Tag Archives: State Budgets

State Medicaid Budgets Slashed / Where's the Outrage?

As we see President Obama currently campaigning across America and telling citizens that Republicans are out to hurt the poor, pollute the air and push Granny off the cliff, we see that the President’s administration is approving cuts to State medicaid healthcare programs, some of the them seeing as much as a 10% total reduction in funding. With medicaid costs soaring, many state budgets are on the verge of insolvency. Driven by higher enrollment and medical costs,  Medicaid spending was projected to rise an average of 11.2% in fiscal 2011, which ended in June, from $427 billion in 2010, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. We were promised that healthcare costs would go down for everyone if Obama-care was passed into law, yet it is proving to do just the opposite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For fiscal year 2012, the association estimated state Medicaid spending will rise 19%, largely because of the end of the federal stimulus dollars.

Medicaid enrollment has exploded in large part due to the mandates in Obama-care that has made healthcare insurance so expensive that companies could no longer afford to offer it to their workers. While the stimulus package was touted as a way to spur the economy through such things as “shovel-ready-jobs” a huge part of it was spent to shore up over-burdened State Medicaid budgets caused by, you guessed it, the passing of Obama-care. If this was not the case, then why has the Obama administration had to hand out over 1300 Obama-care waivers, which temporarily allows health insurers to offer low cost plans,( which is outlawed in Obama-care) as of May, 2011?

Using federal stimulus dollars to prop up exploding medicaid costs due to Obama-care forcing millions of more people to be put on Medicaid rolls was just another gimmick to try to cover up the truth about the Liberal Democrats so-called health-care reform. As the stimulus dollars dried up, states are forced to make steep cuts to their Medicaid programs. This will hurt folks who had health care insurance from work before the passage of Obama-care, but are now on medicaid, plus the poorest of the poor. Where is the outrage?

Check this out for just one example of what is being done to the poor people on medicaid today:  More States limiting Medicaid hospital stays. What stands out the most in that article is the fact that many States have already received federal approval to cut Medicaid budgets, yet those facts have largely been hidden from us. Arizona, which last year stopped covering certain transplants for several months, plans to limit adult Medicaid recipients to 25 days of hospital coverage a year, starting as soon as the end of October.

Hawaii plans to cut Medicaid coverage to 10 days a year in April, the fewest of any state.

Both efforts require federal approval, which state officials consider likely because several other states already restrict hospital coverage.

Many states will simply refuse to discharge a patient who needs to stay the full time in the hospital, and say they will just eat the extra costs, but how long will they be able to keep their doors open under that scenario? Where is the outrage about [Democrat] Governor Jerry Brown cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from Medi-Cal, with the Obama administration’s approval?  Where is the outrage ?

Los Angeles Times: California Gets OK For Large Cuts To Medi-Cal
The Obama administration will allow California to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from Medi-Cal, a move doctors and experts say will make it harder for the poor to get medical treatment. California plans to reduce rates by 10 percent to many providers, including physicians, dentists, clinics, pharmacies and most nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Thursday (Gorman, 10/28) Where is the outrage on how Obama and the far left Liberals in California want the poorest of the poor in California to go without medical care?

North Carolina is facing the same dilemma of medicaid budget cuts as California:

Associated Press/Houston Chronicle: Different Takes On NC Medicaid Shortfall Argued
Republican budget-writers and Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue’s administration quarreled Thursday over why North Carolina’s Medicaid program could face a $139 million shortfall this coming year. State health regulators told the Legislature’s chief oversight committee they’re falling short of meeting $356 million in net reductions for the division that oversees Medicaid, the government-run health care plan for poor children, older adults and the disabled. They said the savings are difficult, if not impossible to come by this year in part due to slow enrollment of the chronically ill in the state’s managed-care arm (Robertson, 10/27).

What has exasperated this problem is the fact that in the 2010 elections, Republicans were elected into governments across America and are now facing actual truth in numbers about their State budgets, many of which are mandated by law to be balanced annually. State budget battles are exposing the exploding medicaid cost-burdens being forced onto state budgets due to Obama-care mandates, and the attempt to hide these costs through federal tax dollars being  funneled to state medicaid programs through the stimulus package. 

