The Pronk Pops Show 1396, February 11, 2020, Story 1: Divided Democrats Decide New Hampshire’s Radical Extremist Democratic Socialists (REDS) Presidential Candidate in 2020 — The Winner Is Bernie Sanders — Videos– Story 2: Trump Rally in Manchester, New Hampshire Attracts Tens of Thousand — Americans Love A Winner — Videos — Story 3: What Are American Concerned About? Not Climate Change — Videos

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Story 1: Divided Democrats Decide New Hampshire’s Radical Extremist Democratic Socialist (REDS) Presidential Candidate in 2020 — The Winner Is Bernie Sanders — Videos–

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Left or Liberal?

The Left Ruins Everything

Left but Really Right

Every American Needs To Hear This Speech

‘We’ve got this.’ New Hampshire state officials promise no repeat of Iowa caucus chaos as state holds first in the nation election

  • New Hampshire votes on Tuesday with polls closing at 8 p.m. ET
  • Amy Klobuchar won two of first three small towns that start voting at midnight
  • Candidates are making their closing arguments
  • Bernie Sanders leads in polls
  • Pete Buttigieg is searching for a win
  • Joe Biden is looking ahead to next round of voting in Nevada and South Carolina
  • Officials expect a victor Tuesday night – unlike Iowa caucuses 
  • ‘We’ve got this. We know what we’re doing here,’ Dem chair Ray Buckley said 

Democrats are expected to have a winner Tuesday night after a tumulus start in their presidential primary process and officials hope a victor here offers some clarity on who the party will ultimately name to take on President Donald Trump in November.

‘We’ve got this. We know what we’re doing here. The only way it will last that long if the numbers are so close we have a virtual tie,’ New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley told reporters on a phone call Monday.

‘Everything here is paper ballot. Nothing is connected to the internet. The ballots are immediately impounded by the state police. There is just no question for anyone to have any fear,’ he added.

Amy Klobuchar visits a polling stop in Manchester

Elizabeth Warren brings donuts to a polling site Portsmouth

Small New Hampshire town votes for Bloomberg in primary

Polls close at 8 p.m. ET. Unlike Iowa, where party officials and volunteers run the caucuses, state officials run the New Hampshire primary. Both Republicans and Democrats are voting on Tuesday.

The real contest is among the Democrats, however, as President Trump is expected to win the Republican primary.

But one Democratic winner doesn’t mean the party will have their nomination all wrapped and ready to take on the president, who held a rally in Manchester Monday night to taunt his political rivals.

No single candidate has yet united the Democrats nationally and the current field of contenders represent all corners of the party: young, old, moderate, liberal, pragmatic, hopeful.

And where the candidates enter the field on Tuesday may not be where they exit.

Bernie Sanders held his final campaign rally with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Monday night

Bernie Sanders held his final campaign rally with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Monday night

Bernie Sanders: The leader in the New Hampshire polls, Sanders wants the victory. He won the 2016 Democratic primary in New Hampshire but lost the nomination that year to Hillary Clinton. He and Pete Buttigieg are fighting over who came out on top in the Iowa caucuses (Buttigieg picked up the most delegates and Sanders is asking for a recanvass). He needs a clear cut New Hampshire victory to boost him to finish what he couldn’t in the last presidential cycle.

‘If we win here tomorrow, I think we’ve got a path to victory for the Democratic nomination,’ the Vermont senator told supporters at one of his rallies on Monday.

He closed out his campaigning Monday evening with over 7,500 attendees with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a performance by The Strokes.

Pete Buttigieg: Buttigieg touted himself the front runner after Iowa’s caucus debacle but now he needs to show he comes out on top when all the votes are counted. The youngest candidate in the field, he’s come under attack for his lack of experience but has argued his ability to bring out support makes up for never having held national office.

Pete Buttigieg walks and N.H. Rep. Annie Kuster while carrying doughnuts to a poling station in Hopkinton

Pete Buttigieg walks and N.H. Rep. Annie Kuster while carrying doughnuts to a poling station in Hopkinton

‘It feels good out here,’ he told reporters on Monday.

He fell behind Sanders in the latest round of New Hampshire polls and started to down play a victory in the state in its final hours.

‘Look we are competing against home region competition, two New England senators I recognize that, but I still think we’re going to have a great night,’ he told NBC News in an interview that aired on the ‘Today’ show Tuesday morning, referring to Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Warren promises to continue fighting ahead of NH primary

But the former mayor was up and out early Tuesday morning, bringing donuts to a polling place in Hopkinton and appearing on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’

Amy Klobuchar changes into more comfortable shoes after a rally

Amy Klobuchar changes into more comfortable shoes after a rally

Amy Klobuchar: A few polls put her in third place going into Tuesday, giving her momentum in the closing hours of the primary. A bronze medal keeps her campaign viable and the cash flowing in. She’s already guaranteed a spot on the Las Vegas debate stage thanks to her coming out of Iowa with one delegate but a third place finish or higher gives her bid a big boost going into the next round of contests in Nevada and South Carolina.

‘I need your help,’ Klobuchar told a rally in Exeter, New Hampshire, her voice breaking as she spoke the words.

‘Right now we are on the cusp of something really great,’ she said, ‘but I can’t call everyone you know. So I’m asking you to do that today.’

The Minnesota senator won two out of the three small northern New Hampshire towns that gather at their polling places at midnight: Hart’s Location and Millsfield.

Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren: Polls show them tied for fourth, which is particularly troubling for the former vice president. Both candidates spent Monday explaining why their campaigns are viable and both have announced their next round of campaign stops after Tuesday’s vote is counted.

Joe Biden is looking ahead to the next round of contests

The big question mark is money. Do they have the funds to keep their campaigns afloat until they can rack up a primary win? And when will that win come? Nevada and South Carolina are the next two contests. The pressure will be on.

Warren visited her press bus on Monday to give a rare talk about the state of her campaign. The Massachusetts senator doesn’t typically discuss strategy.

‘I just have to keep fighting. That’s, that’s what it’s all about. I cannot say to all those little girls: ‘This got hard and I quit.’ My job is to persist,’ she said.

Biden also lowered expectations for New Hampshire.

Elizabeth Warren told reporters she has to ‘keep fighting’

‘It’s an uphill race here,’ he told CNN Monday night. ‘We’re running against two senators from neighboring states, has never been a good thing to happen to any other candidates going in the race.’

And he emphasized there are more contests to come.

‘The path is South Carolina, and going into Nevada and Super Tuesday,’ he told NBC News.

Andrew Yang: It’s unclear what path forward he has if he doesn’t have a decent showing in New Hampshire, where he invested both time and money heavily early on.

But, on the other end of this round, Michael Bloomberg and his billions are waiting for which ever Democratic contender emerges from the next round of contests in Nevada and South Carolina.

The former New York City mayor skipped the four early contests to focus his time and money on the Super Tuesday states, where a huge chunk of delegates will be awarded.

But, on Tuesday, all eyes are on New Hampshire and officials claim the contest is wide open.

‘This is anyone’s race to win. I still believe that and I truly do,’ Buckley, the Democratic chair, said Monday. ‘We have multiple candidates representing the perspective of all the voters so they all have choices.’

President Trump got into the action Monday with a rally in Manchester where he suggested Republicans could cause some mischief on Tuesday.

‘I hear a lot of Republicans tomorrow will vote for the weakest candidate possible of the Democrats,’ the president said. ‘My only problem is I’m trying to figure out who is their weakest candidate. I think they’re all weak.’

But only registered Democrats and voters not registered with either party can participate in the state’s Democratic presidential primary.

The spectra of the Iowa caucuses – where problems with an app the party developed to count the votes led to a hand count of paper ballots with delayed and questionable results – has haunted New Hampshire.

The candidates have joked that – as opposed to last week’s contest New Hampshire can count – but under the laughter is the fear that even if the state has a winner, there still won’t be a clear front runner for the nomination.

And that is what worries party elders, who are harboring fears by the time a nominee emerges, that person will be so damaged politically it’ll be 2016 all over again when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

President Trump held a rally in Manchester Monday night and suggested Republicans could make some mischief

The Strokes performed at a Bernie Sanders rally Monday night

Sanders is leading by 8 points in the RealClearPolitics polling average of New Hampshire polls but the unexpected can happen.

Polls showed a third of New Hampshire voters remain undecided, making the last 24 hours in the state crucial for the candidates ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

Almost half New Hampshire voters – 47 per cent – are independents and tend to pick their candidates late in the process.

Attendance was heavy at rallies for all the candidates in the last 24 hours, indicating voters are still shopping for a contender to support.

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner anticipates turn out Tuesday night 420,000 voters, which would be the most votes cast in a presidential primary when an incumbent is running for re-election.

Trump holds first rally after being acquitted in impeachment trial

Patton (1/5) Movie CLIP – Americans Love a Winner (1970) HD

Story 3: What Are American Concerned About? Not Climate Change — Videos

 

Economy outranks other issues among potential 2020 voters, according to new survey

Policy 2020: Unpacking the issues shaping the 2020 election

America’s Biggest Issues: Spending

Jul 21, 2019
Despite their promises to the contrary, every year, politicians continue to spend hundreds of billions of dollars more than the government takes in. And every year, they put it on the national credit card and the bill grows bigger. That bill currently averages $67,000 for every single American. If you’re a family of three, that’s over $200,000. The Heritage Foundation’s Romina Boccia explains how it’s not too late to save the incredible promise that is America. But first, we have to convince leaders to end their runaway spending habits and adopt spending controls. View more: https://www.heritage.org/budget-and-s…

How to Solve America’s Spending Problem

The Bigger the Government…

Why Private Investment Works & Govt. Investment Doesn’t

Social Security Won’t Give You Security

America’s Debt Crisis Explained

America’s Biggest Issues: Health Care

Dec 14, 2018
Most Americans agree that the health care system in the United States is in need of an overhaul. What many are not in agreement on is how best to do it. As we weigh our options, The Heritage Foundation’s Genevieve Wood explains a few basic facts you need to know. View more: https://www.heritage.org/health-care-…

How the Government Made You Fat

What Creates Wealth?

What’s Wrong with Government-Run Healthcare?

America’s Biggest Issues: Education

Jun 23, 2019
American colleges and universities are failing in one of their most basic missions: to equip students with the tools they need for a career. Many students graduate ill-prepared to earn a living and pay off the debt they’ve accumulated getting their degrees. Forty percent of those who start college don’t finish within six years. Additionally, students are often subject to indoctrination into socialist ideology. They face hostility toward opinions that don’t conform to the predominantly leftist thinking on campus. They’re also immersed in identity politics that pit students of different backgrounds against one another. Despite these problems, colleges continue to raise tuition. The Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke explains how to stop the sharp rise in both college tuition and student debt by getting the federal government out of the student loan business. View more: https://www.heritage.org/education/he…

How the Liberal University Hurts the Liberal Student

America’s Biggest Issues: Welfare

Aug 4, 2019

When President Lyndon Johnson launched his War on Poverty in the 1960s, he pledged to eliminate poverty in America. But more than five decades, several welfare programs, and $25 trillion later, the welfare system has largely failed the poor. The Heritage Foundation’s Genevieve Wood explains that the United States currently spends about a trillion dollars a year on over 90 different federal, state, and local welfare programs. Yet around 12 percent of Americans are still considered poor. We are clearly spending a lot of money so why do we still have such a high poverty rate? View more: https://www.heritage.org/poverty-and-…

There Is Only One Way Out of Poverty

America’s Biggest Issues: Immigration

Apr 29, 2019
Immigration is one of the fundamental building blocks that help make America the unique nation that it is. But the debate over border security and immigration has become toxic because politicians have put politics before principles. And reasonable Americans find themselves trapped between zealots on both sides. So what does a thoughtful agenda for American immigration reform look like? The Heritage Foundation’s Genevieve Wood takes us through four guiding principles to keep us focused on what is best for the welfare of all Americans, both those of today and those of the future. View more: https://www.heritage.org/immigration/…

A Nation of Immigrants

America Wants Legal Immigrants

Illegal Immigration: It’s About Power

America’s Biggest Issues: Environment

Jul 7, 2019
In the 1970s, Americans were told we were in a global cooling crisis and if something weren’t done, we’d enter a new ice age. When that didn’t happen, a few decades later we were told that entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend was not reversed by the year 2000. Despite the consistent failure of these apocalyptic warnings, that hasn’t stopped climate change alarmism. We’re now being told we only have 12 years to combat climate change and the solution is to fundamentally dismantle the system of free enterprise. That means Washington controls things like how we produce our energy, what food we eat and what type of cars we drive. The question is, even if we believed their alarmist, catastrophic predictions, would their proposals work? The Heritage Foundation’s Nick Loris helps dispel some environmental myths, and explains how America can ensure affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy by keeping our economy growing. View more: https://www.heritage.org/environment/…

Can Climate Models Predict Climate Change?

Is Climate Change Our Biggest Problem?

Climate Activists Use Kids to Fuel Hysteria

Is Climate Change an Existential Threat?

You Can’t Fix Other People, But You Can Fix Yourself

Pew Research 2019 survey: ‘Climate Change’ Still Ranks As Low Priority – 17th place out of 18

By:  – Climate DepotFebruary 11, 2020 11:38 AM with 0 comments

Most Important Problem

Climate Change Still Ranks As Low Priority In Polls

by Donna Laframboise

Recently, I reported on a poll that Gallup has conducted in America every month of every year since 2001. Admirably, it makes no attempt to prompt or influence.

It asks people to name the most important problem facing the country, then it records their answers.

If one seeks honest, genuine insight into ordinary people’s lives, that’s a great approach.

Pew Research Center, another American polling outfit, conducts a different kind of survey. For 25 years (from 1994 to 2019 inclusive), it has read members of the public a long list of pre-selected topics in random order. People have been asked to attach a label to each one.

Should it be a ‘top priority’ for the President and Congress this year? Should it be a lower priority? Is it unimportant? Does it deserve no attention at all?

In 2007, Pew added ‘global warming’ to this list of potential top priorities. In 2016, it started calling it ‘climate change’ instead.

Last year, 44% of respondents told Pew that ‘Dealing with global climate change’ should be a top priority.

That sounds significant until you notice thatevery single item on the list received at least 39% support.

In such cases, raw percentages are meaningless. What matters is how a topic ranks compared to its fellows. Those results couldn’t be clearer.

In 2019, climate change ended up in 17th place out of 18.

70% of people said strengthening the economy should be a top priority.

69% said reducing healthcare costs should be.

68% said the education system needs attention.

Those are very strong numbers, involving more than two-thirds of the population. What came next?

