Medicaid Cuts Save the World

Compassionate Conservativism saves Medicaid and prevents Kentucky from receiving $1 billion in federal Medicaid funds. Kentuckians everywhere are obviously cheering because the pretzeldent has decided to balance the budget with flipping Medicaid.

Screw the already bankrupted state Medicaid program! Who cares about those 722,000 people, anyway?!

Kentucky would face more than $1 billion in Medicaid cuts over the next five years under new federal rules restricting how states can use money from the federal-state health plan for the poor and disabled, a new report says.

The report, released by a congressional committee this week, said the rules cut spending on such services as school programs that assist poor children with medical needs, public universities that train physicians and help for abused and neglected children in foster care.

Yay! We’re saved! Who cares if, oh, everyone who doesn’t make $100k/year dies? And who wants to be around poor people when you go to the emergency room? Ugh.

Almost Friday Update Edition

The state Senate approved an HIV/AIDS testing bill for inmates of the Kentucky Department of Corrections which would require tests for inmates 30 days before their release. Jack Brammer called Dan Seum a Democrat. And Ernesto Scorsone wants to protect peoples’ privacy. [PolWatchers]

The Protector of Our White Women is woah out of control. Poor Doug Hawkins has gone batshit yet again. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Everyone is peeing on themselves a little now that they’ve found a piece of paper on which Bruce Lunsford admits to having a residence in Chicago. Like he does in like 483920 other cities. [Rural Democrat]

A glimpse at life in a trailer park and what down when those in poverty are trampled over. [H-L]

Crappy Gannett faux weekly Velocity made a silly attempt to call LEO out as “corporate.” HAHAHA. Further proving why Democrats and Republicans alike hate the Courier-Journal and any other by-product they peddle as news or journalism. [General Sense of Outrage]

Oh Snap Monday. Sleeping Late Edition.

Humana spent $683,074 last year to lobby on children’s health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, generic drugs, prescription drug prices, national defense legislation and other issues, according to the U.S. Senate’s lobbying disclosure database. [Business First]

Basically, the legislature is falling apart and there’s like zero leadership. Woah. Imagine that. Cat fights over gambling galore. [H-L]

Once again our so called leaders in Frankfort demonstrate their ability to see as far as the next election. This like other issues could be dealt with if the Governor and General Assembly had the vision and intestinal fortitude to actually address the nineteenth century tax laws the Commonwealth currently operates under. [Ralph Long]

Barack Osama is president of Kentucky, Ron Paul is vice president. For reals. So, does this mean Kentucky really isn’t as backwater, redneck, hate-filled and ignorant as the rest of the country believes? Is it possible our people were only momentarily swayed by Bush ignorance and gay-baiting? Garsh. [H-L]

Mark Hebert turns into a teenage girl and nearly causes us to choke on our breakfast in laughter. “Lisa wanted to check it out so that’s what she got for her birthday, a night at West Baden. Omigod. That’s my teenage kids’ lingo for Oh my God! This place is unbelievable!” Hahahaha. OMG. We can’t breathe. Hahahaha. [Hebert]

Another Fletcher Scandal Brewing

Right-wingers everywhere are screaming “hit piece” over the latest news about the former scandal-plagued governor.

The Eastern Kentucky hospital that has hired former Gov. Ernie Fletcher as a consultant got a $3.4 million state settlement in the final weeks of the Fletcher administration for disputed Medicaid claims.

Records from the state Department for Medicaid Services show that last Oct. 9, the state agreed to pay $3,446,836 in exchange for Pikeville Medical Center dropping its claims for additional reimbursement.

Although 45 hospitals have made similar claims against the state, it was the only settlement reached late in the Fletcher administration and one of only two last year.

Turns out the hospital Ernie Fletcher got hired up by received a trillion zillion dollar payment in the form of a rare Medicaid settlement.

Fletcher supporters are up in arms, claiming the Courier-Journal has it out for Ernest Lee. That’s fine and all. But this has more than an appearance of impropriety now that Fletcher’s Secretary of Health & Family Services is afraid to talk.

More after the jump…

Read moreAnother Fletcher Scandal Brewing

Ernest Lee Goes to Camp

Or, Ernie Fletcher has a new job.

That’s right, kids! Former Governor Ernie Fletcher has a new job as a consultant for Pikeville Medical Center.

Ernie’s new job will entail completing a comprehensive review of the entire hospital’s medical residency program (yay eastern Kentucky!) and will most likely be set to overhaul the staff’s wellness program. Perfect for the former governor.

“I’m very interested in improving the health and well-being of the people of eastern Kentucky,” Fletcher said in a written statement. He said he is “grateful for the opportunity” to use his medical experience to do that.

We’re glad to see Ernie back in the saddle and hopefully taking steps forward to revive his once great reputation. He has an opportunity before him that no other (recent) former governor has and that’s to really get involved in changing his community for the better.

Cassaro Takes Advantage of Louisville’s West End

Michael Cassaro, apparently at turncoat Ted Shlechter’s (he supported Andrew Horne until he couldn’t get paid, then supported Greg Fischer until he couldn’t get paid – woops) urging, took unknowing advantage of a health care summit in Louisville’s poor West End. Literally turned the event sponsored by the West Chestnut Street Baptist Church and Norton Cancer Institute into a campaign event.

Here’s what he had to say after giving Lt. Gov. Dr. Daniel Mongiardo some sort of award (no idea what it was for, someone doesn’t know that press releases should, you know, contain info):

“Most of us are not getting our money’s worth from our health care system,” observed Dr. Cassaro. “As your U.S Senator, I will propose real health care reform and not the band-aid approach supported by the major presidential candidates.”

Seriously. At a health care summit. He had the gall to talk about how awesome he’ll be as a senator and then put out a press release about it.

Dr. Cassaro is a good guy. Surely he can find someone to help prevent embarrassing situations like this in the future.

Could Budget Cuts Result in Deaths?

In a flash of reality, the Herald-Leader’s Sarah Vos has begun to wake Kentuckians up to the nightmare they face. While most are aware of looming educational budget cuts and the inevitable degradation of services we have come to expect, things like health care and assistance for those less fortunate take position on the back burner. It’s those very things that are on their way to hell here in the Bluegrass.

Cabinet officials painted a bleak picture of the Health and Human Services budget Wednesday, telling lawmakers that cuts proposed by Gov. Steve Beshear would lead to fewer Meals on Wheels and elimination of programs at the state’s 14 community mental health centers.

The cuts discussed Wednesday will destroy some programs and leave people without places to go, Rep. Jimmie Lee, D-Elizabethtown, said after the hearing.

“We can’t take these individuals and put them in storage,” he said. “If they don’t receive these services, some of them will actually die.”

Meals on Wheels is screwed, mental health centers are suffering and people could literally die. Gloom and doom, sure, but it’s a reality we all need to face. Instead of screwing around in Frankfort all session long, maybe our legislators could try to, you know, do something other than argue about gambling. And maybe Governor Steve Beshear could show some leadership in solving the budget crisis by working with said legislature to avoid serious cuts. But we’re not holding our breath.