Wednesday, May 27, 2015

ObamaCare Kynect hell breaks loose Monday

The Kentucky Department of Insurance is required by federal law to post ObamaCare rate increase requests on Monday and they are widely expected to demonstrate more health reform failure, just as the fall campaign for Governor gets started.

"This weekend it will be official that Kentucky Republicans have nominated in Matt Bevin a candidate who has not wavered or played word games with real opposition to ObamaCare to run against a Democrat who has hid under his bed during the whole controversy," said David Adams, plaintiff in the legal effort to shut down Kentucky's state-run ObamaCare "exchange."

"Kentucky's ObamaCare 'public option' is insolvent and the expected death spiral is underway," Adams said. "It's going to be a very bumpy ride for Kentuckians still expecting ObamaCare to work."

Monday, May 18, 2015

Will T. Scott responds to newspaper endorsing someone else in GOP primary for Governor

Asking the Herald-Leader editorial board to pick the best Republican for governor is like taking a skunk on a coon hunt. Nevertheless, I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the fact they did not endorse me.

Kentucky is in bad shape. The next governor will find Frankfort's cupboards bare and hungry people beating on the doors of the Capitol calling on resources we don't have. This is not a time for trusting state government to someone seeking to make a statement or build a resume.

We need a problem-solver and that's what I am.

We need to fix a $34 billion hole in our public pension system. The longer we wait, the worse it gets and the more Kentuckians will suffer.

We can prevent that by amending our state constitution to allow limited casino gambling and requiring that revenue from this activity pay this huge debt. Kentuckians are already gambling in casinos, but the money is going to other states to help them pay their bills.

We need to stop throwing away the lives of young Kentuckians afflicted with drug addictions when they are willing to be saved. Tossing nonviolent drug addicts in prison with hardened criminals is an enormous waste of life and must be corrected for our state to reach its potential. I have a detailed plan to fix this.

And unlike my opponents, I will close Obamacare Kynect my first day in office.

Please learn more about my background and plans at www.willtscott.com.

Will T. Scott

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Kentucky Downs already a casino, but won't help state's $34 billion pension problem until we act

Kentucky Downs racetrack in Franklin, Kentucky is running a casino with gambling currently prohibited by state law, said Republican gubernatorial candidate Will T. Scott.

"I've been there to see it and there is nothing about historical horse racing or parimutuel betting about it," Scott said. "They have slot machines all over the place just like you would see in Reno."

Scott has made solving Kentucky's massive $34 billion pension underfunding problem with limited casino gambling at horse tracks a key part of his platform this year.

"The way to do it is to require in the Constitution revenues from the expanded gambling go to pay our biggest unpaid bill first and that's pensions," Scott said.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Kentucky's ObamaCare "Cooperative" is insolvent

A Standard and Poor's research report issued this week finds the Kentucky Health Cooperative, an ObamaCare creation funded initially by federal dollars and then bailed out with tens of millions of dollars more last year, is insolvent.

The report analyzed health insurers' requests for risk corridor receivables. Those are funds supposed to be taken from profitable insurers and given to unprofitable ones under ObamaCare. Kentucky Health Cooperative booked more "receivables" expected to be coming from the risk corridor program than the company has in capital, which includes mostly federal loan and bailout funds.

According to the report, the Kentucky insurer booked an amount of risk corridor receivables equal to 117% of capital, more than every other insurer in the nation except one. The bad news for them and their customers is S&P estimates the risk corridor program is less than ten percent funded and there is no likelihood of Congress acting to make up the difference. That means the Kentucky Health Cooperative is toast.

Cooperative officials appear to be refusing all requests for comment and the Kentucky Department of Insurance has pulled down their web page that used to allow consumers to view rate increase requests.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Hal Heiner's ObamaCare meltdown

Hal Heiner is either confused about the difference between the ObamaCare exchange and the Medicaid expansion or he has swallowed the left-wing KoolAid about what happens on the way to ending ObamaCare.

On a Kentucky Sports Radio debate today, Heiner said: "I am not willing to kick 330,000 people to the curb and destroy the healthcare system that's available..." That was in response to a question about Heiner's continued squishiness on ObamaCare.

The point is that since the very early days of the campaign, no one is talking about the impossible task of reversing the Medicaid expansion from the Governor's office. The question was about shutting down the state-run ObamaCare exchange, which will have no impact on the Medicaid expansion. Defaulting to the federal exchange involves no innocent victims, much less Heiner's imaginary 330,000 being "kicked to the curb."

My favorite part from Heiner was the bit about destroying the healthcare system. I'm guessing he just started his post-primary pivot to the left earlier than a more disciplined establishment politician would.

Jamie Comer wrong on freedom of speech

It's no secret gubernatorial candidate James Comer has been talking to lawyers about people talking to bloggers. Looks like he may need some better advice or something.

Comer claimed in a radio debate today in Louisville that Hal Heiner's campaign violated the law by speaking to a Lexington blogger.

Speaking to Heiner, Comer said "if you see an email that was sent from your running mate to this blogger, encouraging this blogger to contact all the Republican Party chairs and vice-chairs of the state and spreading lies about me, coordinating -- which is illegal on its own -- with this blogger, how would you react to that as the leader of your ticket with your running mate and your campaign staff?"

