Wednesday, April 30, 2014

They still think ObamaCare is free

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee reported today that only 2.45 million people in the federal ObamaCare exchanges out of 8 million claimed by Obama have paid even one month of insurance  premium.

“In a sad reversal away from its vows of transparency, the Obama administration, from inside the Oval Office on down, has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep basic details of the health law from the public. Tired of receiving incomplete pictures of enrollment in the health care law, we went right to the source and found that the administration’s recent declarations of success may be unfounded,” commented full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “We need a complete picture of how this law is working. We will continue to strive for transparency and hold the administration accountable for this law’s shortcomings and broken promises.”  

Lexington Herald Leader House candidate questionnaire

This afternoon, the Lexington Herald Leader issued state House candidate questions for a pre-primary voter guide to be printed on May 18, 2014. Each question must be answered in 45 or fewer words. Here they are, with my answers.

1.  Should the Kentucky Constitution be changed to allow casino gambling?

Kentucky shouldn't prohibit gambling, but must forbid  governments owning, managing or regulating, selling or giving licenses or taxing any business engaged in gambling differently than other businesses. Government officials must not project future revenues from gambling or spend revenues on non-debt items.

2.  Should the Kentucky Constitution be changed to automatically restore voting rights to most felons who have completed their sentences and terms of probation?

Yes, but only in conjunction with stronger voter identification requirements.

3.  Do you support or oppose Gov. Steve Beshear’s decision to expand Medicaid eligibility in Kentucky under the federal Affordable Care Act?

Oppose. The legislature did not approve the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare and has prohibited necessary state funds from being spent on the expansion.

4.  Should the state provide $80 million to help pay for a proposed redesign of Rupp Arena and an attached convention center?

No, it should be funded privately.

5.  Do you support or oppose a statewide ban on smoking in public places and places of employment?

No, property owners are capable of implementing smoking bans should they choose to do so. Protecting that choice is the proper role of government.

6.  Do you support or oppose a statewide prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation?

No, sexual orientation is a private matter. Individuals and businesses should not be subjected to further government interference regarding sexual orientation.

7.  Do you support or oppose a proposal that would require a doctor to present the results of an ultrasound to a pregnant woman prior to an abortion?

Beshear administration policies now provide funding for elective abortions in violation of state law, which means taxpayers could be required to fund these ultrasounds. I support clarifying legislation first and then requiring a doctor to present the results of an ultrasound before performing an abortion.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Oregon ObamaCare collapse presages Kentucky's

The Oregon Business Report is considering what will happen in their state after the federal government takes over their ObamaCare exchange. Very interesting, as they point out, that the whole thing may fall apart because of a federal lawsuit in which a ruling is expected any day now.

Kentucky's General Assembly defunded Kentucky's exchange earlier this month. While Gov. Beshear is still in denial about what this means for Kentucky's exchange, what is happening in Oregon bears close watching as this will soon be our fate too.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Is Mitch McConnell taxed too much?

A silly left-wing blog post from Friday points out evidence that Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign is paying for one of his staffers' health insurance premiums for Kentucky ObamaCare's public option KYHC.

You can read the post here.

A couple of things about the $170.43 monthly premium: one, that's a lot of money for what is almost certainly a young person and it's significantly more than similar coverage would have cost in 2013. And two, no such premium exists on the approved rate charts of the Kentucky Health Cooperative.

That means this ObamaCare plan for a McConnell campaign employee is either subsidized by federal taxpayers or the premium includes a tax Gov. Beshear didn't get authority to levy, or both.

What we need to know to figure this out is the age, home zip code, smoking status and chosen plan of the covered employee.

Sen. McConnell?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

What's their phone number, Mitch?

Mitch McConnell came out of hiding this past week, but probably wishes he hadn't. The national media is all atwitter because Sen. McConnell said creating jobs isn't his job, but that's not the embarrassing part of his statement.

Government destroys jobs. The closest thing to creating jobs government can do is to get out of the way. That should have been very easy to say. But alas, it was not to be.

Asked what he would do to bring jobs to Lee County, McConnell said "That's not my job. It is the primary responsibility of the state Commerce Cabinet."

The Democratic response and that of the media has been focused on the "that's not my job" part of the quote. McConnell even responded to that, saying "It's up to all of us -- at the federal, state and local levels."

No, again. Waiting around for government at any level to create jobs is not something a person who understands economics would ever say.

But the really funny part -- what makes this an embarrassing gaffe -- is that Kentucky hasn't had a Commerce Cabinet for many years. Telling jobless Kentuckians to get off his back and call a nonexistent government agency in Frankfort is something Mitch's opponents should waste no time hitting him on.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Rand Paul should help Matt Bevin on cockfighting "issue"

It wasn't that long ago Rand Paul got raked over the coals nationally for explaining that there are limits to federal jurisdiction. Rand's episode related to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is so similar to the current dust up over Matt Bevin and cockfighting that Rand is the perfect person to come to Matt's aid now.

