Tired of watching Bernie Sanders surge, Clinton surrogates grabbed the ‘socialist’ brush and started smearing him. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs is pretty certain that this is how it’s going to go until the Sanders campaign no longer represents a threat to her coronation nomination.
The fight over the Williamson County capital murder case of Crispin Harmel has heated up again, with the district attorney alleging in a court document that a judge retaliated against her for examining his divorce records.
That’s right this whole fight might stem from the current DA doing opposition research on a potential future political opponent. All the while a murder case twists in the wind.
Take it offline you two and stop wasting our time and money.
It’s becoming clear that the GOP in Texas has no problem with the cuts to Medicaid therapy reimbursement rates for physical, occupational, and speech therapy for the disabled. They just don’t want to be blamed for it.
As a bipartisan backlash grew against the cuts, sources told QR on August 26 that Abbott had told the agency to stick to its guns on the issue while staying publicly silent about it.
A spokesman for Gov. Abbott repeatedly declined to comment to QR and later declined to comment to the Houston Chronicle.
On September 2, Quorum Report submitted a Texas Public Information Act request for emails between Abbott’s office and top HHSC officials dated between July 1 and September 1.
After 5pm on Thursday evening, Abbott’s office informed QR that the request is being appealed to the Office of the Attorney General.
Here is the letter from Abbott’s office notifying QR of their decision to involve the AG’s office in the process.
Obviously those emails contain things Abbott would rather not see the light of day. It’s clear the GOP still wants these cuts – Abbott included – they just don’t want to be blamed for it. If they don’t go through with the cuts, at this point, it’s would be them admitting that government health care works and the government can actually do good in people’s lives. And that they cannot have.
Promising transparency is easy while campaigning, delivering while in office is another matter
In seeking refuge in an AG Opinion on delivering his emails to HHSC about controversial Medicaid cuts in services to disabled children, Governor Greg Abbott cited virtually the entire Public Information Act instead of the provision under which he was seeking an exemption. That lack of specificity is certainly unique in Quorum Report experience and a quick check among the Texas Capitol community suggests we are not alone in thinking it may be unprecedented.
The blanket claim for exemption is both absurd and silly.
Socratic Gadfly, linking to the first piece he has written for an in-depth philosophy and social sciences webzine, explores the parallels between Constitutional originalism and religious fundamentalism.
After our last President it’s much better that we actually try diplomacy for real instead of going to war after faking it. Living in a world with other people, as we do, it makes sense to accept this deal negotiated with some of our most trusted and long time allies.
As the discussion points out, no one knows how this will turn out. We know how war will turn out, more death and suffering. War can still happen later, if the deal is broken. It makes sense to give peace a chance.
All of this makes Rep. John Carter’s delusional statement all the more disheartening and sad. Read the entire delusional statement here.
The Texas GOP has a problem with health care. They hate it, for everyone other then themselves of course. But what they really hate is Medicaid – (and Medicare and Social Security). But they hate Medicaid
Jaxon doesn’t respond to anti-epilepsy medication, and taking him to a crowded hospital or outpatient clinic for therapy would trigger even more seizures and spasms, his mother said. Instead, the family relies on three therapists who each visit their Corsicana home twice a week to help Jaxon cope with his disability.
The speech, occupational and physical therapy that Jaxon receives are all covered by the Texas Medicaid Acute Care Therapy Program, which provides in-home pediatric services for low-income children with birth defects, genetic disorders or cognitive disabilities. Adults recovering from injuries or coping with diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s also use the program.
Earlier this year, the Legislature passed a budget rider directing the Health and Human Services Commission to find ways to save on Medicaid therapy costs. The commission settled on a scheme that would cut reimbursement rates for Medicaid therapy providers that disabled Texans like Jaxon rely on. The cuts amount to a loss of $150 million in state money over the next two fiscal years, and jeopardize another $200 million in federal matching funds.
Rachel Hammon, executive director of the Texas Association of Home Care and Hospice, said home health agencies won’t be able to sustain such a drastic financial hit.
The reimbursement rate reduction “will most certainly impact individuals’ ability to access care,” she said. As many as 60,000 children will bear the brunt of these cuts. The jobs of thousands of therapists statewide are also in peril.
Since word got out late last month about just how cruel the Texas GOP’s cuts are, some…and I emphasize some, in the Texas GOP are backpedaling on this.
I expect the Commission to keep us in compliance with federal law as it works through a new proposal. I also believe it is the agency’s responsibility to inform the Legislature if the proposed reductions would harm access to care and network adequacy.
(Sen. Jane Nelson too). When was the last time the Texas GOP cared about federal law? Anyway. Hey Joe, I’ve got a news flash for you, the cuts are going to hurt disabled kids! But they knew that going in, and they didn’t care. Most in the GOP still don’t. See they think Medicaid is broken and they want the “freedom” to revamp it.
Repeating a familiar GOP argument, Schwertner said that Medicaid is “broken and ailing.” It cramps the Legislature’s ability to fund education, law enforcement and roads, he said.
He said that after Texans pay federal income tax and other federal taxes, some of their money comes back to the state as federal Medicaid matching dollars – but with too many conditions.
Schwertner called them “gold-plated handcuffs that stand in the way of common sense, conservative reforms that could otherwise help contain these exploding costs.”
Expanding Medicaid as Obamacare envisions is out of the question, he said, despite calls by hospitals and other health-care providers for a “Texas solution” that would draw down the extra federal money available.
