The new push is medicaid expansion, a part of Obamacare. Missouri has been successful pushing back on this part of Obamacare but that hasn’t deterred the big-city progressives. Their newest tactic is to hire a former ‘Pub state senator, Charlie Shields, to be their front-man in their continued search for more money.
In Kansas City, the issue is the failing Truman medical system, two publicly funded hospitals with a track record of failure. Jackson County hopes their new man will succeed when their democrat puppet didn’t.
Former Lawmaker Needs to Prod Legislature Into Expanding Federal-State Health Plan or Face Losses
By Anna Wilde Mathews,
Charlie Shields, CEO, Truman Medical Centers
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The future of Truman Medical Centers, a two-hospital safety-net system here, depends on the state legislature—and no one understands that better than its new chief executive, Charlie Shields.
Mr. Shields, a genial 55-year-old, spent 20 years as a Republican lawmaker, ending up as the leader of the Missouri Senate before term limits forced him to step down. In 2010, he became chief operating officer of one of Truman’s hospitals, and in July he succeeded longtime Truman CEO John W. Bluford III.
Now Mr. Shields, whose office décor includes a collection of elephant statues, must press the legislature’s current Republican leaders to accept the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, the federal-state insurance for low-income people. Expanded Medicaid would be a financial lifeline for Truman, which is losing money as it cares for a large population of uninsured patients.
Mr. Shields said he tells lawmakers he understands their situation: “I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve made these tough decisions.” Indeed, he voted for a major retrenchment of Missouri’s Medicaid program in 2005, when about 100,000 people were cut from the rolls. He said the move was difficult but necessary amid a budget crunch, and that he always aimed for it to be reversed when there was funding to do so.
Today, Mr. Shields argues, with federal money available because of the health law, the expansion makes sense. Under the law, the U.S. is supposed to pay the full cost of Medicaid expansion through 2016, and then a share that will phase down to 90% in 2020 and beyond.
Still, he acknowledged the political challenge for Republicans who don’t want to be seen as endorsing a law that is unpopular with many constituents. In polling performed by the Kaiser Family Foundation between January and October of this year, 34% of Missouri residents favored the law, while 52% viewed it unfavorably.
As a middle ground, Mr. Shields said, lawmakers could craft a “Missouri-specific solution” that could potentially occur under a federal waiver, and “there are a lot of things that would work” as a structure for expanding coverage.
You can read the rest of the column at the WSJ website.
If the county is unable to manage these two hospitals and keep them in the black, perhaps it is time to pass them on to an organization who can. There are numerous hospitals and hospital organizations across the country who are privately owned and not only stay in the black, but actually make a (horrors!) profit.
When a CEO in a business can’t make his company profitable, the stake-holders have two choices, get rid of the CEO and hire one who can succeed, or close the doors. That truism holds true for publicly owned institutions as well.
The progressive’s solution is more taxpayer money in the form of expanded medicaid included in Obamacare. Missouri has rejected both realizing that within a few years, if that, it would be the state would who be picking up the tab for the increased expenditures of medicaid—money the state does not have unless something else is cut equally. Stealing from Peter to pay Paul is not a viable solution for Missouri.
Government, like all of us, must learn that the public money-well is not bottomless.
We shouldn’t be surprised. The left has been perfectly consistent for the last century and more. The difference today is that they are more blatant than in previous decades.
The “resolution” for the debt ceiling is coming up in a few days. Of course, the ‘Pub establishment and their spineless sycophants in Congress will cave. Some will attempt to extract some conditions…like requiring the Senate to actually pass a budget as they are required to do by law. One theme being passed around is “No Budget, No Pay.” Not that that means much since most congresscritters have sufficient outside income. Like Harry Reid who is being investigated for fraud. Perhaps blocking budget bills isn’t Harry’s highest concern at the moment.
Hidden in the US budget (or at least the last time we had one,) is funding for a number of governmental offices that are “off budget.” These are agencies like Freddie Mac and the US Post Office. These offices are knows as GSEs or Government Sponsored Enterprises.
There are a number of GSEs (government sponsored enterprises) that are considered off budget. Politicians use off-budget entities like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Postal Service to obfuscate the true cost of government. Additionally, the government runs a number of credit programs, in which taxpayers are on the hook for loan guarantees. These guarantees include loans for college students and for energy programs, such as the one that purveyed failed green energy programs like Solyndra.— RedState
The “On Budget” cost covers only what these agencies actually do. But not budgeted is the results of those actions nor the money that passes through their hands.