National media figures are having a field day because Matt spoke about states rights at a Corbin rally organized for the purpose of promoting the legalization of cockfighting.

The whole ordeal has as its genesis a successful effort by Sen. Mitch McConnell to make attending a cockfighting event a federal crime. The only fact that matters is that the U.S. Constitution does not grant Congress jurisdiction over such an activity. Rand Paul understands the truth and he also remembers well how McConnell left him to twist in the wind when left-wing talking heads were calling him a liar and a racist.

McConnell does not recognize limits on federal jurisdiction. That's why he is so blatantly incapable of discussing problems with ObamaCare beyond focus grouped talking points. Matt has made his race against McConnell close by himself. Rand can and should come in now to give Liberty another powerful voice in Washington D.C.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Kentucky ObamaCare scandal hits Louisville television

I will be a guest on WHAS11 Saturday morning at 9:30 am ET talking with Joe Arnold on his program "The Powers That Be."

Joe asked me to come on to talk about the Kentucky General Assembly's defunding of ObamaCare and about the U.S. Senate race.

The station is not sure yet whether the program will be live-streamed, but there will be a link sometime this weekend.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The ObamaCare poll question Kentucky didn't get

I haven't seen cross-tab data on a new Kentucky ObamaCare poll out this afternoon, but find the most interesting question is the one they didn't ask.

According to the New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 59% of Kentuckians disapprove of Obama's handling of health care, 55% disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, 41% want the law repealed, and 53% think the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange is working well.

With literally hundreds of mainstream news stories working to skew public perception in favor of Kentucky ObamaCare, those last two points can't surprise anyone. I wonder, though, how the response might have been different with more balanced reporting in Kentucky followed by questions like: "Gov. Beshear ignored has ignored state law and is spending Kentuckians' money illegally on the Affordable Care Act. Do you approve or disapprove of this?" or "The Kentucky General Assembly refused to provide Gov. Beshear access to hundreds of millions of dollars in state funds for the Affordable Care Act that will be needed to carry out the federal law's optional provisions. Do you approve or disapprove?"

Giving ObamaCare billions of dollars in free media over several years is the only part of this mess that has been wildly successful.

Beshear says 1 in 3 ObamaCare premiums unpaid

In a press release not yet posted to Gov. Steve Beshear's web site, he says only 68% of ObamaCare insurance enrollees on the Kentucky exchange have paid their first monthly premium.

Beshear's track record of dishonesty in talking about ObamaCare is firmly established, but even if this statistic is taken at face value it is an extraordinary admission of failure.

Beshear claims 82,795 Kentuckians have signed up for health insurance since last October 1. Initially, enrollees had until January 10 to make premium payments to avoid cancellation. That was later changed to allow subsidized enrollees to fall into arrears by up to six months before being cancelled and to allow unsubsidized enrollees thirty days.

So now Beshear claims 26,495 haven't paid anything yet. Subsidized enrollees with a January 1 effective date on their policies got letters over the last week threatening loss over coverage if they do not become current on premiums by June 30. Late-paying unsubsidized enrollees were given thirty days from the date of their letter to become current.

Any way you look at it, a very significant chunk of ObamaCare enrollees are not paying premiums. Beshear yesterday said with a straight face that he didn't know how many people signed up with Humana, Anthem and Kentucky Health Cooperative using paper applications. He should be asked for multiple breakdowns of late payers to give a clearer picture of the status of ObamaCare in Kentucky.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Merry-go-round politics in Frankfort today

Gov. Steve Beshear is holding a press conference today at the State Capitol at 1pm at which he is expected to parade some ObamaCare "winners" in front of the cameras.

This is an example of the worst of politics. It's a merry-go-round in which the politicians pick your pocket and hand your wallet to the next person, hoping the merry-go-round keeps spinning up more quiet victims and enough loud beneficiaries.

The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly refused to ratify creation of an ObamaCare "exchange," a necessary step to expenditure of state funds which, by the plain language of the "Affordable Care Act" must be spent after federal funds run out January 1, 2015. The Medicaid Expansion in Kentucky was initiated too late under KRS 13A to become a legal obligation of Kentucky taxpayers. And the General Assembly's budget specifically prohibited spending state funds on the exchange or for making the Medicaid expansion permanent.

The legislature gave us all we need to win our two lawsuits to stop ObamaCare in Kentucky and Beshear failed to veto the ObamaCare-killing language when he had the chance. The federal government must now take over control of the exchange (which they can't do) and the Medicaid expansion in Kentucky must be reversed.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kentucky state debt now highest ever

Kentucky's state government appropriation-supported debt reached an all-time high in a newly released report from Frankfort.