4. ‘Defending the country from future terrorist attacks’ – 67%

5. ‘Taking steps to make the Social Security system financially sound’ – 67%

6. ‘Taking steps to make the Medicare system financially sound’ – 67%

7. ‘Dealing with the problems of poor and needy people’ – 60%

8. ‘Protecting the environment’ – 56%

9. ‘Dealing with the issue of immigration’ – 51%

10. ‘Improving the job situation’ – 50%

11. ‘Reducing crime’ – 50%

12. ‘Dealing with drug addiction’ – 49%

13. ‘Reducing the budget deficit’ – 48%

14. ‘Addressing race relations in this country’ – 46%

15. ‘Strengthening the US military’ – 45%

16. ‘Improving the country’s roads, bridges and public transportation systems’ – 45%

17. ‘Dealing with global climate change’ – 44%

18. ‘Dealing with global trade issues’ – 39%

In other words, another long-running US poll tells us the public’s climate concerns are weak. Ask people if they care about it, and many will say ‘yes.’

But they feel more urgency about a long list of other issues.

‘Dealing with global warming’ ended up in second last place in 2007. Between 2008 and 2013, it ranked last (select a year and then ‘Overall’ here). Here’s what happened after that:

2014: second last

2015 second last

2016 third last (the first year Pew began calling it ‘global climate change’)

2017: second last (see bottom of the page)

2018: second last

2019 second last

Moral of the story: There has never been any evidence that climate change is a top concern for most Americans. This is not a crowd-pleaser or a vote-getter.

https://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2020/02/10/poll-results-climate-is-always-low-priority/

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 265, May 22, 2014, Story 1: The Out-of-the-Loop President — Scandals — Bring On The VA and Benghazi Whistle Blowers — American People No Longer Trust Obama — Videos

Posted on May 22, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Communications, Computers, Constitutional Law, Culture, Drugs, Economics, Education, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Investments, Law, Media, Medicine, Networking, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, PTSD, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Regulation, Resources, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Unions, United States Constitution, Videos, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 265: May 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 264: May 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 263: May 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 262: May 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 261: May 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 260: May 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 259: May 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 258: May 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 257: May 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 256: May 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 255: May 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 254: May 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 253: April 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 252: April 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 251: April 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 250: April 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 249: April 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 248: April 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 247: April 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 246: April 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 245: April 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 244: April 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 243: April 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 242: April 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 241: April 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 240: April 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 239: April 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 238: April 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 237: April 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 236: April 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 235: March 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 234: March 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 233: March 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 232: March 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 231: March 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 230: March 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 229: March 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 228: March 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 227: March 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 226: March 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 225: March 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 224: March 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 223: March 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 222: March 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 221: February 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 220: February 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 219: February 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 218: February 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 217: February 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 216: February 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 215: February 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 214: February 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 213: February 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 212: February 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 211: February 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 210: February 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 209: February 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 208: February 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 207: February 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 206: February 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 205: February 5, 2014

out_of_loopal_qaeda_vamlk.i.have.a.dream.obama.i.have.a.droneobama-single-payer-health-care-cartoon

CNN Blasts Obama Presser on VA Scandal

VA whistleblowers continue to come forward Fox News Video

Kelly File | Pres. Obama addresses VA scandal

CVA CEO Pete Hegseth testifying before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Fox & Friends | Vets groups call for VA firings

VA Head Doesn’t Know if People Who Manipulated Data Causing Deaths Would be Fired

 

Krauthammer – Obama Acts as If He Stumbled Upon the Presidency

V.A. investigation widens

Barack Obama on the “sacred trust” of caring for wounded vets

Gretchen Carlson | VA executives knew of scandal in 2010

America’s Newsroom | Obama knew of VA scandal

 

Obama Wants Our Vets to Pay for Their War Injuries, but Illegal Immigrants Get Free Medical Care

IAVA’s Paul Rieckhoff on Billing Vets’ Private Insurance

Obama on single payer health insurance

President Obama Wants A Single Payer Health Care System

obama master plan on health careover the years in his own words–SINGLE PAYER!!!

Kelly File | Chicago VA whistleblower confirms “secret lists”

Veterans Scandal: Outrage Over Hospital Accusations

New Jersey Town Offers Solution In Wake Of Veterans Affairs Scandal

Pres. Obama Veterans Health Care Budget Reform Act

Uploaded on Oct 22, 2009

Pres. Obama Signs Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act
Today

President Obama made remarks and signed into law the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, which guarantees a timely and predictable flow of funding for Department of Veterans Affairs medical care. The president also made brief remarks about executive compensation in companies receiving government assistance.

 

 

 

The Obama Administration’s Ethics Problem 
The executive branch continues to be plagued by scandal after scandal. 

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki cannot get a handle on the recent scandalous treatment of veterans in VA hospitals, where more than 40 sick men were allowed to die without proper follow-up treatment. A cover-up allegedly followed. When the Walter Reed Army Medical Center scandal broke under the George W. Bush administration, heads rolled. So far, Shinseki seems immune from similar accountability.

Almost nothing that former secretary of health and human services Kathleen Sebelius promised before, during, or after the implementation of the ill-starred Affordable Care Act came true. She was also cited by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel for violating the Hatch Act, as she improperly campaigned for Obama’s reelection while serving as a cabinet secretary.

Former IRS official Lois Lerner used the federal tax-collection agency to go after groups deemed too conservative. She invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid telling Congress the whole truth.

Susan Rice, former U.N. ambassador and now national-security adviser, flat-out deceived the public in five television appearances about the Benghazi catastrophe. She insisted that the deaths of four Americans were due to a spontaneous riot induced by a reactionary video maker — even though she had access to intelligence fingering al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists as the culprits who planned the attack on the anniversary of 9/11.

Rice recently blamed Obama foreign-policy failures on domestic political polarization. But that is best described as the give and take of democracy and was once thought to be our foreign-policy strength.

Rice also knows little history. In 2007, in the midst of the surge, when Americans were fighting for their lives to stabilize Iraq, then-senator Hillary Clinton implied that the commanding general in Iraq, General David Petraeus, was a veritable liar. Senate majority leader Harry Reid agreed and declared that the war was already lost. Then–presidential candidate Barack Obama prematurely wrote off the politically inconvenient surge as a failure. Was Rice then shocked that “polarization” affected foreign policy?

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton left office with American foreign policy in shambles. She has been unable to make the argument that a single initiative — reset with Russia, lead from behind in Libya, red lines on Syria, deadlines to Iran, complete withdrawal from Iraq, pressure on the Israelis, outreach to radical Islam and Latin American Communist dictatorships — had met with success.

Clinton infamously dismissed the lingering mysteries surrounding the Benghazi deaths with “What difference at this point does it make?” She also refused, despite numerous entreaties, to place the now-infamous Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram on a State Department terrorist watch list.

Eric Holder is the first attorney general to have been held in contempt of Congress. Aside from his divisive language (he called America “a nation of cowards” and referred to African Americans as “my people”), Holder always seems to find himself at the center of scandals. He permitted the federal monitoring of Associated Press journalists. He green-lighted the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scam. He has failed to bring to account rogue IRS officials. Holder is the most morally compromised attorney general since Nixon appointee John Mitchell.

Do we remember former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson? Her case was as unprofessional as it was surreal. Jackson fabricated for herself an alternate identity as a mid-level EPA employee. In communications, she used a fake e-mail address and name, and then unethically honored her own alter ego (“Richard Windsor”) as a “scholar of ethical behavior.” Who could have dreamed up such an unethical caper?

What has happened to NASA? We are currently trying to isolate Vladimir Putin for his territorial aggressions and yet beseeching the Russians to send our astronauts into space. Perhaps NASA administrator Charles Bolden should not have boasted that one of NASA’s “foremost” goals was “to reach out to the Muslim world” and “to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.” Americans might have preferred Bolden to stick with rockets.

Former secretary of energy Steven Chu left under a cloud of controversy involving crony capitalists’ getting millions of dollars in green loans that produced nothing but failed companies. Former labor secretary Hilda Solis slipped out of office, battling accusations of Hatch Act violations and freebie rides on private jets from insider union friends. Former top officials such as Timothy Geithner, Peter Orszag, and Larry Summers have given new meaning to the revolving door between Wall Street and the White House.

The common denominator?

In all of these cases, politics trumped ethics. Because Obama professed that he was on the side of the proverbial people, administrators assumed that they had a blank check to do or say what they wished without much media audit. The mystery is not whether some administration officials were incompetent or unethical or both, but whether there are any left who are not.

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 264-265

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The Pronk Pops Show 263, May 19, 2014, Story 1: Single Payer Government Monopoly on Health Care = Socialized Medicine = A VA Hospital Preview of Death Panels — Delay, Deny, and Lie — The Unacceptable Obama Administration! — Vote The Political Elitist Establishment (PEEs) Out of Office for Incompetence — Part 1 — Videos

Posted on May 20, 2014. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Assault, Blogroll, Budgetary Policy, Communications, Crime, Disasters, Drugs, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Homicide, Media, Medicine, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Regulation, Resources, Security, Social Science, Success, Taxes, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, United States Constitution, Violence, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 263: May 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 262: May 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 261: May 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 260: May 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 259: May 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 258: May 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 257: May 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 256: May 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 255: May 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 254: May 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 253: April 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 252: April 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 251: April 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 250: April 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 249: April 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 248: April 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 247: April 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 246: April 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 245: April 16, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 243: April 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 242: April 11, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 239: April 8, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 237: April 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 236: April 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 235: March 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 234: March 28, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 232: March 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 231: March 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 230: March 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 229: March 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 228: March 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 227: March 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 226: March 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 225: March 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 224: March 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 223: March 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 222: March 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 221: February 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 220: February 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 219: February 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 218: February 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 217: February 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 216: February 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 215: February 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 214: February 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 213: February 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 212: February 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 211: February 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 210: February 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 209: February 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 208: February 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 207: February 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 206: February 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 205: February 5, 2014

Story 1:  Single Payer Government Monopoly on Health Care = Socialized Medicine = A VA Hospital Preview of Death Panels — Delay, Deny, and Lie — The Unacceptable Obama Administration! — Vote The Political Elitist Establishment (PEEs) Out of Office for Incompetence — Part 1 — Videos

Locations

Veterans Health Administration

Facilities by State

prisoner_of_wait_list

eric_k_shinseki

va_hospital_40_deaths

VA Hospital

colonoscopyVA Mental Health Carevawaitingroom_va

VA_Care

how_congress_spends_your_money

Obama Finally Addresses V.A. Scandal – The Five

Rep Bachmann (R-MN On Pres Obama’s Handling Of The Veterans Affairs Scandal – Cavuto

Milton Friedman on Libertarianism (Part 4 of 4)

Milton Friedman – Socialized Medicine

Milton Friedman – Health Care in a Free Market

Obama on single payer health insurance

Obama’s Single Payer Health Care System : New World Order

 

What a Single Payer Health Insurance Plan Looks Like

Pres. Obama Veterans Health Care Budget Reform Act

Judge Jeanine Pirro Opening Statement – Veterans Left To Die By The VA – VA Full Blown Scandal

Judge Jeanine Pirro – Veteran Affairs Scandal – V.A. Chief Grilled Over Treatment Of Vets

President facing increased scrutiny over VA scandal

Chuck Todd: VA Scandal More Dangerous for Obama than ‘Partisanized’ Benghazi

RPT: Obama Admin Warned of VA Problems in ’08 and Did Nothing

Senate gets serious on veteran care wait time

Breaking Top VA Offical Resigns – Another Scandal

VA official resigns amid scandal

CBS’ Major Garrett: Obama Has Been Silent On VA Scandal For Three Weeks

‘You Want to Cut Obama’s Throat!’ Geraldo, Bolling Clash over VA Scandal

ABC: “Outrage Growing” Over Obama Administration’s Handling Of VA Scandal

Gohmert on Phoenix VA Hospital Scandal

VA Probe Exposes Scandal at Multiple Locations

President Obama describing how to reach single payer flashback

obama master plan on health careover the years in his own words–SINGLE PAYER!!!

President Obama Wants A Single Payer Health Care System

[Daily News] Americas military suicide rate explained

U.S. Veterans Face Staggering Epidemic of Unemployment, Trauma & Suicide

The Invisible Wounds of War: Number of Soldiers Committing Suicide Reaches Record High

Jon Stewart Slams President Obama Over VA Scandal

 

VeteransHealthAdmin

 

Whistleblower expands VA wait-list fraud to eighth facility

BY ED MORRISSEY

Add yet another VA facility to the deadly wait-list fraud scandal. The Daily Beast heard from a whistleblower in the Albuquerque VA organization that the same kind of wait-list fraud alleged at seven other facilities occurs in New Mexico as well. Veterans have to wait months to get medical attention, and any investigation may already be too late for some of them:

Add Albuquerque, New Mexico’s to the growing list of VA hospitals accused of keeping secret waiting lists to hide delays for veterans seeking medical care. And it may already be too late to get to the truth and find out what harm, if any, was done to veterans there—VA officials are already destroying records to cover their tracks, a whistleblower inside the hospital tells The Daily Beast. …

“The ‘secret wait list’ for patient appointments is being either moved or was destroyed after what happened in Phoenix,” according to a doctor who works at the Albuquerque VA hospital and spoke exclusively with The Daily Beast. “Right now,” the doctor said, “there is an eight-month waiting list for patients to get ultrasounds of their hearts. Some patients have died before they got their studies. It is unknown why they died, some for cardiac reasons, some for other reasons.”

There’s no proof yet that veterans died while waiting for treatment, like what allegedly happened in Phoenix. But the doctor says it’s quite possible that some veterans would still be alive if they hadn’t been pushed through a record-keeping trap door that buried their requests for medical care.

On March 19, 2014, for example, a patient with a deteriorating heart condition requested to see a doctor. The patient was finally seen only days ago, on May 16, when they were admitted to the hospital for decompensated heart failure. “A near miss” as the VA doctor familiar with the case described it. “He could have died before being seen.”

That patient was fortunate. It remains to be seen whether all of the patients affected by the alleged wait-list fraud in Albuquerque were as fortunate. They certainly weren’t in Phoenix.Stars and Stripes notes that treatment delays have been listed as factors in more than 100 deaths, although over a time frame that begins in 2001:

As controversy swirls around the Veterans Administration over deaths caused by delayed care, an investigation by the Dayton Daily News found that the VA settled many cases that appear to be related to delays in treatment.

A database of paid claims by the VA since 2001 includes 167 in which the words “delay in treatment” is used in the description. The VA paid out a total of $36.4 million to settle those claims, either voluntarily or as part of a court action.

