Late Tuesday Dept of Abramson Isn’t Happy

Don’t miss your chance to win copies of Bluegrass Treasures and Horse Farms! Enter today. Drawing is Friday afternoon. [Page One]

Poor old Jim Bunning’s fundraiser in Lexington last night? Hahaha. It was “postponed” until August because too many people are “on vacation.” HAHAHAHA. These stories really should come with pee alerts. Nice that Bill Caylor of King Coal is making Bunning’s excuses for him these days. It’s sad that the coal industry can’t even muster an audience for him. [Roll Call]

Homophobic wingnut Sally Kern is at it again. This time she’s blaming the recession/depression on “debauchery” – aka the homosexuals. For real. [HuffPo]

Where do Kentucky’s metro areas rank on the list of worst-hit cities for unemployment rates? Check out the map. [More HuffPo]

Governor Steve Beshear won’t say whether or not he plans on seeking a second term in office. He, likewise, said nothing about a potential new running mate. [Ronnie Ellis]

Peep the rest after the jump…

Read moreLate Tuesday Dept of Abramson Isn’t Happy

Kentucky In Urgent Need of Health Care Reform

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released reports on the health care status quo today. What could be considered, uh, scary information on health care cost and quality in all fifty states is included. Percent increase in family premiums since 2000, the hidden tax individuals and families pay as a result of subsidizing care for the uninsured, percent of state residents without insurance, overall quality ratings for health care in each state, and the impact of failing to adequately invest in preventative measures that could prevent disease and illness.

So let’s take a look at Kentucky’s report

KENTUCKIANS CAN’T AFFORD THE STATUS QUO

  • Roughly 2.4 million people in Kentucky get health insurance on the job, where family premiums average $11,413, about the annual earning of a full-time minimum wage job.
  • Since 2000 alone, average family premiums have increased by 61 percent in Kentucky.
  • Household budgets are strained by high costs: 24 percent of middle-income Kentucky families spend more than 10 percent of their income on health care.
  • High costs block access to care: 17 percent of people in Kentucky report not visiting a doctor due to high costs.
  • Kentucky businesses and families shoulder a hidden health tax of roughly $1100 per year on premiums as a direct result of subsidizing the costs of the uninsured.

AFFORDABLE HEALTH COVERAGE IS INCREASINGLY OUT OF REACH IN KENTUCKY

  • 15 percent of people in Kentucky are uninsured, and 63 percent of them are in families with at least one full-time worker.
  • The percent of Kentuckians with employer coverage is declining: from 65 to 58 percent between 2000 and 2007.
  • Much of the decline is among workers in small businesses. While small businesses make up 71 percent of Kentucky businesses, only 42 percent of them offered health coverage benefits in 2006 — down 8 percent since 2000.
  • Choice of health insurance is limited in Kentucky. WellPoint Inc. (BCBS) alone constitutes 59 percent of the health insurance market share in Kentucky, with the top two insurance providers accounting for 69 percent.
  • Choice is even more limited for people with pre-existing conditions. In Kentucky, premiums can vary, within limits, based on demographic factors and health status, and coverage can exclude pre-existing conditions or even be denied completely.

KENTUCKIANS NEED HIGHER QUALITY, GREATER VALUE, AND MORE PREVENTATIVE CARE

  • The overall quality of care in Kentucky is rated as “Weak.”
  • Preventative measures that could keep Kentuckians healthier and out of the hospital are deficient, leading to problems across the age spectrum:
    • 21 percent of children in Kentucky are obese.
    • 22 percent of women over the age of 50 in Kentucky have not received a mammogram in the past two years.
    • 36 percent of men over the age of 50 in Kentucky have never had a colorectal cancer screening.
    • 73 percent of adults over the age of 65 in Kentucky have received a flu vaccine in the past year.

Can No Elected Official Use Real Numbers?

We didn’t say much when Kelly Flood made her awkward little floor speech during the gambling vote in the House. But. Uh.

Here she says 2,000 people turned out at Keeneland on the Twitter machine:


That didn’t sit right with us because every legislator we know said about 700-800 people showed up. So we decided to check the C-J’s coverage. And whattya know?

900 people packed the Keeneland sales pavilion on Wednesday evening for a rally organized by the Kentucky Equine Education Project.

May not seem like a big deal to you, but we’re tired of elected officials – charged with the public trust – exaggerating and playing fast and loose with numbers and statistics.

We support the cause behind the Keeneland rally. But it’s moments like this with Kelly Flood that seriously damage the fight.

Facts, people! Facts! Use real ones. Otherwise people like, oh, anyone in the State Senate can ruin you.