I would love to challenge Comer to show us the statute forbidding conversation, interaction or -- if you must -- coordination between a blogger and a candidate or a member of a campaign staff. He can't do it, of course, because no such prohibition exists anywhere.

This is really getting embarrassing. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for someone speeding in a school zone. That should go ten times more for someone who claims he wants to be Governor. The state government's chief executive officer is charged with faithfully executing state law. How can he be expected to do that if he doesn't even understand citizens' rights regarding our ability to speak to each other?

Monday, May 04, 2015

Heiner, again: I will do NOTHING on ObamaCare

The Bowling Green Daily News has posted answers to questions asked of Republican gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner. One exchange in particular shows clearly why he cannot be trusted to represent the GOP this fall:

What are your plans for the Kentucky health care exchange and how do you plan on putting them into effect?

Heiner: "I have called for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act and stand with (Kentucky GOP) Sens. (Mitch) McConnell and (Rand) Paul in doing so. In the meantime, we are left with an expanded Medicaid system that must be reformed – both to protect the survival of our rural hospitals but also to fit within our budget constraints as a commonwealth. As governor, I'll work to bring accountability and personal responsibility into our health care system by introducing programs that are working in other states – health savings accounts, deductibles and health incentives that can bring down costs for the entire system. As a Frankfort outsider, I plan to bring this type of thoughtful, conservative leadership to the governor's office on day one."

Choosing only to cheer for repeal of ObamaCare is the role of a powerless bystander, not a Governor with explicit powers spelled out in the language of the "Affordable Care Act," as well as the Constitution. Only Will T. Scott has promised to shut down Kynect, the state-run ObamaCare exchange, on his first day in office. Heiner's only response to Scott's decisive action on this front is to complain vaguely about taking "healthcare" away from Kentuckians. With Republicans like this, who needs Democrats?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

James Comer's six figure gift from taxpayers to Democrat politician begs further explanation

A question from the audience at Saturday's gubernatorial debate in Nicholasville surprised some audience members when all four candidates said they had made campaign contributions to Democrats in past elections, but the rest of the story is more interesting and requires more damage control from James Comer's faltering campaign.

Comer said he had given to one Democrat -- former State Representative Richard Henderson, who lost his seat last November after getting caught up in a cockfighting scandal. But there was a Comer beneficiary who got quite a bit more than a $100 check from Commissioner Comer.

Former State Representative Fred Nesler (D) received a $100,000 taxpayer-provided boost to his state pension in June 2012 when Comer appointed him to an executive position in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. This huge gift was made possible by Comer's vote for HB 299 from 2005, which he has had a horrible time trying to explain. (Click here for an amazing video of Comer falling all over himself and trying to blame others for his absurd vote.)

Given Comer's incoherent and painful non-explanations of his vote to pad his pocket some $500,000 at your expense, getting him to talk about why he spread your wealth on to his Democratic friend should provide him further embarrassment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Will T. Scott urges drug policy overhaul

We can fix Kentucky's failing approach to drug addiction starting with an innovative state program to guarantee safety of potential employees with past felony drug problems, said Republican gubernatorial candidate Will T. Scott.

"Our prisons are not doing their job, protecting you," Scott said. Without a different approach, a never-ending cycle of theft, robberies and worse make victims of innocent Kentuckians. "Of the people in prison due to addiction-related criminal activity, at least sixty percent will commit new crimes within three years of their release from prison," Scott said.

Scott proposes a Kentucky Certified Worker program funded with fees charged to inmates to insure employers against losses caused by rehabilitated felons. The program will provide an opportunity for rehabilitated Kentuckians to build productive lives as opposed to a life sentence in the shadows or worse.

"That means a decent job and, as Merle Haggard sang, 'having pride in who I am.'"

Part of the solution to Kentucky's worsening drug problems is more comprehensive use of drug courts with an emphasis on rehabilitation outside of prisons and in minimum security facilities for less money than we currently spend.

"This new path will work and it will make our homes, garages, highways and businesses much safer at a much lower cost," Scott said.

Justice Scott also proposes a tougher law enforcement approach against the distribution of heroin.

"Heroin transport, sales and use will be under attack like never before," Scott said, referencing a plan to deter importation of heroin from other states.

Scott refers often to the hope of recovery and a strong desire to help rescue Kentuckians from the ravages of addiction and restoration to full productivity, including expungement of criminal records in some cases, including restoration of all rights of citizenship.

"What I'm really telling you is to the extent we can truly rebuild a justice system that really rehabilitates our addicted prisoners and helps them rebuild their lives, pride and confidence in themselves, then we can and will be safe again in our homes, businesses and garages."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Kentucky GOP delegation pounces on Comer, Heiner

A letter signed by nearly all Kentucky's entire Republican congressional delegation and delivered today took aim directly at gubernatorial candidates Hal Heiner and James Comer. The letter also invited all gubernatorial candidates to a post-election "Unity Rally" May 30 in Frankfort at GOP Headquarters.

"It is absolutely essential that we challenge a government-run healthcare system that is limiting choices and driving up costs for so many of our fellow citizens," the letter explained.

Comer and Heiner have been inconsistent at best in challenging the ObamaCare government-run healthcare system beginning last summer when they both told the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce they would take no action against the Kynect health insurance "exchange" which inspired another candidate to join the race. Both then reiterated their ambivalence in February in a national publication.