The VA has admitted that 23 people have died because of delayed care, and is facing accusations that hospital administrators are gaming the system to conceal wait times, including using a “secret list” at the VA in Phoenix. …

The Dayton VA in 2009 paid out $140,000 for a 2006 claim that was described as “Failure/Delay in Admission to Hospital or Institution; Medication Administered via Wrong Route; Failure to Order Appropriate Test.”

A pending $3.5 million claim from March 2013 was filed by a man who says delayed treatment of his wife’s cervical cancer resulted in her death in March 2012. The names of the veteran and her widower were redacted.

Issues with access and treatment delays have been around for decades at the VA. That’s the reason why VA Secretary Eric Shinseki imposed the 14-day wait list metric in 2009, when he took over the Department of Veteran Affairs. The move was supposed to correct the chronic problem of timely access for many veterans. Instead, VA facilities across the country appear to have engaged in widespread and suspiciously similar fraud, and no one at the VA from Shinseki on down seems to have bothered to do anything about it — and have lied about knowledge of the issue to boot.

That’s enough for Dana Milbank, who called this weekend for Shinseki to be canned:

Eric Shinseki has served his country honorably as a twice-wounded officer in Vietnam, as Army chief of staff and finally as President Obama’s secretary of veterans affairs.

But his maddeningly passive response to the scandal roiling his agency suggests that the best way Shinseki can serve now is to step aside.

Reports have documented the deaths of about 40 veterans in Phoenix who were waiting for VA appointments — the latest evidence of widespread bookkeeping tricks used at the agency to make it appear as though veterans were not waiting as long for care as they really were. The abuses have been documented over several years by whistleblowers and leaked memorandums, and confirmed by a host of government investigators.

That’s bad enough. Worse was Shinseki’s response when he finally appeared before a congressional committee Thursday to answer questions about the scandal. He refused to acknowledge any systemic problem and declined to commit to do much of anything, insisting on waiting for the results of yet another investigation.

Shinseki did not cover himself in glory in Senate testimony last week. One indication of how big the problem has become was the abrupt dismissal of Robert Petzel, who was already on his way out for retirement in September. However, his replacement turns out to be even more problematic:

The person nominated two weeks ago to replace the VA’s outgoing undersecretary for health was responsible for supervising one of the hospitals at the center of the current scandal.

Dr. Jeffrey Murawsky was nominated on May 1 to replace Dr. Robert Petzel as undersecretary of health at the Department of Veterans of Affairs.   Petzel’s “resignation” was officially announced today, although his impending retirement was first announced last September.

Murawsky is currently the network director–effectively the CEO–of the VA region that includes the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in Chicago.  Before he moved up the VA hierarchy, he worked as a manager at the hospital.

Hines Hospital was the seventh facility to face allegations of wait-list fraud. Murawsky seems better suited to be the target of the investigation rather than the man running it. It’s time to clean house entirely at the VA.

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/05/19/whistleblower-expands-va-wait-list-fraud-to-eighth-facility/

He KNEW! Obama told of Veterans Affairs health care debacle as far back as 2008

By Jim McElhatton

The Washington Times

The Obama administration received clear notice more than five years ago that VA medical facilities were reporting inaccurate waiting times and experiencing scheduling failures that threatened to deny veterans timely health care — problems that have turned into a growing scandal.

Veterans Affairs officials warned the Obama-Biden transition team in the weeks after the 2008 presidential election that the department shouldn’t trust the wait times that its facilities were reporting.

 


“This is not only a data integrity issue in which [Veterans Health Administration] reports unreliable performance data; it affects quality of care by delaying — and potentially denying — deserving veterans timely care,” the officials wrote.

The briefing materials, obtained by The Washington Times through the Freedom of Information Act, make clear that the problems existed well before Mr. Obama took office, dating back at least to the Bush administration. But the materials raise questions about what actions the department took since 2009 to remedy the problems.

In recent months, reports have surfaced about secret wait lists at facilities across the country and, in the case of a Phoenix VA facility, accusations that officials cooked the books to try to hide long wait times. Some families said veterans died while on a secret wait list at the Phoenix facility.

Last week, Dr. Robert Petzel, undersecretary for health in the Department of Veterans Affairs, resigned. His boss, Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, told Congress he will stay despite growing calls for his resignation.

Mr. Shinseki, a disabled veteran, has headed the department since the beginning of Mr. Obama’s first term, when the VA report identified many of the problems.

“Should they have known? Absolutely, they should have known,” said Deirdre Parke Holleman, executive director of the Washington office for the Retired Enlisted Association, a veterans group, which has not taken a position on whether Mr. Shinseki should resign. “These are problems that should have been dealt with.”


PHOTOS: Eye-popping excuses in American political scandals


In particular, the 2008 transition report referred to a VA inspector general recommendation to test the accuracy of reported waiting times.

Such tests, the report noted, could prompt action if results reveal “questionable differences” between the dates shown in medical records and dates in the Veterans Health Administration’s scheduling system. It’s unclear whether that recommendation was adopted because VA officials have not responded to request for comment.

In Phoenix, officials are looking into whether as many as 40 veterans died while waiting for treatment, with “secret wait lists” used to conceal the delays. Speaking in the Republicans’ weekly address over the weekend, Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said the scandal began in his home state but it has since “gone nationwide.”

“Altogether, similar reports of lengthy waiting lists and other issues have surfaced in at least 10 states,” he said.

Acting VA Inspector General Richard J. Griffin told Congress last week that his office has opened multiple investigations into “reports of manipulated waiting times” in Phoenix as at other facilities.

He said his investigation also aims to find out whether officials in Phoenix purposely left off the names of veterans waiting for care on electronic waiting lists and, if so, whether any veterans died because of the delays in care.

Problems with electronic waiting lists also merited mention in the presidential briefing report.

Audits of outpatient scheduling and patient waiting times completed since 2005 have identified noncompliance with the policies and procedures for scheduling, inaccurate reporting of patient waiting times and errors in [electronic waiting lists],” the briefing papers state.

Briefing reports typically are prepared by career federal employees before a change in power, giving incoming administrations detailed looks at agency operations. The VA report notes that little was done to address the problems surrounding scheduling and wait time accuracy during the George W. Bush administration.

“Although VHA has recognized the need to improve scheduling practices and the accuracy of wait times data, no meaningful action has been taken to achieve this goal today,” officials wrote.

In fact, officials added, nine recommendations arising from inspector general audits from 2005 to 2007 were not implemented by 2008 when officials prepared the report for the incoming administration.

Jim Nicholson, who served as VA secretary during the latter half of the Bush administration, could not be reached for comment.

The briefing materials do not reveal any concerns about outright fraud in manipulating waiting times, but they make repeated references in summarizing past audits and reviews about data accuracy.

“This report and prior reports indicate that the problems and causes associated with scheduling, waiting times and wait lists are systemic throughout the VHA,” officials told the incoming administration.

Testifying to Congress last week, Mr. Shinseki said most veterans are satisfied with their health care, “but we must do more to improve the timely access to that care.”

The American Legion has called on Mr. Shinseki and Allison Hickey, VA undersecretary for benefits, to resign.

“They are both part of VA’s leadership problem,” American Legion Commander Daniel Dellinger said in a statement Friday. “This isn’t personal. VA needs a fundamental shift in leadership if it is to defeat its systematic lack of accountability.”


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/18/obama-warned-about-va-wait-time-problems-during-20/

Exclusive: VA Scandal Hits New Hospital

Veterans with serious heart conditions, gangrene, and even brain tumors waited months for care at the Albuquerque VA hospital, a whistleblowing doctor tells The Daily Beast.

Add Albuquerque, New Mexico’s to the growing list of VA hospitals accused of keeping secret waiting lists to hide delays for veterans seeking medical care. And it may already be too late to get to the truth and find out what harm, if any, was done to veterans there—VA officials are already destroying records to cover their tracks, a whistleblower inside the hospital tells The Daily Beast.

Last month, word broke that the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix kept a secret waiting list that allegedly led to dozens of preventable deaths. The VA’s inspector general was brought in to investigate the charges and hasn’t yet found any deaths in Phoenix linked to wait times, but his investigation is ongoing. Since then five other facilities have come under fire, leading to calls for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down. And now there’s Albuquerque’s. The evidence for this new secret list may be hard to track down, however.

“The ‘secret wait list’ for patient appointments is being either moved or was destroyed after what happened in Phoenix,” according to a doctor who works at the Albuquerque VA hospital and spoke exclusively with The Daily Beast. “Right now,” the doctor said, “there is an eight-month waiting list for patients to get ultrasounds of their hearts. Some patients have died before they got their studies. It is unknown why they died, some for cardiac reasons, some for other reasons.”

There’s no proof yet that veterans died while waiting for treatment, like what allegedly happened in Phoenix. But the doctor says it’s quite possible that some veterans would still be alive if they hadn’t been pushed through a record-keeping trap door that buried their requests for medical care.

On March 19, 2014, for example, a patient with a deteriorating heart condition requested to see a doctor. The patient was finally seen only days ago, on May 16, when they were admitted to the hospital for decompensated heart failure. “A near miss” as the VA doctor familiar with the case described it. “He could have died before being seen.”

The Albuquerque VA did not respond to requests for comment but Ozzie Garza, director of the VA Regional Office of Public Affairs, provided this statement to The Daily Beast: “We are not familiar with the allegations but will call immediately for an external review as we take all allegations seriously.”

“When everyone found out the IG was doing the audit, the word I heard was ‘Make sure nothing is left out in the open,’” the VA doctor said. “And that ranged from make sure there’s no food out to make sure there’s no information out in the open.” The doctor is not involved in the scheduling process and was unsure of how exactly VA officials would purge the secret wait lists but has heard it discussed among colleagues.

As VA officials reacted nervously to news of an impending audit, the doctor described hearing officials involved in scheduling patient appointments say, “The database had been removed or renamed.” To cover their tracks the doctor said they decided, “Instead of calling it a wait it would be called something like a precedence list.”

On March 19, a patient with a deteriorating heart condition requested to see a doctor. The patient was finally seen on May 16, when they were admitted to the hospital for decompensated heart failure.

When another of the doctor’s colleagues, a physician in a managerial position at the Albuquerque VA, saw the initial story about secret wait lists break he heard him say, “I always knew that Phoenix was better than us at playing the numbers game.”

Secret waiting lists may not be the only problems at the Albuquerque VA, in fact they may only be an accounting trick to mask the deeper issues.

Veterans with heart problems are waiting an average of four months to see a cardiologist at the Albuquerque VA, according to the doctor there who has access to patient records.

There are eight physicians in the cardiology department. But at any given time, only three are working in the clinic, where they see fewer than two patients per day, so on average there are only 36 veterans seen per week. That means the entire eight-person department sees as many patients in a week as a single private practice cardiologist sees in two days, according to the doctor.

For perspective, 60% of cardiologists reported seeing between 50 and 124 patients per week, according to a 2013 survey of medical professionals’ compensation conducted by Medscape. On the low end, the average single private practice cardiologist who participated in the study saw more patients in a week than the Albuquerque VA’s entire eight-person cardiology department.

In some cases, a long wait to see a doctor is just another routine inconvenience of the sort people expect in a large bureaucracy, but other times it can be a matter of life and death.

One veteran’s heart troubles were serious enough that a physician requested they be seen in the next available slot on January 8, 2014. Over three months later, the patient was seen in late April.

A patient whose initial blood test on December 8, 2013 suggested he might have a brain tumor waited until April 28 2014 before he was seen again. Another veteran, diagnosed with gangrene, was referred for surgery so doctors could try to salvage his limb or amputate it if necessary—it’s 36 days after he was initially supposed to see the surgeons and he’s still waiting now.

A second source inside the Albuquerque VA, a medical technician, said the facility provided high quality care. But the technician acknowledged it could take a long time before veterans get in the door to receive it.

The list of patients waiting for tests grew so long in one department that the technician became disheartened and stopped checking it around Christmas of last year. “I honestly stopped doing that because it just overwhelmed me personally,” the technician said.

The VA’s Office of Inspector General began investigating the Albuquerque medical center last year, according The Albuquerque Journal, after employees there reported that appointments were being manipulated to conceal patients’ actual wait times. That would mean that the inspector general, and the VA itself, knew about allegations of corruption there long before the Phoenix story broke in April.

Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, has been beating the drum about wait times and advocating reform since before the latest crisis  put the VA back in the spotlight. “VA’s delays in care problem is real and has already been linked to the recent deaths of at least 23 veterans,” Miller told The Daily Beast.

Yet it wasn’t until the latest VA scandal broke nationally—months after the inspector general first investigated claims that are strikingly similar to what was later reported in Phoenix—that Albuquerque’s came back into focus. The status of the initial investigation still hasn’t been made public.

Last week, New Mexico Senator Tom Udall requested a new investigation into his state’s VA hospitals. Udall called for the audit after his office received dozens of complaints from veterans about long wait times at the VA, and reports that Albuquerque’s schedulers were forging appointment records.

New Mexico is now the seventh state where allegations have emerged about VA medical facilities cooking the books. As new incidents continue to display the same features uncovered in past cases, the details are revealing a common language of bureaucratic corruption communicated across state lines between different VA facilities.

Yet, even as evidence builds of a systemic problem within the VA, the department itself has been slow to acknowledge it and even slower to act. In his testimony before the Senate last week, VA Secretary Shinseki referred to the six cases that had been revealed up to that point as “isolated incidents.”

Veterans, for their part, are divided over the proper response; many believe that the actual care provided by the VA is good and the problem is primarily about access. But as each new week brings another case that seems to show the same pattern of duplicity inside the VA, some are growing impatient.

“Our members are outraged and are demanding true accountability and systemic reform for what appears to be increasingly widespread problems,” said Derek Bennett, chief of staff for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). “We cannot fix the problems until all the facts are on the table,” Bennett said but added that, “scapegoating and politicization of this issue will not reform the Department of Veterans Affairs nor best serve our veterans.”

To encourage getting the facts on the table, the IAVA has started its own initiative to gather stories from veterans and VA employees. “We have partnered with the Project on Government Oversight on vaoversight.org to provide a safe place for whistleblowers to come forward for this very reason,” Bennett said.

Despite the volume of incidents that have already been publicly revealed and theinspector general’s admission last week that he had more evidence pointing to new mismanagement, the VA has not announced any broad reforms or disciplinary actions. In the only major leadership shakeup since the VA became embroiled in the secret wait list charges, Secretary Shinseki announced the resignation last week of Dr. Robert Petzel, his undersecretary for health. But as many were quick to point out, and in what the IAVA called a “cynicial twist,” Petzel was already scheduled to retire this year after a 40-year career.