“Until we receive the kind of flexibility we are calling for today, … any expansion of Medicaid in Texas is simply not worth discussing,” Schwertner said. [Emphasis added]
If they’ll do stuff like this without freedom, just imagine if we took away Sen. Schwertner’s gold plated hand cuffs. Many of us wouldn’t survive such common sense conservatism.
CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme thinks Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau should be ashamed of herself for inviting death threats and hate on the TV station that broadcast video of her deputies shooting a man. Now we’re supposed to trust her investigation of the incident?
There have been two interesting article recently that shed some light on how GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott governs. The first is from Scott Braddock, Texas is officially sending mixed signals to business. There are many funny parts to this article. Chief among them how thin-skinned the business community is to the bloviating of Ted Cruz and Konni Burton.
General Electric delivered a blow to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s economic development efforts on Friday as Bloomberg let us know that GE “dropped the Dallas area as a site for a possible headquarters move because of concern that Texas’s political climate is unfavorable to the company’s business.” The company is apparently considering other places like Atlanta, for example.
Whether or not Texas has become unfavorable to business, likely depends on the business. I doubt anyone newcomers are unlikely to stop the flow of corporate welfare in Texas. As evidenced by this from later in the article.
Back in June, Gov. Abbott sent a letter to General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, informing him about recently-passed tax cuts as well as the state’s economic incentives programs for businesses.
“How many of my colleagues (other governors) just passed a total tax package of $3.8 billion like we did last week in Texas?” Abbott asked Immelt. “The Lone Star State already offers one of the lowest overall tax burdens in the nation, with no corporate income tax, no individual tax and no property tax at the state level – not to mention one of the most competitive deal-closing incentives programs,” Abbbott said.
Like his predecessor, Gov. Abbott is making the pitch to businesses that government should work with them to achieve the goals of job creation and investment in the communities where they are located.
That makes it seem like there’s nothing Abbott wouldn’t do to satisfy the needs of a business. It’s too bad he won’t go to such lengths for the needs of the people of Texas. Texans who need health care, a better education system, roads, and a living wage. All of which Texas is struggling with right now and make for an unfavorable business climate. Much more then the carping of Cruz and Burton.
Shortly before 1 a.m. on July 15, Gov. Greg Abbott sent an email from his personal account to his top advisers about an editorial published by the Houston Chronicle.
Its author, Ken Janda, had written that Texas’ health care safety net system for the poor and uninsured was “in serious danger of meltdown” because state leaders were refusing to expand health coverage to a million uninsured Texans living in poverty.
The governor told aides he wanted to “see the financials” of Janda’s nonprofit Community Health Choice, a health insurer affiliated with the Harris Health System, one of Texas’ largest public hospitals.
“I’m told by informed sources that most of these entities are rolling in dough,” Abbott wrote.
Abbott, who must be seen doing everything he can to oppose “Obamacare”, hasn’t been shy about attempting to hang onto another source of critical funding for Texas hospitals. The federal government provides a huge amount of money to Texas hospitals through the uncompensated care pool. For four years, the feds have reimbursed Texas’ safety-net hospitals for care they provide to people who cannot afford to pay because Texas refuses to embrace Medicaid expansion. Now that the feds are threatening to cut off this funding, Abbott is up in arms and has his administration attacking those who are arguing for Medicaid expansion.
What this shows is that Abbott is not concerned with the issues that the people of Texas are in need of the most. And that corporations and ideology are at the top of his list. If anyone was still holding out hope that Abbott would not govern like Perry, it’s time to forget about that.
Carter spoke at the Texas Association of Business Central Star Chapter luncheon Wednesday at the Wildflower Country Club. Carter answered questions posed by Bill Hammond, chief executive officer of the Texas Association of Business and members of the audience.
The first question was on the sustainability of Social Security and if it would be around when Carter’s grandchildren reached retirement age.
It won’t be without some changes, Carter said. “You have to have the courage to fix it.”
The majority of people in government don’t want to touch the subject. The most recent number indicates that Social Security disability payments will exceed retirement payments next year, Carter said.
One way to help the program remain solvent is to raise age eligibility, he said.
When the Social Security Bill was enacted in 1935, most people didn’t live to 65. Carter’s grandfathers died at age 60 and 54.
“Most of the people in this room will live into their 80s,” Carter said.
Short-term highway funding has been put in place and Hammond asked if a long-term highway bills is in the offing.
“We’re going to try,” Carter said.
One item that should be considered is the fuel tax, which is used to fund highway projects, he said. The mileage vehicles get continues to increase, resulting in less money for the highway trust fund.
Carter wants to stop taxing fuel and instead tax mileage.
“It’s not popular, but it could work,” he said.
First his comments on Social Security. There’s a quick easy and painless (except for the wealthy) way to fix Social Security. Currently Social Security has an earnings cap of $118,500/yr. If that cap was raised significantly or taken off altogether Social Security would have no sustainability problems as far as the eye can see.
Keep in mind that raising the eligibility age is the same as a benefit cut. Social Security is not going broke, if left unchanged, it will not be able to pay out 100% of benefits as it does today. It will still be able to pay out a significant benefit though, and that’s if nothing is done.
Of course Carter talks about the “courage” it takes to fix the problem. But the only one’s that are supposed to have courage are the future recipients. No courage required from those who exceed the cap it would seem.
As far as the gas tax goes, it simply needs to be raised at the state and federal level. It’s been over 20 years since the gas tax has been raised at the federal level and in Texas. How would your family budget be if you hadn’t had a raise 20 years? There’s no reason to try a new tax that “could” work, when we have a tax in place that can be raised that we know works.
Carter’s talk of courage falls flat when he veers off into this sort of misguided rhetoric.
Bernie has much better ideas for the middle class in America.