The debt level as of December 31, 2013 was just short of nine billion dollars an increase over the prior twelve months of more than $255 million. The official count is $8,934,679,928 as reported in Appendix B of the Semi-Annual Report of the Kentucky Asset/Liability Commission.

The report is filed by law every six months. I'm not aware of any newspaper article ever being written on the subject of Kentucky's mounting debt found in this report. The debt level in this report in the month Gov. Steve Beshear came into office was $6,123,678,909.

Kentucky's pension debt is not included in any of these figures.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kinsey Hasstedt's mistake on Kentucky abortion law

The Guttmacher Institute's Kinsey Hasstedt researched problems in the states regarding coverage issues for abortion in ObamaCare health insurance policies. There are apparently a lot of them. Interestingly, she missed one.

Ms. Hasstedt must not have looked closely enough at states with statutes forbidding abortion coverage. Kentucky is such a state, but our ObamaCare plans cover abortion anyway.

If you know Kinsey Hasstedt, publicly funded family planning program public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, please show her this link.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

First hint of KY ObamaCare cancellations slips out

Internal documents received from within the Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange reveal thousands of policyholders of the state's public option ObamaCare insurer did not pay their March premium and face cancellation of their health insurance.

Information on any of the other companies' cancellations or for the public option's cancellations in other months have never been made available.

The Beshear administration has been extraordinarily tight-lipped about consumer defaults in the exchange plans and did not willingly provide this information. Nearly five thousand letters went out in recent days to policyholders of the Kentucky Health Cooperative, the cheapest plans in the state thanks to having received enormous federal subsidies.

Policyholders who do not get taxpayer subsidies for the purchase of health insurance have a thirty day grace period to catch up on missed March payments. Again, officials have refused to divulge cancellation figures. Policyholders who get taxpayer subsidies for health insurance get ninety days. Interestingly, non-subsidized policyholders who do not catch up payments lose coverage effective the last day through with they were paid up. But subsidized policyholders who do not catch up appear to get one month free coverage, with cancellation back-dated only two months.

You know who will wind up picking up the tab for any losses attributable to that little loophole, right?

Beshear ObamaCare wiped out by General Assembly

The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly ended last night at midnight, but not before crushing Gov. Beshear's attempt to force Kentucky into ObamaCare.

The only bill filed in the last two years seeking to make Beshear's executive order creating the ObamaCare exchange didn't even get a hearing in the legislature's biggest ObamaCare cheerleader's own committee. Then the budget bill including language forbidding expenditure of state funds on the exchange passed almost unanimously.

The Medicaid expansion part of ObamaCare is spending unappropriated state dollars now. The budget just passed forbids that to continue.

The General Assembly is not a police force and it wouldn't be a good one now even if it were. They could impeach Beshear and remove him, but the House Democrats won't do that, so it won't happen this year. The brain dead Frankfort media won't even report on the controversy, owing to some really bizarre fear of Beshear -- can you imagine? -- and willful ignorance of the law.

The way our court cases are structured, several Kentucky judges are going to have to be willing to rule that Kentucky is a dictatorship and Beshear is king in order for the law not to be followed in this instance. We will win this.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ObamaCare is about one thing right now

There are several good reasons not to like ObamaCare -- higher premiums, higher taxes, wasted tax dollars, worsening of health care quality, and (apparently) lots of faked data to prop the whole mess up at least in the early going -- but only one that turns left-wing apologists into mumbling tubs of goo.

The next time you get in a discussion with an ObamaCare supporter, you can chase any of the above issues around in circles for a while before the return fire gets nasty. But in order to be called a racist right off the bat, spend a little time studying up on the illegality of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

A great place to start is with the federal lawsuit Halbig v. Sebelius. This one is over the issue of federal subsidies being doled out through state-run exchanges but not through federally run exchanges as the ACA clearly mandates. The idea originally for Obamacrats was to attempt to force states to create their own exchanges or face unsubsidized premiums for their ObamaCare victims. After nearly three dozen states opted out anyway, the IRS attempted to illegally change the law to subsidize premiums in opting out states. This case is making its way to the U. S. Supreme Court. Keeping the discussion on this front is not only more productive than walking directly into the avalanche of pro-ObamaCare spin, it's a lot more fun at least until the 2015 ObamaCare premiums come out in about two months.

Irony falling from Frankfort sky

Due to the cold, snowy April weather, a state government observation of "Earth Day" for global warming hysterics has been moved inside to the Capitol Rotunda today.

The email announcement didn't say this, but I'm guessing they will leave the lights on inside as well as the heat, while lobbying for others to turn their lights and heat off to keep from destroying the planet with capitalism.

Senate GOP should boycott Beshear special session

Beshear and the Frankfort House Democrats want to force a special legislative session in order to impose one last Democrat-heavy road plan on the people of Kentucky. Senate Republicans have no reason to play along.