Kentucky’s Hot With the Temp & Frankfort Bullshiz

Jack Conway says the Ohio County School Board violated open records laws with secret meetings. [Open Government]

The Courier-Journal editorial board stole Stan Lee’s ‘mosquitos in a nudist camp’ line! We hope Larry Wilder takes our advice and turns his “I was drunk in a trash can” situation into a money pit with tours on the talk show circuit and maybe a book. [C-J]

Speaking of the C-J… Well… just read this hilarious letter to the editor at the bottom of the page. [PEE ALERT]

Governor Steve Beshear finally admitted that he didn’t like buying gambling votes with school construction earmarks. [Bluegrass Politics]

Awww snap! Now Greg Stumbo says he urged Governor Steve Beshear to travel Kentucky pushing slot machines. The war of words has begun, ladies. The Governor is also wrong about campaigning for an issue – campaign works, it’s how people win. [Joe Gerth]

Miss Southern Fails: Louisville least week? Then check this shiz out. [Clicky Clicky]

The Cincinnati neighborhood of Central Parkway and Liberty Street the #1 most dangerous in America? [Ruh Ro]

Is Ellis Park dead? Again? [Joe Arnold]

Kentucky’s minimum wage of $6.55 per hour will increase to $7.25 per hour on July 1. This is 23 days ahead of the mandated federal minimum wage increase. Cue the “conservatives” complaining about poor people making more money. [Labor Dept Release]

First Lady Jane Beshear has released her list of top ten summer reads as part of her Reading Recommendations initiative: Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis; Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Paul Fleischman; Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes, Mollie Katzen; The Coal Tattoo, Silas House; The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick; The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy, Jeanne Birdsall; Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl; The Eleventh Hour, Graeme Base; From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg; Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak. [Press Release]

Jewish Hospital President and CEO Bob Shircliff is leaving the company to become a consultant. [The ‘Ville Voice]

The Hidden Costs of Health Care

HHS Secretary Kathlene Sebelius today released a report detailing the hidden costs of health care in America. All kinds of details about us paying more while getting less, the rising cost of deductibles, co-payments, out-of-pocket expenses.

Highlights:

  • A person with employer-based coverage paid an average of $1,522 on health care (not including premiums) in 2006, compared with $1,260 in 2001. When including the added burden of higher premiums, out-of-pocket costs rose even more sharply, with a 30 percent increase from an average of $2,827 in 2001 to $3,744 in 2006.
  • Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2000, a rate three times faster than wages. In 2008, the average premium for a family plan purchased through an employer was $12,680, nearly the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage job.
  • For preferred provider organization (PPO) plans purchased through an employer, the average family deductible increased 30 percent in just two years, from $1,034 to $1,344. This effect is more pronounced for small firms, where PPO deductibles increased from $1,439 to $2,367 — a rise of 64 percent.
  • In 2004, only one in five people with health insurance through an employer had a co-payment of more than $25, but by 2008 the number jumped to one in three.

Click here to read the report.

Stay tuned for Mitch McConnell to hold a press conference about how fake these America-hating statistics are.

Tuesday Morning of SHOO It Is Hot Outside

The State House adjourned yesterday in honor of Matthew Barzun, who was recently nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Sweden.

Check last night’s coverage of the Senate Appropriations & Revenue Committee meeting where the gambling bill was put to death. [Page One]

The House passed the budget bill but not without criticism. Even the liberals are fed up with it. It’s now clear there really was vote buying going on with the gambling bill. If you voted against it, you didn’t get a school in your district. [Ronnie Ellis]

What will Governor Steve Beshear be known for? Will energy issues be his legacy? In a bad way? Lots of environmentalists seem to think so. Even Brereton Jones thinks he’s walking on thin ice by ignoring tax reform. [Stephenie Steitzer]

The City of Prospect fined that gardening couple again! What an embarrassment. Mayor Todd Eberle and the city council (Loretta Ertel, Stuart Miles, Sandra Leonard, Alan Simon, Sandy Tucci, Mike Scott) should be 100% ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen. You should contact them all to let them know what meddling butt cramps they are. What a waste of tax dollars. [WHAS11 & Prospect Contact Info]

Read the rest of this mess after the jump…

Read moreTuesday Morning of SHOO It Is Hot Outside

Oh Snap Monday! Bruno Should Visit the SBC

Anyone else think it’s borderline hilarious that the Southern Baptist Conventioneers came to town on gay pride weekend? Absolute hilarity in Louisville this weekend. The city was overflowing with the gays and the gay-haters.

And speaking of the SBC, it’s interesting that this Courier-Journal story didn’t mention that while Mohler is a known homophobe, he’s said tons of things that make his arguments empty and hypocritical. Funny how the SBC and SBTS have been good at keeping quiet the comments he’s made about homosexuality not being a choice/being genetic. Thankfully there are tons of good folks at the SBTS who don’t hold archaic views. [C-J]

Also interesting that the C-J didn’t mention that 35 people were laid off by Mohler so he could dump millions into facilities built only for the convention. At least, that’s what we hear from seminary insiders. Even built an on-campus suit store for men only. Nice that the paper included reference to Mohler’s about-face decision to discriminate against women, though. [C-J Q&A]

Read his entertaining rant from 2007 on the ho-mo-sexuals that ends up delving into abortion. [Mohler’s Entertaining Rant]

Despite spin from people like Mitch McConnell, baron of the health insurance campaign contribution fortune, Americans overwhelmingly support government-run health care. 72%. Maybe some day Republicans will wake up to the realization that government-run health care is better than the non-existent health care many people currently, you know, don’t have. [NY Times]

Peep the rest after the jump…

Read moreOh Snap Monday! Bruno Should Visit the SBC