Thursday, January 29, 2015

Why Is It Easier to Spend Other People's Money?

A recent conversation bears out the truth that it is easier to spend other people's money.  Governor Haslam is trying to push his ObamaCare scheme to expand Medicaid down Tennesseans’ throats.  On a page of citizens who are against this scheme, a couple of individuals spoke up in favor of his scheme.  Their “logic” is priceless and shows what we are up against.

First was a lady who claimed that she is usually for anything conservative, but we’ve got to pass Insure TN because our rural hospitals are closing, so we “must” do something.  The rural hospitals closing are the threat that Haslam and his cohorts are using to cram this scheme thru the state legislature.  She claimed that her husband was an administrator for one of said rural hospitals.  She has a vested interest in the hospital not closing because it would directly affect her livelihood.  I can appreciate that.  The problem is that Insure TN is really a scheme to get more federal crack money ~taxpayer funds~ to flow into Tennessee because of how ObamaCare has cut Medicare and Medicaid payments to the states.  When challenged with this information that is spelled out in this Forbes article, this woman mysteriously disappeared from the conversation.
Here is how the provider tax works– hospitals take money out of their right pocket in the form of a “tax” and send it to the state, it cycles through state government in order to look like state spending but it is returned to the hospital’s left pocket. Why do they do this? This “state spending” triggers additional federal taxpayer contributions, driving up spending in the program. 
What does this mean for Tennessee? For every new dollar Tennessee collects as a “tax” on hospitals for Obamacare expansion, taxpayers will pay more than $5 to those same hospitals and an extra $8 to other medical providers. 
This funding scheme means Tennessee hospitals will pay roughly $1.7 billion in new taxes over the next decade. But the expansion, made possible by these taxes, forces all federal taxpayers to kick in another $22.5 billion. This ultimately allows hospitals to collect up to $9.3 billion in new Medicaid expansion revenue. 
This gimmick certainly isn’t new: Tennessee already receives a third of the “state share” of Medicaid spending from provider taxes and funds from local governments. But while this may seem like a clever budget gimmick, there’s only a slim chance that this scheme will survive much longer.

Next up was a gentleman who claimed to be a grad student studying architecture who needed to have his tonsils removed and couldn’t afford it.  I’ll call him Mr. Smith ~not his real name.~  He “needed” help.  When I asked him why it was the responsibility of taxpayers to pay his medical bills, he came back with the typical class warfare response of “If you can afford it, sure you can pay my medical bills.  Just write me a check.”  He also asked for a solution so I gave him two.  The first was the fact that hospitals and doctors take monthly payments; and the second was that maybe he should go down his block to his neighbors and ask them to help him with his medical bills.  He’s expecting me a total stranger to help him, why not go to his friends for help?  Needless to say, he “left” the conversation ~or at least didn’t comment anymore.~  He hung around because he was “liking” the next gentleman to foray into the conversation.

Another gentleman soon jumped into the conversation.  I’ll call him Mr. Green, although, again, that is not his real name.  He started out with insults and name calling.  He used the typical big government do-gooder shtick of how we conservatives hate the poor, the elderly and only care about unborn children.  Mr. Green is of course compassionate because of his good intentions.  His quote was “If just one child, can see a doctor instead of an emergency, ACA/Insure Tennessee is worth it.  If myself or some rich guy has to pay an extra dollar, good.  Consider it be the one good thing you’ve ever done.”

The problem is that ObamaCare and Insure TN isn’t going to require taxpayers to just pay an extra dollar, but I digress.  I suggested that Mr. Green could help Mr. Smith with his surgery that he said he needed.  He could simply message him and get his address.  Mr. Green tried to tell me how many jobs Insure TN was going to create in Tennessee, all by getting more federal crack ~taxpayer~ dollars.  He also claimed that I didn’t have a better alternative.  That’s really funny because I had already suggested that he could help out Mr. Smith. 

I asked Mr. Green if he thought that DC had a magic money tree.  Maybe the state of Tennessee has a magic money tree.  I asked him if he had helped Mr. Smith get his surgery scheduled.  Mr. Smith could put him down as the guarantor for his medical bills. 

Mr. Green responded that I needed to leave Mr. Smith alone.  He then proceeded to hurl insults at me again.  I pointed out that Mr. Smith had inserted himself into this conversation with his claim that he needed help with his medical bills.  I was just offering a solution to his needs. 

Good intentions don’t trump the laws of economics.  The hypocrisy of the big government do-gooders is that they aren’t willing to spend their own money.  They want to spend ours. 


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ambushed by Shelby County Republicans

Update:  It appears that Commissioner Heidi Shafer is also supporting this plan.  Both she and Terry Roland spoke at the Shelby County Republican Women's Club this week.  A report from an attendee said that both Roland and Shafer were speaking in support of this scheme.  At the Commission meeting, Shafer played the role of good cop with us by talking with us and giving us the impression that she agreed with us.  She had recused herself from voting on the resolution because she works in the healthcare industry. 

What has the state party promised or threatened our elected leaders here in Shelby County?  Why is this so important to Haslam? 

