Thursday, December 31, 2015

Matt Bevin, tear down that CON

The web site for Kentucky's Certificate of Need program still proclaims staggering economic illiteracy to the world and Governor Bevin should take quick action to fix it.

The site currently reads as follows: "The Kentucky certificate of need process prevents the proliferation of health care facilities, health services and major medical equipment that increase the cost of quality health care in the commonwealth."

If proliferation of goods or services increased costs, every Economics textbook would be wrong. Providers of goods and services expanding offerings always benefits consumers because competition drives up quality and drives down cost. Politicians often pretend not to understand this when limiting such offerings can increase their own power. Such is the case with "certificate of need."

Governor Bevin should move quickly to end Kentucky's Certificate of Need program. He can start by reorganizing it with an executive order amending KRS 216B.115. That statute requires all appeals of Certificate of Need rulings to be taken to Frankfort and heard in the Franklin Circuit Court. Those judges have no better information about the healthcare needs in other parts of the state than Circuit Court judges in the counties harmed by a Certificate of Need power grab.

Bevin could make this change himself and then any resistance to quick ratification in the General Assembly could be presented to voters as politicians fighting to limit local healthcare offerings.

"Getting government out of healthcare in Kentucky starts with dismantling the certificate of need program and letting medical professionals and consumers decide what services are available," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "There is no reason for Gov. Bevin not to take quick action to right this wrong."

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bevin reverses Beshear child safety scam

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's administration is literally covered up with repairing damage Steve Beshear left, including a plot to combine two of Beshear's most controversial messes.

Had Jack Conway been elected Governor, an effort to embed online operations of Kentucky's corrupt child safety bureaucracy into Kentucky's ObamaCare web site would quickly have been consummated as internal efforts were well underway. Gov. Bevin reversed it.

"Running DCBS (Department for Community Based Services) through Kynect would have made the worst of both programs harder to fix or eliminate," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "This is further proof we got the Beshear/Conway tag team out of there just in the nick of time."

Bevin has made fixing DCBS and eliminating Kynect two of his highest priorities.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Not a typo: Kentucky government "net worth" dropped $24 billion last year

A new financial report issued today by the Bevin administration shows Kentucky state government's net financial position dropped from just over $10 billion in 2014 to just over negative $14 billion in 2015. The difference is largely a result of honestly accounting for unfunded pension liabilities for the first time.

The prior seven years under former Gov. Steve Beshear saw government's reported net position drop steadily from a high of $16.2 billion in 2008 to $10.057 in 2014, but those numbers concealed the pension wreckage in a document called Kentucky's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

The Bevin CAFR also revealed state revenues for the fiscal year ending in June were at an all-time high, but that spending was even higher which resulted in a real deficit of $603 million, despite earlier official claims to the contrary.

"Trust in government depends on honest accounting, which didn't happen much under Beshear's smoke and mirrors regime," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "Cutting back Beshear's excess starts with eliminating Beshear's deceptions."

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Chris McDaniel seeks distance from pension scandal

Kentucky state Senator Chris McDaniel, who got burned in the GOP gubernatorial primary when his running mate couldn't explain voting himself a huge pension increase, wants to increase transparency of legislative pensions in 2016.

Senate Bill 45 in 2016 would require public disclosure of pension benefit information for current and future state legislators, which includes those who have taken advantage of Kentucky's corrupt pension enhancement for legislators who get high-paying state government jobs.

"This embarrassing chapter in Kentucky corruption deserves more attention and more political casualties that we have seen so far," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "Anyone who voted for HB 299 in 2005 should be run out of government without further delay."

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Bevin finds Kynect in stunning disarray

State sources report barely one in three victims of the Kentucky Health Cooperative train wreck have signed up for a new ObamaCare plan as of last Friday. With less than a week before the deadline for January 1 coverage, the expected 2016 collapse of ObamaCare could well still happen in 2015.

More than 51,000 people lost insurance coverage with the grossly mismanaged "cooperative" earlier this year when its closure was announced. As of last Friday, only 19,000 of their 51,000 ObamaCare victims had signed up for another plan.

"The sound rejection of ObamaCare is surprising only to the reporters and left-wing pundits who have gotten nearly every twist and turn of this saga wrong," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "We just filed a motion last Friday with the Kentucky Court of Appeals to reverse earlier attempts to illegally create the ObamaCare exchange and the Bevin administration should move quickly so we can start the long process of digging out of the mess."

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Steve Beshear to soon stop lying about state budget

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will leave office next week, so the state budget process for next year is very likely to consist of less smoke and fewer mirrors.

"Beshear claims to have balanced the budget fifteen times in eight years, while in the real world Kentucky has gone deeper into debt while blowing through record revenues and a long-since wasted $3.7 billion in federal stimulus funds," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "State law requires the governor make available a comprehensive annual financial report each fall which Beshear has always released quietly the week after Christmas. I hope Governor Bevin makes breaking that little tradition an immediate priority."

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Beshear can't amend Constitution by himself for felons or anyone else

Governor Steve Beshear's executive order granting convicted felons voting rights and the right to run for office violates Kentucky's Constitution in the plain language of Section 77, so he should rescind the order immediately.

"Beshear has the right as governor to pardon felons individually when they apply for reinstatement of their civil rights and Section 77 requires that the applications for each case be kept as public records forever, but Beshear takes it upon himself to strike the application process from the Constitution," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "If we allow this usurpation of power to stand, what's to stop this or any other governor from striking other words from the Constitution, like the right to bear arms or an individual's property rights?"

Since Governor Beshear clearly can't be counted on to do the right thing, Governor-elect Matt Bevin should make clear his intention to rescind Executive Order 2015-0871 on his first day in office. The regular constitutional amendment process can then be followed by the legislature if they so choose.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Steve Beshear to challenge Rand Paul

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear plans to announce in early January a run for the United States Senate against Rand Paul. The hope appears to be that his shameless profligacy might draw millions of dollars in leftist donations from around the country.

"Beshear gave us billions in new appropriation-supported debt, billions more in pension debt, signed us up for the Common Core fiasco and ObamaCare so he now wants to put on his diaper and a onesie and go to Washington D.C.," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "It would be a lot cheaper to let him have a pajama party at the Governor's Mansion this weekend with President Obama, Harry Reid and whoever else he wants to have over."

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Minimum wage" is Left's new ObamaCare

Kentucky Democrats just got their heads handed to them in statewide elections while waiting for 500,000 ObamaCare "beneficiaries" to storm the ballot box for their candidates. The same level of self-delusion is evident in their "minimum wage increase" strategy.

The line of thinking goes like this: unskilled workers will forever vote for left-wing politicians who force evil employers to overpay them for unskilled work. What could possibly go wrong with this plan?

The small number of sick people who have benefited from government forcing health insurers to charge their customers premiums as if they were all sick people was dwarfed by the number of people forced to pay. Similarly, when prices go up on everything because the cost of sweeping floors and taking out trash is raised by government force, the relative handful of unskilled workers who don't realize their prices went up too will be far too few in number to elect the next round of left-wing politicians.

Louisville's Metro government is already in court trying to explain how their minimum wage tax increase makes sense legally. Lexington's Council is expected to vote on their own such increase Thursday night.

The vote looks to be a close one, but Council members Richard Moloney, Shevawn Akers and Susan Lamb probably have the most to lose if Lexington's Minimum Wage Tax Increase becomes a reality.

Save taxpayers, kill Herald Leader subscriptions

All state and local government offices should hit the delete key on subscriptions to the Lexington Herald Leader.

"Any state office you walk into in Frankfort or around the state has fresh copies of the dead tree version of both the Herald Leader and the Courier Journal laying around at massive expense to taxpayers," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "We are spending way too much money each day for something anyone who can clear cookies off their computer can get for free and now is the perfect time to cut this waste."

Friday, November 13, 2015

Frankfort Obamacrats want their big win forgotten

In June of this year, the United States Supreme Court rewrote ObamaCare to allow the IRS to give tax dollar subsidies to people who bought health policies on the federal exchange after authorities realized their attempt to force states to set up their own exchanges had failed. Now that Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is watching his failed legacy about to be reversed by Governor-elect Matt Bevin, he wants Kentuckians to forget that win.

From their luxurious retail locations at Fayette Mall and Mall St. Matthews, Frankfort Obamacrats hope to catch consumers and voters alike unaware by claiming falsely that ObamaCare "discounts" are only available on Kynect, despite the five month old ruling they fought so hard for which validated their position that subsidies also flow through the federal exchange.

"Frankfort Democrats can't get their story straight and clearly haven't learned any lessons from their failed election strategy of lies in 2015," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "Surely Greg Stumbo's 'Democrat Jesus' wouldn't condone their actions."

