Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Big Gov nannies faking themselves out, killing us

The opioid epidemic in Kentucky is being addressed in two ways: individuals using an herb called kratom to step down from their chemical dependency and the federal drug warrior approach, which is to eliminate this mild, natural alternative.

Overwhelming evidence of Food and Drug Administration failure in regulating food and drugs should make any reasonable person think twice before taking their advice on anything at all, much less public health matters.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Let people decide marijuana

Frankfort politicians wasting yet another opportunity to make Kentucky a medical marijuana state need reinforcements with backbone and not another follower in a declining minority, Bullitt County House nominee Rebecca Johnson said.

"My opponent appears willing to say anything now for a chance to be a part of the Democrats' shrinking presence up there," Johnson said. "Bullitt County voters need a pro-freedom Republican ready to go to Frankfort and jerk a knot in their tails."

"Seriously, if they won't do the heavy lifting on opening up medical marijuana, we need to put it on the 2018 ballot and let the people of Kentucky vote it into law themselves."

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A new, different kind of Frankfort sex scandal

Kentucky Senate Bill 2 would inexplicably alter our state constitution to allow legislators to limit civil court ordered payments to people who, due to the wrongdoing of a defendant, have lost the ability to enjoy normal marital relations.

I'm not kidding.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Will Frankfort pit taxpayers against

A major Kentucky employer is taking on healthcare costs in a big way just as a state Senate bill would commit taxpayer dollars trying to address part of the issue with a certain-to-be less effective new state bureaucracy.

Retail giant announced last week plans to enter the employee healthcare market with the sole purpose of lowering costs -- with no profits for middlemen. At the same time, Kentucky Senate Bill 5, which would start up a new state department to eliminate by decree all private pharmacy "benefit managers."

Even without the presence of Amazon's game-changing effort, Kentucky needs a new state-run healthcare middleman as much as we all need an extra hole in our heads.

Momentum on Senate Bill 5 has already slowed as even the political types realize we have much bigger fish to fry, but Kentucky Senate leaders would do very well to remove the bill from consideration and let the private market do what it does best. Thanks.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Are Frankfort Republicans swallowing spiders?

Frankfort Republicans appear to be toying with the kind of bad economics we used to make fun of Democrats for touting.

They have started launching trial balloons from Pikeville to Paducah seeking support for another big cigarette tax increase, rationalizing it as an answer to both Kentucky's revenue woes and excessive public costs associated with smoking tobacco. How could it help both, really? Ask some Frankfort Republicans that question and watch how quickly they forget to call you back. Maybe we should just wait for Indiana and Tennessee to pass current legislation to raise their minimum smoking age and then authorize a tax increase in Kentucky stores for any underage kids from out-of-state who come here to buy cigarettes and take them home.

That's not as dumb as taxing Kentuckians more if they smoke to discourage them from smoking and planning in our next two year budget for not many people to actually become discouraged so we can keep spending money we don't have.

A better idea would be to emulate another Indiana proposal to create a fee for Medicaid recipients who smoke. Heck, maybe we could just kick smokers off Medicaid.

The point is that increasing taxes to incentivize smoking cessation and then counting unhatched government chickens in order to spend them two years hence in expectation that the first policy will fail is like the story of the little old lady who swallowed a fly. You know, she accidentally swallowed a fly and then swallowed a spider to catch the fly. Then she needed to swallow a bird to catch the spider, and so on until she swallowed a horse and died. If Kentucky really doesn't want to pay medical expenses for poor smokers, does it make any sense at all to address that problem by raising taxes and spending anticipated proceeds on other budgeted desires we already can't afford?

Same goes for Senate Bill 5, which would socialize private pharmacy benefit management services to Medicaid at substantial cost to taxpayers and pharmaceutical consumers both inside Medicaid and out. No one on the purchasing side is happy about rapidly increasing drug costs, but sweeping aside private cost managers in favor of government bureaucrats to address a healthcare problem sounds an awful lot like something the president before Donald Trump and the governor before Matt Bevin did to us.