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Insure TN is Obamacare, period!

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2015 at 8:11 AM

Insure Tn is  Obamacare, period!

2/3/15
0802 am

Dress it up anyway you want!

Call it whatever you want!

Lie and deceive your constituency all you want.

Insure TN is Obamacare.

Congressman Scott Dejarlais, TN 4th District had this to say about Insure TN recently. He is a Doctor in the state of Tennessee and I would call him an expert on the subject.

“Governor Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal accepts federal funds in exchange for adopting Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.”

” And while both the governor’s office and the Tennessean editorial board would like to claim Insure Tennessee is not Obamacare, that is simply not true.”

“Think about it: without Obamacare there would be no funding source for Insure Tennessee.” “The two programs are inextricably intertwined.”

“The governor’s proposal relies on the federal government to provide funding through the Affordable Care Act for 100 percent of the program until 2020, when Tennessee will be required to pay for 10 percent.”

“To complicate matters further, our debt is not the only threat to the future of this funding. ”

“My conservative colleagues in Congress are desperately working to abolish the Affordable Care Act – the very program the governor is relying on to subsidize INSURE TENNESSEE.”

“This sets up a situation where if Obamacare is repealed it will essentially be putting our state’s finances in jeopardy.”

“The governor is quick to say INSURE TENNESSEE is merely a pilot program and after two years HHS has assured his administration Tennessee will be able to end the program if we find it is not right for our state.”

“First, HHS is not an agency we should put much faith in as was seen in their complete mishandling of Obamacare’s rollout.”

“Second, it is extremely difficult to name a single government program that once established was eventually repealed.”

“The general rule is that once government establishes a program, it is usually here to stay.” he concluded in a recent interview. (Source below)

Haslam, Kevin Brooks and others have repeatedly said Insure TN is not Obamacare!  

This is a lie!

In an interview Q and A with the Cleveland Daily Banner recently State Representative 24 District Kevin Brooks talked about Insure Tn, defending claims by the Koch Brothers and AFP that he has betrayed Tennesseans by now supporting Obamacare in our state, a claim he denies.

His statements below sure sound like he is sold on Insure Tn, ie, Obamacare. But a vote occurs today and we will see.

Brooks says “I would not be surprised if this is one of at least two special sessions — one to turn the switch on and another to see if we want to continue or flip the switch off,” Brooks said. “That’s why I can say this is not Obamacare. Yes, there’s care, but it’s an attempt to ensure that Tennesseans have a healthy future and it won’t be costly.”

He went on to deceptively say ““This plan is Tennessee-unique and Tennessee-specific. It is not Obamacare,” Brooks said. “You cannot call it Obamacare; it is a health care plan to help these 200,000 Tennesseans that currently do not have health insurance. It is not going to cost Tennesseans any of their state tax dollars.” 

Brooks went on to say support has been overwhelming for him and is taking the AFP/Koch Brothers  attacks on him as personal, like a David and Goliath epic biblical struggle. 

I can assure you this is strictly political. A personal attack makes no sense. What benefit would it be to the Koch Brothers for this to be personal? He voted he did not want Obamacare in the state a few months ago and now it appears he does want Obamacare in the state. This isn’t personal, it’s political. This is strictly a discussion of your voting record.

I predict Brooks will probably go with Haslam and vote for the measure and the deceptive delays and avoidances will be just that.

What does the 24th District Tn State Representative expect will happen to his constituency when and if it passes and then “we” decide we do not “like” it? 

Those 200,000 plus you insured through Obamacare gets dropped and are returned to their previous uninsured status. This will leave veterans, disabled, elderly and poor people without insurance again. Wanna talk about “injury?” Giving, then taking away is pretty harmful to a group of constituents if you ask me. Then let’s not even discuss what it will cost those constituents in the form of higher taxes or what it could do to our budget.

Why not take our state back and find a workable situation to provide healthcare without a 1.4 billion price tag per year? Why not give them some longevity with their care? How about putting a think tank together and come up with solutions outside of Obamacare and the federal government?

To continue to say this is not Obamacare is irresponsible and puts  hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans at a disadvantage.

Attorney General Herbert Slattery was recently asked to give his opinion of the Haslam/Obama Insure plan. I understand Mr Slattery to be a friend and ex co-worker of Bill Haslam. He had this to say about Insure Tn, although, I doubt he knew he was not helping Haslams argument for Insure Tn. With that said, I doubt you will hear Haslam or Brooks reciting this opinion recently provided by Slattery.

In his opinion, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery says “the state can expand health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act and eventually revoke that coverage if it follows correct procedures.”

