Friday, January 25, 2013

ObamaCare cost to SC for Medicaid expansion

GoldfinchDear Concerned Voter,
Thank for your email in which you indicate your support for the expansion of the State’s Medicaid program. As you know, as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, the expansion is optional and left to the states to decide whether to participate.
In the email, you expressed your concerns that we need to protect the low-income workers of this country.
I generally agree with your observations, but unfortunately, the state cannot afford to expand the program, and let me tell you why I feel this way.
First, let me say that the Medicaid program in South Carolina is under the jurisdiction of Governor Haley, and the agency head for the Department of Health and Human Services, Mr. Tony Keck, is appointed by her. The Governor has stated on many occasions that she does not support the expansion. In her State of the State address this year, she said that several other states are having deficits because of overspending for public healthcare programs. It was only a couple of years ago in South Carolina that we, too, were having problems funding the existing program.
I am not supporting the expansion of Medicaid because of many reasons. The foremost reason is that South Carolina taxpayers cannot afford to sustain funding for the current Medicaid program even at the 30% state match level. In addition, the funding demands for the current entitlement program is hurting the funding for everything else in the state budget- public education, law enforcement, corrections, economic development, natural resources and higher education. As attractive as the offer of 100% Federal funding for the first few years, we cannot continue down this spending road. Unlike the Federal government, the state cannot borrow money to keep state government operating.
For next year, DHHS is requesting $193 million, just to maintain the Medicaid program and deal with the costs associated with the healthcare mandates and other provisions in the new Federal law. This amount represents more than half of the projected “new” General Funds revenue ($262 million) that will be available to budget writers for next year. These funds are primarily from sales and income taxes.
According to the State Budget and Control Board’s Division of State Budget, the Medicaid program will need an increase of $357 million in funding for state fiscal year (FY) 2014-15; and $471 million in FY 15-16!
The House Ways and Means Committee is currently working on the state budget for FY 13-14. The Governor’s Executive Budget recommends funding to maintain the current program through a combination of General Funds, cigarette tax revenue of about $150 million, and other tobacco settlement revenue to the State. General funds for the Medicaid program total $1 billion and this represents 18% of the State’s total General Funds revenue.
As you know, although the expansion is initially 100% Federally funded, it gradually reduces to 90% over time requiring state matching funds of 10%. As I have said, the State is already having trouble funding the current program. Even at 10%, it is obvious we are having trouble finding the 30% for the current program due to increases in Medicaid enrollment, healthcare inflation and pressures to increase reimbursement rates to keep providers that will accept Medicaid patients.
We also know that at the Federal level, cuts are coming to government programs due to the Federal deficit and the possibility of the fiscal cliff. I question the ability of the Federal government to be able to keep its’ promise of 100% Federal funding.
Currently, there are plenty of persons already eligible for Medicaid but who have not enrolled. It is estimated that this number could be as high as 70,000 to 90,000 children and 40,000 to 56,000 adults. These are people that could enroll under current rules and will further increase the state’s matching requirement of 30%.
And it is important to recognize that Medicaid inflation normally runs at 6.6% annually. The State’s General Fund does not grow at this rate. At this rate, it would require about $66 million in state funds just to maintain the current program without consideration for increasing enrollments, provider reimbursement and the other mandates of the Affordable Care Act.
Another troubling fact impacting the existing healthcare system is that the current healthcare system doesn’t get to some of the root causes of the healthcare problems such as lifestyle choices that are contributing to the high costs of health care. 15% of all of the healthcare costs is due to sedentary lifestyles. It costs $1,200 more to treat the obese person than a healthy weight person.
Currently losses in the Medicaid program due to fraud and abuse could be as much as 10% of spending.
And there are also huge opportunities for more efficiency in the current healthcare system. According to Mr. Tony Keck, Director of the State Medicaid agency, there could be savings in the current program of as much as $30 to $40 million in hospital expenditures. The General Assembly needs to make sure we control these costs before considering expansion of the current system.
The number of physicians practicing in SC per 100,000 people is well below the national average. There are concerns that the physician workforce may not be able to keep pace with the future demands of the aging population, much less an expansion of Medicaid.
Thank you for sharing your concerns and views on the State’s Medicaid program. I appreciate your opinion on this important topic, but as a member of the House of Representatives, I have a responsibility to participate in the writing of a fiscally responsible budget that takes into consideration the fiscal impact of major policy decisions and the future financial realities of state revenue. Even with the Federal government’s 100% participation in the first few years of funding the expansion, there are too many uncertainties of funding Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security at the Federal level. State elected officials need to be good stewards of the taxpayer monies, and we are entrusted with that responsibility by the taxpayers. It is clear to me that as much as I would like to help more citizens with public health insurance, the state does not have the financial means to sustain the expansion.
Stephen L. Goldfinch Jr.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Obama to Top Brass: Will you fire on American Citizens?