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Herald Leader accuses Bevin of killing people

Lexington Herald Leader Government Editor John Stamper continued his paper's tradition of bizarre, false and misleading statements about ObamaCare today by suggesting on Twitter that shutting down the illegally-created Kynect and moving ObamaCare operations to the federal exchange would kill Kentuckians.

Stamper summarized a news story quoting Senate President Robert Stivers' claim shutting down Kynect might provide additional funding for the state's pension plans. Stamper added to his "tweet" in parenthesis "Plus, lifespans might shorten," repeating a common left-wing canard about any attempt to reduce waste and duplication in ObamaCare somehow killing people.

Stamper made no immediate attempt to clarify his statement.

"Jack Conway just got shellacked running on lies about 500,000 Kentuckians losing their health insurance, but the Lexington Herald Leader continues to pine for the glory days when people really paid attention to them," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "The garbage they are selling just isn't selling anymore and the Kynect exchange should be shut down right away."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Shut down Kynect on December 9

Governor Steve Beshear "created" the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, Kynect, with an executive order in 2012 and then after the legislature declined to ratify his order as required by law, he tried again in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Each attempt failed. Governor-elect Matt Bevin should waste no time in correcting this gross usurpation of power by the outgoing chief executive.

Bevin can accomplish this by filing a temporary reorganization executive order clarifying the exchange was created illegally and no longer exists. He should do this as soon as he is sworn into office. The Senate could affirm the order in January and if House Democrats try to fight back, they could be made to pay the price in the November elections just like their gubernatorial candidate did this year.

In his order, Bevin could make clear how Beshear's multiple attempts betray utter contempt for the law since the exchange sought and received $253 million in federal grants to set up the exchange by falsely claiming the governor had the ability to create it unilaterally. Beshear should be held personally liable for his fraud, not the Commonwealth's taxpayers.

Waiting a year to hand over the reins of the exchange is not necessary because Kynect never legally existed. Plenty of other states have stood down and let the feds set up their scheme. Legally speaking, Kentucky has done the same. There's no sense continuing the charade only to prevent Beshear and friends from facing consequences for their actions.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Gov. Matt Bevin should clarify free speech rights

The Center for Public Integrity hired journalists in all fifty states to fill out report cards purporting to grade how good state governments are at keeping themselves honest. Frankfort's Stumbocrats ranked ninth this year, but that's not the funniest part.

The funniest part of this "integrity study" is that Kentucky's highest grade and highest rank came as a result of our campaign finance laws, which violate our Constitution.

Kentucky is the only state in the nation which guarantees freedom of public expression of political ideas, limits personal contributions -- and forbids corporate contributions -- to political candidates and does not exempt corporate media outlets from these limitations. KRS 121.015 defines a contribution to a candidate as a "thing of value" for the benefit of a candidate and exempts services provided "without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time." Section 8 of the Kentucky Constitution forbids the existence of any law which restrains the right to speak, write or print. Corporate media reports, stories, editorials and endorsements are clearly things of value for which writers and reporters are paid. Since they gain wide distribution and are often easily worth more than the $1000 campaign contribution limit, either the contribution limit or the corporate speech are forbidden.

The language of Section 8 is clear: "no law shall ever be made to restrain the right" to speak right and print.

Senate Bill 62 in 2009 sought to exempt "news stories, commentary or editorials by the media." The bill failed.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Kentucky's 2015 Lie of the Year

Watching Kentucky Democrats try to figure out how they got decimated in the November elections has been a lot like an old Seinfeld episode. Sorting through all the "yada yada" has been funny to watch -- thanks Speaker Stumbo -- but what is most interesting is the lack of self-awareness evident in all the self-delusion.

While Stumbo's infamous "Democrat Jesus" tirade attempted to make elephants' lack of availability in ancient Bethlehem an issue and Jack Conway spent millions trying to convince Kentuckians that Matt Bevin's taxes should keep them awake at night and left-wing shysters Bluegrass Family Values tried to win in 2015 by recycling Mitch McConnell's worst lies from 2014, none of these held a candle to Kentucky's 2015 Lie of the Year.

The really big lie that ran Jack Conway and friends out of contention in 2015 was that Matt Bevin was going to take health insurance away from 500,000 people. Conway and Steve Beshear even doubled back and labeled Bevin "callous" for doing what he was never going to do.

The 500k lie first of all reminded everyone that Frankfort Democrats are really just Obamacrats, just as Republicans were spending millions of dollars telling them the same thing. Obamacrats lie a lot and the multiple layers of fraud behind the 500k lie may well serve to turn Kentuckians off of Democrats for a long time because they continue even now to repeat it ad nauseam.

We don't know how many Kentuckians were added to Medicaid by ObamaCare because Frankfort Obamacrats really haven't kept track. We don't know how many people who had health insurance they liked and could afford were tossed off of that and forced into Medicaid, to be touted among the lucky 500,000. We don't know, really, how popular or unpopular ObamaCare is in Kentucky because of misleading poll questions, bad polls and incessant media chatter about how wonderful ObamaCare is.

Shutting down ObamaCare has been the best rallying cry for Republican candidates in many years. Kentucky Democrats love to tell us how different they are than Washington D.C. Democrats, but when it counted in 2015 they couldn't help showing us they were the same. Governor-elect Matt Bevin couldn't reverse the Medicaid expansion now by himself even if he wanted to and shutting down the Kynect nonsense and sending those people to the federal exchange makes sense in every honest analysis. Democrats' claim that Republicans are going to take health insurance from 500,000 Kentuckians is the 2015 Lie of the Year.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Why Matt Bevin won

Matt Bevin will be sworn in next month as Kentucky's Governor for lots of reasons beyond a campaign's control such as speaking ability, relatability and relative trustworthiness, but four things the competing campaigns did have major public policy implications and bode well for Kentucky's future.

Bevin was always staunchly anti-ObamaCare, just as Jack Conway devoted tremendous campaign resources into informing Kentucky voters he saw nothing wrong with keeping them locked into the federal healthcare takeover. This alone made the race competitive as even those who feel better off under the 2010 reform have to wonder where the money will come from to keep their good deal.

Secondly, Matt Bevin got the social issues right. He opposes abortion, supports religious liberty and sought middle ground on the marriage issue versus a pro-abortion opponent who sought a hard line on marriage, which now apparently includes jailing those who seek clarification in the law.

Third, Bevin met with and expressed strong support for supporters of medical marijuana while his drug warrior opponent ignored the consistent super-majority of Kentuckians who believe government has better things to do than fight those seeking natural medical remedies.

Fourth, Bevin met with and expressed strong support for activists seeking acceptance of new technology to help people quit smoking -- electronic cigarettes -- while his opponent took the side of Washington D.C. control junkies eager to tax and regulate another easy victim out of existence.

Take a look around nearly any town in Kentucky and you will see electronic cigarette retailers popping up everywhere. These are small businesspeople, investors, employers and early adopters of proven effective new technology that Kentucky should be supporting and, fortunately for all of us, our state's next governor has gotten the memo. If we can get this right, we can get a lot of things right.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Why you should care if "vaping" goes up in smoke

Cigarette smokers are the redheaded stepchild of American life.

Technology and market-based freedoms have combined to create a powerful alternative to cigarettes just in time, for both a smoking-averse society and those hoping to avoid the stigma and negative health effects of smoking. Government taxers and regulators here have set their sights on this new technology, electronic cigarettes, just as evidence of its efficacy should be grabbing our attention instead.

Big Tobacco's propagandists have launched a full scale attack on electronic cigarettes and their attacks have been effective. Deep-pocketed monopolists blasting upstart competitors and using government to do it is nothing new, but that is exactly what is happening with e-cigs and all of us, whether we own Big Tobacco or not, will pay the price if they succeed. Throwing away a powerful smoking cessation tool to protect Big Tobacco hurts people who want to quit smoking and those who pay the social costs of tobacco-related illness as well as anyone who might ever enjoy a new technology which upsets the established order. Seeing this game played out again at the expense of a new technology and those who benefit from it to maintain the status quo can't be countenanced by anyone who values the way technology and freedom make life better for everyone.

Courier Journal fires pollster while touting same bad data to keep selling ObamaCare

After the second straight general election featuring a last-minute media poll overstating support for left-wing candidates by fifteen points, the Louisville Courier Journal announced it has fired polling firm SurveyUSA. At the same time, reporter Deborah Yetter couldn't resist using the same debunked polling data in yet another "news" article about ObamaCare.

"A recent Bluegrass Poll found that 54 percent wanted to keep the Medicaid expansion, while 24 percent said they wanted the next governor to reverse it," Yetter reported today, from the same poll for which SurveyUSA was fired.

Given the CJ's pollster's track record for overstating left-wing support by fifteen percent, it is reasonable to assume support for the failed program is more like forty percent. Under the incredible avalanche of pro-ObamaCare media propaganda in Kentucky, that is a pretty low number. Incidentally, it also tracks closely the real electoral support Democrat Jack Conway received on Tuesday against a staunchly anti-ObamaCare Matt Bevin.