“Tennessee may expand its Medicaid program through the Affordable Care Act — also known as OBAMACARE — and discontinue that program in the future.”

He continues on page 5, paragraph 3, Slattery confirmed, although Haslam/Brooks has been denying:  Medicaid expansion as that proposed in Insure TN is, in fact — Obamacare.  

“The authority to create Insure TN is authorized and paid for by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and is administered under the rules as laid down by the ACA”(Obamacare).

“All states looking to expand their Medicaid coverage in any way using funds made available by the Affordable Care Act must submit a proposal to federal health officials”

“The opinion clearly notes the plan expands coverage through the Affordable Care Act….”the state can expand health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act and eventually revoke that coverage if it follows correct procedures.”

This AG opinion sheds no doubt that this plan expands coverage through the Affordable Care Act, ie, Obamacare.

INSURE TN IS OBAMACARE!!!

Let’s pretend a Doctor who happens to be a Congressman in the 4th District and  true conservative is lying when he says Insure Tn is Obamacare.

Let’s also pretend that AG Slattery who also happens to be a friend and ex coworker of Haslams is also wrong.  We e are left with few options but to look at the plan and see it’s reliance upon Obamacare for it’s existence.

Remember, even Haslam or Brooks doesnt fully know what is in the plan but lets look at what we do know.

 Is this beginning to sound familiar? Let’s vote on it then we read it? Can we channel a little Pelosi anyone?

1) It encourages enrollment of able bodied, childless healthy young people that can sustain health and to focus on preventative health. Basically to consume little healthcare and to pay for those that are sick, just like Obamacare.

2) The Governor cannot unilaterally say Insure Tn can happen, he must have the legislatures approval.

3) “Haslam touts his “verbal agreement” with the Obama administration as a “market-based Tennessee solution”

4) The plan details are not easily accessible.

5) The majority would consume healthcare as a regular Tn Care patient but many could receive federal subsidies to offset employee sponsored healthcare coverage, just like Obamacare.

6) individuals below the poverty line would pay no premium and would pay a nominal co pay for prescription drugs. Sounding familiar?

7) Those above the poverty line would pay nominal co pays. A 20-25 dollar suggestion premium with no teeth or penalty if you don’t pay. Sound like socialism?

8)  Haslam offers a benefit package for those in good health just like managed care organizations have done for years and yes like Obamacare. The real challenge do those at the poverty level have the motivation or means to practice “healthy practices” or do they as witnessed continue to consume non frugally because it’s basically “free healthcare”, like Obamacare?

9) It is subject to the same cost sharing limits as traditional Medicaid, utilizes the same existing Medicaid system to deliver the same services and benefits as Medicaid.

10) The plan would operate under a Medicaid waiver, require an amended state Medicaid plan to implement and would be funded through the Medicaid plan, just like Obama intended from the beginning.

11) Is 100 percent funded through the federal government via the ACA, Obamacare till 2020. What if Obamacare is rescinded, I don’t wanna discuss those ramifications and cost to the state. This is a 100 percent cost to you the TN taxpayer. 

Remember Medicaid expansion in the early 1990s resulted in 300 percent debt above expected costs and enrollment shoving the state into near bankruptcy, a failing credit rating, a near state income tax and consumption of nearly 40 percent of the states total budget? 

The trouble with “free healthcare” under a state plan via Obamacare is exactly that, it’s free!

If you throw out a free state program via the federal government to those who unfortunately have very little, it will be ravenously and uncontrollably consumed. Consumed much like a wild animal being thrown a steak.

Costs will sore, few will restrain. At this point we may very well pull coverage from those who truly need it because we have a plan that does not reward low consumption, but encourages consumption. 

The corporations involved only make money when resources are consumed and believe me this will be encouraged. There is no incentive not to consume or penalty for doing so. The free fall begins!

The recipients of free healthcare see this as an entitlement and under these conditions cost control will not happen nor will over consumption be squelched. Costs will inevitably be beyond state budget restraints.

This formula being devised by Haslam and with the action oriented support of State Representative Kevin Brooks is a recipe for disaster and begs one to ask why would you want Obamacare in TN when just a few months ago you didn’t want it? My guess is follow the money, it may make all this very clear.

Regardless if you believe this blog and it’s culmination of facts, whether you believe Obama, Haslam or Brooks, INSURE TN, ie, OBAMACARE is bad for Tennessee.

INSURE TN IS OBAMACARE!!!

The opposite is being echoed by Haslam and Brooks!

