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.