Wednesday, March 16, 2011


It would seem not. On Monday Governor Steve Beshear decided to go on a two-day, nine-city trip around the state to urge Kentuckians to stand against Williams' “political gamesmanship” that Beshear said could result in “devastating” cuts in Medicaid rates paid to health care providers. (CJ)

“The citizens of this state should be outraged — as I am — that Sen. David Williams has once again allowed petty politics to overrule the needs of the people,” Beshear said in a news release.

In a word. Wow.

Steve Beshear is now proving once again that he will flirt with the law in regards to electioneering. As many have pointed out the Governor cannot campaign on the taxpayer money and yet his biggest talking point is that Senator David Williams is using petty politics at the expense of the people.

Physician heal thyself.

The facts are that the Governor submitted a plan in November short on evidence and high on rhetoric. He wants to steal, yep I said steal, over $165 million from medicaid out of next year's budget to balance this year's shortfall. His plan relies on replacing the money with a new managed care program he is developing.

Does anyone remember Beshear's involvement with Kentucky Central Life? Sorry folks his experience doesn't lead me to believe he can pull it off especially with no outside analysts backing up his plan.

Once again a shortsighted approach from someone who cannot be trusted anyway.

Politics? The only one playing that game right now is Beshear because those that will suffer can least afford to.

On the flipside, Williams accused Beshear of “campaigning at taxpayer expense,” and he challenged the governor to a public debate over Medicaid as soon as it could be arranged on Kentucky Educational Television.

Under its revised proposal, the Senate would cut funding to all programs except schools and universities by 0.316 percent this year, and by 1.58 percent to all areas in 2011-12 — except schools, which would be cut by 0.65 percent.

The problem?

Senator Williams did not submit the alternate proposal until 3 days before the end of the regular session. In response Governor Beshear announced a special session before the regular session even ended!

Confused yet? Don't be it's an election year for Governor. It was purely political for Beshear to announce a special session before the current one even ended thus negating any last minute hopes of reaching a compromise. Why would anyone compromise so late knowing that a special session had already been called?

In Williams defense though the Senate also will file legislation proposing no pay for lawmakers in the current special session and barring pay in future special sessions unless lawmakers justify their pay and vote to approve it.

Of course the House leaders of both parties showed no interest in Williams' no-pay proposal.

Personally I like Williams plan overall. It allows for across the board cuts that we badly need in Kentucky. Cuts that are so minimal they will not hurt much in the long run versus a dream by Beshear who has proven not to be very effective meddling in healthcare to begin with.

In the meantime a special session is now underway and at a cost of $63,000+ per day it would seem none really understand the budget to begin with.

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Ed Springston


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