Sources of info: 

I want to thank Forbes, the Cleveland Daily Banner, The Tennessean, all web solutions, Congressman Dejarlais, Rocky Top Politics and all others for their excellent coverage of this subject and the most excellent resource for my talking points. Please support these media outlets and visit their sites frequently. 

http://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/01/31/insure-tennessee-funds-linked-obamacare/22596057/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/12/18/insure-tn-will-assure-more-obamacare-in-tennessee/

AG Slattery opinion “it is Obamacare”
http://www.allwebsolutions.net/politics/ag-state-can-expand-medicaid-through-insure-tennessee/

http://rockytoppolitics.com/

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ALEC- Big corporation “bill mill” members revealed, has local ties

In Government on August 31, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Revealing a “bill mill” member list that has numerous corporate influences has proven to be a difficult task. Although no one really appears to want to be associated with this group, the list has been evasive but not insurmountable.

In case you were wandering, TN State Rep 24 District Kevin Brooks and State Senator 9th District Mike Bell are on this list with Julia Hurley, Gerald McCormick and recently RINO hunted and ousted Debra Maggart.

ALEC’s own website misdirected me and left me with no results when I pressed the tab for a complete membership list. This prompted me to request via email to a Mrs K. Jones to reveal that list, which at the time of this posting has not been answered.

The level of influence this semi secretive fascist group has on legislation that hits the State Senate and House floor is phenomenal. ALEC boasts about a thousand successful bills that have ranged from cutting large corporate taxes to defunding public schools and shifting public money to private education.

Largely this group identifies itself as a conservative group with grassroots ties but many of their proposed bills over the years has suggested otherwise.

Scanning over the list of elected and non elected officials I see many RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) tied to NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) and PPPs (Public Private Partnerships)

It does not surprise me that the Gates Foundation recently donated almost a half million dollars to the group to promote educational And other issues but later pulled it’s membership but left it’s donation. Sort of tells me they were in and out with the cash. Sort of like a lobbyist would do to get a bill passed.

The KOCH brothers essentially creating and funding this organization with many corporate membership fees deepens the involvement of the bureaucracy that is influencing our elected officials and getting their bills to the house floor. Being of multi billion dollar oil fortunes, it again doesnt surprise me that around 15 oil companies are on the corporate list of manipulators.

Struggling public schools are meeting heavier challenges as ALEC passes legislation through it’s educational committee that is crippling the local education cash flow. Our very own 24th District Tennessee State Representative Kevin Brooks is on the education board.

I am all about we need to reign in our public schools and the endless flow of taxpayer dollars that get sucked up by huge vacuums of red tape and lucrative paying jobs for top brass. I think it is more important to recognize those that are behind the scenes making this more difficult. Our State Legislator publicly supports public education but the “model legislation” that cones out of ALEC is the opposite. I am preparing a blog about the bills that have been passed through ALEC’s Education committee to support my claim. The info is out there it is just disguised very well and warrants many hours of research to expose it.

Take a look at the people, the companies and the outside organizations, many international, that are working with ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) to influence legislation that affects you.

At first glance you think these bills that are being tossed out of ALEC are the genius of a very productive legislator or Senator, when in fact they are nothing more than a clone of a big corporation with an avenue to destroy the free market through favoritism and manipulation.

ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy’s ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

Tennessee legislators and Senators that are members of ALEC. Not surprising locally our very own State Representative Kevin Brooks and State Senator Mike Bell are on board with this fascist group.
http://www.tndp.org/m/blogpost?id=2933001%3ABlogPost%3A53627

A complete list of ALEC politicians past and present that are acting as corporate drones.
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/ALEC_Politicians#Task_Force_Politicians

A complete list of corporations that are driving legislation that favors their interests.
http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=8078765

Large coporations that have bailed out of ALEC recently because of controversy.
http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=8232981

Remember these comments and opinion on this page are conclusions based on fact and hours of research. The pleasing long term result for me is now you get to make up your own mind and come to your own conclusion and we all sleep better at night knowing we are now informed. Have a great day!

A.L.E.C.- Koch Brothers manipulating legislators to push “model legislation”

In Uncategorized on August 30, 2012 at 9:58 AM

What is ALEC?
The American Legislative Exchange Council-(ALEC)

BCN Note- Deep within our state legislative and Senate house a semi secretive organization exists that wines and dines select State Legislators and State Senators in hopes of grabbing a vote on “model legislation” that favors big corporations and essentially leaves the little guy at a steep disadvantage.

While many fail to mention they are in this covert group, understandibly many can easily see how one can adapt to the loss of memory if the kick back or benefit of membership into this club is high enough.