Under current law, Congress only factors in the cost of the loan itself when formulating the annual budget. Perforce, if the money is paid back with interest, there is no cost to the government. However, as we have learned so painfully, the loans are, all too often, never paid back. Taxpayers have been called on to bailout a modicum of failed loan guarantees. In the private sector, they use “fair value” accounting in calculating the costs of credit programs. Fair value accounts for the costs of the market risk the lender incurs by issuing a loan, in addition to the actual borrowing costs. — RedState
The US House has passed H.R. 3581 that will force these costs into the open.
H.R. 3581 would modify the budgetary treatment of federal credit programs such that the cost of direct loans or loan guarantees would be calculated on a “fair value” basis, which includes not only the borrowing costs of the federal government, but also the cost of the market risk the government is incurring by issuing a loan or loan guarantee. Under current law, the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 (FCRA) requires that the credit subsidy cost of federal direct loans and loan guarantees be measured on a net present value basis which determines the cost of a loan program based on calculations using the interest rates on Treasury securities and estimated losses that would be expected from defaults. However, this calculation ignores additional costs associated with market risks. According the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), “By incorporating a market-based risk premium, fair-value estimates recognize that the financial risk that the government assumes when issuing credit guarantees is more costly to taxpayers than FCRA-based estimates suggest.” By more accurately accounting for the costs of federal credit programs, H.R. 3581 would increase the estimated costs of such programs compared to measures used under current law.
When I read this article, I wondered if Missouri had similar funding issues? Are there agencies in Missouri that have off-the-books costs that aren’t covered by budget? Missouri has a balanced budget requirement. But the state also receives Federal funding to support some state operated agencies…schools for instance and Medicaid.
People build a degree of expectation, of a level of performance from these agencies and programs. The funding passes through our state government and on to the end recipient. If, for some reason, federal funding is cut or stops for these operations, the state would have to provide the funds, cut back the offices and programs, or cancel them all-together.
The people and organizations (schools for instance) receiving aid, assistance or funding through these federally co-funded agencies and programs would feel their expectations are not being met. Rightly or wrongly, the lack of federal funds would place a burden on the state.
Does the state budget correctly account for these federal funds? I don’t know, but it’s a good question to ask. I would expect, at a minimum, that agencies and programs who are dependent on some degree of federal funding, and those who use or are dependent on federal funding passing through the state government, be made aware of the situation and under what circumstances funding may be cut or ended.
We should also be informed, if federal funding was gone, how much additional state taxes would be needed to maintain that level of operation. Much, much more than we can afford without a doubt.
I would strongly suggest to our state legislators that we begin to wean ourselves from such federal funding scams. The state must live within its means and those means cannot include federal funding that can suddenly disappear.
The saga of the Casa Crucis siding project continues. Last Friday, there was an issue with the scaffolding around the house. The decision by the crew was to replace it with a different style. The front of Casa Crucis is not a flat, smooth wall like the north and south sides. Down came the scaffolding and today a new one is to be erected.
There is snow and freezing rain forecasted for overnight with 1″-2″ accumulation. I’m glad I’m not working outside.
I was surfin’ over the weekend and came across this article. I’m not at all surprised at the results of the poll.
(CNSNews.com) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia is leading former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential race by 20 points—41 percent to 21 percent–among self-professed conservatives, according to a new Gallup poll released Thursday.
By contrast, Romney is leading Gingrich by 10 points—27 percent to 17 percent—among self-professed liberals and moderates in the poll.
The poll, conducted Dec. 5-11, surveyed 1,665 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who are registered voters. Among all poll respondents, Gingrich led Romney 33 percent to 23 percent, with Rep. Ron Paul of Texas at 9 percent, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota at 6 percent, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 6 percent.
Gingrich led among most sub-groups in the poll—except for self-professed liberals and moderates, those 18 to 34 years of age, and those living in the East.
Among the Republican-leaning independents, Gingrich and Romney were tied at 23 percent, with Paul at 14 percent.
Among the Republicans, Gingrich had 38 percent, Romney had 23 percent, and Paul had 7 percent.
Among the conservatives, Gingrich had 41 percent, Romney 21 percent, and Paul had 7 percent.
Among the liberals and moderates, Romney had 27 percent, Gingrich had 17 percent, and Paul had 13 percent.
You can find the complete article with more poll data here.
I’m not at all surprised that liberal and “moderates” prefer Romney. After all, he’s one of them.
Want to help make sure your children aren’t growing up in poverty? Get, and stay, married. According to a Heritage Foundation study, being in a stable, married household has a much, much better probability of staying out of poverty. In the study, single parents were compared against married families and their income levels. This study compared single parent white, black and hispanic families with their married counterparts using census data from 2010.
The married families at or below the poverty level comprised only 4-9% of the population. The single parent groups varied from 40% and up.