This is going viral on the Internet.  Don't know how credible the source is, but Obama's actions do not make me disbelieve it.  A number of high ranking military leaders have been removed from their positions recently, and people are wondering why.  In addition to the litmus test revelation, there are a few observations about China that you should be aware of.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

AGENDA: Grinding America down – Obama’s “Change”

This is the most important history lesson you will ever receive. You may believe that America’s decline is an accident. This movie shows that everything that is bad with the country now, is the result of a well thought out plan by the Socialists and Communists back in the 50′s and 60′s to destroy our capitalist Republic and re-design it in the Communist image. This is what Obama’s “Change” looks like.
View full length video here.

Obama administration’s Benghazi smokescreen is cover up for transfer of weapons to Al Qaeda

All this Congressional uproar about Benghazi and the Administration blaming the attack on the YouTube video is all a smokescreen to hide the real crime.  Not only was there a cover up of the weapons gift to Al Qaeda, but many believe that the security was reduced to enable the kidnapping of Stevens by the Muslim Brotherhood, to set up an exchange for the Blind Sheik.  This is still to be vetted, but I wouldn’t put it past our Muslim in Chief to arrange such a travesty boarding on treason.  Nothing can explain the order to “stand down”.
Will the truth come out?  It is highly doubtful without an aggressive investigative  mainstream media.
Excerpt:  We now know why Ambassador Christopher Stevens had to be in Benghazi the night of 9/11 to meet a Turkish representative, even though he feared for his safety.  According to various reports, one of Stevens’ main missions in Libya was to facilitate the transfer of much of Gadhafi’s military equipment, including the deadly SA-7 – portable SAMs – to Islamists and other al Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting the Assad Regime in Syria. In an excellent article, Aaron Klein states that Stevens routinely used our Benghazi consulate (mission) to coordinate the Turkish, Saudi Arabian and Qatari governments’ support for insurgencies throughout the Middle East. Further, according to Egyptian security sources, Stevens played a “central role in recruiting Islamic jihadists to fight the Assad Regime in Syria.” 
In another excellent article, Clare Lopez at noted that there were two large warehouse-type buildings associated with our Benghazi mission. During the terrorist attack, the warehouses were probably looted. We do not know what was there and if it was being administrated by our two former Navy SEALs and the CIA operatives who were in Benghazi.  Nonetheless, the equipment was going to hardline jihadis. 
Once the attack commenced at 10:00 p.m. Libyan time (4:00 p.m. EST), we know the mission security staff immediately contacted Washington and our embassy in Tripoli.  It now appears the White HousePentagonState DepartmentCIA, NDI, JCS and various other military commands monitored the entire battle in real time via frantic phone calls from our compound and video from an overhead drone. The cries for help and support went unanswered.
Somebody high up in the administration made the decision that no assistance (outside our Tripoli embassy) would be provided, and let our people be killed. The person who made that callous decision needs to be brought to light and held accountable. According to a CIA spokesperson, “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need.” We also need to know whether the director of CIA and the director of National Intelligence were facilitators in the fabricated video lie and the overall cover-up. Their creditability is on the line. A congressional committee should be immediately formed to get the facts out to the American people. Nothing less is acceptable.
Retired Adm. James A. Lyons was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.
Read the full Washington Times article here