These elected officials are coerced into passing or submitting legislation that favors huge business with lucrative trips and gifts. Some have even been known to accept a stripper or two according to some sources. They sit side by side with leaders of large corporations that directly influence coporate policy in exchange for a bill and a vote that passes the muster.

The free market was designed to function as a complete entity separate from manipulation and coercion. It cannot exist as long as a few have the power and influence. This action will somehow tip the balance severing the free market and causing it to collapse as we are seeing now as we inch closer to a depression.

You will have a real tough time believing who locally is on this corporate panel that favors large corporations. The hand is out once again and it’s saying “show me the money!” I am working on a list of Senators and legislators who participate in this ample reward club.

ALEC is not a lobby; (although it functions as one) it is not a front group (although it is a “think tank” for large corporations with plenty of money to blow on the lifeless soul of an elected official.

It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line.

Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.) Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations.

Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills.

ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a “unique,” “unparalleled” and “unmatched” organization. We agree. It is as if a state legislature had been reconstituted, yet corporations had pushed the people out the door.

Who funds ALEC?

More than 98% of ALEC’s revenues come from sources other than legislative dues, such as corporations, corporate trade groups, and corporate foundations. Each corporate member pays an annual fee of between $7,000 and $25,000 a year, and if a corporation participates in any of the nine task forces, additional fees apply, from $2,500 to $10,000 each year.

ALEC also receives direct grants from corporations, such as $1.4 million from ExxonMobil from 1998-2009. It has also received grants from some of the biggest foundations funded by corporate CEOs in the country, such as: the Koch family Charles G. Koch Foundation, the Koch-managed Claude R. Lambe Foundation, the Scaife family Allegheny Foundation, the Coors family Castle Rock Foundation, to name a few.

Less than 2% of ALEC’s funding comes from “Membership Dues” of $50 per year paid by state legislators, a steeply discounted price that may run afoul of state gift bans. For more, see CMD’s special report on ALEC funding and spending here.

Is it nonpartisan as claimed?

ALEC describes itself as a non-partisan, non-profit organization. The facts show that it currently has one Democrat out of 104 legislators in leadership positions.

ALEC members, speakers, alumni, and award winners are a “who’s who” of the extreme right. ALEC has given awards to: Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, George H.W. Bush, Charles and David Koch, Richard de Vos, Tommy Thompson, Gov. John Kasich, Gov. Rick Perry, Congressman Mark Foley (intern sex scandal), and Congressman Billy Tauzin. ALEC alumni include: Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congressman Joe Wilson, (who called President Obama a “liar” during the State of the Union address), former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, former House Speaker Tom DeLay, Andrew Card, Donald Rumsfeld (1985 Chair of ALEC’s Business Policy Board), Governor Scott Walker, Governor Jan Brewer, and more. Featured speakers have included: Milton Friedman, Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, Dan Quayle, George Allen, Jessie Helms, Pete Coors, Governor Mitch Daniels and more. (That’s a huge collection of mostly RINOs, a few exceptions perhaps)

What goes on behind closed doors?

The organization boasts 2,000 legislative members and 300 or more corporate members. The unelected corporate representatives (often registered lobbyists) sit as equals with elected representatives on nine task forces where they have a “voice and a vote” on model legislation.

Corporations on ALEC task forces VOTE on the “model” bills and resolutions, and sit as equals with legislators voting on the ALEC task forces and various working groups. Corporate and legislative governing boards also meet jointly each year. (ALEC says only the legislators have a final say on all model bills. ALEC has previously said that “The policies are debated and voted on by all members. Public and private members vote separately on policy. It is important to note that laws are not passed, debated or adopted during this process and therefore no lobbying takes place. That process is done at the state legislature.”)

The long-term representation of Koch Industries on the governing board means that Koch has had influence over an untold number of ALEC bills. Due to the questionable nature of this partnership with corporations, legislators rarely discuss the origins of the model legislation they bring home. Though thousands of ALEC-approved model bills have been publicly introduced across the country, ALEC’s role facilitating the language in the bills and the corporate vote for them is not well known.

(ALEC legislators sometimes compare the organization to the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), yet the two organizations could not be more different. NCSL has zero corporate members. It is funded largely by state government appropriations and conference fees; it has a truly bipartisan governance structure, and there is a large role for nonpartisan professional staff; it does not vote on or promote model legislation; meetings are public and so are any agreed upon documents. Corporations do sponsor receptions at NCSL events through a separate foundation. For more information, see the document ALEC & NCSL.)

How do corporations benefit?

Although ALEC claims to take an ideological stance (of supposedly “Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty”), many of the model bills benefit the corporations whose agents write them, shape them, and/or vote to approve them. These are just a few such measures:
Altria/Philip Morris USA benefits from ALEC’s newest tobacco legislation — an extremely narrow tax break for moist tobacco that would make fruit flavored tobacco products cheaper and more attractive to youngsters.