The road plan can wait until January when the new House Republican majority can help clarify for Gov. Beshear the limits on his political nonsense. Beshear has grossly overplayed his hand as a champion for big government and has helped inspire Republicans in sufficient numbers to make his last year in office a miserable one. Big steps in the right direction are within reach. Senate Republicans, just say no.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Shock: another Democrat thinks you're stupid

Congressman Andy Barr's opponent Elisabeth Jensen has the left-wing Twitterati buzzing with a radio ad in which she attempts to gin up confusion over the name of Kentucky's version of ObamaCare.

This all goes back to a story from last year's Kentucky State Fair in which a random Kentuckian supposedly expressed interest in "Kynect" by saying that it sounded a lot better than ObamaCare.

In all likelihood that fabled event never happened, but meanwhile it has been repeated so many times around the world it is now taken as gospel. Count the media and left-wing activists as too excited to care as the rest of us look to restore the rule of law.

Start orderly dismantling of Kentucky ObamaCare

Gov. Steve Beshear had ten days to veto the General Assembly's agreement to defund ObamaCare in Kentucky and start a huge fight for today and tomorrow, but he didn't do it. Now, he must accept reality and start taking down the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange.

At the top of page Page 124 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act it states "No federal funds for continued operations ... In establishing an Exchange under this section, the state shall ensure that such Exchange is self-sustaining beginning on January 1, 2015, including allowing the Exchange to charge assessments or user fees to participating health insurance issuers, or to otherwise generate funding, to support its operations."

The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly refused to ensure that our Exchange will be self-sustaining on January 1, 2015, refused to authorize assessments or user fees and refused to allow spending of any funding generated otherwise. In fact, the budget just passed almost unanimously by both chambers states "The Governor is expressly prohibited from expending any General Fund resources on any expenditure directly or indirectly associated with the Health Benefit Exchange."

It's all over except for further illegal activity by Gov. Beshear. The budget language very much bolsters our case against Beshear for illegally setting up the Exchange. Keep an eye on 2013-SC-000667. Shut it down now, Governor.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kentucky media chooses Beshear over reality

The Kentucky legislature has repeatedly refused to give Gov. Steve Beshear permission to put us into ObamaCare. He can't put us into ObamaCare without legislative approval.

Adam Beam of the Associated Press Frankfort bureau was the only reporter to even mention the fact that, last night, Beshear decided not to fight the legislature's refusal to fund ObamaCare. None of the others even mentioned it.

One reporter even argued with me when I called to ask if he would report the fact, claiming falsely that Beshear doesn't need state money for the exchange or the Medicaid expansion in the next two years. Federal funds for the exchange will run out very early in 2015 and Kentucky is spending state dollars for the Medicaid expansion right now.

Beshear hopes to continue ignoring state law, the Constitution and very explicit budget language passed into state law as our cases to stop him head to the Kentucky Supreme Court. That's one heck of a story for them to try to ignore.

Friday, April 11, 2014

VICTORY! ObamaCare defunding language survives

Gov. Steve Beshear just released his budget vetoes and the legislature's ObamaCare defunding language is not among them.

It's a huge win. The legislature did their part to get Kentucky out of ObamaCare and Beshear chickened out of the fight. He will continue on illegally, of course -- old habits die hard -- but our two cases for the Kentucky Supreme Court now have existing law and existing budget language to back them up.

Heading into the home stretch. Thanks so much for all your support so far.

ObamaCare requires transparency, Beshear refuses

Section 1311 of the Affordable Care Act requires states to post all of their expenses to the internet, Gov. Steve Beshear has failed to comply with the law.

From the ACA:
"An exchange shall publish the average costs of licensing, regulatory fees, and any other payments required by the Exchange, and the administrative costs of such Exchange, on an Internet website to educate consumers on such costs. Such information shall also include monies lost to waste, fraud, and abuse."

Where is that information, Governor?

Not the same as three votes for ObamaCare...

Kentucky law requires Governor Steve Beshear to get approval from both the legislature and the judiciary to keep Kentucky stuck in ObamaCare. He prefers his good friends Rosita and Abby from Sesame Street. He has until Tuesday April 15 to get legislative approval.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Can 400,000 ObamaCare enrollees be wrong?

I wish I had a nickel for every time some Obamacrat told me the only thing that matters about Beshear and the Affordable Care Act is that so many people have gotten signed up now that there is no way to go back. In fact, I'm even getting it from some squishy Republicans now.

They are missing one key point.

Gov. Beshear did not get legislative approval to opt us into ObamaCare. State law requires him to do so. It doesn't matter even a little bit that there are now supposedly 400,000 Kentuckians signed up into this mess. The law states that a temporary reorganization executive order expires 90 days after the legislative session ends and the executive order unratified. That happened at the end of the 2013 General Assembly.