With Republicans holding a majority in the House of Representatives today, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid no longer have carte blanche to use federal tax dollars to hide the disastrous effects Obama-care is having on State budgets across America.  This idea that “everyone gets free healthcare” with the passing of Obama-care is now proving to be nothing more than a Liberal fairy tale heavily rooted in the denial of the reality that comes with Obama-care.  When Barack Obama says he will insure an extra 35 million Americans through Obama-care, he conveniently refuses to tell the people just who he will steal from in order to pay for it. He started the whole thing off by taking $500 billion dollars from Senior’s Medicare to pay for Obama-care, and he is counting on Seniors to be naive enough to believe it was somehow Republicans who were pushing Granny off a cliff, and thus con them into voting for four more years of Barack Obama’s thievery from one class of citizens to another.     2012 just can’t get here fast enough!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

California’s ‘Boondoggle’ Report – I mean High Speed Rail Report

The term “Boondoggle” may be used to refer to protracted government or corporate projects involving large numbers of people and usually heavy expenditure, where at some point, the key operators, having realized that the project will never work, are still reluctant to bring this to the attention of their superiors.

Generally there is an aspect of “going through the motions” – for example, continuing to waste money on High-Speed Rail – as long as funds are available.

Obama’s inspiring vision of a nation crisscrossed by bullet trains, providing cleaner, safer and cheaper competition to airlines and reducing reliance on gas-guzzling automobiles, is in serious jeopardy as a new Republican majority in the House looks to slash his funding plans. In this environment, California is a test case for whether high-speed trains can succeed in the U.S. — and so far, the state is failing the test.

California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office forecasts a state budget deficit of $25.4 billion that the Legislature needs to plug before the next fiscal year begins. The LAO’s gloomy budget outlook is blamed in part on a $6 billion shortfall in the current fiscal year. California faces a $20 billion a year deficit through 2015-2016.

Seems California is in serious economic trouble, but yet they want to continue with Obama’s “Boondoggle” called high-speed rail?

Viewpoints: Case for high-speed rail grows only stronger. The last time many Californians thought about high-speed rail was in the voting booth. On that day, Nov. 4, 2008, more than 6 million voted to tell the state to get going, to build high-speed rail in California. Now, 2 ½ years later, the second guessing is in full swing. In recent weeks some have suggested that the project – High Speed Rail – be put on hold.

Most people I talk to have said this about high-speed rail – this is something the country ‘wants’ now, but it can’t afford it at the moment. The backers of high-speed rail are now using the “high Gas, cleaner environment issues” to their advantage – claiming that these HSR trains are cleaner and people will decide to pay to ride the train – instead of grid-locking the interstates with automobiles.

This of course is all speculation, because no where in the United States do we have an actual HSR service. The Legislative Analyst’s Office published a report calling for at least a ‘temporary halt’ to the project. The report alluded to a number of concerns about the project:

  • The amount and timing of future federal funding are unclear.
  • Spending state funds on rail will mean there is less money for other things.
  • We do not yet know how much private investment the system can attract, or when it will come.
  • Starting construction in the Central Valley is a “gamble.”

These “concerns” would make me cautious of this project too.

  1. They have no clue when or even if they will receive more federal funding.
  2. California is in real debt trouble – wasting states money on HSR – means less money for projects that are really needed.
  3. There is a “hint” of interest from private investments – but they have not seen any money from them yet – nor have the private investors 100% committed to investing.
  4. To qualify for the federal funds, planners had to agree to break ground by 2012. Federal officials deemed that the only segment that would be ready for construction so quickly was in the ‘sparsely’ populated Central Valley. As a result, the bulk of the $3.5 billion kicked in by the Obama administration must be spent on a train running between the tiny towns of Borden and Corcoran. Ridership on this initial segment would be slight, making it impossible to operate the train without taxpayer subsidies. Yet under the terms of Proposition 1A, the state can’t issue bonds to pay for the project unless it has been demonstrated to be self-sufficient. What’s more, if federal and other funds for further construction dry up, California could end up with an expensive train to nowhere.

So I can see why the Legislative Analyst’s Office has their concerns. I have my concerns as well, since I am helping to pay for it. California has a huge debt problem, my main concern is that Obama will want to help “bail” them out of debt forcing taxpayers to pay for California’s problems. Then we as taxpayers are obligated to pay for all these HSR Boondoggles too!

The train’s biggest problems can be laid at the feet of the California High Speed Rail Authority, which is overseeing its construction. Inexperienced board members appointed by the governor and Legislature on the basis of political patronage rather than expertise have made a host of poor decisions. The poor planning shows as the board plans to take a circuitous route from Los Angeles to Bakersfield by veering through Palmdale and Lancaster. This would add 30 miles to the trip plus $1 billion in construction costs, and make it all but impossible for the train to meet its promised travel time of 2 hours and 40 minutes from L.A. to San Francisco. Compared with the more direct route along Interstate 5 through the Grapevine.