The Courier Journal's funhouse numbers from this article also tout polling data suggesting Kentucky's rate of uninsuredness is now only nine percent, thanks to ObamaCare, but then elsewhere pegs the number of uninsured in the Bluegrass State at 285,000. Nine percent of Kentucky's 4.2 million population would be 378,000 uninsured people. The article doesn't state where the missing 100,000 Kentuckians went, but it's almost certain that when they are found 15,000 of them won't be as supportive of ObamaCare as Deborah Yetter wants you to believe.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Mike Harmon can lead on pensions by RETIRING

Kentucky's next Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Harmon has a great opportunity to lead on our public employee pension crisis by taking immediate retirement from the legislature rather than rolling his legislative pension over into his new Executive Branch pension, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Others have let the chance to do this slide with horribly embarrassing consequences.

This issue disappears as a problem for Harmon when he retires from the legislature and then makes public evidence that he took this step to protect taxpayers. It then gives him a very powerful platform from which to lead the discussion in the right direction.

Where are Jack Conway's 500,000 zombie voters?

Perhaps the most encouraging news from last night's elections is that Jack Conway's nonsensical line about Matt Bevin wanting to kick half a million people off their health insurance did not succeed.

"Jack Conway put the flesh-eating undead ObamaCare on the ballot thinking its biggest victims would carry him into the Governor's Mansion," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "If putrid ObamaCare were the massive success its purveyors keep insisting it is, his scheme would surely have worked."

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Vape the election TODAY

Leading small government activist Grover Norquist has been encouraging Republican candidates for years to catch the vision of embracing the concept of "vaping" (electronic cigarettes) and the tax and freedom issues behind it in an effort to catch a libertarian wave just as Democrats push hard in the wrong direction. If Matt Bevin wins tonight, his efforts to "vape the vote" will have played a notable role in a come-from-behind victory.

Jack Conway has been and will likely continue to be hostile to most things that reduce government power in favor of individual freedom, like vaping. In contrast, Matt Bevin is a supporter of vaping's market-regulated mechanism for helping people quit smoking even if it means less government tax revenue and a healthier alternative to the government-created cigarette cartel.

Government opponents seem gleeful in their attempts to regulate and tax "vapers" as convenient victims.

Kentucky vapers should make themselves heard by voting in today's election. Further, users of vaping technology who can should show up tonight at election parties for the two major-party gubernatorial candidates with their electronic cigarettes in their hands. Matt Bevin and his supporters will be at the Galt House in Louisville tonight and Jack Conway and his will be at the Convention Center in Frankfort.

If you are a "vaper," make sure your e-cig is seen. If you aren't but see someone with an e-cig in hand, welcome them to the party and celebrate your freedoms together.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Protect yourself from tyranny by protecting others

I don't smoke and I don't use tobacco products or electronic cigarettes -- a non-tobacco process called 'vaping.' But I see an illegitimate attack coming from government against people who produce, distribute and use electronic cigarettes that is worth a closer look if you value freedom from government intrusion or coercion in any way.

State and federal regulators and taxers have set their sights on e-cigs and those leading the charge seem unlikely to let anything get in their way. This kind of zealotry always seems to be evident in the worst kinds of official abuse. If you need examples of that, look at the "War on Drugs'" decades-long attack on hemp as a drug, the "War on Poverty's" decades-long attack on stable families and the "War on Terrorism's" persistent attacks on individual liberties which seem to be well on their way to lasting decades.

Leading U.S. Senators speaking last Friday made clear their desire to destroy e-cigs, even though a recent study in England found vaping to be 95% safer than smoking and concluded doctors should prescribe e-cigs for smoking cessation. Meanwhile, an NPR-Truven Health Analytics poll suggests 53% of vapers use e-cigs to quit smoking or as a healthier alternative to smoking.

Allowing politicians to go to war against a proven smoking cessation tool and a preferred alternative because it looks like something that offends them is just like suspending seven year olds from school for pointing a PopTart "gun" at another student.

If we don't stand up to government's unfair attacks against people who think and act differently than we do, who can we expect to help us when we find ourselves in the crosshairs?

Sports fans, homeschoolers unite for KY "Tebow Bill"

Continuing decline of public schools in Kentucky increase the likelihood of budding star athletes opting to gain their education in a private or home school with little or no sports opportunities. A new bill for the 2016 General Assembly would allow such students to join the public school system only to participate in extracurricular activities, a provision known widely as a "Tebow Bill" since former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow came to prominence as a homeschool student playing football in a Florida public school.

"House Bill 76 is, of course, sponsored by Republicans, but Frankfort Democrats will surely set their hostility for educational choice aside at least for this issue," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "Kentucky's Tebow Bill would be a good last-minute issue for which to get the gubernatorial candidates on the record."

Friday, October 30, 2015

Frankfort's $100 million bailout proves failure

Late last night, Congress caved in to President Obama on spending caps and the debt ceiling and tucked a $100 million ObamaCare Medicaid bailout to Kentucky into the bill.

The bailout -- total immediate cost about $7.5 billion for all states combined -- highlights yet another ObamaCare mess Congress and Obama only make worse by papering it over with borrowed funds. What happened is this: quickly increasing healthcare costs under ObamaCare have jacked up Medicare spending, resulting in a requested $55 a month in Medicare premiums for some beneficiaries, including those on both Medicare and Medicaid. Such "dual eligibles" get their premiums paid by state governments.

There are around 200,000 dual eligibles in Kentucky. At a $55 increase, Kentucky's Medicaid funds would have faced an additional $132 million cost in 2016 just for this. The unaffordable ObamaCare Medicaid expansion's pre-existing strains on state coffers would have been rocked hard by this hit, which should have been anticipated by Frankfort Obamacrats, but wasn't.

The budget agreement reduced this year's $55 Medicare premium hike to $15. This means the big hit is put off to next year, which changes nothing for Kentucky's biennial (two year) budget. And the unaffordable $132 million 2016 Medicaid increase for Kentucky taxpayers is now an unaffordable $36 million increase in 2016.

None of these facts prevented Al Cross' ObamaCare sycophants at the University of Kentucky from reporting falsely that the deal "eliminates" the increase. Typical.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Obama FDA attacks people trying to quit smoking

Cigarette smokers across Kentucky trying to quit smoking with electronic cigarettes face strong resistance from big-government types addicted to tobacco taxes. This is a fight for all of us to engage in, much like the Boston Tea Party was a fight for tea drinkers and non-drinkers alike.

The Obama Administration is attempting to wipe out electronic cigarettes by saddling the industry with extremely expensive Food and Drug Administration regulation which would raise costs dramatically and probably cause most of the industry to go away just as it is starting to have a measurable impact.

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey suggests more than half of people who have recently quit smoking (55%) use electronic cigarettes. Adam Mayer of Versailles, KY says electronic cigarettes helped him quit smoking.

"It's cheaper, tastes better, I feel better, it smells better, my sense of smell is better, it's faster than smoking, more convenient than smoking, and probably much less dangerous for you and others around you. Also, I don't have bronchitis every couple of months anymore," he said.

Ken Moellman of Independence KY agrees.

"It works and I feel better, too," he said.

The FDA is overreaching with their e-cigarette regulations by mandating ridiculously expensive regulation of all such products brought to market since February 2007. Imagine what it would be like if they did the same thing with cell phones. The difference here is e-cigs are being used to improve people's health and they are working. Free markets populated by free people have always made better regulators than government. H.R. 2058 in Congress now would rein in the FDA and allow the industry to continue to serve its ever-growing customer base.

Rep. Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green is the only Kentucky co-sponsor of this bill so far. Please ask your representative to help.

Non-smokers and people who don't use electronic cigarettes should come to the aid of these people while we can. Your business or a product that positively impacts your health could be next.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

How Rand Paul can beat Boehner's budget bill

Boehner Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives will combine with Nancy Pelosi's Democrats to pass a smoke-and-mirrors budget bill as fast as possible, suspending the nation's debt limit and busting sequester spending caps. Senator Rand Paul has promised to fight the measure by any means necessary. His fight need not be in vain.

Moderate House Republicans claim falsely the bill makes cuts to Social Security Disability. This is a great place for Senator Paul to start shining light into this dark hole, because the bill simply moves money from Social Security Retirement to Disability without making needed reforms.

"Washington D.C. Republicans used to make fun of Obamacrats financing ObamaCare with billions of dollars stolen from Medicare, but now they are taking a very similar approach with Social Security Disability," said David Adams, Kentucky Progress publisher. "When Obama came into office, there were four million Americans on Disability and now there are twelve million. Addressing the fraud involved in this massive increase gives Senator Paul just the opening he is looking for."