That's why I sued Beshear then. The fact that he responded by simply re-issuing the executive order help him at all when this one expires. If we simply ignore the rule of law because Beshear goes on national television and gets kudos from the President, what is to stop a Republican governor from administratively creating private school vouchers and then claiming it would be inhumane to make all those kids go back to public schools.

And yes, I would support that policy but could not support getting it done illegally. Maybe that's just a difference between Obamacrats and the rest of us.

ObamaCare will NOT help with your car insurance

Pro-ObamaCare media types desperate to declare victory on "health care" and move on to socializing something else are milking a very iffy talking point speculating incorrectly that the Affordable Care Act could reduce the cost of car insurance. The claim doesn't hold up to any kind of scrutiny.

In fact, if you read much past the headline of these ridiculous stories you will see they are really just throwing up a meaningless headline to get attention.

In fact, the question we should be asking is does ObamaCare make it illegal for an automobile insurance policy's personal injury protection (PIP) to cover a Medicaid recipient? How about if you have a high-deductible plan or a narrow network that doesn't give you the medical services you need? Technically, these are a couple of ways of lowering costs for insurers, but that could lead to some nasty surprises for consumers.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Republicans must shut down Kentucky LEC

Frankfort House Democrats' abuse of power has gone too far once again, but what's different this time is Republicans are very strongly positioned to make them pay for it.

The last time a Frankfort Democrat's sexual exploits gained public attention -- Paul Patton in 2002 -- Republicans temporarily took the governor's mansion. Now, a Democrat House member's serial sexual harassment and Democrats' successful whitewash of it stands to be a catalyst for a unprecedented and long-standing Republican wave capable of washing away lots of Frankfort mud.

Republican House candidates should campaign on shutting down the Legislative Ethics Commission, a stupid bureaucratic cover-up vehicle for protecting unethical behavior. Further, KRS 418.075(4) should be amended to clarify that illegal actions performed by legislators are no longer worthy of special treatment under Kentucky's illegitimate treatment of the concept of legislative immunity.

Tale of two more ObamaCare glitches

Left-wing "New Republic" has an article talking about U.S. House Republican leaders sneaking through a small ObamaCare fix for small businesses and suggesting they could be setting the stage for undermining the best federal lawsuits remaining to unwind the "Affordable Care Act."

The sneaky move repealed a piece of ObamaCare hurting small businesses and made the coalition for repeal just a little less populated and energetic. The writer of the article suggests this should inspire hope on the left that Speaker John Boehner and friends might change the law again to allow the IRS to zap taxpayers in states refusing to set up and pay for their own ObamaCare exchanges.

From the article:
"Right now, the ACA faces a remote but real threat thanks to a drafting error in the law, which, taken out of context, suggests that residents in states without their own exchanges (i.e. states) are not entitled to insurance subsidies. It's difficult to imagine the Supreme Court creating this kind of chaos over decontextualized sloppy language when the statute read in its entirety is unambiguous. But Congress could moot the legal challenge in a single afternoon. A technical corrections bill would eliminate a real source of anxiety for insurers, providers, consumers, and even politicians from states. And the logic against passing such a bill just became much weaker." 
First, the language referred to in the article was clear, intentional and in context. The intention in the ACA was to incentivize states to set up their own exchanges by prohibiting subsidies in states without state-run exchanges. When nearly three dozen states figured out this was a great way to undermine the law and hasten its demise, the IRS grabbed Obama's pen and cell phone and pretended the provision away. Four federal lawsuits seeking to clarify Obama's understanding of his own law for him are on the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The plain language of the law rightly carries significant legal weight. The left responds with its last hope, an emotional appeal: "It's difficult to imagine the Supreme Court creating this kind of chaos over decontextualized sloppy language..."

No, it isn't. First, the language in question was intentional. Second, blaming the Supreme Court for "creating chaos" by requiring Obama to follow his own law sounds a lot like something Gov. Steve Beshear might say.

In fact, Beshear is depending on exactly that same sentiment in hopes that no one will stop him from continuing to violate state law requiring legislative approval of ObamaCare because so many people (according to him) are having so much fun since he started.

Setting both of these ObamaCare glitches straight accomplishes much more than wrecking one bad law. It will ensure that the rule of law still exists in the United States and in Kentucky.

KY Democrat ObamaCare lunar module burning up on re-entry

Last October I predicted in the Louisville Courier Journal that Kentucky Democrats might soon turn on each other over ObamaCare, but I didn't predict this.

I'm not so troubled by Democrat and media alternate reality attempts to create myth about the "wildly successful" ObamaCare. Politicians have been spinning massive failure to look like success since before King George bragged about his high approval rating in the Colonies and told everyone in England that all the dead redcoat soldiers were merely unfortunate victims of training exercise mishaps. As I explained in the newspaper, the bigger issue is Gov. Beshear's blatant disregard of state law requiring him to include the legislature in the decision to sign the state up for ObamaCare or not.