For Rep. Miller, the time is overdue for change within the VA. “We simply can’t afford to wait for the results of another IG investigation or VA’s internal review when veterans may be at risk,” Miller said. Immediate actions can be taken now, Miller added, even before formal investigations draw their conclusions. “Sec. Shinseki needs to take emergency steps,” he said, “to ensure veterans who may have fallen victim to these schemes get the medical treatment they need.”

On Sunday, the White House, which has remained relatively quiet on the VA’s latest troubles, weighed in with an interview by President Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough.

“The president is madder than hell, and I’ve got the scars to prove it, given the briefings that I’ve given the president,” McDonough told CBS’ Face the Nation. “Madder than hell” was the first echo of Secretary Shinseki, amplifying a phrase he used in his testimony last week to describe his own feelings. The second echo of Shinseki came when McDonough said the president had sent staff to look into the VA investigation and “find out if this is a series of isolated cases or whether this is a systemic issue.”

The VA’s own investigation is ongoing and will continue to attract attention as more revelations, like the claims about the Albuquerque VA, keep coming out. It remains to be seen how leaders who are “madder than hell” will react to the evidence they find and what, if anything, they will order done about the situation.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/18/exclusive-v-a-scandal-hits-new-hospital.html

Vets Using Phoenix VA are Angry, Sick and Scared

by Jennifer Hlad

The veterans who use the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health System are angry, sick and scared.

They say they call and call, but get no answer.

They say they are ignored, disrespected and turned away by employees with no medical training.

They say they wait months for an appointment with a primary care doctor, then wait several more months to see a specialist.

More than 200 veterans and family members packed into American Legion Post 41 to share horror stories of delays, misdiagnoses and poor treatment with the national commander of the American Legion and the interim director of the Phoenix VA. Steve Young took over after whistleblowers revealed secret waiting lists used to cover up backlogs and extensive wait times. One of the whistleblowers, Dr. Samuel Foote, said there are at least 13,000 patients without primary care doctors, and even more who can’t get timely specialty appointments or follow-ups.

He said 40 veterans died while waiting for appointments in Phoenix VA clinics, and VA wrongdoings have surfaced in at least 10 states.

The Legion’s Daniel Dellinger told the crowd that the VA has “a pattern of unresponsiveness that has infected the entire system.”

People in the room waited their turn, then spoke of broken promises, fear and frustration. Some choked back tears; others spoke harshly of misplaced loyalty, angered that they had proudly served in the military yet weren’t being served by the VA in return.

Turned away

Dennis Morris’ arm was swollen, and he wasn’t feeling well, so he and his wife, Lynn, went to the Phoenix VA’s emergency room. They spent the whole night there, she said, and were sent home with a bag of ice.

The next day, his arm was worse — even more swollen and turning black. They went back to the ER and he was released with another bag of ice, she said.

On the third day, she insisted her husband go to the civilian hospital near their home in Sun City. Dennis was diagnosed with cellulitis and two strains of pneumonia, and he spent several days in the hospital. She said she had to write to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to get the VA to cover the medical bills.

Three years later, when her husband turned 65, she told him there was no longer any reason for him to go to the VA. She signed him up for Medicare, she said, but he still liked the VA.

Late last summer, Dennis, then 66, started feeling bad and began calling the VA to get an appointment with his primary care doctor. After about eight weeks and no appointment, the couple went to the ER at the VA. Dennis was seen immediately, she said, and the doctors did blood tests and took a chest X-ray. They discovered he was extremely anemic and admitted him for six or eight hours to administer iron directly into his blood.

But he didn’t get better. Early the next week he got a call from the VA saying he might have pneumonia. They sent him to a VA clinic closer to home for a second X-ray. He was given antibiotics, but he still felt bad.

Finally, Lynn decided to take her husband back to the civilian hospital. Within 12 hours, he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, she said. He died 21 days later.

“I’m convinced they never looked at the X-rays,” she said of the VA.

She acknowledges that it might have been too late to save her husband even if the doctors had found the cancer when they went to the VA emergency room in August. But, she said, the couple would have had time to make plans. Instead, he was nearly unconscious by the time he came home from the hospital 15 days after the diagnosis, and he died less than a week later.

“He just totally disintegrated,” she said. “I was not prepared to lose Dennis in five days.”

‘He stayed loyal to the military’

Navy veteran Dennis Richardson had struggled with post-traumatic stress and survivor syndrome since he returned from Vietnam, his brother Darrell said.

“But he stayed loyal to the military,” he said, and was proud to get his care at the VA.

Dennis Richardson split his time between Wisconsin and Arizona. When he was diagnosed with liver cancer by a civilian doctor in Wisconsin in late July 2012, he decided to get his treatment from the VA in Arizona.

He hand-carried his medical records and diagnosis to Phoenix, but when he tried to get an appointment with his primary care doctor at the VA so he could be referred to oncology, he was told he would have to wait seven months, his brother said.

“They wouldn’t even look at his records,” Darrell Richardson said. Family members tried calling to get him an appointment, but had no luck.

Richardson waited about three months, until he could no longer stand the pain. At the end of September 2012, he went to the VA emergency room and doctors started him on chemotherapy, but it was too late, his brother said. Dennis Richardson stopped chemo after a few weeks, saying he was simply too sick to handle it. He died Nov. 8, 2012, at the age of 65.

Darrell Richardson said he later found out that the Houston VA has one of the best liver cancer treatment programs in the country. If his brother had gotten a transfer to that program when he first arrived in Phoenix, he said, maybe he could have lived longer.

‘You have to be almost dead’

Carolyn Stoor struggled to hold back tears as she recounted the two times she said she almost lost her husband, Ken, in the past year.

“You have to be almost dead for them to do something” at the Phoenix VA clinics, she said.

Ken Stoor served in the Army from 1965 to 1969, and suffers from medical issues including diabetes, heart problems, PTSD and pre-cancerous tumors in his bladder, she said. He has been going to a VA clinic in Phoenix for about three years, even though it is about 65 miles away from their home in Superior, Ariz.

Ken Stoor kept his arm around her shoulders at the meeting, as she talked about how they have struggled to get him help.

In October, she took him to his primary care doctor with low blood pressure and a high fever. The doctor told her to take him home and “pump him full of fluids.”

She said she had already done that, so she took him to a civilian hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with a severe infection.

“They said, ‘We don’t know if he’s going to make it,'” Carolyn said, now crying.

After that, she requested a different primary care doctor for her husband.

“I actually told that last primary doctor what a rotten job she did: ‘Thank you very much but you almost killed him,'” she said. “I should have moved him out of the whole clinic,” she said, but they both really like the physician’s assistant he sees for his heart.

In April, Ken was having severe chest pains and Carolyn took him to the VA. He and six others were waiting for a test when the machine went down, she said.

They left to go to the civilian hospital, where doctors told her Ken was having a heart attack and might not survive.

“I just said, ‘I’m not letting him die on me,'” she said. “I’m not going to lose him over something stupid” like a broken machine.

Forgotten on the 4th floor

Robert Sertich served in the Air Force from 1947 to 1961. He went to the VA hospital in 2011 after being diagnosed with sepsis. His daughter, Kim Sertich, said doctors told her that he might be there for a few weeks.

He was 81, with underlying health issues, but she said he was coherent and could move around when she left him the first night.

By the second night, he was no longer coherent. She said she walked in to find him sitting in the dark, with his oxygen tube pinched under the wheels of his chair.

Doctors had requested an MRI to find the source of the infection, and he was put on a breathing machine in the intensive-care unit for a few days. He never got the test, she said.

When he started having trouble swallowing, the doctors put in a feeding tube.

One night, Robert pulled out the tube in his sleep. Kim gave permission for his hands to be loosely secured when he slept, so he couldn’t pull it out. Then he was moved to a different floor, Kim said, and the problems began adding up.

The MRI was never done, she said, and though a test of his swollen arm had been ordered on the third floor, the staff on the fourth floor never did it. They also refused to secure his hands, she said, and when he pulled the tube out, they wouldn’t put it back in.

Kim tried to feed her father, she said, but he could barely swallow. After a few days, Kim insisted they put the feeding tube back in. She paid for someone to watch her father 24 hours a day so he wouldn’t pull it out.

Her father’s blood tests were improving and he was getting more coherent, Kim said, but his arm continued to swell. When doctors realized it was a blood clot and began giving him blood thinners, “that was pretty much the end,” she said.

Robert Sertich died Nov. 14, 2011, after 33 days in the VA hospital. A week later, the hospital sent a condolence letter for “Richard Sertich.”

They keep coming back

Despite having serious problems with their care, many veterans return to the VA again and again for myriad reasons.

Stoor said her husband continues to go to the VA, where he has appointments and therapy a few times a week and gets many of his medications.

“It’s kind of scary, every time you go,” she said. “But if you don’t go, then you don’t get your benefit.”

Richardson said his brother always “stayed loyal to the military,” he said, and was proud to get his care at the VA, even with a cancer diagnosis, access to the Mayo Clinic and a seven-month wait for a referral.

Lynn Morris said she never really liked the VA, but her husband, Dennis, insisted on going there.

“The waiting room was horrendous,” she said, “and the attitude of the people working there was even worse.”

Still, he had served in the Army and liked his doctors at the VA, she said.

When he turned 65, his wife signed him up for Medicare, she said, but he still went to the VA.

She didn’t understand.

The emergency room was full of people with their heads between their legs because they were in such intense pain, she said. Foote said the average wait time there was frequently 12 to 16 hours.

“I thought it was a horrible mess from Day 1,” she said.

Robert Sertich lived nearly 90 miles from Phoenix, in Payson, Ariz., but going to the VA was “like this badge of honor,” his daughter Kim said.

The hospital floors were filthy, she said, and there were several days when the bathrooms for visitors and the hot water for patient showers didn’t work.

Young, the interim director of the Phoenix VA system, told the crowd he didn’t have answers for the veterans and families. But he stayed at the meeting for hours and took notes.

“I’m just here to listen and understand,” he said. “I don’t have the perfect solution yet.”

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/05/17/vets-using-phoenix-va-are-angry-sick-and-scared.html?ESRC=todayinmil.sm

Background Articles and Videos

United States Department of Veterans Affairs

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a government-run military veteran benefit system withCabinet-level status. It is the United States government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense.[1] With a total 2009 budget of about $87.6 billion, VA employs nearly 280,000 people at hundreds of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, clinics, and benefits offices and is responsible for administering programs of veterans’ benefits for veterans, their families, and survivors. In 2012, the proposed budget for Veterans Affairs was $132 billion. [2] The VA 2014 Budget request for 2014 is $152.7 billion. This includes $66.5 billion in discretionary resources and $86.1 billion in mandatory funding. The discretionary budget request represents an increase of $2.7 billion, or 4.3 percent, over the 2013 enacted level.[3]

It is administered by the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

History

The Continental Congress of 1776 encouraged enlistments during the American Revolutionary War by providing pensions for soldiers who were disabled. Direct medical and hospital care given to veterans in the early days of the republic was provided by the individual states and communities. In 1811, the first domiciliary and medical facility for veterans was authorized by the federal government, but not opened until 1834. In the 19th century, the nation’s veterans assistance program was expanded to include benefits and pensions not only for veterans, but also their widows and dependents.

VA Medical Center in ManhattanNew York City

After the Civil War, many state veterans’ homes were established. Since domiciliary care was available at all state veterans homes, incidental medical and hospital treatment was provided for all injuries and diseases, whether or not of service origin. Indigent and disabled veterans of the Civil War, Indian WarsSpanish-American War, and Mexican Border period as well as discharged regular members of the Armed Forces were cared for at these homes.

Congress established a new system of veterans benefits when the United States entered World War I in 1917. Included were programs for disability compensation, insurance for servicepersons and veterans, and vocational rehabilitation for the disabled. By the 1920s, the various benefits were administered by three different federal agencies: the Veterans Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions of the Interior Department, and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.

The establishment of the Veterans Administration came in 1930 when Congress authorized the president to “consolidate and coordinate Government activities affecting war veterans”. The three component agencies became bureaus within the Veterans Administration. Brigadier General Frank T. Hines, who directed the Veterans Bureau for seven years, was named as the first Administrator of Veterans Affairs, a job he held until 1945.

The close of World War II resulted in not only a vast increase in the veteran population, but also a large number of new benefits enacted by Congress for veterans of the war. In addition, during the late 1940s, the VA had to contend with aging World War I veterans. During that time, “the clientele of the VA increased almost five fold with an addition of nearly 15,000,000 World War II veterans and approximately 4,000,000 World War I veterans”.[4] Prior to World War II, in response to scandals at the Veterans Bureau, programs that cared for veterans were centralized in Washington, D.C. This centralization caused delays and bottlenecks as the agency tried to serve the World War II veterans. As a result, the VA went through a decentralization process, giving more authority to the field offices.[5]

The World War II GI Bill, signed into law on June 22, 1944, is said[by whom?] to have had more impact on the American way of life than any law since the Homestead Act nearly a century before.

The VA health care system has grown from 54 hospitals in 1930 to include 171 medical centers; more than 700 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 domiciliaries. VA health care facilities provide a broad spectrum of medical, surgical, and rehabilitative care. The responsibilities and benefits programs of the Veterans Administration grew enormously during the following six decades.

Further educational assistance acts were passed for the benefit of veterans of the Korean War, the Vietnam Era, the introduction of an “all-volunteer force” in the 1970s (following the end of conscription in the United States in 1973), the Persian Gulf War, and those who served following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Act of 1988 (Pub.L. 100-527) changed the former Veterans Administration, an independent government agency established in 1930, primarily to see to the needs of World War I veterans, into a Cabinet-level Department of Veterans Affairs. It was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on October 25, 1988, but actually came into effect under the term of his successor, George H. W. Bush, on March 15, 1989.

The Department of Veterans Affairs was created due to nearly one third of the population being eligible for veterans benefits. Its proponents argued that due to the large number of Americans affected by the VA, it needed an administrator who had direct access to the president.[6]

In their major reform period of 1995–2000, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) implemented universal primary care, closed 55% of their acute care hospital beds, increased patients treated by 24%, had a 48% increase in ambulatory care visits, and decreased staffing by 12%. By 2000, the VHA had 10,000 fewer employees than in 1995 and a 104% increase in patients treated since 1995, and had managed to maintain the same cost per patient-day, while all other facilities’ costs had risen over 30% to 40% during the same period.

VA Medical Center in Palo Alto, California

Functions

The Department of Veterans Affairs is headed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The current Secretary of Veterans Affairs is Retired Army General Eric Shinseki.

