenger. Keep talking, Mitch. You aren't hurting anyone but yourself and the people paid to tell us you are a genius.

Steve Beshear curled up in fetal position

Members of the Frankfort media are starting to ask questions Gov. Steve Beshear can't answer about a legislative bill he hoped never would see the light of day.

House Bill 505 represents the biggest embarrassment of Beshear's time as governor. Beshear has claimed in court repeatedly that he didn't need legislative approval for creating the Kentucky Obamacare "exchange." KRS 12.028 very clearly contradicts Beshear.

Beshear has been able to sidestep questions about his illegal actions up to now, but the filing of HB 505 appears to be too much to ignore. Answer your phone, Governor.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Tea Party Alert: ObamaCare in Kentucky

After bragging for a year that Gov. Beshear didn't need legislative approval to force Kentucky into ObamaCare, the Governor's legal team had to cringe Friday when Rep. Tom Burch filed a bill to give him that permission.

House Bill 505 opens up a nasty can of worms for Obamacrats: anyone who votes for it in Frankfort goes on record in support of the health reform fiasco and if the bill fails, which appears likely, the effort puts unwanted light on the series of illegal acts by the governor to improperly implement ObamaCare.

The next event to watch for is a House Health and Welfare Committee meeting in which they discuss HB 505. The committee regularly meets each Thursday at noon in the Capitol Annex. As soon as we hear that the bill will be discussed, every effort will be made to get the word out. Stay tuned...