But it was a surprise just now to see the latest Democrat-on-Democrat sword fight that includes, hilariously, charges of racism. (Click here to read it.)

Frankfort Democrats have already gone on record aborting an effort to defund Kentucky ObamaCare before flipping around and voting to defund it. In five days they will likely be faced with an override opportunity for Beshear's veto of their defunding language, which will be interesting to watch. Would have been much easier and less politically costly if they had just agreed that the governor must follow state law.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Herald Leader reporter clarifies ObamaCare bias

A Lexington Herald Leader political reporter went on a left-wing podcast published today and destroyed any semblance of objectivity he might have had on ObamaCare.

"The opposition to (ObamaCare) --and I feel this is the case pretty much around the country -- is not for people who don't have health insurance," said reporter Sam Youngman here. "Signing up half of Kentucky's 640,000 uninsured population in the first enrollment period is pretty impressive."

Several problems jump out for Mr. Youngman's claims of objectivity after this brief quote. It is an objective fact that at least a large portion of those who gained ObamaCare coverage did so only after becoming uninsured because of ObamaCare. And understanding negative consequences of policy is indisputably more a function of an awareness of economics than of whether or not one has health insurance. Destruction of the health insurance market under ObamaCare manifests itself in higher premiums and deductibles, very limited coverage options, expensive but unusable coverage mandates and narrow provider networks and is not fixed by income-based subsidies. In fact, in every market where subsidies are used they expose failed policy, rather than fix it. Any way you slice it, defining opposition to ObamaCare as consisting of people with health insurance requires a naked bias that contradicts any pretense to journalistic balance.

The estimate of Kentucky's uninsured population from the Beshear administration is an outdated guess. Decades of experience with government guesses of uninsured populations suggest at least some -- and probably a lot of -- inflation. By any measure, the largest recent contributor to any expansion in the uninsured population is ObamaCare itself. Less recently, steadily increasing government activity has actually created much of the problem. A federal mandate, an aggressive state and federal marketing campaign and expensive federal subsidies rolled out with the absurd goal of fixing largely government created problems requires very low levels of cynicism or even curiosity for someone who is supposed to dig up information for a living to find "pretty impressive."

And let alone the fact that the state has been forced into the worst of this nonsense by a governor who had to ignore state law to do it, falsify court documents in attempting to keep it and is even now scrambling around for cash to keep the illegal enterprise afloat.

All this time I thought Sam Youngman avoided writing the other side of the ObamaCare story because his editors wouldn't let him, but it appears he is a true believer.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Left-wing Medicaid promotion double standard just now won a motion in federal court in favor of keeping up a billboard attacking Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for refusing the ObamaCare expansion. The media is having a field day.

In Kentucky, we caught Gov. Beshear faking court documents last July trying to force Kentucky into the same mess. Crickets...

There is a lot of fight left in the Kentucky ObamaCare story and the more you look, the more surprising it is Beshear thought he could get away with it all. He has the Kentucky media in his pocket, but if you share this story and encourage your friends to do the same, we will win in the court of public opinion before we win in the court of law.

Would Andy Beshear prosecute his dad over ObamaCare?

Gov. Steve Beshear's son wants a government job. Andy Beshear is a candidate for Kentucky Attorney General in 2015. Kentucky's top Obamacrat has a government job she testified in court was created by a gubernatorial executive order on July 19, 2013. If the General Assembly does not ratify that executive order in the next 8 1/2 days, Carrie Banahan loses her state government job.

There can be little question Gov. Beshear will not voluntarily yield to Kentucky law when it stops him from giving taxpayer money to his political friends. Jack Conway has already refused to intervene in this issue and can't be counted on to act against Beshear's illegal actions. Does anyone seriously believe Beshear's son would?

I see two Kentucky Democrats proving themselves unworthy of election in 2015 over their positions on ObamaCare. How about you?

KY Obamacrats covering wrong flanks

There are three issues the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange (ObamaCare) people must overcome in the next nine days and they are focusing on only two.

Before the 2014 General Assembly shuts down at midnight on April 15, unfinished business for Gov. Steve Beshear's exchange includes finding a funding (tax) source to finance some $40 million or more in annual expenses, gaining legislative approval to continue to exist as a state-run exchange and obtaining legislative approval to spend state money for continuing operations after federal money runs out early in 2015. Predictably, Beshear and friends are focused only on finding a pot of money in the bloated Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) in Frankfort.

They appear to have settled on a consolidation of agencies involved in services for the aged to shake free enough money to keep the ridiculous ObamaCare salaries flowing. This must be done because the legislature has not granted the governor authority to create a new tax to fund the exchange. While Kentucky's Constitution prohibits spending unappropriated funds, some ambiguity in state law and in the mission of CHFS may give the Obamacrats confidence they can slip some tens of millions of dollars in spending past their local court of law and lessen the need for a new tax.