Health insurance companies such as Humana and Golden Rule Insurance (United Healthcare), benefit directly from ALEC model bills, such as the Health Savings Account bill that just passed in Wisconsin.
Tobacco firms such as Reynolds and pharmaceutical firms such as Bayer benefit directly from ALEC tort reform measures that make it harder for Americans to sue when injured by dangerous products.

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) benefits directly from the anti-immigrant legislation introduced in Arizona and other states that requires expanded incarceration and housing of immigrants, along with other bills from ALEC’s crime task force. (While CCA has stated that it left ALEC in late 2010 after years of membership on the Criminal Justice Task Force and even co-chairing it, its prison privatization bills remain ALEC “models.”)
Connections Academy, a large online education corporation and co-chair of the Education Task Force, benefits from ALEC measures to privatize public education and promote private on-line schools.

How do legislators benefit?

Why would a legislator be interested in advancing cookie-cutter bills that are corporate give-aways for global firms located outside of their district? ALEC’s appeal rests largely on the fact that legislators receive an all-expenses-paid trip that provides many part-time legislators with vacations that they could not afford on their own, along with the opportunity to rub shoulders with wealthy captains of industry (major prospective out-of-state donors to their political campaigns).

For a few hours of work on a task force and a couple of indoctrination sessions by ALEC experts, part-time legislators can bring the whole family to ALEC’s annual convention, work for a few hours, then stay in swank hotels, attend cool parties — even strip clubs– and raise funds for the campaign coffer, all heavily subsidized by the corporate till. In 2009, ALEC spent $251,873 on childcare so mom and dad could have fun.

Is it lobbying?

In most ordinary people’s view, handing bills to legislators so they can introduce them is the very definition of lobbying. ALEC says “no lobbying takes place.” The current chairman of ALEC’s corporate board is W. Preston Baldwin III, until recently a lobbyist and the Vice President of State Government Affairs at UST Inc., a tobacco firm now owned by Altria/Phillip Morris USA. Altria is advancing a very short, specific bill to change the way moist tobacco products (such as fruit flavored “snus”) are taxed– to make it cheaper and more attractive to young tobacco users according to health experts.

In fact, 20 of the 24 corporate representatives on ALEC’s “Private Enterprise Board” are lobbyists representing major firms such as Koch Industries, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Wal-Mart and Johnson and Johnson.
ALEC makes old-fashioned lobbying obsolete. Once legislators return to their state with corporate-sponsored ALEC legislation in hand, the legislators themselves become “super-lobbyists” for ALEC’s corporate agenda, cutting out the middleman. Yet ALEC enjoys a 501(c)(3) classification, which allows it to keep its tax-exempt status while accepting grants from foundations, corporations, and other donors.

In our view, the activities that corporate members engage in should be considered lobbying by the IRS, and the entity that facilitates that effort to influence state law, ALEC, should also be considered to be engaged predominantly in lobby-related activities, not simply “educational” activities. Re-classifying ALEC as primarily engaged in lobbying facilitation would mean that donations to it would not count as tax-deductible for businesses and foundations. Common Cause filed a complaint with the IRS on July 14, 2011, setting forth evidence supporting its complaint that ALEC is engaged in lobbying despite its claims to do no lobbying.

Is it legal?

ALEC’s operating model raises many ethical and legal concerns. Each state has a different set of ethics laws or rules. The presence of lobbyists alone may cause ethics problems for some state legislators. Wisconsin, for instance, generally requires legislators who go to events with registered lobbyists to pay on their own dime, yet in many states, legislators use public funds to attend ALEC meetings.

According to one study, $3 million in public funds was spent to
attend ALEC meetings in one year. Some legislators use their personal funds and are reimbursed by ALEC. Such “scholarships” may be disclosed if gifts are required to be reported. But should the legislators be allowed to accept this money when lobbyists are present at the meeting? Still other legislators use their campaign funds to go and are again reimbursed by ALEC; in some states, campaign funds are only allowed to be used to attend campaign events.
In short, many state ethics codes might consider the free vacation, steeply discounted membership fees, free day care or travel scholarships to be “gifts” that should be disallowed or disclosed.

This is a great site, please visit frequently and encourage more to stand up against injustice and attacks on our sovereignty! Thanks for the exposing ALEC website and providing most of the dialogue above except for a few commentaries and for telling it like it is. Go to the site below for more information in ALEC.

http://alecexposed.org/wiki/What_is_ALEC%3F

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