Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The ObamaCare poll question Kentucky didn't get

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

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Kentuckians disapprove of Obama's handling of health care, 55% disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, 41% want the law repealed, and 53% think the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange is working well.

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

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

Beshear says 1 in 3 ObamaCare premiums unpaid

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Merry-go-round politics in Frankfort today

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kentucky state debt now highest ever

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kinsey Hasstedt's mistake on Kentucky abortion law

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

First hint of KY ObamaCare cancellations slips out

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

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

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

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

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

Beshear ObamaCare wiped out by General Assembly

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ObamaCare is about one thing right now

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

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

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

Irony falling from Frankfort sky

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

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

Senate GOP should boycott Beshear special session

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

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

Monday, April 14, 2014

Shock: another Democrat thinks you're stupid

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

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

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

Start orderly dismantling of Kentucky ObamaCare

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

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

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

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

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kentucky media chooses Beshear over reality

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 11, 2014

VICTORY! ObamaCare defunding language survives

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

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

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

ObamaCare requires transparency, Beshear refuses

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

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

Where is that information, Governor?

Not the same as three votes for ObamaCare...

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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Can 400,000 ObamaCare enrollees be wrong?

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

They are missing one key point.

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

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

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

ObamaCare will NOT help with your car insurance

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

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

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