But the impending death of House Bill 505 starts the undoing of ObamaCare in Kentucky. That bill would have ratified Gov. Beshear's 2013 executive order creating the exchange and a tax to fund it. The executive order will then expire on July 15, requiring the organization of CHFS to return to the form it was in prior to the 2013 executive order, which replaced -- illegally -- an expiring 2012 executive order creating the exchange without a funding mechanism. Failure to ratify that one puts us back to the time before any effort was made to create a state-run exchange.

Four federal lawsuits converging on the U.S. Supreme Court would eliminate the Internal Revenue Service's ability to tax citizens for ObamaCare in states without state-run exchanges, in keeping with the plain language of the "Affordable Care Act." In short, Kentucky is very nearly out of ObamaCare.

Don't let them fool you: this fight is far from over.  

Friday, April 04, 2014

It's okay when Democrat profiteers bleed us dry

The Associated Press Frankfort Bureau ran a story today in the Louisville Courier Journal about Kentucky's largest ObamaCare profiteer, Kentucky Health Cooperative (KYHC) CEO Janie Miller, without mentioning she was responsible for setting up much of the state's ObamaCare scheme as a Beshear Cabinet official.

Miller left her position as Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in February of 2012 and almost immediately resurfaced with KYHC and a federal "loan" of almost $60 million to start a public option health plan here.

Kentucky's other health insurers, Anthem and Humana, lag badly in sales to KYHC and may not even be able to stay in the market much longer. The cooperative's customer service is notoriously bad as is their treatment of providers. Giving them accolades for signing up lots of people on the strength of their massively subsidized premiums and allowing current Beshearocrat, Executive Director of Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange Carrie Banahan to provide the only commentary in the story -- she said premiums are lower because KYHC is a nonprofit and that the provider network is "more robust" -- is a pathetic excuse for journalism.

Media coverage of ObamaCare in Kentucky demonstrates relentlessly a total disregard for balance and honesty.

Harry Reid invites Hitler comparison

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took to the Senate floor yesterday to help repeat a lie often enough that people would believe it.

"ObamaCare has reduced the uninsured population in Kentucky by forty percent," Reid said.

Of course this factoid must be true because it has been picked up by all the left-wing blogs and the Lexington Herald Leader and the Courier Journal, right? Not so fast.

Statistics on people without health insurance have always been questionable in that they are based on extrapolations of survey results and often just distortion of facts to make help make the case for ever-increasing government involvement. A clear-eyed analysis demonstrates most of the problem is instead a result of that increased government role.

The much-repeated statistic about 640,000 uninsured in Kentucky should then be taken with a grain of salt. Further, we already know data on prior insurance status of Kentucky ObamaCare enrollees has been corrupted by a computer glitch as well as a very suspicious claim by state Obamacrats that people who signed up for Medicaid and exchange insurance were 25% previously insured and 25% previously insured, respectively.

Is the concept of the skeptical journalist really that dead?

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Beshear sees gullible people

Governor Steve Beshear told MSNBC this week he signed Kentucky up for the ObamaCare exchange because "everybody" wanted him to.

"Everybody felt like we should run our own exchange, so that was an easy decision," Beshear said in a televised interview.

Since "everybody" made that decision in 2012, Beshear's temporary executive order creating the exchange expired because no one in the legislature was willing to ratify it, he was sued for illegally creating the exchange (which case awaits Supreme Court action) and continuing his efforts despite having absolutely no legislative support or required approval in 2013, he then simply issued another executive order creating the exchange in violation of KRS 12.028(5) which not only failed to gain legislative approval but was met with budget language approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers pointing out his failure and refusing to provide any of the necessary taxation or spending authority to continue operating the exchange when federal seed money runs out in a few months.

Any questions?

Which day will Kynect run out of money?

Kentucky ObamaCare officials have no idea where their money will come from when $253 million in federal grants funds run out sometime early in 2015. The Kentucky General Assembly has refused to provide funding for continuing operations of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange and the federal "Affordable Care Act" requires states opting to create their own exchange to pay their own way after initial federal money is exhausted.

Governor Steve Beshear attempted to create KHBE in the summer of 2012 with a temporary executive order under KRS 12.028 which the legislature was never asked to ratify, violating the statute. When Beshear's 2012 executive order expired in the summer of 2013, he issued another order under the same statute creating the exchange anew, which also violated the statute.

A lone House Democrat filed a bill in February to ratify the second, illegitimate executive order, exposing the incompetence behind Kentucky ObamaCare. And both chambers of the legislature just this week voted to disallow any state spending for the scheme.