The Missouri budget is projected to be several hundred million dollars in the red this fiscal year according to forecasts. Democrat Governor Jay Nixon has a plan. He wants to “barrow” money from the state’s universities and repay the “loan” over a seven year period at zero percent interest.
Why am I concerned about this plan. He wants to take money from the universities’ reserve funds, money they earned through various enterprises, from alumni donations and other income sources, keep it for seven years and then give it back with no interest. The result, since there is no compensation for inflation is that if the plan worked as stated, the universities would end up with less than they had in the beginning.
JEFFERSON CITY • Gov. Jay Nixon is asking five state universities to consider lending the state more than $100 million next year to help balance the state’s budget, a proposal that is drawing fire from key legislators unhappy with both its secrecy and its impact.
Nixon’s proposal, which his budget director termed preliminary, calls for the University of Missouri to chip in $63 million and four other schools to come up with lesser amounts, for a total of $107 million. The money would come from their reserve funds.
The state would roll the money into the $850 million higher education budget that covers operating expenses at all of Missouri’s four-year institutions and community colleges. The goal: to avoid a cut that could otherwise equal at least 13 percent across the board.
Universities making the interest-free loans would look to be repaid over a seven-year period with money diverted from the state’s college loan authority, known as the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, or MOHELA.
In addition, Nixon proposes cutting the schools scholarship funds in half and telling the universities to make up the difference out of their remaining reserve funds. As you can expect, the legislature is not pleased.
House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, called the plan ridiculous. “The governor is looking for this scheme that avoids making tough decisions on cuts,” he said. “Rather than balance the state’s budget, he wants to dream up new revenue sources which happen to be interest-free loans from our universities.”
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, said the universities would have no guarantee that they would get their money back.
“If the proposal is a Bernie Madoff-type Ponzi scheme to make it look like something’s being funded that isn’t really being funded, that’s not acceptable,” Schaefer said.
Ah yes, your democrat pols at work. If they can’t tax and spend, they’ll just steal money…and spend. Cutting all that spending in the first place isn’t an option for them.
When your revenue projections are undercut by reality, sane people cut their spending to match their income. Government, on the other hand, can’t imagine spending less. They prefer to come up with schemes to get around our state’s balanced budget requirement.
Tax and spend. Steal and spend. The only difference is semantics.
I’ve been scanning the headlines and noticed they’ve taken a marked shift in the last few days. Obama’s intransigence in the debt talks is hurting—him! He’s continued the usual dem/lib tactics of blaming conservatives for everything while ignoring the fact that there has been a number of proposals that increased the debt limit and it has been Obama that has blocked every one. He even blocked a plan submitted by Harry Reid!
The shift isn’t for Obama nor for the dems. Here’s just a short sample of headlines that attest to the shift.
“What’s pushing the wealth of whites is the rebound in the stock market and corporate savings, while younger Hispanics and African-Americans who bought homes in the last decade, because that was the American dream, are seeing big declines,” said Timothy Smeeding, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who specializes in income inequality.
The dem/lib scheme to push minority home ownership, the Community Reinvestment Act, to many who could not afford them, is the primary reason why the “minorities” have seen their assets decline or disappear completely. When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac forced banks to issue loans to those who’d not otherwise qualify for those loans, that requirement led to the failure of the housing market.
Such policies and others similar to them have NOT made one of the dem/lib core groups happy.
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Hispanic families accounted for the largest single decline in wealth of any ethnic and racial group in the country during the recession, according to a study published Tuesday by the Pew Foundation.
The study, which used data collected by the Census Bureau, found that the median wealth of Hispanic households fell by 66 percent from 2005 to 2009. By contrast, the median wealth of whites fell by just 16 percent over the same period. African Americans saw their wealth drop by 53 percent. Asians also saw a big decline, with household wealth dropping 54 percent.
The future isn’t bright for Obama. Nor is it bright for democrats.
With somewhat curious timing, Arkansas Democratic Rep. Mike Ross has announced that he will not run for reelection in 2012. One year ago today, Ross was part of a congressional delegation that was 5-1 Democratic: both the state’s U.S. senators, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, and three out of its four congressmen—Ross of the 4th district, Marion Berry of the 1st district and Vic Snyder of the 2nd district—were all Democrats.
But Berry and Snyder decided to retire rather than run for reelection in 2010, and both were replaced by Republicans. Lincoln was defeated by John Boozman, then the state’s only Republican in Congress, by a breathtaking 58%-37% margin. Now Ross, who as a Blue Dog leader and member of the Energy and Commerce Committee played a high-visibility game on Obamacare, has announced he’s quitting. Ross was reelected by a solid 58%-40% margin in 2010, one of the few Blue Dogs to do so well, and although redistricting reportedly made his district a little less Democratic he obviously hs the capacity to run ahead of his party. But Arkansas, the most Democratic Southern state in the years when Bill Clinton was running, voted 59%-39% for John McCain and against Barack Obama, and no one thinks that opinion has moved in Obama’s direction since.