This country is in a real debt crisis with unemployment way up, high gas prices, higher food prices and such. Why are we allowing Obama to “gamble” with his HSR dream? This is something the country would like to have but it doesn’t necessarily need it at the moment. We need to get our priorities straight spend our money wisely on things we already have but are in severe need of improving. Instead of “gambling” away at projects most of us already know – won’t succeed.

 

 

Government Shutdown Rhetoric Contains Major Fearmongering

Friday night at midnight, the U.S. Government will be effectively shutdown, babies will starve to death and Senior citizens will be lined up and shot to death in the public square by firing squads made up of Republican politicians.  While this may seem like a far-fetched scenario,  this is the main theme from Democrats that refuse to even attempt to come to a reasonable solution in the current budget debate. Keep in mind that Republicans have offered several different budget proposals, while we have yet to see anything substantial put down on paper from the Democratic side of the aisle. Big bloated, redundant, wasteful and fraudulent government programs must not be touched, to hear the Democrats tell it.

I recently called attention to the recent GOP Budget plan for 2012 that compares Obama’s proposed $9 trillion in more irresponsible spending and debt to Paul Ryan’s $6.2 trillion in cuts proposal here. We are fast approaching $15 trillion in national debt people, our world credit rating is about to fall, states are facing bankruptcy, and Democrats want to just keep right on spending us into financial Armageddon !

When looking into the effects that a federal Government shutdown would have on States, we see one glaring fact: States already in the worst financial condition would suffer the worst almost immediately. I consider this as a great reason  to shut the government down, if nothing else it will teach these states some fiscal responsibility.  Also of note is the fact that the states in the worst financial condition are mostly the blue Democratically controlled nanny states, as noted in the N.Y.Times :

“The impact of a short federal shutdown would be minimal, the association wrote in a recent briefing paper. A longer shutdown could pose problems. Even if many of the potential fiscal effects are relatively small, they could create cash-flow problems for some states already operating on tight budgets. (emphasis mine)

Illinois, for example, is currently trying to pay off a $4.5 billion backlog of bills to vendors going back to October. Bradley C. Hahn, a spokesman for the Illinois comptroller, Judy Baar Topinka, said, “A shutdown would be particularly devastating for states like ours that have no margins to cover the costs.”

Illinois also happens to be the home state of our community organizer in chief, Barack Hussein Obama, and this is very indicative of his Socialist policies that are included right in his very own bloated budget proposal.  This is the main reason we see the Democrats so opposed to cutting any government programs, as those same programs are basically  federal wealth redistribution to liberal nanny states.

UnionLaborReport.com has assembled a great report so that we can get a feeling for just how bad the budget mess is in every state of the union.

Here are just some of the findings:

Worst 10 States Total Unfunded Liabilities Debt Load:

California= $121,955,498,000
New Jersey= $103,334,055,000
Illinois= $94,330,617,000
Michigan= $51,393,100,000
Ohio= $46,537,804,000
New York= $45,858,000,000
Texas= $42,392,812,000
Massachusetts= $36,791,052,000
North Carolina= $29,246,320,000
Alabama= $24,778,329,000

Read more: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/publius-forum/2011/04/top-worst-state-budgets-unions-have-put-every-states-budget-in-the-hole.html#ixzz1IquVfoc5

What do the majority of the above listed states have in common? Most are controlled by Democrats, with the exception of Texas, whom has a more realistic way of dealing with their budget every year. Unions are also predominant in those states, and that is how the Democrats stay in power in them. Democrats give them lavish salaries and benefits beyond what the states can afford, and the Unions in return buy the votes and campaign ads for them and also supply the get out the vote manpower to keep them in power.  Shut the government down for several weeks, and let these parasitic nanny states pay the price. Sure it will effect the rest of the states to some degree, but that will let the public see just how responsible states can operate without the federal bloated bureaucracy sucking the life out of them.
Fiscally responsible red states will continue to operate for the most part under a government shutdown.  The main agenda behind the democratic fear-mongering about babies starving and seniors dying if the government does shut down is pretty simple: Democrats are scared to death that it will expose exactly which states are sucking on the federal wealth redistribution pipeline the most, and the fact that this is where the Democrats derive their power base.  That will show the people the truth about the Democratic party of today, and how they are behind the big government expansion that has us approaching $15 trillion dollars in debt today. This is also why the Democrats failed to produce a budget last year, as those numbers would expose the truth about their last 4 years of controlling both Houses of Congress and the irresponsiblespending that occurred under their regime. All essential personnel will still be working during a shutdown. Just who is deemed essential will be determined in large part by the President. That puts him on the hottest seat of all, thus he is calling for the budget problem to be resolved.
Either install some fiscal sanity, or shut the government down and let the truth be told about which states are irresponsible spenders that won’t be able to survive very long if the federal government shuts down. That fact is already proven right here in this article. The Democratic nanny states will be in big trouble without the federal wealth redistribution of tax dollars, and will be hit the hardest. Serves them, and the ignorant voters who keep them in power, right!  I believe that would also come under the heading of true “social justice.”