Friday, January 4, 2013

1913 a very bad year for America

Description: Newspaper clipping USA, Woodrow W...
Description: Newspaper clipping USA, Woodrow Wilson signs creation of the Federal Reserve. Source: Date: 24 December 1913 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Repeal of the 17th Amendment, elimination of the Federal Reserve and Income Tax sounds like a good start to me.
Excerpt: 1913 would rank as an unlucky year if all that had happened was Wilson’s ascendancy to the presidency. Three things he helped give us that year, however, make it unforgettable in the most pejorative sense: the income tax, the direct election of U.S. senators, and the Federal Reserve System.
On February 3, a month before Wilson took office, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. Strongly supported by Wilson, it authorized the federal government to impose and collect a tax on personal incomes. Subsequent legislation set the top rate at a mere 7 percent. Married couples were only taxed on income over $4,000 (about $90,000 in today’s dollars). When Wilson left office eight years later, the top rate was more than ten times higher.
The income tax granted politicians enormous power to reward friends, punish enemies, and redistribute wealth. It morphed into a more oppressive, productivity-sapping nightmare than even its most ardent opponents had warned Wilson against. Today’s massive IRS bureaucracy and incomprehensible, 73,000 pages of tax rules, regulations and IRS rulings are Wilson’s illegitimate children, born in 1913.
On April 8, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, also with Wilson’s longstanding endorsement. Instead of being appointed by state legislatures as established by the Founders, U.S. senators would thereafter be chosen by popular vote. Since that process seems “democratic,” few people question the amendment’s wisdom today. The sad fact is that it seriously eroded the balance between state and federal governments to the great detriment of the former. It helped make the states into administrative drones for the queen bees in Washington, D.C. One example of its baleful influence: The explosion of unfunded federal mandates could never have occurred if U.S. senators were directly accountable to state legislatures.
The late columnist Tony Blankley wisely advised, “The most efficient method of regaining the original constitutional balance is to return to the original constitutional structure. If senators were again selected by state legislatures, the longevity of Senate careers would be tethered to their vigilant defense of their state’s interest—rather than to the interest of Washington forces of influence.” Repealing the 17th Amendment, he argued correctly, might be the best way to enforce the 10th Amendment, which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
On December 23, Wilson’s signature enshrined into law the Federal Reserve Act, creating a central bank and more economic mischief than any other federal initiative or institution in the last 100 years.
Imagine if Congress had hired a private company to manage the nation’s money supply, protect the value and integrity of the currency, promote full employment, and iron out the boom-bust cycle. Imagine further if that company went on to generate a Great Depression, a slew of recessions and volatile swings in employment, and a dollar worth perhaps a nickel of its former value. We’d have long ago fired the company and jailed its executives. Yet that’s precisely the legacy of the Federal Reserve.
Without the 16th and 17th Amendments and the Federal Reserve, it’s inconceivable that the federal government could have grown from less than five percent of GDP in 1913 to nearly 25 percent in 2013. Were it not for those three gremlins, how many fewer trillions might our unconscionable national debt be? The toll on our liberties is also incalculable but surely considerable. It’s no exaggeration to say that 1913 is the year that keeps on stealing.
Read more here.

Very profound argument against gun control

Gun Control
Gun Control (Photo credit: cgulyas2002)
As the Supreme Court heard arguments for and against the Chicago , IL Gun Ban, this man offered you another stellar example of a letter (written by a Marine), that places the proper perspective on what a gun means to a civilized society.
Interesting take and one you don’t hear much. . .. . . .
Read this eloquent and profound letter and pay close attention to the last paragraph of the letter….
“The Gun Is Civilization” by Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception.
Reason or force, that’s it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.
The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunken guys with baseball bats.
The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed.
People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.
People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force, watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.
The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation… and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)
So, the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armed and can only be persuaded, never forced.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013