Its primary function is to support Veterans in their time after service by providing benefits and support. A current initiative in the Department is to prevent and end Veterans’ homelessness.[7] The VA works with the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness to address these issues. Shinseki sits on the Council and is committed to ending Veteran’s homelessness by 2015 as laid out in Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, released in 2010.[8]

The Department has three main subdivisions, known as Administrations, each headed by an Undersecretary:

  • Veterans Health Administration (VHA): responsible for providing health care in all its forms, as well as for biomedical research (under the Office of Research and Development), Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), and Regional Medical Centers
  • Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA): responsible for initial veteran registration, eligibility determination, and five key lines of business (benefits and entitlements): Home Loan Guarantee, Insurance, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, Education (GI Bill), and Compensation & Pension
  • National Cemetery Administration: responsible for providing burial and memorial benefits, as well as for maintenance of VA cemeteries

Benefits

The benefits provided include disability compensation, pension, education, home loans, life insurance, vocational, rehabilitation, survivors’ benefits, medical benefits, and burial benefits.[9] The VA currently breaks down benefits in a benefits booklet.[10] Benefits and topics include; VA Health Care Benefits, Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities, VA Pensions, Education and Training, Home Loan Guaranty, VA Life Insurance, Burial and Memorial Benefits, Reserve and National Guard, Special Groups of Veterans, Transition Assistance, Dependents and Survivors Health Care, Dependents and Survivors Benefits, Appeals of VA Claims Decisions, Military Medals and Records, and Other Federal Benefits.

Costs for care

As is common in any time of war, recently there has been an increased demand for nursing home beds, injury rehabilitation, and mental health care. VA categorizes veterans into eight priority groups and several additional subgroups, based on factors such as service-connected disabilities, and one’s income and assets (adjusted to local cost of living).

Veterans with a 50% or higher service-connected disability as determined by a VA regional office “rating board” (e.g., losing a limb in battle, PTSD, etc.) are provided comprehensive care and medication at no charge. Veterans with lesser qualifying factors who exceed a pre-defined income threshold have to make co-payments for care for non-service-connected ailments and pay $9 per 30-day supply for each prescription medication. VA dental and nursing home care benefits are more restricted.

VA Medical Center in Long Beach, California

Reservists and National Guard personnel who served stateside in peacetime settings or have no service-related disabilities generally do not qualify for VA health benefits.[11]

VA’s budget has been pushed to the limit in recent years by the War on Terrorism.[12] In December 2004, it was widely reported that VA’s funding crisis had become so severe that it could no longer provide disability ratings to veterans in a timely fashion.[13] This is a problem because until veterans are fully transitioned from the active-duty TRICARE healthcare system to VA, they are on their own with regard to many healthcare costs.

The VA’s backlog of pending disability claims under review (a process known as “adjudication”) peaked at 421,000 in 2001, and bottomed out at 254,000 in 2003, but crept back up to 340,000 in 2005.[14]

No copayment is required for VA services for veterans with military-related medical conditions. VA-recognized service-connected disabilities include problems that started or were aggravated due to military service. Veteran service organizations such as the American LegionVeterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans, as well as state-operated Veterans Affairs offices and County Veteran Service Officers (CVSO), have been known to assist veterans in the process of getting care from the VA.

In his budget proposal for fiscal year 2009, President George W. Bush requested $38.7 billion—or 86.5% of the total Veterans Affairs budget—for veteran medical care alone.

In the 2011 Costs of War report from Brown University, researchers projected that the cost of caring for veterans of the War on Terror would peak 30–40 years after the end of combat operations. They also predicted that medical and disability costs would ultimately total between $600 billion and $1 trillion for the hundreds of thousands treated by the Department of Veterans Affairs.[15]

The New GI Bill

The new GI Bill authored by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) doubled GI Bill college benefits while providing a 13-week extension to federal unemployment benefits. The new GI Bill doubled the value of the benefit to roughly $90,000 up from $40,000. In-state public universities essentially are covered to provide full scholarships for veterans under the new education package. For those veterans who served at least three years a monthly housing stipend was also added to the law.

Upon passage of the new GI Bill President George W. Bush stated “Our nation has no greater responsibility than to support our men and women in uniform—especially because we’re at war… This bill shows the American people that even in an election year, Republicans and Democrats can come together to support our troops and their families”, which highlighted that the new GI Bill had been overwhelmingly supported by both parties in the U.S. Congress.[16]

Congress and President Barack Obama extended the new GI Bill in August of 2009 at the cost of roughly $70 billion over the next decade. Upon passing the GI Bill extension President Obama stated his support of the fighting forces of the United States by saying “Over the last eight years, they have endured tour after tour of duty in dangerous and distant places… They’ve experienced grueling combat, from the streets of Fallujah to the harsh terrain of Helmand province. They’ve adapted to complex insurgencies, protected local populations and trained foreign security forces.”

The Pentagon worked closely with Congressional lawmakers to ensure military families were protected in the expansion of the law. In doing so, military officials worked non-stop to add a provision to extend the GI Bill to the surviving spouse and children of servicemembers killed while in combat.

This provision was highly favored by the Pentagon which authorized the Department of Defense (DoD) to allow individuals who, on or after August 1, 2009, have served at least 6 years in the Armed Forces and who agree to serve at least another 4 years in the U.S. Armed Forces to transfer unused entitlement to their surviving spouse. Servicemembers reaching 10 year anniversaries could choose to transfer the benefit to any dependent(s) (spouse, children).[17]

National Cemetery Administration

In 1973, the Veterans Administration assumed another major responsibility when the National Cemetery System (NCS) (except for Arlington National Cemetery) was transferred to the Veterans Administration from the Department of the Army.

The VA was charged with the operation of the NCS, including the marking of graves of all persons in national and State cemeteries (and the graves of veterans in private cemeteries, upon request) as well and administering the State Cemetery Grants Program. The VA’s National Cemetery Administration maintains 131 national cemeteries in 39 states (and Puerto Rico) as well as 33 soldier’s lots and monument sites.

The Department of the Army maintains two national cemeteries, the Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldiers’ & Airmen’s Home National Cemetery. Many states have established state veterans cemeteries. The American Battle Monuments Commission maintains 24 overseas military cemeteries that serve as resting places for almost 125,000 American war dead; on Tablets of the Missing that memorialize more than 94,000 U.S. servicemen and women; and through 25 memorials, monuments and markers.

Fourteen national cemeteries are maintained by the National Park Service.

Related legislation

See also

Notes and references

  1. Jump up^ [1] USA.GOV
  2. Jump up^ [2] VA Press Release 2011
  3. Jump up^ [3] VA.gov
  4. Jump up^ Kammerer, Gladys 1948. “The Veterans Administration in Transition”. Public Administration Review Vol. 8, No. 2, pp 104.
  5. Jump up^ Kammerer, Gladys 1948. “The Veterans Administration in Transition”. Public Administration Review Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 103–109.
  6. Jump up^ http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/archives/docs/history_in_brief.pdf
  7. Jump up^ [4]
  8. Jump up^ Opening Doors | United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). Usich.gov (2010-06-22). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  9. Jump up^ Benefits: Links, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Retrieved May 26, 2007
  10. Jump up^ [5] Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors
  11. Jump up^ Detailed list of VA eligibility criteria
  12. Jump up^ Dennis Camire, “New fees, limits face ailing veterans,” Albany Times Union, 10 February 2003, A1.
  13. Jump up^ Cheryl L. Reed, “VA chief orders inspector to probe disability rating system,”Chicago Sun-Times, 11 December 2004, A3.
  14. Jump up^ Cory Reiss, “VA fighting losing battle against backlog of veterans’ claims”,Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 27 May 2005, A7.
  15. Jump up^ “Caring for US Veterans”Costs of War. Brown University. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  16. Jump up^ [6] President Bush Signs GI Bill
  17. Jump up^ [7] Post-911 GI Bill Transferability Fact Sheet

Further reading

In 1998, the Institute of Medicine began a series of studies to respond to requests from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Congress for an examination of the health effects of potentially harmful agents to which Gulf War veterans might have been exposed.

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The Pronk Pops Show 185 January 3, 2014: Story 1: Lose 100 Pounds By Not Buying and Eating the Seven Deadly C Foods: Candy, Chocolate, Cookies, Crackers, Cake, Cheese and Cream (ICE) — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show 177, December 2, 2013, Segment 0: Confirmed 4 Dead and 63 Injured in New York City Train Derailment — Brakes Failed? — Videos

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Segment 0: Confirmed 4 Dead and 63 Injured in New York City Train Derailment — Brakes Failed? — Videos

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Member Weener briefs media on Bronx, N.Y., Metro North train derailment, December 1, 2013

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A commuter train that derailed over the weekend, killing four passengers, was hurtling at 82 mph as it entered a 30 mph curve, a federal investigator said Monday. But whether the wreck was the result of human error or mechanical trouble was unclear, he said.

Safety experts said the tragedy might have been prevented if Metro-North Railroad had installed automated crash-avoidance technology that safety authorities have been urging for decades.

The locomotive’s speed was extracted from the train’s two data recorders after the Sunday morning accident, which happened in the Bronx along a bend so sharp that the speed limit drops from 70 mph to 30 mph.

Asked why the train was going so fast, National Transportation Safety Board member Earl Weener said: “That’s the question we need to answer.”

Weener would not disclose what the engineer operating the train told investigators, and he said results of drug and alcohol tests were not yet available. Investigators are also examining the engineer’s cellphone, apparently to determine whether he was distracted.

“When I heard about the speed, I gulped,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

The engineer, William Rockefeller, was injured and “is totally traumatized by everything that has happened,” said Anthony Bottalico, executive director of the rail employees union.

He said Rockefeller, 46, was cooperating fully with investigators.

“He’s a sincere human being with an impeccable record that I know of. He’s diligent and competent,” Bottalico said. Rockefeller has been an engineer for about 11 years and a Metro-North employee for about 20, he said.

Weener sketched a scenario that suggested that the throttle was let up and the brakes were fully applied way too late to stave off disaster.

He said the throttle went to idle six seconds before the derailed train came to a complete stop — “very late in the game” for a train going that fast — and the brakes were fully engaged five seconds before the train stopped.

It takes about a mile for a train going 70 mph to stop, according to Steve Ditmeyer, a former Federal Railroad Administration official who now teaches at Michigan State University.

Asked whether the tragedy was the result of human error or faulty brakes, Weener said: “The answer is, at this point in time, we can’t tell.”

But he said investigators are not aware of any problems with the brakes during the nine stops the train made before the derailment.

The wreck came two years before the federal government’s deadline for Metro-North and other railroads to install automatic-slowdown technology designed to prevent catastrophes caused by human error.

Metro-North’s parent agency and other railroads have pressed the government to extend Congress’ 2015 deadline a few years because of the cost and complexity of the Positive Train Control system, which uses GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor trains and stop them from colliding, derailing or going the wrong way.

Ditmeyer said the technology would have monitored the brakes and would not have allowed the train in Sunday’s tragedy to exceed the speed limit.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/nyc-train-derailment-kills-4-hurts-more-than-60/2013/12/01/fb8e3a0e-5ae8-11e3-801f-1f90bf692c9b_story.html

4 dead, 63 injured in NYC train derail ‘bloodbath’

By Larry Celona, Jamie Schram and Kevin Sheehan

A Metro-North train loaded with holiday travelers derailed as it hurtled around a tight Bronx curve just north of Manhattan on Sunday — leaving at least four dead and 63 injured in a crash the engineer blamed on brake malfunction.

“It was just a bloodbath,” a shaken FDNY worker said of the scene of twisted metal and shattered glass along a bucolic stretch of the Hudson River, where the accident occurred just north of the Spuyten Duyvil station at 7:22 a.m.

Rescue crews were still working early Monday morning to right three of the seven derailed passenger cars to look for more possible bodies.

The train’s operator — 20-year MTA veteran William Rockefeller, 46, of upstate Germantown — was said to have told emergency responders that the brakes didn’t work.

“The guy’s distraught over the accident and the people who were injured,” a source said of Rockefeller, who was among those hurt.

All of those killed were New Yorkers. They included two women — Ahn Kisook, 35, of Queens, and Donna Smith, 54, of Newburgh — as well as married dads James Ferrari, 59, of Montrose and James Lovell, 58, of Cold Spring.

Three of the dead were thrown from the Hudson Line train, which had originated in Poughkeepsie at 5:54 a.m., bound for Grand Central. Their bodies were recovered between the second and third cars.

Passenger Emilie Miyauchi, 28, said she used her yoga mat to cover one of the victims.

“[She] seemed like she had lost most of her head. The side of the car was just covered in her blood,” she recalled.

Injured passengers are removed from the derailed Metro-North train.Photo: William Farrington

It was the first time any passenger had been killed in Metro-North’s 31-year history.

Riders described chaos as the train flew off the tracks.

“I was just holding on . . . and people were flying around,” said Eddie Russell, 48, who was headed to work as a guard at SiriusXM. “I was afraid I was going to fall out the window.”

Joel Zaritsky said he was asleep and woke up as his train car started rolling over.

“Then I saw the gravel coming at me, and I heard people screaming,” he said.

The scene “looked like a toy train set that was mangled by some super-powerful force,” Gov. Cuomo later told CNN.

Gov. Cuomo said Monday that the high speed of the train probably caused the accident.

“I think it’s going to be speed-related,” he said. “It’s not about the turn. I think it’s going to be about the speed…” he said on NBC’s “Today” show.

Cuomo added that investigators are still trying to determine if the excessive speed was caused by “operator error” or a mechanical or other problem.

The governor called the scene of the tragedy horrific.

“It was actually worse than it looks,” he said.

Later, on Fox’s “Good Day New York,” he said it was hard to describe what he saw.

“This was breathtaking,” Cuomo recalled. “One minute everything is fine and the next minute we lost New Yorkers in a really tragic and violent way.

The first train car landed inches from Spuyten Duyvil Creek. NYPD divers searched the water to make sure no victims were thrown in.

The train, pushed by a diesel locomotive from behind, should have been going 70 mph before it slowed to 30 mph to round the curve, officials said.

Passengers told probers that the train seemed to be going much faster than usual.

“I have no idea why. I take this train every morning, and they always slow on this curve,” passenger Frank Tatulli told WABC-TV.

A person is evacuated from the scene of the derailment of a Metro-North passenger train in The Bronx.Photo: AP

Investigators recovered the train’s “black box,” which should reveal how fast it was going when it crashed, said officials with the National Transportation Safety Board, which is leading the probe.

There were 120 passengers aboard — making it about half full — along with four crew.

At least 11 people were critically hurt, including a man in his early 40s who suffered a spinal-cord injury and may be paralyzed, authorities said. A 14-year-old boy also was critical.