The future isn’t bright for the dems. Their numbers are imploding. But…if the GOP caves during the debt limit talks, it won’t be bright for any of us.
Five Blue Dog Democrats joined House Republicans in backing a conservative plan to condition a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt limit with immediate spending cuts, an annual cap on spending and a strict balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
Reps. Heath Shuler (N.C.), Dan Boren (Okla.) Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.) and Jim Cooper (Tenn.) all voted for the GOP “cut, cap and balance” plan that passed the House Tuesday on a vote of 234-190. The support from Democrats was a surprise, one GOP leadership aide said. Most Democrats railed against the GOP plan as a “radical” attempt to enact deep spending cuts and reforms that would threaten entitlement programs.
Cooper, also a member of the New Democrat coalition, signed a letter Tuesday endorsing the Senate’s “Gang of Six” plan, which includes $3.7 trillion in budget savings and is likely to draw more support from Democrats.
The bill didn’t get complete republican support. Nine ‘Pubs voted against Cut, Cap and Balance.
GOP presidential candidates Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and Ron Paul (Tex.) were among the nine House Republicans to vote no. The others were Reps. Paul Broun (Ga.), Quico Canseco (Tex.), Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Connie Mack (Fla.), Walter Jones (N.C) and Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.).
Michele Bachmann said she voted against the bill because it didn’t include a repeal of Obamacare. I can understand that. There were already sufficient votes to insure passage and she is able to maintain her position against Obamacare. I can understand why, I don’t agree with her. I think she’d get more mileage supporting the Constitutional amendment.
Ron Paul’s reasoning is a bit different. He continues his efforts to cut defense in order to force the US back into isolationism.
Rep. Ron Paul said he voted against the bill because it only serves to sanction the status quo by putting forth a $1 trillion budget deficit and authorizing a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt limit.
Paul said it’s “impossible” to eventually balance the budget without cutting military spending, Social Security or Medicare.
“These three budget items already cost nearly $1 trillion apiece annually,” he noted. “This means we can cut every other area of federal spending to zero and still have a $3 trillion budget. Since annual federal tax revenues almost certainly will not exceed $2.5 trillion for several years, this Act cannot balance the budget under any plausible scenario,” Paul said.
I maintain my position that Ron Paul is unfit to hold any national office. If he had been President in the years leading to WW2, Europe would still be under Nazi control. Paul has yet to understand that National Defense is best when it’s performed over there rather than over here.
As the news of the passage of Cut, Cap and Balance spread, there came an announcement by Obama about a deal among the Senate’s Gang of Six. That group consists of Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).
Supposedly it contains $3.6/3.7 Trillion in cuts over ten years, cuts to be determined at some unspecified time, with $1 Trillion immediate new tax increases—uhhh, new revenue. In short, it reinstates Obama’s 2011 budget plan. A plan that didn’t get ONE SINGLE DEMOCRAT VOTE!
The Gang of Six planunveiled to senators on Tuesday punts on key details, including exactly how it would reform Social Security and Medicare, according to a detailed outline obtained by The Hill.
The plan adopts a two-track approach: a $500 billion down payment and a later reform bill generating an additional $3.2 trillion in deficit reduction. That later bill is largely left up to committees of jurisdiction, and they are only required to meet specific savings targets.
So the cuts, instead of being specified, would be left to the discretion of some later committee.
We can believe that just like there were $38 Billion in cuts in the last funding CR. Those cuts turned out later to be only $343 Million, not Billions. Whenever a democrat is involved, you can be sure the basis of any agreement is a lie and a fraud.
Getting back to Cut, Cap and Balance. I have one disagreement with it. The Constitutional Amendment should have been separate. The President has no vote in the passage of an Amendment—only the two houses of Congress and 2/3rd of the states. With the Amendment embedded in the bill, Obama can, as he’s already stated, veto it.
Neither plan has any hope of passage. Harry Reid won’t let Cut, Cap and Balance pass in the Senate. The House ‘Pubs won’t pass the non-plan from the Gang of Six.
The best option that I can see for any increase in the debt limit is a one-for-one deal. That would be for every Dollar of increase in the debt limit there would be one Dollar of REAL spending cuts. Real cuts. Not some unspecified, nebulous item that doesn’t really exist. Defunding Obamacare and Dodd-Frank would be a good start.
As far as reaching any agreement by Obama’s August 2nd deadline? Ain’t gonna happen. Unhappy Birthday, Obama.