And even if Beshear vetoes the defunding language, there is no authority to fund the exchange or even for it to continue to exist at all. Beshear needs to admit his failure so we can begin an orderly unwinding of Kentucky ObamaCare. Until then, he should start estimating for all of us how much time is left for this charade.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Kerri Richardson ate lunch

I sent an email to Gov. Steve Beshear's press secretary Kerri Richardson on her government email an hour ago asking the following:


When will Gov. Beshear release statistics on how many kynect enrollees have had their policies cancelled due to nonpayment of premium? Have any policies been cancelled due to nonpayment of premium or other reasons?



I copied a member of the Frankfort press corps on the email, which is a tactic that worked better when shame still existed on the first or second floors of the Capitol building. Still, I'm eagerly awaiting an answer or for others to ask the questions. Beshear's ObamaCare numbers have no meaning without some of this context.

Pro-ObamaCare arguments grow weaker, more shrill

The Economist has a new article promoting ObamaCare in Kentucky. It starts with a rehashing of Yahoo's assessment that it is "wildly successful," but just as the article builds to an exciting conclusion to the question of why all this government activism is so unpopular here, it instead reverts to the old claim that you just want poor people to die.

And this is significant because if they had anything better now would definitely be the time to use it.

From the article:
"Can't afford," here, is a euphemism. If, as Mr Benvenuti says, Kentucky "can't pay for" a 10% contribution towards Medicaid for its poorer citizens, it is because he believes the state's wealthier taxpayers don't want to pay for it. To warn of "creating dependency" is to pretend that there is some other way to make it possible for poor people to get decent health-insurance coverage. But there is no other way, as America's health-insurance system has proven. (emphasis added) Obamacare has given people who fundamentally don't want to have to pay for universal health insurance a word on which to focus their disgust. They need not acknowledge that they would simply prefer for many people to go without healthcare. (emphasis added)

As we have attempted to keep the focus on Governor Steve Beshear's illegal actions to force Kentucky into ObamaCare, we have clarified the issue well enough that no one in Frankfort had the nerve to seriously try to make his actions legal. They now have little choice but to pretend that healthcare in America has never worked. The truth is that government bureaucratic involvement has driven costs into the stratosphere just as technological advances and a competitive marketplace could have lowered them.  And government bureaucrats have no effective tools to lower costs now except rationing services or getting out of the way. And they really don't want to get out of the way, lest everyone realize we don't need them at all.

So they accuse us of wanting to deny poor people health care just as their preferred approach creates denial of services to more people regardless of their economic status. That's socialized equality we should all know enough to continue resisting forever.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Time to count up faked KY ObamaCare policies

At the end of 2013, Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange Executive Director Carrie Banahan said ObamaCare policies not paid for by January 10 would be cancelled on that day. As enrollment numbers continued to lag, she moved that date to March 31.

You know what day it is today, right?

Exchange officials have been pretending all was well with policies marked "pending" on their system and counted in their press releases, when they knew nothing was behind those numbers. They must come clean very soon.

The strategy has been to delay, deny and deflect all the bad news until Kentucky's Obamacrats could get their hooks in so deep ObamaCare couldn't be unwound. In this, they have failed. Only a handful of legislators in either state chamber voted yesterday against the budget agreement defunding ObamaCare here and not a single one of them mentioned it as a reason for their vote. In fact, the only mentions of ObamaCare in floor speeches all day was that defunding it was a reason to vote for the budget.

The game is up, Governor. Come clean and let's start cleaning up your mess today.

Now let's DISMANTLE ObamaCare in Kentucky

Kentucky's brain dead media doesn't want you to think about what Gov. Steve Beshear is thinking about this morning. If he vetoes budget language passed almost unanimously out of both chambers of the legislature yesterday, he could soon find himself with a Republican House and Senate in Frankfort.

Actually, he probably is going to get that anyway. Vulnerable House Democrats clinging to a slim majority already tried and failed to fight off ObamaCare defunding once. Facing an override of a pro-ObamaCare veto is not a position Beshear wants to force on what's left of his friends.

And the truth is it would all be for naught anyway. Whatever flimsy legal underpinning ObamaCare implementation had in Kentucky is now completely gone. So what's next?

The federal government has until January 1 to take over control of the Kentucky ObamaCare "exchange" and however many Kentuckians have been given Medicaid cards under false pretenses by Beshear and his crazed Cabinet for Health and Family Services need to be told the truth. And then we need to turn Frankfort's culture of corruption surrounding Beshear and his short time in the spotlight as an ObamaCare darling into an HHS waiver allowing health insurers to sell policies people want and can afford. That simply means dropping all government coverage mandates and letting the market decide how people and their doctors manage their business relationships and their transactions. Kentucky has a unique problem with a bunch of people given promises an out of control governor and president can't keep. We deserve a unique solution. Now.

Further delay in starting this process only hurts Kentuckians.