Another six people were hospitalized in serious condition.

Firefighters at the scene where a train derailed in The Bronx Sunday morning.Photo: Theodore Parisienne

The train’s conductor was among those injured, as were three city cops. The most seriously hurt officer, Elsie Rodriguez, was on her way to work at her domestic-violence post at the 40th Precinct station in The Bronx, said sources, who added that she broke her collarbone.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly visited Rodriguez at St. Barnabas Hospital in The Bronx. Mayor Bloomberg — who had been MIA for most of the day, with staffers refusing to say where he was — also dropped in to see Rodriguez on Sunday evening.

“We chitchatted about her job and how I was going to be unemployed, and she thought that was funny,” Bloomberg said.

Asked about why he hadn’t been at the accident scene, the mayor responded, “What can I do? I’m not a professional firefighter or a police officer. There’s nothing I can do! What I can do is make sure the right people from New York . . . are there and have all the resources that they want.”

Two other cops were treated at Montefiore Medical Center, also in The Bronx. They were identified as Richie Hernandez of the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit and Gabriel Rodriguez of the 42nd Precinct. Rodriguez, who was on his way to work, was treated for a leg injury and released, sources said.

An NYPD school-safety officer also was on board, along with a Police Department recruit, but neither was hurt, sources said.

NTSB member Earl Weener said six teams of investigators would be probing everything from the train’s speed and instruments to its maintenance and personnel records and the condition of the tracks.

“Our mission is to understand not just what happened but why it happened,” he said.

Cuomo insisted that the train route’s curve had nothing to do with anything.

“Trains take the curve every day 365 days a year, so it’s not the fact that there’s a curve here,’’ he said. “There has to be another factor.’’

The accident was the second involving a Metro-North train in six months.

http://nypost.com/2013/12/01/metro-north-train-derails-in-the-bronx/

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The Pronk Pops Show 176, November 26, 2013, Segment 0: Obamacare Success Story? Millions More Enrolled in Medicaid and Food Stamps — Government Dependency On The Rise — 30 Million Seeking Full Time Jobs — Wonder What Failure Looks Like? — Videos

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Segment 0: Obamacare Success Story? Millions More Enrolled in Medicaid and Food Stamps — Government Dependency On The Rise — 30 Million Seeking Full Time Jobs — Wonder What Failure Looks Like?

2013_US_poverty_linepoverty-guidelines-2013

US-Poverty-Rate

How Medicaid & Obamacare Hurt the Poor – and How to Fix Them

Medicaid Sign Ups Outnumber People Enrolling In Paid For Obamacare Plans Lou Dobbs

CBS: ObamaCare System Threatened From High Medicaid Enrollment In Many States

Obamacare: Medicaid enrollment outpacing private insurance could ca

Stimulus, Obamacare & The New Republic: May 2013 Reason Mag

Your Doctor Is Not In? ObamaCare may put your doctor out of business.

83% of Private Practice Doctors Quiting Due to Obamacare Main Stream Media Keeping Quiet

Obamacare Has Always Been About Killing Grandma & Grandpa

Government Payouts – Nick Gillespie

ObamaCare Event In Arkansas Hands Out Condoms As Prizes

[youtube3=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU5AbKY4ZSY]

Is There a Silver Lining to the Supreme Court’s Obamacare Decision?

The History of Medicaid (According to Frank Thompson)

47 Years of Medicare & Medicaid

Heritage Hangout: Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion

Why new Medicaid enrollment is soaring

Christine Vestal

States are reporting far higher enrollment in Medicaid than in private insurance since the Affordable Care Act exchanges opened Oct. 1. In Maryland, for example, the number of newly eligible Medicaid enrollees is more than 25 times the number of people signed up for private coverage.

Even some Medicaid experts say they are surprised at the early numbers.

Stateline survey of the 25 expansion states and the District of Columbia provides clear explanations for the strong Medicaid rollout so far.

The biggest reason for the initial jump in Medicaid enrollment is that hundreds of thousands of people in the expansion states have been pre-qualified for expanded Medicaid because they are already enrolled in low-income state health care. Illinois, for example, will roll over 100,000 Cook County residents who have received expanded Medicaid benefits since 2011.

Another reason for the big numbers is aggressive outreach campaigns in many states, including mailings to residents enrolled in other safety net programs. Oregon, for example, signed up 70,000 enrollees in October by contacting residents who receive food stamps.

A much smaller number of people in expansion states are also signing up on state exchanges and Medicaid websites. The federal government has not yet released the number of Medicaid applications filed on federally-operated exchange sites in the 34 states that are not running their own exchanges.

To be sure, the rush to enroll in Medicaid indicates a strong demand for health care coverage. But the early spike is more a function of states’ proven ability to find, educate and enroll low-income residents than an indication of an imbalance with healthier people who can afford insurance, as has been suggested.

It is important to note that early enrollment numbers reflect so-called “low hanging fruit,” said Matt Salo, director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. Future increases are expected to be smaller.

The states that chose to expand Medicaid, Salo said, are predisposed to aggressively reach out to potential beneficiaries. “Most have been more committed to Medicaid than the other states,” he said.

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that Medicaid expansion was up to states, the Congressional Budget Office downgraded its original projection that 13 million people would qualify for expanded Medicaid in 2014 and 17 million by 2020. Now, the federal estimate is 7 million by the end of 2014 and 11 million by 2020.

Stateline‘s survey indicates at least 1.5 million people have already signed up or have been pre-qualified for expanded Medicaid in the 19 states that provided counts. Expected total enrollment in those states is 3.7 million.

Following are the details available as of Nov. 5:

Arizona: The number of new applications is not available at this time. In total, Arizona expects 57,000 people to qualify for its expanded Medicaid program. In addition, the state expects 240,000 more individuals to enroll in its existing Medicaid program for childless adults with incomes at or below the federal poverty level ($11,490). Enrollment in that program was frozen in 2012 and currently totals 70,000.

Arkansas: Arkansas has received 70,595 applications for its expanded Medicaid program. Of those, 3,672 came through the state’s existing Medicaid website, 1,785 were paper or phone applications, and the rest were positive responses to a mailing to 132,000 households that receive food stamps. Ultimately, the state expects about 250,000 uninsured residents to qualify.

California: California plans to release enrollment numbers from its state-run website in mid-November. Newly eligible enrollment in expanded Medicaid is expected to total about 1.4 million. Of that number, 600,000 people will come from the state’s early expansion program approved by the federal government in 2011.

Colorado: Colorado has qualified more than 25,000 adults for its expanded Medicaid program. Of that number, approximately 9,000 were on a waiting list for an existing Medicaid program that covers adults with extremely low incomes. Another 10,000 people enrolled in that program will also be transferred to expanded Medicaid coverage in January. Combined, that comes to 35,000 individuals, more than 20 percent of the 160,000 uninsured residents Colorado expects to be eligible for its expanded Medicaid program.

Connecticut: Connecticut has enrolled 3,550 new people in its expanded Medicaid program through its state-run exchange and Medicaid website. In addition, at least 48,000 enrolled in a state-run low income-health program have already been moved into expanded Medicaid. Connecticut expects a total of 55,000 expanded Medicaid enrollees in 2014.

Delaware: No new enrollment data is available yet. Delaware already provides Medicaid coverage for 30,000 adults with incomes up to the federal poverty level ($11,490). Its expanded Medicaid program is expected to cover another 30,000 people with incomes between $11,490 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($15,856).

District of Columbia: D.C. began expanding its Medicaid program in June 2010. By June 2013, nearly 50,000 new people were enrolled. The District has not estimated how many people will ultimately enroll in expanded Medicaid.

Hawaii: Hawaii has approved 6,100 applications for expanded Medicaid. By 2014, the state expects a total of 54,000 enrollees.

Illinois: The Illinois Medicaid agency has received 30,124 applications for expanded Medicaid through its existing website. Illinois has an exchange partnership with the federal government so applications are also being filed on the federally-run exchange. In addition to online applications, 46,000 people responded to an August mailing to 123,000 food stamp recipients. Illinois has enrolled 26,000 of those respondents and is processing the balance. In addition, 100,000 people in Cook County who participate in a limited early Medicaid expansion enrollment group will automatically be rolled over to the expansion program on Jan. 1. Projected enrollment is 342,000.

Iowa: No new numbers are available on Medicaid applications. In all, 150,000 uninsured Iowans are expected to qualify under the proposed expansion. About 63,000 residents with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($22,980) are currently enrolled in a Medicaid health plan with limited benefits. Most are expected to qualify for expanded Medicaid. Iowa has not yet received federal approval for its Medicaid expansion plan, which is similar to Arkansas’ so-called private option.

Kentucky: Kentucky has received 25,654 applications for expanded Medicaid through its state-run exchange. Ultimately, the state expects 308,000 low-income individuals to qualify.

Maryland: The number of applications from its state-run website is not yet available. However, Maryland has an existing, limited-benefit health plan known as Primary Adult Care (PAC) available to all adults with incomes up to 123 percent of the federal poverty level ($14,133). As of Sept. 30, enrollment in the plan was 82,423. Maryland expects enrollment in PAC to expand to 88,000 by Jan. 1, 2014, when the entire population will automatically convert to full Medicaid benefits. In addition, residents in a narrow income band (124 percent to 138 percent of poverty) can sign up for expanded Medicaid on the state exchange. Overall, Maryland expects 110,000 people to be enrolled by the end of 2014.

Massachusetts: No enrollment numbers are available at this time. As a result of its own health care reforms launched in 2006, Massachusetts has a 97 percent insured rate. Still, the state expects about 45,000 people to obtain Medicaid coverage as a result of the expansion.

Michigan: No enrollment numbers are available. The Michigan legislature approved Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed Medicaid expansion in September but postponed implementation until April 2014.

Minnesota: The federal government granted Minnesota special permission to enroll 84,000 individuals in the expanded Medicaid program in 2011. Another 2,496 newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries completed applications on the state-run exchange in the first two weeks of October. Ultimately, Minnesota expects to cover 265,000 adults in its expansion. In addition, it is the only state that has opted to provide a so-called “Basic Health Plan” for people with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty line ($22,980). Under the ACA, the federal government will pay 85 percent of the costs starting in 2015. That program is expected to grow to 160,000.

Nevada: No information is available at this time.

New Jersey: No information is available at this time.

New Mexico: New Mexico has approved 2,507 applications for expanded Medicaid through the federally operated exchange and its existing Medicaid website. In addition, 100,000 enrollees in two limited-benefit state health care programs will be rolled into the expanded Medicaid. New Mexico expects 130,000 people will be in the expanded program by 2015.

New York: No enrollment numbers are available yet. New York already covers parents with incomes up to 150 percent of the federal poverty line ($17,235) and childless adults with incomes up to the poverty line ($11,490).

North Dakota: The Medicaid agency has received 147 applications for expanded Medicaid. In December, the state plans to send letters to 36,000 households that receive food stamps or home heating assistance, inviting eligible adults to sign up for expanded Medicaid. Total enrollment in expanded Medicaid is expected to reach 32,000.

Ohio: The most recent state to expand Medicaid, Ohio expects to sign up 275,000 newly eligible Medicaid enrollees. Republican Gov. John Kasich sidestepped the state legislature and won approval for expansion Oct. 21 from an executive branch Controlling Board. The state has not yet begun enrollment. The Medicaid agency says it will announce soon when enrollment will begin.

Oregon: Oregon has approved 70,000 applications for expanded Medicaid. Its state-run website had some initial technical difficulties, but new applications were filed over the phone, in person and through the mail. The vast majority of enrollments came from a mailing in late September that went to 260,000 residents who either receive food stamps or have children enrolled in Medicaid. The state expects roughly 223,000 adults to be enrolled in its expanded Medicaid program by 2015.

Rhode Island: Rhode Island has approved 3,213 new applications for its expanded Medicaid program. Another 835 are in progress. Projected enrollment is 23,428.

Vermont: About 1,000 individuals have signed up for Medicaid on Vermont’s exchange or by submitting paper applications. In addition, 30,000 adults enrolled in two state-run low-income health plans will be rolled into the expanded Medicaid program. By 2015, Vermont expects enrollment to reach 160,000.

Washington: Through its state-run exchange and Medicaid sites, Washington has signed up 26,336 people. Another 30,000 people enrolled in a low-income health program will be automatically enrolled in expanded Medicaid, bringing the total to 56,336. The state expects 270,000 people to qualify by the end of 2014.

West Virginia: West Virginia has pre-qualified 52,056 residents for its expanded Medicaid program. Projected new enrollment is 63,000.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/06/new-medicaid-enrollment-healthcare/3453929/

About Medicaid


Medicaid Home
About Medicaid
Medicaid Expansion
Medicaid Defense
Waivers

Since 1965, Medicaid has been the backbone of this country’s health care safety net. Jointly funded by the states and the federal government, Medicaid covers more than 58 million low-income Americans, including families, people with disabilities, and the elderly. Today, Medicaid provides coverage for almost 29 million children and pays for approximately half of all long-term care costs.

Medicaid is jointly funded by the states and the federal government. Federal law requires state Medicaid programs to cover certain categories of individuals and services. Beyond that, states have wide flexibility in the design and implementation of their Medicaid programs.

Medicaid Today: Even though Medicaid has helped millions gain access to health care, many low-income people have been left out.  In 30 states, income eligibility for parents is set below 50 percent of poverty (in 2012, that’s an annual income of $9,545 for a family of three). In most states, adults without dependent children, no matter how poor, cannot get Medicaid coverage at all.

Medicaid Expansion: In 2014, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, states can get substantial federal funding to expand Medicaid to all residents with incomes at or below 133 percent of poverty, thus extending Medicaid coverage to individuals who have been left out of the program. [Note: Since 5 percent of income is not included—is “disregarded”—when eligibility is determined, the expansion, in effect, applies to those with incomes at or below 138 percent of poverty.]

For more on how Medicaid works today, and how it will work under the Medicaid expansion, see:

Financing 

Medicaid Today: Generally speaking, each state receives matching dollars from the federal government, and those matching rates vary across the states from 50 to 76 percent. This means that, for every dollar a state spends on Medicaid, the federal government contributes between $1.00 and $3.17. Federal matching rates are based on the per capita income of the states, so states with lower per capita incomes get higher matching rates.

Medicaid Expansion: In 2014, the Affordable Care Act gives states the opportunity to expand their Medicaid programs to cover all individuals with incomes at or below 138 percent of poverty (see note above), an income of about $31,809 for a family of four in 2012. That will extend coverage to many low-income adults currently left out of the program and simplify eligibility determinations across the program.