The Stop Disability Fraud Act of 2014 never got off the ground in Congress, but now would be a great time for Rand to dust it off and start it moving. It's embarrassing to watch Republicans campaign on cutting waste and never follow through when they have the chance. This moment of conservative discontent is Rand Paul's big chance.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Beshear legacy: missing billions, hidden details

A newly released official report from Frankfort shows a $2.8 billion increase in budgeted state debt since Gov. Steve Beshear took office in December 2007, while another, more detailed financial report required by law to be released before Election Day remains hidden from the public.

The Semi-Annual Report of the Kentucky Asset/Liability Commission indicates state appropriation-supported debt as of June 30, 2015 was $8.9 billion. On December 31, 2007, when Beshear was sworn into office, it was $6.1 billion. Another document, the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), shows state government net assets declining from $17.3 billion in 2007 to $10.0 billion on June 30, 2014. The 2015 CAFR is required to be released by the end of September, according to KRS 48.800(3), but is nowhere to be found.

A state finance official stated on background that the report would appear after the November elections.

"Even after blowing $3.7 billion in federal 'stimulus' funds and ignoring billions more in accumulated unfunded pension liabilities, Governor Beshear has obliterated $10 billion in state assets since he has been in office, while annual revenues steadily increased," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "The Beshear legacy is not just one of fiscal mismanagement, but also of lying, spinning and hiding information Kentuckians need to judge whether to grant continued power to his political party or his family."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Make Kentucky a free market mecca

A new Gallup poll suggests support among American adults for marijuana legalization is close to sixty percent. In Kentucky, it is probably higher. Kentucky still has a great opportunity to lead on this front by declining to join states attempting to enrich public coffers with marijuana revenue.

Marijuana is food and should be taxed as such. In Kentucky, that means no sales tax. Kentucky needs freedom and real economic growth far more than it needs another direct revenue stream for state government. Dismantling the black market for marijuana in Kentucky would improve public safety beyond that which has happened in other marijuana states by eliminating demand for black market dealers. This real price competition would create a magnet drawing in people from all over the country.

Marijuana legalization and the creation of a real free market for its distribution remains a great political issue for those who lead the way in making it happen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Matt Bevin should weigh in on bullying

Gov. Steve Beshear wants to set up another expensive state agency to "prevent bullying" in state schools. Of course. That's what people like him do. Jack Conway will be all over it if he gets the chance.

My guess is Matt Bevin would handle it better. He should say so.

Kentucky doesn't need legislative hearings to debate how to define bullying and we certainly don't need to spend more money on some kind of ill-conceived "war on bullying," for Heaven's sake.

"Ridiculous 'zero-tolerance' policies which punish self-defense as well as coming to the aid of a bullied child serve only to embolden bullies and worsen the atmosphere in our schools," Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams said. "Jack Conway would have us create a new touchy-feely bureaucracy when all we lack is a little common sense. Bullies don't need group therapy and sensitivity training nearly as much as they need adults who won't coddle them in their bad behaviors."

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hillary blames GOP for Obama Medicare mess

The ObamaCare law raised Medicare payroll taxes, booked "savings" by reducing payments to Medicare providers and has raised healthcare costs dramatically. Given that her claim to fame is trying unsuccessfully to do the same thing to us two decades ago, Hillary Clinton took the opportunity of ObamaCare wreaking further havoc on state budgets to blame Republicans.

"This is outrageous and senseless and Congress must act to fix the law," Clinton told Politico. "At a time when out-of-pocket medical costs are already rising, we cannot afford to let Republican obstructionism pile additional costs on our seniors. I urge the Republican candidates for president to call on their congressional majority to end the games and protect our seniors."

This Clintonian nonsense deserves a swift response.

"Obamacrats didn't need a single Republican vote to force us into ObamaCare and Hillary Clinton missed every chance she had to stop this before it happened," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "Now she wants congressional Republicans to jump up and spend $10 billion this year we don't have to save her and her Washington D.C. friends from their latest embarrassment. No, throwing good money after bad to address damage that can only be fixed by repeal of ObamaCare is not why America elected Republican majorities in Congress. Go fish, Hillary."

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Jack Conway channels Bernie Sanders, blames "market forces" for KY ObamaCare failure

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jack Conway took on the tone of his party's leading presidential candidate, avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, in blaming the failure of Kentucky Health Cooperative on "market forces," when the blame belongs completely to government.

"Federal law prevented health co-ops from hiring management with industry experience, so the Kentucky Cooperative was run by government hacks," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "When the Cooperative filed Kentucky's lowest health premiums for 2014, it was easy to predict they would get the sickest people who had no place else to go and that this would take them under. Insurance regulators could have prevented it, but like Jack Conway and the hacks running the co-op, they really thought the federal government would clean up all their messes. Blaming market forces for this is like Jack Conway blaming spoons for making him fat."

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

'Obamacrats R Us' opening in Lexington, Louisville

The dismal Kentucky Health Benefits Exchange's end of year spending binge launched today with news the state's medical insurance bureaucrats plan to open retail sales locations in Lexington and Louisville malls for three months beginning November 1, according to the Kynect web site.

Specific locations were not divulged, but expect to see "Obamacrats R Us" in the most expensive available retail space.

"Don't hold your breath waiting for fiscal restraint from these people," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "Anyone who blows through a quarter billion dollars setting up an ObamaCare web site can't be expected to make it through Christmas without wasting tens of thousands more on posh suburban backdrops for photo-ops."

Monday, October 12, 2015

Tell Rand Paul to investigate Frankfort Obamacrats

The Kentucky Health Cooperative quietly went out of business over the weekend, but not before posting staggeringly bad results with American taxpayer dollars. The in-your-face waste, fraud and abuse deserves congressional hearings and prosecutions as a serious start to reversing ObamaCare's damage.

In 2014, the Cooperative, run by former state insurance bureaucrats, booked $173.2 million in premium payments and incurred $349.4 million in claims on capital including $123.8 million in loans from the federal government. That alone should indicate at least two things: the money to repay the American people does not exist and the millions in salaries and perks for Cooperative management was ill-spent and probably fraudulently so.

"The same people who have been regulating health insurance into the ground in Kentucky in recent years sucked up massive federal loans for the ill-fated Kentucky Health Cooperative debacle, creating a trail of victims along the way," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "They deserve open hearings in Congress and fair trials before being frog-marched off to prison."

Friday, October 09, 2015

Watch for a $100 million Frankfort Medicaid bomb

If a proposed $55 a month increase in Medicare premiums gains approval this month, Kentucky taxpayers will be hit with another $100 million a year Medicaid bill in 2016 no one in Frankfort is addressing publicly.

That's because some 200,000 Kentucky Medicare recipients are also on Medicaid, which means the state pays their premiums.

The executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors sounded an alarm to the New York Times about this issue, though he didn't mention Kentucky specifically.

"This is a huge issue for states," Executive Director Matt D. Salo said. "To finance Medicare, the federal government would shift billions of dollars in costs to state Medicaid programs."

Idaho, which has about one-fifth as many Medicare/Medicaid "dual eligibles" as Kentucky, projects an additional $20 million cost. California, with about six times as many dual eligibles, expects to pay an additional $550 million a year.

The Medicare premium increase should be made official later this month.

"The Beshear administration's rosy projections for Medicaid expansion in Kentucky very stupidly didn't consider the impact of the Medicare unfunded ticking time bomb," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "At the very moment logic dictates we should be running away from federal healthcare manipulation as fast as we can, Kentucky Democrats have us curling up with it on the floor and counting down to zero."

Friday, October 02, 2015

Run, don't walk, away from KY Health Cooperative

In the week since regulators ordered the nation's largest ObamaCare health cooperative to shut its doors, Kentucky politicos have been silent about our Kentucky Health Cooperative, which is in even worse shape and faces imminent collapse.

Matt Bevin should not let this one go another week.

"When the Kentucky Health Cooperative dissolves -- and no one seriously expects that to be an 'if' anymore -- real people are going to be hurt because of unpaid claims," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "Jack Conway and Steve Beshear want to keep the truth hidden from their victims until after the election. The perpetrators of this sham rest easy at night expecting Matt Bevin to quietly let it go."

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Latest federal ObamaCare statistics mean nothing

Kentucky's ObamaCare cheerleaders will soon be hyping new Census Bureau data claiming the rate of people without health insurance took another big drop in 2014, with the Bluegrass State leading the way. It is nonsense.

The data comes from a national survey of 68,000 households, performed by an agency of the federal government asking people if they are breaking the law or not by failing to keep health insurance during 2014. The decrease in the uninsured rate for 2014 is reported as 2.9% nationally and 5.8% for Kentucky.