FLORIDA NEWS FLASH!

  The Supreme court of Florida has ruled today, that Governor Rick Scott is within his authority to deny the federal funds for the high speed rail project from Tampa to Orlando!  The rule of law and the Florida Constitution give our Governor the right to protect the taxpayers from special interest boondoggles exactly like this scheme!

   Thank you Governor Scott for doing what we elected you to do in making the tough choices to reign in spending  and balancing the Florida budget.

    As soon as the court’s decision was announced, Scott telephoned U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood and said Florida was formally rejecting the funds. You can bet your bottom dollar the Feds are not happy with their scheme to try to regain Democratic power in Florida through the use of federal taxpayer funds. That is all this scheme was trying to do and it failed bigtime! Thank you again Governor!

States owe feds 42 Billion for Unemployment Payout

      Imagine a what $42 Billion dollars would look like considering the picture here represents about $1oo,ooo  bucks. It would take 420,000 of these same piles to equal the amount 30 States owe the federal government this year for the Unemployment payouts. When Republicans called for an end to unemployment extensions they were called heartless. Next week those same “Heartless Republicans” will be shown to have been correct in the fact that those unemployment extensions are proving to push more States further in debt towards bankruptcy, when President Obama unveils his budget plan. 

     The administration is proposing short-term relief to the States enhanced debt problems due to Unemployment costs. As we see once again, when the Obama administration says they won’t raise taxes on the middle class it ends up being more smoke and mirrors. There already are taxes being raised on everyone in the form of higher State taxes due to the actions of President Obama’s Democrats in the last four years of total control of Congress. FoxNews.com *   reported about this coming to a head in Obama’s budget plan unveiling due next week:

“Rising unemployment has placed such a burden on states that 30 of them owe the federal government $42 billion in money borrowed to meet their unemployment insurance obligations. Three states already have had to raise taxes to begin paying back the money they owe. More than 20 other states likely would have to raise taxes to cover their unemployment insurance debts. Under federal law, such tax increases are automatic once the money owed reaches a certain level.”

  Not only is this more irresponsible shuffling of the debt to later years, it is also certain to allow more federal intrusion into State’s Unemployment programs. Bottom line is that when Democrats insisted on extending Unemployment benefits to look like champions for the working class, they have in fact caused a domino effect of tax increases beyond anyone’s ability to calculate. The feds didn’t just “give” this money to the States, it comes with interest charges and also lets the Feds into more of State’s business, as we see alluded to further down in the Fox News article:

” Though the administration could face criticism for enabling states to increase taxes, the thrust of the administration’s argument is that federal taxes would not increase and that the move is fiscally prudent because the federal government ultimately would be repaid at a faster rate than if it did nothing.” (emphasis mine)

  When I describe the irresponsible shuffling of this debt to later years, the last paragraph in the Fox News piece confirms it:

”  The person who described the plan said only 13 of the 30 states that owe the $42 billion would be expected to repay their share of the money in the next nine years under current conditions. The administration’s proposal would allow 15 more states to repay the money, this person said.”

  Only 13 of the 30 States would be expected to repay this in the next 9 years ?  Just what is that supposed to mean there? With the recent announcement of the fake Unemployement numbers from this administration, how in the world can anyone gauge when and if this debt will ever be able to be repaid? Unemployment went down to 9% and this administration crowed about it long and loud across the nation. What they failed to tell folks, is that those figures are based on 500,000 people taken out of the workforce total completely, because their unemployment ran out and they aren’t looking for jobs. So in truth we actually have more people without jobs and the ability to earn a living today than they want to tell us . Now we have $42 billion dollars of State unemployment debt that will mandate tax increases on everyone. We have the Democrats to thank for this crushing State debt, and they had the nerve to call Republicans heartless for trying to avoid it. I wonder what other aspects of Democratic Budgetary ignorance will come to light in the President’s budget plan next week?  Stay tuned.

 * http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/02/07/source-obama-wants-jobless-aid-help-states/