Eligibility 

Medicaid Today:

Federal Requirements
Federal law requires states to cover certain categories of people in Medicaid. In general, there are six categories of so-called “mandatory” individuals: 1) children, 2) pregnant women, 3) very low-income parents, 4) the elderly, and individuals who are 5) blind or 6) disabled. Eligibility levels for these groups of people varies by income:

  • Children under age six with family incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($25,390 for a family of three in 2012)
  • Children ages 6-19 with family incomes up to 100 percent of poverty ($19.090 for a family of three in 2012)
  • Pregnant women with family incomes up to 133 percent of poverty
  • Parents whose income meets the state’s AFDC (former welfare program) criteria in place as of July 1996
  • People who are elderly, blind, or who have disabilities and who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may have incomes up to 74 percent of poverty ($8,266 for an individual in 2012)
  • Certain people with severe disabilities who would qualify for SSI if they did not work
    Elderly individuals and people with disabilities whose Medicare premiums are paid by Medicaid through the “QMB,” ”SLMB,” and “QI” programs—generally speaking, these are individuals who have incomes below 150 percent of poverty

State Options
States have the flexibility to increase these income limits to allow more people to qualify for Medicaid for several general categories of people, as follows:

  • Low-income children, parents, and pregnant women with family incomes above mandatory cutoff levels and up to whatever income limit the states decide
  • People who are blind, elderly, or disabled with incomes above the SSI level but below 100 percent of poverty ($10,830 for an individual in 2010)
  • Nursing home residents with incomes above SSI levels but below 300 percent of poverty ($32,490 for an individual in 2010)
  • People with disabilities who work and have incomes above the SSI limit
  • Medically needy individuals who require institutional care but who have incomes that are too high to qualify for SSI—these individuals can deduct the cost of their institutional care from their income in order to qualify for Medicaid

The Affordable Care Act requires states to maintain the Medicaid eligibility levels, policies, and procedures that were in place in March 2010 (the date the Affordable Care Act was enacted) until the state has an operational exchange.

Medicaid Expansion: In 2014, states can expand their Medicaid programs to cover virtually all individuals under the age of 65 with incomes below 133 percent of poverty. Income eligibility for those over 65 will remain unchanged. For those newly eligible through this expansion, the federal government will cover 100 percent of costs for 2014 through 2016, gradually falling to 90 percent in 2020. The federal contribution will remain at 90 percent thereafter. States have the option to implement this expansion sooner.

In states that expand Medicaid, the historic federal Medicaid matching formula will still apply to individuals who meet the Medicaid eligibility criteria in place as of December 1, 2009.

For more information on current state-by-state eligibility, see Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Eligibility by State (May 2010) or Kaiser’s statehealthfacts.org and scroll down to “Medicaid Eligibility.”

Benefits

Medicaid Today:

Federal Requirements
Federal law requires states to provide a minimum benefit package in Medicaid. So-called “mandatory” benefits include physician services, hospital services, family planning, health center services, and nursing facility services. The benefit package for children is more comprehensive than the one for adults because federal law requires states to provide coverage for certain health screenings and services that are medically necessary. This requirement is called the Early and Periodic Screening Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit.

State Options
States are permitted to provide coverage for certain other health care services that are approved by the federal government. Such “optional” services include dental care, mental health care, eye glasses and vision care, coverage for prescription drugs, home health care, case management, and rehabilitation services. For a detailed list of what benefits state Medicaid programs cover, click here.

Medicaid Expansion: In states that take advantage of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, there are specific benefit requirements for those who are newly eligible. For those individuals, states must provide a set of essential health benefits. For more information on Medicaid’s essential health benefits, see Designing the Essential Health Benefits for Your State: An Advocate’s Guide.

Additional Resources

Medicaid


Medicaid Home
About Medicaid
Medicaid Expansion
Medicaid Defense
Waivers

Medicaid provides health coverage for low-income children and adults, medical and long-term care coverage for people with disabilities, and assistance with health and long-term care expenses for low-income seniors. More than 58 million people rely on Medicaid services today, and millions more will qualify for Medicaid when the provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect in 2014.

Children receive health coverage through Medicaid and the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). To learn more about CHIP, see the Children’s Healthsection.

This section of our website provides resources on Medicaid laws and regulations and keeps you up-to-date on the battle to sustain and improve this important program.

Medicaid Expansion Center
States that plan to expand Medicaid coverage in 2014 have much to do to prepare. In many states, advocates need support in making the case for expansion. The Medicaid Expansion Center offers information on everything from the Supreme Court decision’s effect on Medicaid to news from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), plus the best tools for helping your state make the most of the expansion.

Medicaid Defense Center
While some states move ahead to expand their Medicaid programs, the existing Medicaid program remains under fire at both the federal and state level. Many in Congress—and some governors, as well—seek to make deep cuts in Medicaid funding and to change the structure of the Medicaid program through proposals for block grants, per capita caps, and similar schemes. The Medicaid Defense Center features the latest news on the federal budget battle plus tools to help you fight for Medicaid funding in your state.

http://familiesusa.org/issues/medicaid/

Obamacare Event Hands Out Condoms as Prizes

The Obamacare event took place at the University of Central Arkansas last weekend. It was hosted by a group called the Living Affected Corporation, which apparently has received a grant from the federal government to educate the public about Obamacare.

The event organizer spilled out a bag of condoms — as a couple whoops and hollers could be heard from the small crowd.

Then she says, “Ok, if anyone wants a paper application,” but she interrupts herself to pickup condoms that had fallen on the floor. “I have those as well.”

“So when you’re leaving, you can stop by my table and I’ll give you whatever — condoms — that box has a bunch in it. Anyway … Our corporation, LA Corp … And I’m waiting on my dental dams and female condom order that still hasn’t come in. If you ever need condoms, let me know because we have thousands — boxes of magnums, we get magnums a lot. So here is the prize table.”

The condom give-away was a training event with young Democrats, I’m told.

Is Obamacare on the rebound? Media turn to positive stories. (+video)

Positive headlines are creeping into the news coverage of Obamacare, amid a Democratic counteroffensive and signs the program could be turning a corner. But tough tests lie ahead.

Bit by bit, the media narrative around the travails of Obamacare and its main enrollment vehicle, HealthCare.gov, is starting to look up. Or to put it more precisely, it is no longer so crushingly negative.

After weeks of stories about website crashes and canceled health plans – and an extraordinary mea culpa from President Obama – a competing story line is starting to emerge. Slowly but surely, people are navigating the exchanges and getting insurance – for some, cheaper and better than what they had. Last week, The New York Times and Los Angeles Timestouted a “surge” in enrollment figures, especially in states that have their own exchanges.

This week, a Washington Post story described almost an Obamacare nirvana – people in rural Kentucky lining up and getting coverage, some for the first time in their lives.

Part of this wave of positive stories may be a media effect: Reporters (and the public) get tired of all the wall-to-wall negativity, and to keep interest up, seek out happy stories for a change of pace.

The Obama administration has also ramped up its public relations efforts on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), going around the national media and directly into local markets. On Tuesday, the administration

announced that seniors saved $8.9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the ACA. And Democratic senators have headed off for Thanksgiving with marching orders: Find and publicize the ACA success stories. At the very least, say Democrats, they need to counter the Republican message machine and story-gathering.

“It’s true, the Democrats are more on the offensive than they were,” says Terry Madonna, a professor of public affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. “But they still have serious problems. No one knows where this is going. And for Democrats, the last thing they want is for this to dominate the elections next year.”

This Saturday, Nov. 30, will be one moment of truth. That is the day the Obama administration promised HealthCare.gov would work smoothly for the vast majority of users, after the disastrous Oct. 1 launch. The definition of “vast majority” was later downgraded to 80 percent – with the remaining 20 percent enrolling by other means or still encountering slow loads and error messages.

On Tuesday, in a conference call with state and local elected officials, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promised a “significantly different user experience” on HealthCare.gov by the end of the month. And with reporters on the line, she urged the officials “to not hesitate to recommend that people go to HealthCare.gov and get signed up.”

Secretary Sebelius has put her credibility on the line at a time when she can ill afford to see it go any lower. The problem for the Obama administration is that by announcing a hard deadline – Nov. 30 – for vast improvements on a once-profoundly dysfunctional website, it has raised expectations (again) for how well the site will work. As with the initial rollout, Obamacare opponents will be on the lookout for failures, and the media will surely cover them.

Another moment of truth will come when the administration reveals demographic data of people who have enrolled in coverage via the exchanges, possibly with the next official enrollment numbers in mid-December. The ACA will work only if less-healthy enrollees are balanced by enrollees without expensive health issues. On Tuesday’s conference call, Sebelius said she didn’t have demographic information on enrollees, but promised it “very soon.” Then she urged the county executive from Milwaukee to reach out to “young and healthy individuals.”

The daily report Tuesday from Kaiser Health News (KHN) was noteworthy for its positive stories:

  •  “Health law may offer part-time workers better options,” said one headline. The story talked about “mini-med” plans – low-cost, low-benefit plans that are no longer allowable under the ACA – and cited the case of a woman with a serious health problem who is likely to get better, subsidized coverage on the exchange.
  • Another piece reported on Californians happy to have their insurance policies canceled. Some people, the story reported, had felt trapped with subpar plans but had kept them because of preexisting medical conditions. Now, under the ACA, people with health problems cannot be denied coverage.
  • A story out of Philadelphia, highlighted websites that have been set up that allow people to calculate their health-care subsidy without going on HealthCare.gov – and if they’re not eligible, allow them to buy coverage directly from the site.

If they are eligible, however, they have to buy their coverage on the federal exchange. So ultimately, for those living in the 36 states that are served by HealthCare.gov, all roads lead back to that site. Among the challenges ahead for the federal site:

  • By Saturday, the Obama administration says HealthCare.gov should be able to handle 50,000 users simultaneously. Whether that will be enough capacity is an open question. But it’s safe to say that if too many people wait till the last minute to sign up, there could be another wave of embarrassing website failures.
  • People who want their insurance to begin on Jan. 1 now have until Dec. 23 to enroll. But again, if everyone waits until Dec. 23, that leaves the insurers just eight days – right during the holidays – to process all that paperwork.
  • And about that paperwork… The “834” forms that are supposed to go to the insurance companies after consumers enroll on HealthCare.gov still need work, the HHS agency in charge of the site said Monday.
  • Then there’s the issue of Healthcare.gov’s “back-office system,” which a week ago was still unbuilt. On Nov. 19, Henry Chao, a top official at HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), said that between 30 and 40 percent of the IT system for the marketplace remained to be constructed. That sounded alarming, but a CMS spokeswoman said that that portion of the website is involved in paying federal subsidies to insurance companies and will not affect individuals.

Getting HealthCare.gov fully functioning in time still sounds like a high-wire act. If there are more major stumbles, the bad headlines will come roaring back.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/1126/Is-Obamacare-on-the-rebound-Media-turn-to-positive-stories.-video

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The Pronk Pops Show 176, November 27, 2013, Segment 1: Pope Francis Attacks Unfettered Capitalism in Apostolic Exhortation or “The Joy of the Gospel” — Instead of Out of Control Government Spending  and Government Failures — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show 166, November 13, 2013, Segment 0: Only 106,185 Have Enrolled But Not Paid Premiums For Obamacare Plans — 396,261 Are Eligible For Medicaid! — Videos

Posted on November 13, 2013. Filed under: Abortion, American History, Budgetary Policy, Business, Communications, Computers, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Labor Economics, Medicine, Monetary Policy, Philosophy, Politics, Regulation, Security, Software, Tax Policy, Technology, Unemployment, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 166: November 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 165: November 12, 2013

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Segment 0: Only 106,185 Have Enrolled But Not Paid Premiums For Obamacare Plans —  396,261 Are Eligible For Medicaid! — Videos

American_enrolled_in_Obamacare

Rand Paul Young Healthy People Aren’t Going to Buy ObamaCare

 

CNN’s Gloria Borger: Website A “Disaster,” HHS Didn’t Lowball Enrollment Numbers Enough

Chris Wallace: ‘One of the Problems’ with Obamacare is Too Many Poor People Get Medicaid

Obamacare numbers coming ‘shortly’

Obamacare Official Enrollment Numbers Released by Sebelius

Obamacare Numbers Don’t Lie – WSJ RPT: Obamacare Enrollment Well Bellow Goal – Sen Ted Cruz

$1 Billion Spent on Obamacare Ads by 2015 – Katie Pavlich vs. Alan Colmes – Fox News – 8-21-13

Opt Out – The Exam – Creepy Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam plays proctologist in creepy political ad

Fewer than 27,000 health care sign-ups through federal website; 79,000 more in state sites

Putting a statistic on disappointment, the Obama administration revealed Wednesday that fewer than 27,000 people signed up for private health insurance last month in the 36 states relying on a problem-filled federal website.

States running their own enrollment systems did better, signing up more than 79,000, for a total enrollment of over 106,000.

Still, that was barely one-fifth of the nearly 500,000 people administration officials had projected would sign up the first month of Obama’s signature program, a numerical rebuke to the administration’s ability to deliver on its promise. The 106,185 people who made it all the way through to selecting a plan represent just 1.5 percent of the 7 million people the administration hopes to enroll by next year.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said things will get better, and quickly. “There is no doubt the level of interest is strong,” she said.

The administration said an additional 1 million or so applicants have been found eligible for government-subsidized private coverage in new state-level insurance markets, and about half are within sight of having their plans lined up for the start of next year. An additional 396,000 have been found eligible for Medicaid, the safety-net program that is shaping up as the health care law’s early success story.

The numbers landed amid a political storm on Capitol Hill. Democrats who had hoped to run for re-election next year on the success of the health care law are increasingly worried.

It’s not only the website woes, but a wave of cancellation notices hitting constituents whose individual health insurance policies don’t measure up to the law’s requirements. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has scheduled an all-Democrats meeting Thursday with White House health care officials.

The administration has staked its credibility on turning the website around by the end of this month. From the president on down, officials have said that HealthCare.gov will be running smoothly for the vast majority of users by Nov. 30.

Some outside experts are concerned. “People are starting to get nervous because there is not enough indication from the government that things are on track,” said Caroline Pearson, who runs the health reform practice at Avalere Health, a market analysis firm. “You wonder if there are still underlying programming problems that are causing the system to shut down when volume is high.”

Administration officials have not specified what “running smoothly” means, or what would constitute the “vast majority” of users.

On daily media calls, Health and Human Services department officials have described a situation where problems get fixed and then new issues crop up as consumers are able to venture further into the website. It’s a bit like traffic heading back to a city late on a summer Sunday: You get past one jam, and odds are you run into another.