There were four of us who witnessed the ambush on Monday by Republican Shelby County Commissioners.  Just two weeks ago, those of us who understand economics and the disaster that ObamaCare is, prevailed over the ruling class Republicans who wanted to pass a resolution supporting Governor Haslam's scheme to expand Medicaid in TN.  We called and emailed and instructed our representatives ~did you know that the Tennessee Constitution codifies our right to instruct our representatives?~ that we do not want to expand Medicaid in TN.  We know what ObamaCare is doing and will do to healthcare in our great country if not stopped.  As my youngest daughter used to say, "We don't want it!"  The people spoke and the resolution was pulled.  Well, low and behold, it reared it's ugly head once again on Monday.  It was not on the agenda.  It was an add-on sponsored by Terry Roland ~Republican~ and Van Jones ~Democrat.~ 

This is the email that I sent to Commissioners Roland, Reaves, Billingsley and Chism.  Commissioner Shafer recused herself because of her working in the healthcare industry and I didn't bother sending it to Steve Basar because he has already shown that he is not a conservative. 

Commissioner Roland,

I am disappointed with what I witnessed during the county commission meeting Monday. 
First, let me address the shenanigans that took place in the meeting.  It was a very cowardly act to ambush the citizens of Shelby County ~Republicans specifically~ in this manner.  You were not happy with the input you received by phone, email and from Republicans and other citizens who attended and spoke before the last Commission meeting where you tried to get support for the governor's scheme, so you decided to ambush us Monday by doing a last minute add-on to the agenda.  This is what we have come to expect from the Democrats and a tactic you have claimed in the past to despise.  Do you have such a short memory that you don't remember the last couple of months?  What was the recent lawsuit by the Democrats plus Steve Basar about?  Wasn't it about who could add-on an item to the commission agenda and whether a simple majority or super-majority was needed to overrule the chairman to add an item to the agenda?  What was the dire emergency that made it imperative that this resolution needed to be passed yesterday?
You spoke that you didn't like the ACA, but your back was against the wall because if we don't expand Medicaid in TN under this scheme, then you would be forced to raise property taxes in Shelby County.  We can't let the Med go under, after all.  We have heard this threat for years/decades.  We know what will happen if we expand Medicaid here in TN.  Do you not remember the TennCare debacle? It almost bankrupted the state.  It took a Democrat to come in and fix that fiasco.  Is that what you want?  Pave the way for a Democrat governor?

Two citizens, who happened to be present at Monday's meeting, spoke against this referendum.  They brought up some important points:
  • What are we going to do when the federal monies dry up and the citizens of TN are stuck with having to pay the shortfall?
  • Many of the states that went ahead and expanded Medicaid have still had hospital closings.
  • Several states have handled this problem in ways that was beneficial to the medical providers and the patients and their solutions need to be examined to see if they would work in TN.
  • You said that the smaller hospitals serving the surrounding counties are struggling because of the ACA and that the Memphis Regional Hospital (the MED) would have to take those patients.  However, the stated reason that the hospital in Fayette County is closing was because the people in the area were not using it. (only one new patient a day) and it was not cost effective to keep it open.
You did not show them the courtesy to slow down long enough to address those concerns but went directly to the vote.

By expanding Medicaid ~like Haslam wants to~ we are just kicking the can down the road.

I agree with Thomas Payne.
"I prefer peace.  But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace

It is time for courage from you, our elected officials.  It is time for leaders to articulate conservatism and limited government.  You purport to espouse limited government.  Your actions speak louder than your words.

For more details on the Commission meeting, click here

To instruct our representatives ~as the TN State Constitution says we have the right to~ here is the link to their email addresses or call them at 222-1000.

Outside Independence Hall when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended, Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin,
"Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?"
With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded,
"A republic, if you can keep it." 

It is up to us to keep our republic.  Voting is just the beginning of our civic responsibility.  Help save our republic.  It starts at the local level because power is in the district. 

Commissioner Terry Roland will be the speaker at the Dutch Treat Luncheon on Saturday, January 17th at noon at Jason's Deli.  Jason's Deli is located at 3473 Poplar ~corner of Highland and Poplar~.  Come early if you want to order a meal.  This will be a great time to ask him why he pulled this stunt. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Be the Best You in 2015!

Happy New Year!

While most of us make ~and then break~ our New Year's resolutions, it is a great time to reflect on the previous year and think about what we want in our lives.  Common New Year's resolutions run the gamut from being losing weight and being more healthy to not procrastinating to being more productive with your time to further your career or build that business that you are currently treating like a hobby.  New Year's resolutions are all about being the best you in the new year.

Beauty is an attitude.  "When a woman knows what makes her look and feel her best, she gains confidence in herself. That confidence has changed thousands of lives."

January is all about fresh starts.

As Coco Chanel once said, "beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself."

Coco Chanel also said, “Nature gives you the face you have at twenty. Life shapes the face you have at thirty. But at fifty you get the face you deserve.

If you could change one thing about your skin, what would it be?

Do you have skin discoloration?  Dehydrated skin?  Fine lines and wrinkles?  Loss of luminosity?  Uneven skin tone?  Loss of elasticity?  Visible pores?  These are the seven signs of aging.  If you want to change any of these, BeautiControl can help.  Science meets Spa with BeautiControl’s highly scientific skin care collection. Our most technologically-advanced ingredients will give you smoother, healthier and younger-looking skin. It’s personalized skin care…simplified.  BC Spa Facial is free of parabens, sulfates, gluten, artificial dyes and fragrances. It is dermatologist, sensitivity and allergy tested, but never on animals.

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In 2015, be you. be beautiful.