"In America now you get hit with huge fines if you don't buy a larded up version of what used to be health insurance or take your chances with Medicaid," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "You can't expect meaningful data collection from a government entity asking people if they are doing something illegal or not. Besides, the number that matters isn't some statistically massaged estimate of how many people bought this coverage; it's the costs that matter and they are skyrocketing."

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Jack Conway disappoints Kentucky consumers

A recurring banner ad on the Drudge Report web site paid for by Kentucky Obamacrats with your money screams "Great discounts, Better coverage!" but if you click on it, you are directed to the Kynect site for ObamaCare. If we had a functioning Attorney General who cared about consumer protection, our government would not do this.

There are no discounts in ObamaCare. The federal law mandating a slew of unnecessary health coverages funded with tax increases and made worse with multiplying regulations necessitates widespread subsidization to cover over even a part of the massive cost hikes wrought by ObamaCare. And the idea ObamaCare has anything to do with better coverage would be hilarious, but it just isn't anymore.

"Jack Conway's complicity in the ObamaCare debacle when his job requires him to protect consumers disqualifies him from public office of any kind," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "Consumers have much better coverage options at truly discounted prices from available health sharing ministries. For more than that, we need to elect politicians who understand ObamaCare must go. Jack Conway cannot be relied upon to make that connection."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Do illegal immigrants have the right to bear arms?

A Kentucky State Representative has pre-filed a bill to make it illegal for people not in the United States legally to possess firearms. This is a horrible idea.

State Rep. Diane St. Onge pre-filed HB 35 yesterday, which would nullify federal attempts to violate gun rights of Kentuckians, which sounds good. The bill also seeks, though, to prohibit illegal aliens and dishonorably discharged members of the military from arming themselves, which violates Second Amendment rights.

The ability of government to attempt to disarm anyone based on immigration status may be an issue in front of the U.S. Supreme Court soon, but think about it: The Second Amendment protects the rights of "the people" and the Kentucky Constitution protects the rights of "all men" to bear arms. St. Onge's bill may not be intended this way, but it looks like and could serve as a back door attempt to ban guns and harass people.

Are we going to force everyone with a gun to produce immigration papers on the spot? If we can ban guns for illegal aliens, why not ban guns for high school drop outs and then roll on to other out-of-favor groups?

The legislature simply doesn't have the right to do this. Amend the bill, Rep. St. Onge.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

KY ObamaCare's negative impact, by their numbers

The Louisville Courier Journal's endless appetite for pro-ObamaCare "news" is well known, but today's episode was something special.

Debby Yetter's "More Kentuckians getting insurance under ACA" uses numbers that contradict her paper's headline and underscore the value of seeking alternative viewpoints to balance journalistic writing.

Yetter claims 9.8% of Kentuckians remain uninsured and "nearly 400,000" were added to Medicaid under its expansion. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, that means 432,518 Kentuckians remain uninsured, even though doing so is against the law. Before ObamaCare, Gov. Beshear claimed repeatedly there were 640,000 uninsured Kentuckians and his own Department of Insurance confirmed 280,000 Kentuckians were forced out of their insurance policies and "transitioned" to new plans at double the cost.

So even if you assume all 280,000 "if you like it, you can keep it" victims got insurance for what it would have previously cost to insure 560,000 of us -- they didn't -- then by their own numbers we have gone through this whole mess of higher taxes, much higher insurance premiums and substantial illegal activity by elected officials just to force 207,482 more Kentuckians into absurdly expensive "health insurance" for which we could have insured 400,000 without ObamaCare.

The numbers simply don't add up to a success for anyone other than politicians hoping no one looks beyond the spin.

"These numbers make clear the biggest unanswered question in ObamaCare is shouldn't we remove ObamaCare from insurance and just buy policies for the poorest people since we know we could do that much cheaper," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "Every day with these people makes the case for getting government out of healthcare that much stronger."

Monday, August 17, 2015

Did KY Health Cooperative lie to New York Times?

A weekend New York Times article about ObamaCare co-ops falling short of rosy federal projections shines an unwanted spotlight on the insolvent Kentucky Health Cooperative, but grossly understates the desperate condition of the non-profit "public option."

"The Kentucky plan lost $50 million last year, more than any other insurance co-op," the article states, "as it paid out $1.25 in claims for every dollar it collected in premiums."

As sloppy journalism seems to be the order of the day with regard to mainstream coverage of ObamaCare, no source for these data points is provided. While the $50.4 million loss of 2014 has been well-documented, the $1.25 claims/premiums ratio contradicts the co-op's own actuarial filing placed with federal authorities.

"The rate increase will positively impact the plan’s experience with the historical experience reflecting a ratio of earned premium of $173.2 million to total paid and incurred claims of $349.4 million for 2014," the co-op reported quietly to authorities in June.

Frankfort Obamacrats' may think nothing of underreporting a favorite spending entity's annual losses by more than $130 million and using the "newspaper of record" in their attempt to keep up appearances, but this is precisely the kind of behavior Kentuckians need to eradicate before it is too late.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Frankfort media dumbs down "budget surplus" to distract from explosive government growth

For the second time in two months, Frankfort reporters misled Kentuckians by abusing the term "surplus" is discussing state General Fund revenues. In July, a recorded increase in revenue was reported as a budget surplus and today, a predicted revenue increase for the current fiscal year was again referred to widely as a budget surplus.

If all Frankfort has to do to claim to have balanced budgets is to take more "revenue" from us, politicians become even less accountable to the people.

"The truth is Governor Beshear has piled two and half billion dollars more in revenue-supported debt on our heads since he took office in 2007, ran through $3.6 billion in federal 'stimulus' funds and increased public employee benefits' unfunded status by billions more while employing cynical tricks like this one to pretend to be fiscally responsible," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams.

"The ObamaCare mess is raising our fiscal debacle to a whole new level with its accounting smoke and mirrors and propaganda word games, so someone needs to document these activities to show where we went off the rails."

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Time for Matt Bevin to get religion on marijuana

Matt Bevin is already at least half a step better than Jack Conway on marijuana legalization, but an Ohio ballot initiative certified for the November ballot yesterday may make this a more meaningful issue in our fall campaign.

On November 3, Ohio voters will decide if marijuana will be legalized for medical and recreational use. Polling suggests passage is likely. As a bordering state, Kentucky would then be faced with needing to either further expand our own failed drug war activity or not.

"Jack Conway is a lost cause -- a big government drug warrior -- who doesn't count costs of bad government schemes, but Matt Bevin has shown signs of being teachable on this," said Kentucky Progress publisher David Adams. "Kentucky farmers should lead the nation in marijuana production and Matt Bevin just needs to recognize the opportunity and pick it up and run with it."

Monday, August 03, 2015

Leading Frankfort Obamacrat gets defensive

The two greatest assets Frankfort administrators of ObamaCare have had in supporting their scheme are taxpayer money and unwillingness of news reporters to ask real questions. That may have started to change.

Former Courier Journal reporter Al Cross runs a site called Kentucky Health News which has picked up on the Kentucky Health Cooperative's dismal results. In a post published yesterday, Kentucky Health Cooperative Chairman Joseph E. Smith was asked why his organization is losing money faster than any other health co-op in the nation. His answers were revealing and should lead to more questions.

Smith cited three excuses, none of which hold water. Asked to explain KYHC's massive 2014 losses, Smith blamed reserve requirements, medical claims and grandfathered health plans. We already know health co-op reserve requirements have been grossly manipulated to benefit co-ops. And everyone should know that reserve requirements don't impact a profit-and-loss statement. Kudos to Al Cross and Kentucky Health News for exposing the fact the Kentucky Health Cooperative cannot withstand the slightest scrutiny.

And it gets worse.

Smith said Kentucky Health Cooperative got nearly all the sickest Kentuckians who had been kicked off their pre-ObamaCare coverage. This should come as no surprise to anyone, because KYHC underbid Anthem and Humana significantly on premiums. They did this intentionally to justify their paychecks and in hopes of attracting more federal funds. Whining about that now just because the congressional gravy train has stopped running for co-ops also does not explain why Kentucky's is the worst one.

And then Smith blames the existence of grandfathered health plans, which also has no bearing on annual earnings. Smith should be dragged around the circuit and forced to clarify his answers so all can see Frankfort Obamacrats have no real answers. Cross should let his nose for news overrule his heart for ObamaCare and stay on this story.

Please, Matt Bevin, take the lead on this.

Friday, July 31, 2015

How Matt Bevin can shut down the Kentucky Health Cooperative by himself by the end of 2015

Matt Bevin can and should immediately pledge to take a simple step to eliminate the insolvent Kentucky Health Cooperative before its failed business model hurts any more Kentuckians.

Among many disastrous provisions of ObamaCare was creation of "public option" non-profit cooperatives funded by enormous federal loans to compete with existing health insurance companies on an uneven playing field.

Federal regulation 45 CFR 156.520(a)(2) made clear that the intent of the "Affordable Care Act" was to work around state laws to rig up ways to help cooperatives avoid solvency requirements and show these federal loans as assets rather than what they obviously are -- liabilities. Kentucky's Insurance Code, long a porous mess for big-government activist regulators, gives an Insurance Commissioner extremely wide latitude in deeming an insurance company's liabilities as assets, consumers be damned.

If elected Governor, Bevin gets to appoint an Insurance Commissioner. His appointee could then deem Kentucky Health Cooperative's loans as liabilities and order the insolvent insurer to shut down immediately to protect consumers. Continuing to prop up the law with illegitimate executive orders and regulations serves only to delay real reform.

This is a great election issue because it exposes another ObamaCare fraud and puts Jack Conway in the position of assisting his political pals in defrauding consumers or angering his left-wing base.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Audit: Kentucky Health Co-op worst in America

The Kentucky Health Cooperative lost more money -- $50.4 million -- in 2014 than any other ObamaCare-created "public-option" non-profit health insurer in the nation, according to a new federal audit.

"Frankfort's corruption and incompetence is on full display in the Kentucky Health Cooperative and it should be shut down immediately," said leading ObamaCare opponent David Adams. "It's as simple as making them understand the taxpayer money flow they have run on the last two years is all gone for this experiment in socialized medicine."

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Don't believe Beshear's budget baloney

Gov. Steve Beshear announced today an $82.5 million budget surplus for the fiscal year ended June 30, but don't expect our bankers or credit rating agencies to show any signs of believing him. They have been down this road before.

"This announcement is for the benefit of the rubes at the Associated Press and anyone else who needs to believe Obamanomics is doing something other than bankrupting us," said tea party activist David Adams. "Frankfort will put out required financial documents to the state's creditors at Christmas time and it will show our annual budget situation hundreds of millions of dollars worse than today's announcement without, they hope, getting found out before the elections."

Monday, July 20, 2015

Beshear silence on military gun ban reflects administration's -- and son's -- "brain-free zone"

Kentucky should have been one of the first states to end the heinous practice of protecting soldiers on American military bases with little printed signs forbidding anyone to carry a firearm. Governor Steve Beshear's failure to take any such action in the wake of last Thursday's deadly terrorist attack on military personnel in Chattanooga speaks volumes about his allegiance to national Anti-Second Amendment zealots.

And it speaks volumes about his son, Andy Beshear, who wants to ride his father's coattails into office as Kentucky's next Attorney General. So far six states with Republican governors have taken steps to eliminate military "gun-free zones" in their states and many more are sure to follow, keeping the issue alive through the November election.

As the rest of the nation wakes up to the stupidity of pretending to care about safety by banning guns, this will be a great issue for showing definitively that Andy Beshear isn't one of us. And the time for changing course on this with any shred of credibility has passed.

Friday, July 17, 2015

CN2 misleads on Kentucky ObamaCare

Time Warner cable's news program CN2 reported on Kentucky's ObamaCare debacle Wednesday of this week in a fashion that is not entirely accurate and may leave their viewers with a false view of the legal status of federal healthcare reform in the Commonwealth.

In reporting on an interim committee hearing of Gov. Steve Beshear's fourth executive order in as many years attempting to create the "Kynect" ObamaCare exchange in Kentucky, CN2 claimed incorrectly and without attributing their conclusion to anyone that a party line committee vote gave Beshear's action some legal status.

"The debate preceded an 11-11 party-line vote to approve this year’s version of Gov. Steve Beshear’s executive order establishing kynect," reporter Kevin Wheatley wrote. "The tie vote allows the order to remain in effect."

In fact, the vote has no impact on the status of the order, which will certainly fail in the 2016 General Assembly just as the three prior orders have. According to KRS 12.028(4), an interim committee "shall review and report" on a temporary reorganization executive order but its power ends there. Indeed, the statute specifies "(i)f the committee does not report on a proposed plan within the time specified in this subsection, the plan shall be considered reviewed." That means Beshear's executive order would hold the exact same position in state law if no vote had been held at all.

The vote that matters comes before April 15 of next year, if at all. CN2 owes its readers and/or viewers an apology for its sloppy reporting. The legal effort bring a decisive halt to the illegitimate Beshear effort to usurp legislative authority in this way continues.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Associated Press fakes KY budget "surplus"

One week ago, when the Gov. Steve Beshear administration announced record state government tax and fee income "revenues," Budget Director Jane Driskell made clear that only half of the ledger had been revealed: "We have now closed the books on revenues and will close the books on the expenditure side later this month. The determination of the budget surplus will be made at that time."

But that didn't stop the overeager cheerleaders at the Associated Press from immediately gushing about a "surplus."

"Kentucky taxpayers got good news and bad news on Friday on the state's budget," the AP reported.

"The good news is the state finished the fiscal year with a $165.4 million surplus in the general fund. But the bad news is the state's road fund has a $20 million shortfall."

The Associated Press has gotten so comfortable carrying water for a failed Beshear administration they've even tossed aside the most basic accounting calculation without prompting. A surplus or deficit is determined by subtracting expenditures from revenues, not revenues from expected revenues. We should have a little more accurate picture of Frankfort's finances when the expenditure total is made public any day now and then far more accuracy in late December when the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is published.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Merge this: Kentucky Humana ObamaCare plans' 25.8% increase coming in January

Frankfort Obamacrats have approved another enormous health insurance rate increase for 2016, with Humana's rate hike topping out at 25.8%. That's on top of previous increases from Anthem (29.4%) and Kentucky Health Cooperative (30.9%), according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"Socialism and Fascism got us into this mess and only Capitalism will get us out," said ObamaCare opponent David Adams. "I'd gladly challenge any elected or appointed state official or newspaper columnist with a paid subscriber base of at least 20,000 to publicly debate this point, but we all know they are too afraid to do it."

Thursday, July 09, 2015

More Kentucky ObamaCare failure confirmed

The Kentucky Health Cooperative's individual ObamaCare health plans have been approved this week for all the massive rate increases they requested earlier this year, according to the Kentucky Department of Insurance.

"This has been a bad week for victims of Kentucky ObamaCare hoping they wouldn't really get up to a 30 percent rate hike on their health insurance," said ObamaCare opponent David Adams. "Governor Beshear owes us all an apology for feeding us this garbage."

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Frankfort Obamacrats quietly grant Anthem 29.4% rate increase for 2016 in Kentucky

The hits keep coming against Kentucky consumers with approval of Anthem ObamaCare health insurance 2016 premiums in the state topping out at 29.4% more than in 2015. The Kentucky Department of Insurance reported Anthem's rate increases were approved as requested late yesterday.

"This is the death spiral everyone has seen coming; it's Economics 101," said ObamaCare opponent David Adams. "The U.S. Supreme Court's mental backflips on the 'Affordable Care Act' have given aid and comfort only to people who make their living raping American consumers. They are making a pretty strong case for bringing back public flogging."

Monday, July 06, 2015

Obamacrat rubber-stamping yields a surprise

Kentucky's 2016 ObamaCare premiums are starting to get federal approval this week and while the big talk about regulators negotiating rates down for consumers has proven again and again to be hot air, the winds of change appear to have blown in something else: actual stealth tax increases.

An entry on Obama's "" site this morning approving a Kentucky Health Cooperative Platinum plan rate increase request of 19.99% includes the following shocking sentence under the heading "Insurer's Rate Increase Justification": "The increase in overall rates is based on higher than expected enrollment in plans, unexpectedly high claims experience, and an increase in administrative costs including increased federal and state taxes, GAP assessments and reinsurance." (emphasis added)

When, exactly, did we approve these increased taxes in 2015 to impact 2016 ObamaCare?

Friday, July 03, 2015

Humana, Aetna merger part of ObamaCare's new 'Forty acres and a mule' empty promise

Just as freed slaves languished post-Civil War expecting forty acres and a mule promised by federal authorities, healthcare consumers wait in vain for better service and lower prices while Obamacrats enrich themselves amid escalating costs and wait times. Today's announced merger between Humana and Aetna provides another high profile milestone in the federal takeover of healthcare in America.

Healthcare consumers are literally being rounded up into smaller pens by giant federally-shielded insurers, given fewer and fewer avenues for redress of grievances and nothing but lip service from state regulators. As if on cue, the ridiculous Kentucky Department of Insurance issued a statement promising "a thorough evaluation of the (merger) proposal" with "particular attention paid to the ... impact on policyholders."

"A henhouse guarded by foxes has better odds than insurance consumers hoping for protection from these government regulators," said ObamaCare opponent David Adams. "Matt Bevin's consumer-friendly proposal to end Kentucky's ruinous certificate of need racket stands even more in stark contrast with the Frankfort status quo perpetuated by these mindless bureaucrats."

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New day in Kentucky close enough to taste

Most Kentuckians have yearned for a powerful news source to balance out the far left bias of our state-based news media for many years and the wait is now all but over.

Yes, I know I said the same thing six months ago, but the website for Kentucky Today is currently up. It's in soft launch mode, but a full-blown "progressive" freak out is in order. The site should be fully functioning in less than two weeks.

Kentucky Today's focus may be a little heavy on the social issues for some, but demand for simple, honest general news reporting from journalists has created an enormous opportunity in the marketplace. Editor Roger Alford is well aware of that opportunity and is committed to serving the huge segment of Kentuckians disappointed and left behind by the mainstream media.

I expect the Kentucky Today model to change the way Frankfort operates pretty quickly and it will if we add our voices to it right away and keep it going. The site is set up for comments and the staff is intensely interested in gaining more readers than the other state papers right away. Being part of that process should be exciting. Jump in!

Monday, June 29, 2015

ObamaCare fight continues and we're winning

Lost in all the gloom surrounding another terrible U.S. Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare is the narrowing focus on federal health reform to whether or not it is working. And it isn't.

Data on uninsured Americans has always been highly suspect and that has only gotten worse as the left shifted from manufacturing a crisis to attempting to show they have fixed the problem.

Government intervention in healthcare has been the main driver of increasing costs and declining customer service quality in recent decades and this failure was barely camouflaged by an unprecedented technological boom in the industry before ObamaCare made it worse. The bad financial news surrounding ObamaCare will only increase in volume and frequency in the days ahead and that argument is not one Obamacrats can bluster their way out of.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Political case for ObamaCare repeal just got stronger

The U.S. Supreme Court just put a big smile on Barack Obama's face with some crazy mental contortions claiming there is no difference between federal and state governments so ObamaCare can continue even in the three dozen states who don't want it. What to watch for next is an overwhelming and sustained Tea Party response.

The Court's ruling is indeed 'absurd,' as Justice Scalia wrote ine his dissent. We are destroying America by pretending the rule is law is a goalpost on wheels. In Kentucky, the only reason to keep Kynect now is to waste state money the federal government will spend without substantial change to ObamaCare here. The real news going forward is the Court can't repeal economic reality, which continues to hit Kentuckians hard with a deteriorating healthcare system under federal control and the Kentucky Health Cooperative about to go out of business.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Frankfort media fiddles while Kynect burns

The largest newspaper in America just today scooped Kentucky's mainstream media on an aging story about the dire financial condition of the state's top ObamaCare health insurer.

"Until recently, the Kentucky Health Cooperative had been considered one of the more successful co-ops, with 75% of enrollees in the state's health exchange," the Wall Street Journal reported on its Opinion page. "Yet there are disturbing similarities between this cooperative and the one that failed in Iowa. Kentucky Health Cooperative's $147 million in taxpayer loans has been exhausted. To maintain a semblance of solvency, it is applying for a big premium increase ... and banking on so-called risk-protection payments from other insurers."

The abysmal job Kentucky journalists have done so far telling people about the disaster of ObamaCare and the state's ObamaCare exchange "Kynect" is in itself a major news story. The good news is that a new major newspaper will begin operating in Kentucky in a matter of days. Not a moment too soon.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

NPR upset GOP hasn't caved on ObamaCare

The only reason ObamaCare is still standing at all is because President Obama has violated the law dozens of times rather than allow natural consequences to take effect. A particularly galling example of that could be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court as soon as Friday.

And if the Court rules the Obama IRS can't ignore the law and dole out subsidies in states without their own ObamaCare "exchange," Democrats and their friends at NPR are aghast at the possibility that the ensuing chaos might happen under the watch of Congressional Republicans.

Of course, that's the same chaos written into the bill by Congressional Democrats which observers have been predicting would end badly for years now. And the best is yet to come for Kentucky after the Court rules and Jack Conway gets to explain over and over why he continues to support Obama's "reform."

Jack Conway: I'll be the Bruce Jenner of corporate welfare if you make me your Governor

A key point in Jack Conway's jobs plan issued today might upset Gov. Steve Beshear by proposing to surgically remove some of Beshear's corporate welfare deals, the incessant creation of which Beshear has used as his primary form of administration activity these last eight years.

"As Governor," Conway promised, "Iʼll conduct a top-to-bottom review of every tax incentive we have in the Economic Development Cabinet. This will allow us to make certain that we have the right tools in the toolbox to bring good-paying jobs here."

Cutting off Beshear's empty corporate giveaway gestures only to replace them with whatever might be in Conway's "toolbox" sounds like trans-cronyism, crossing the boundary between Beshear's failed economic policy to Conway's. We would be far better served by shutting down the "Economic Development Cabinet" and ending the game of trying to pick winners and losers with special tax deals.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Aetna and UnitedHealthCare want to do WHAT to Kentucky health insurance consumers in 2016?!

Without federal subsidies, ObamaCare has been a disaster for health insurers and their customers. With federal subsidies, ObamaCare has been a disaster so far only for consumers. This explains why insurers Aetna and UnitedHealthCare want to expand their offerings for individual health insurance in Kentucky in 2016.

But if you expect any more details than that, forget it.

It's amazing, really, to look at the actuarial reports they have filed with the Obamacrats. A new feature, brought to you by the most transparent administration in history, provides massively redacted filings which would otherwise shed light on how these companies intend to "serve" consumers in the Commonwealth. (See Aetna and UnitedHealthCare filings.)

These rate filing documents take absurdity in redacting to a new level. One example: in the UnitedHealthCare filing, in addition to the pages of charts with literally everything blacked out, there is the following sentence about premium projections on Page 2: "Annual trend is expected to (REDACTED) in the state of Kentucky."


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Kentucky ObamaCare health plans rival state pension plans for shockingly bad numbers

Frankfort Obamacrats have had to be dragged kicking and screaming into providing their long-promised transparency and today we got a much clearer understanding of their hesitation. All three of the private health insurers in Kentucky's "exchange" last year had 2014 claims far in excess of the premium dollars they collected.

Anthem actually led the way in terms of attempting to collect enough in premium dollars. Their claims totaled a mere 129.30% of premiums. Humana came in second with claims 158.56% of premiums. The dreadful Kentucky Health Cooperative is on the hook for an astounding 201.73% in claims divided by premiums.

This is why the 2016 rate increase requests keep getting bigger.

"Frankfort Obamacrats have sold themselves on the idea that we can afford to turn healthcare into an all-you-can-eat buffet for sumo wrestlers and we just can't do it," said David Adams, leading critic of ObamaCare in Kentucky. "This and Kentucky's pension mess are the fattest public policy malfeasance stories of the last century. All you have to do is look."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Top Frankfort Obamacrat embarrassed in committee

The pressure of being Kentucky's top appointed Obamacrat seems to be getting to Audrey Tayse Haynes.

As Secretary of Health and Family Services, she was invited to testify to the legislature's Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee this morning in Frankfort. It didn't go well.

Haynes bristled under criticism that Gov. Beshear's hand-picked Medicaid management companies (MCOs) are not paying doctors and hospitals properly to treat Kentucky's fast-growing ObamaCare Medicaid population. Fixing the problem, she demanded, means giving her more money.

"If in the new biennium budget you want to increase hospital rates," Haynes practically screamed,"give us some more money!"

By insisting the problem is lack of money available for spending, Haynes clearly did not realize she set herself up for what came next.

"How much money have the MCOs been paid this year?" Senator Ralph Alvarado (R-Winchester) asked.

"Off the top of my head, I can not tell you...," Haynes mumbled into her microphone. Then without taking a breath, she quickly rediscovered her haughty tone, claiming absurdly that not divulging spending totals was somehow related to limits on MCO profitability.

"... because they are only allowed to make a certain amount of profit," she said.

Another point of contention on which Haynes fared poorly was the issue of MCO nonpayment of medical claims. Haynes showed an overhead projector slide claiming fewer than 1% unpaid claims. When called on this, Haynes pivoted to accuse doctors of attempting to collect illegal cash payments. Several committee members mentioned being inundated with complaints of non-payment from doctors, including those who have brought a class-action lawsuit against the MCOs.

The low point of the hearing for Haynes had to be when pro-ObamaCare legislators Sen. Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville) and Rep. David Watkins (D-Henderson) joined in the criticism of her attempt to paint an inaccurately positive picture of Medicaid expansion in Kentucky.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What Steve Beshear has been hiding for eleven months

Every month since the start of Kentucky's fiscal year, legislators and citizens have asked Frankfort Obamacrats how much we are spending on Medicaid and every time the answer has been the same.

They say they don't know.

The truth is, of course, that they do know but don't want to say. June is the end of the fiscal year and they will have to report something, which should be interesting. Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes will face this question tomorrow at 10 am in Frankfort and she knows it. She also knows Kentucky's media watchdogs will let her get away, again, with pleading ignorance.

Secretary Haynes testifies Wednesday morning in room 131 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort in front of the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee.

"Steve Beshear is a lame duck and Jack Conway is the new top Obamacrat in Frankfort," said leading ObamaCare opponent David Adams. "Jack is doing everything he can to deflect attention from his party's Medicaid dishonesty, but Kentuckians need to know how bad the damage is. The time for Jack's silly political games is over."

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bevin, Conway should publicly debate healthcare on Wednesday in Frankfort

Gubernatorial combatants Matt Bevin and Jack Conway already raised eyebrows by holding their first joint appearance of the fall campaign at a private coal meeting in Virginia. They have a great opportunity this week for a public, second encounter at a Frankfort hearing on the all-important healthcare issue.

There are sure to be fireworks at Wednesday's Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee meeting at 10 am in room 131 in the Capitol Annex in the committee's last monthly meeting before the end of the fiscal year. The Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare has been a fiscal disaster fraught with service failures putting providers and patients at greater risk unecessarily. Conway says he supports it. Bevin says he opposes it.

Audrey Tayse Haynes, Cabinet Secretary of Health and Family Services, is sure to play her usual game of pretending not to know the answers to any difficult questions, such as how much we have spent on Medicaid in the current fiscal year ending this month. Senator Ralph Alvarado is loaded for bear and is likely to turn much-deserved heat on Haynes, but citizens will be poorly served by Haynes' continued dissembling.

Kentuckians of all differing opinions should challenge Conway and Bevin to both bring their opposing viewpoints and help shine a light on this key issue.

How many days till Jack Conway discloses his positions on real Kentucky issues?

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway's response to all the Democrats fleeing from his campaign and getting to know Matt Bevin has been pretty standard for failing left-wing candidates: he is freaking out about wanting to see Matt Bevin's tax returns.

Normal Kentuckians have much bigger concerns than whether Democratic operatives will be allowed to legally pore over a Republican gubernatorial candidate's tax records. They want to know where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to their lives. Will Jack Conway raise their taxes? If not, how will he pay for the ObamaCare disaster he supports? Will Jack Conway turn on the pension crooks robbing our coffers while funding his campaigns? If so, when? What will Jack Conway do to fix our broken prevailing wage system that has soaked Kentucky taxpayers for decades while enriching his union boss contributors? Will Jack Conway follow the law when the General Assembly declines to ratify his executive orders or does he think Kentucky Constitution Section 69 means the law doesn't apply to a Democratic Governor? Does he think the "right to life" applies to unborn babies?

None of these questions have been answered on Jack Conway's campaign web site. Changing that should be his focus before he makes any more silly demands of Matt Bevin.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Panic: Kentucky Health Cooperative requests 30% rate increase for cheapest ObamaCare plan

The Kentucky Health Cooperative, an ObamaCare-created "public option" run rather unsuccessfully by Frankfort Obamacrats has informed federal regulators they need a thirty percent premium increase on their Bronze plans to continue to survive.

"The rate increase will positively impact the plan’s experience with the historical experience reflecting a ratio of earned premium of $173.2 million to total paid and incurred claims of $349.4 million for 2014," the Cooperative said in its Insurer's Rate Increase Justification filed with federal officials but scrubbed from the Kentucky Department of Insurance web site.

The Kentucky Department of Insurance responded that critics were "talking about rate changes in a vacuum" and added that most Kentuckians on ObamaCare are getting federal subsidies and therefore shouldn't be concerned about real costs.

"It's another embarrassing episode in one of the most bizarre displays of nonsense the world has ever seen," said ObamaCare opponent David Adams. "I wouldn't trust these people to run to the gas station for a Slurpee and we are throwing billions of dollars at them. It has to stop."

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Minimum wage hike is a Frankfort tax increase

Frankfort Obamacrats are jumping in with both feet for Gov. Steve Beshear's unilateral move yesterday to raise executive branch state employee minimum wage to $10.10 and hour.

"The wage increases will cost about $1.6 million," the Lexington Herald Leader reported, "and less than $800,000 of that cost will come from the General Fund, Beshear said. Other sources of money, he said, include federal dollars, the state Road Fund and various state agency accounts."

Bottom line is all the cost of the increase will be paid by taxpayers. But this is far from the last word on the matter.

Beshear created the tax increase with another one of his executive orders citing as authority KRS 12, which grants him temporary powers when the legislature is out of session. The Herald Leader mentions this wrinkle but misses the point of it.

"The General Assembly can review Beshear’s order when legislators return to session in early January, but it would be difficult for them to lower state workers’ wages. The next governor also could roll back Beshear’s order, but Beshear said Monday he doubts that will happen."

The point they miss is that only the legislature can make Beshear's executive action permanent and if they do not it legally goes away. The 800 state workers affected by the minimum wage tax increase might be upset by such a wage cut, but by law if the legislature does not confirm the order then the initial hike no longer exists. They can't sue anyone for failing to execute a law which does not exist.

The interesting political part of this is if Jack Conway is elected Governor, he will probably try to play out the same executive order scam Beshear has in cramming ObamaCare down Kentuckians' throats. If Matt Bevin is elected Governor, the executive order will expire with the next General Assembly and he will not attempt to execute a law which does not exist.

Literally no one benefits in the long run if we continue Beshear's nasty habit of ignoring the failure of temporary executive orders. If we perpetuate the practice, we will literally need a separate Governor's Journal for keeping track of statutes the government no longer chooses to follow until we decide to just go ahead and let politicians ignore all laws. Frankfort Dems are trying to make hay with this issue and we should let them. It's a discussion whose time has come.

Friday, June 05, 2015

GOP can do better for Matt Bevin

Jack Conway's Kentucky Democratic Party is literally running circles around the Republican Party of Kentucky on the governor's race, but only because RPK is standing still.

The Dems put out an attack today lobbing five bombs at Matt Bevin. RPK responded with an email mentioning the attack but responding only that you should send money to Matt.

A real response from RPK would mean contradicting Mitch McConnell 2014, but there's no reason to be squeamish about that since Mitch has already publicly changed his tune about Matt with an unequivocal endorsement of the only conservative in the fall gubernatorial election.

It's really not that hard at all. Let's take them in order.

Dems claim: "Matt Bevin didn't tell the truth about attending MIT." This is absurdly false and would only be perpetuated by someone lacking scruples or brains or -- in this case, at least -- both. Matt attended and completed an invitation-only program for successful entrepreneurs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and described it precisely as such on his LinkedIn page. The fact Jack Conway and his Frankfort pals can't recognize an honor like this or distinguish it from undergraduate matriculation, again, doesn't speak well for their cognitive abilities. The fact they are parroting an oft-told McConnell lie is a discredit to McConnell and Conway. They should both be made to separate themselves from their lies immediately. McConnell should go first.

Dems claim: "Matt Bevin mislead (sic) Kentuckians about his support for cockfighting." It was a rookie mistake for Matt to campaign at a rally in support of cockfighting in Corbin last year and he compounded the error by claiming confusion about the purpose of the rally. Bottom line, if he didn't know what the event was, he should have known. To his credit, Matt actually apologized for confusion caused by his attendance. But Matt never made cockfighting part of his campaign or claimed "support" for it, unlike Jack Conway who has made multiple appearances with the likes of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Kerry and Eric Holder without explanation or apology. Most Kentuckians could stomach sporting fowl more easily than they could endure the stench of those associations.

Dems claim: "Bailout Bevin." This is another debunked charge from McConnell 2014. A lightning strike destroyed equipment in Bevin's bell factory that was literally too old to insure. He was ready to shutter the business when offered state tax credits encouraged him to keep it open. Same goes for an old charge that Matt supported the bank bailouts, which doesn't square with the facts at all. Neither Conway nor McConnell are about to come out in opposition to performance-based tax credits which save jobs and both unequivocally support the TARP bailouts. Again, two apologies are appropriate and McConnell shouldn't wait to go first.

Dems claim: "Bevin failed to pay his taxes." This one has also been debunked. The taxing authorities in both cases absolved Matt of any kind of failure. Again, two apologies are appropriate. Mitch, you're up.

Dems claim: "Even Republicans don't trust him." This one is all on Mitch. Conway and friends quote McConnell and McConnell staffers launching ridiculous attacks against Matt. Do the right thing, Senator McConnell, and clear the air on this old nonsense.

Even if Mitch proves "too busy" to take care of his responsibilities here, RPK can't let lingering fear of McConnell prevent them from doing the bare minimum to defend their nominee from this garbage so we can keep the focus on real 2015 Kentucky issues like getting multiple Frankfort overspending and mismanagement issues under control and better positioning Kentucky for private sector growth rather than shoring up our position as one of the most corrupt and poorly managed state governments in America.