There was a hopeful sign this Tuesday when Julie Bataille, HHS communications director for the rollout, said that 275,000 people who got hung up in the early days are being invited back to try to complete their applications. The administration is sending the email invitations in batches, so as not to risk any disruptions. White House chief technology officer Todd Park told Congress on Wednesday that system response times are much faster, and error rates have plunged.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress/house-panel-investigates-whether-white-house-played-a-role-in-obamacare-technology-debacle/2013/11/13/e3b55fdc-4c3a-11e3-bf60-c1ca136ae14a_story.html

HHS reports 106,000 have picked health plans through ObamaCare exchanges

Published November 13, 2013

FoxNews.com

The Department of Health and Human Services reported Wednesday that more than 100,000 people have selected a health care plan through the ObamaCare exchanges — a number that, likely due to widespread website failures, falls far short of the administration’s goal.

The administration had originally hoped to sign up a half-million people in the first month of open enrollment. Now more than six weeks into the troubled launch of HealthCare.gov and other state-based exchanges, HHS announced Wednesday that 106,185 people had selected a plan as of Nov. 2.

The announcement had been highly anticipated, as lawmakers have been pressing the administration for weeks on official figures.

But even the statistic revealed on Wednesday might be inflated.

The administration said the figure counts all those who have selected a health care plan from state and federal exchanges, even if they haven’t yet paid a premium on those plans.

One source explained to Fox News that no one is really “enrolled” until the insurance company knows about it.

Still, the numbers announced Wednesday stand as the most definitive account to date from the administration of how many people have been able to wade through the problem-plagued website and pick a plan.

The administration says a total of 975,407 applied for coverage and received an eligibility determination, but have not yet selected a plan. In addition to the 106,185 who have selected a plan, another 396,261 have been determined as eligible for Medicaid or a similar government program for children.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/13/hhs-reports-106000-have-picked-health-plans-through-obamacare/

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The Pronk Pops Show 160, November 1, 2013, Segment 0: Anthony Welters Bundler of Campaign Contributions — Corrupt Crony Capitalism Continues With Obama’s Tech Surge to Fix Broken HealthCare.gov — Smiling Faces Sometimes — Videos

Posted on November 6, 2013. Filed under: American History, Budgetary Policy, Business, Communications, Consitutional Law, Disasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Law, Legal Immigration, Media, Medicine, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Private Sector Unions, Pro Abortion, Pro Life, Radio, Regulation, Religion, Scandals, Social Science, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Unions, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 160: November 1, 2013

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The Pronk Pops Show 160, November 1, 2013, Segment 0: Anthony Welters Bundler of Campaign Contributions — Corrupt Crony Capitalism Continues With Obama’s Tech Surge to Fix Broken HealthCare.gov — Smiling Faces Sometimes —  Videos

Anthony Welters, Executive Vice President of

United Health Group

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unitedhealth_group

Optum_QSSI

healthcare_gov

The Undisputed Truth “Smiling Faces Sometimes” (1971)

Smiling faces sometimes pretend to be your friend
Smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don’t tell the truth uh
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof

The truth is in the eyes
Cause the eyes don’t lie, amen
Remember a smile is just
A frown turned upside down
My friend let me tell you
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don’t tell the truth, uh
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
Beware, beware of the handshake
That hides the snake
I’m telling you beware
Beware of the pat on the back
It just might hold you back
Jealousy (jealousy)
Misery (misery)
Envy

I tell you, you can’t see behind smiling faces
Smiling faces sometimes they don’t tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof

Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don’t tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
(Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes)
(Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes)
I’m telling you beware, beware of the handshake
That hides the snake
Listen to me now, beware
Beware of that pat on the back
It just might hold you back
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don’t tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof

Your enemy won’t do you no harm
Cause you’ll know where he’s coming from
Don’t let the handshake and the smile fool ya
Take my advice I’m only try’ to school ya

obama_smiling

Obama to AMA keep your doctor and insurance we will build economy

Obama Knew Millions Would Not Keep Their Private Health Insurance, Get Ready To Pay Much More!

President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obama-care, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.

Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC News that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”

Obama knew millions would lose their health insurance

Obama administration knew millions would lose health insurance

How Cronyism is Hurting the Economy

If You Like Your Health Care Plan You Can’t Keep It!

Uploaded on Jun 16, 2010

Fox News report highlighting how empty Obama’s promise “If you like your health care plan you can keep it” really is. A new government report reveals that 51% of employers may have to relinquish their current health care coverage by 2013 due to ObamaCare. That numbers soars to 66% for small-business employers.

With new restrictions on health insurance being issued by the Secretary of Health and Human Services millions of Americans will shortly be forced to accept government insurance. Exempted from these new rules will be labor unions.

Remember that Obama in a September 2009 speech to congress said: “If you misrepresent what’s in the plan, we will call you out.”

O.K. Obama misrepresented what was in his plan. It’s time to CALL HIM OUT. Then THROW him out in 2012!

UnitedHealth Group Overview Video

UnitedHealth Group’s Simon Stevens

United Health Group Pressuring Employees To Campaign Against Health Care Reform (With Audio)

Wealth Strategies: Obamacare to benefit HCA, UnitedHealth

Obamacare Fallout – Critics Ask If White House Was Misleading Americans – Brit Humes – Kelly File

Who’s Fixing healthcare.gov?

Healthcare.gov hearings on Capitol Hill

Healthcare.gov Website Issues Plague Obama Administration

‘This Week’: Healthcare.gov Website Havoc

Software Engineers Blame Poor Design For Obamacare Site

Problems

ObamaCare glitches lead to tech surge with unknown price tag

Obama donor’s firm hired to fix Web mess it created

A tech firm linked to a campaign-donor crony of President Obama not only got the job to help build the federal health-insurance Web site — but also is getting paid to fix it.

Anthony Welters, a top campaign bundler for Obama and frequent White House guest, is the executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group, which owns the software company now at the center of the ObamaCare Web-site fiasco.

UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Quality Software Services Inc. (QSSI), which built the data hub for the ObamaCare system, has been named the new general contractor in charge of repairing the glitch-plagued HealthCare.gov.

Welters and his wife, Beatrice, have shoveled piles of cash into Obama’s campaign coffers and ­apparently reaped the rewards.

Beatrice Welters bundled donations totaling between $200,000 and $500,000 for Obama’s campaign during the 2008 election ­cycle, according to campaign- ­finance data compiled by Center for Responsive Politics.

SICK CALL: Obama bundler Anthony Welters’ firm owns the company picked to repair the health Web site.

The couple then became top donors for Obama’s inauguration festivities, kicking in $100,000 out of their own pockets and bundling another $300,000 from friends and business associates, according to the center.

The investments quickly paid off for Beatrice Welters. The Obama administration tapped her in 2009 for the plum job of US ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, which she held through last November.

The couple have been frequent guests at the White House.

Visitors logs show at least a dozen visits between the two by the end of 2012, the most recent information available.

The entire Welters family has gotten into the donation game.

The Welters, along with their sons, Andrew and Bryant, have contributed more than $258,000 to mostly Democratic candidates and committees since 2007.

What’s more, UnitedHealth Group is one of the largest health-insurance companies in the country and spent millions lobbying for ObamaCare.

The insurance giant’s purchase of QSSI in 2012 raised eyebrows on Capitol Hill, but the tech firm nevertheless kept the job of building the data hub for the ObamaCare Web site where consumers buy the new mandatory health- ­insurance plans.

QSSI has been paid an estimated $150 million so far, but officials couldn’t say how much more the company might collect on the ­repair contract.

By all accounts, the data hub has run smoothly while many other components of the Web site have failed.

Meanwhile, tempers flared among Obama’s Democratic allies over the disastrous rollout of the president’s signature initiative.

“I’m extraordinarily frustrated,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) ­after top Obama-administration officials gave Senate Democrats a private briefing on the state of the Web-site repairs.

He said they were losing confidence the site could be quickly fixed.

“I don’t think there’s confidence by anyone in the room. This is more of a show-me moment,” said Merkley.

http://nypost.com/2013/11/01/obama-donors-firm-hired-to-fix-web-mess-it-helped-make/

Berges Lecture Series: Anthony Welters

Anthony Welters is the Executive Vice President of United Health Group, which serves more than 70 million Americans through its health and well-being companies. In January 2011, Mr. Welters was appointed a Member of the Office of the CEO.

Anthony Welters

Mr. Anthony Welters served as an Executive Vice President at Unitedhealth Group Inc. since December, 2006. Mr. Welters served as the President of Public and Senior Markets Group at UnitedHealth Group Inc. since September 2007. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of AmeriChoice Health Services, Inc. He served as Head of Public & Social Markets Group of UnitedHealth Group since August 2007. He co-founded AmeriChoice Corporation (AmeriChoice) in 1989 and served as its Chief Executive Officer and President from 1989 to December 2006. He served a number of senior positions in the federal government and in private industry. He served as an Attorney for the securities and exchange commission and an Executive Assistant of U.S. Senator Jacob Javits. He served as Director of Federal Affairs and as Assistant Vice President of corporate development of AMTRAK. He served as an Associate Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Morehouse School of Medicine Inc. He served as Chairman of AmeriChoice Corporation from 1989 to September 2002. He serves as Vice Chairman of New York University, Morehouse School of Medicine the NYU Hospitals Center and the Library of Congress. He serves as Vice Chairman at the Board of Trustees of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. He serves as a Trustee of Morehouse School Of Medicine Inc., The. He has been an Independent Director of Qwest Communications International Inc. since July 25, 2006, CR Bard Inc. (formerly known as Bard C R Inc.) since February 1999, West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. since March 1997 and AmeriChoice Corporation since 1989. He has been a Director of Loews Corporation since October 8, 2013. He serves as a Director of Horatio Alger Association, The Congressional Black Caucus foundation Inc., The An-bryce Foundation and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. He serves as Council Member of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He serves as Trustee of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He serves as Trustee of the Healthcare leadership Council, New York University Law School and Medical Center and the National board of the Smithsonian Institution and is a Member of the Young President’ organization. He is a recipient of the Horatio Alger Award in recognition of his achievements and contributions to society and serves on the board of that charitable organization. Mr. Welters holds a JD from New York University of Law and a BA from Manhattanville College. He is admitted to the bars of New York and DC.

Profile

On August 13, 2013, the registrants Board of Directors elect Anthony Welters as a director of the registrant, with both such actions to become effective on October 8, 2013. Mr. Welters is Executive Vice President and a member of the Office of the CEO of UnitedHealth Group Incorporated. He is also Chairman of the Boards of the Morehouse School of Medicine and of New York University School of Law.

UnitedHealth Group Inc
Compensation for 2011
Salary $744,231
Restricted stock awards $4,500,060
All other compensation $112,118
Non-equity incentive plan compensation $2,514,600
Total Compensation $7,871,009
Options Exercised for 2011
Number of securities underlying options exercisable 19,006
Number of securities underlying options unexercisable 57,018
Shares acquired on exercise 96,562
Stock Ownership for 2012
Number of shares owned 119,908
West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.
Director Compensation for 2011
Fees earned or paid in cash $54,000
Stock awards $110,000
All other compensation $24,261
Total Compensation $188,261
Stock Ownership for 2013
Number of shares owned 18,762
C.R. Bard, Inc.
Director Compensation for 2011
Fees earned or paid in cash $89,350
Stock awards $64,531
All other compensation $79,800
Total Compensation $233,681
Stock Ownership for 2013
Number of shares owned 2,147
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Pronk Pops Show 104, April 12, 2013: Segment 3: Friedrich August von Hayek: Fighting the Planners — The Road To Serfdom — A Profile in Liberty — Videos

Posted on April 11, 2013. Filed under: American History, Budgetary Policy, Business, Communications, Consitutional Law, Economics, Education, Employment, European History, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Health Care Insurance, History, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Investments, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Monetary Policy, Philosophy, Politics, Private Sector Unions, Public Sector Unions, Regulation, Religion, Social Science, Success, Tax Policy, Technology, Unemployment, Unions, Videos, Violence, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Pronk Pops Show 104: April 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 103: March 28, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 102: March 15, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 101: March 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 100: March 1, 2013

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Segment 3: Friedrich August von Hayek: Fighting the Planners — The Road To Serfdom — A Profile in Liberty — Videos

Cover_TheRoadToSerfdom

Friedrich August von Hayek – Profile / Biography (1/4)

The Intellectual Portrait Series: The Life and Thought of Friedrich A. Hayek (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003)

Friedrich August von Hayek – Profile / Biography (2/4)

Friedrich August von Hayek – Profile / Biography (3/4)

Friedrich August von Hayek – Profile / Biography (4/4)

The Life & Thought of Friedrich Hayek

The Intellectual Portrait Series: The Life and Thought of Friedrich A. Hayek (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003)

The Road to Serfdom

Hayek on The Road to Serfdom

Inside the Hayek Equation: An Interview with Friedrich von Hayek

Hayek: Fighting the Planners part 1 of 4

Hayek: Fighting the Planners part 2 of 4

Hayek: Fighting the Planners part 3 of 4

Hayek: Fighting the Planners part 4 of 4

Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 1 of 2

Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 2 of 2

Hayek and Friedman: Head to Head | Roger W. Garrison

Glenn Beck -6/8/2010- The Road to Serfdom

Hayek, the Market Order and the Fatal Conceit

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Pronk Pops Show 37, July 20, 2011: Segment 3: Senator Tom Coburn’s $9,000 Billion Deficit Reduction Plan–Back In Black Report–Videos

Posted on July 18, 2011. Filed under: Budgetary Policy, Economics, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Spending, Health Care Insurance, Housing, Investments, Labor Economics, Monetary Policy, Philosophy, Politics, Pro Life, Radio, Regulation, Science, Security, Tax Policy, Technology, Videos, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Pronk Pops Show 37:July 20, 2011

Pronk Pops Show 36:July 13, 2011

Pronk Pops Show 35:July 6, 2011

Pronk Pops Show 34:June 29, 2011

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 34-37

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 30-33

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 22 (Part 2)-26

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22 (Part 1)

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1-9

Segment 3: Senator Tom Coburn’s $9,000 Billion Deficit Reduction Plan–Videos

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) Unveils $9 Trillion Deficit Reduction Plan

“…Today, July 18, 2011, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) offered a plan to cut the U.S. deficit by $9 trillion over the next 10 years. The Senator’s plan includes tax reform measures recommended by the President’s own commission on deficit reduction, cuts to defense spending, structural entitlement reform and contains a run-away federal workforce. You might not like this plan, nor the Paul Ryan plan, but it’s at least a plan. Democrats have so far refused to put pen to paper. …”

Sen. