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.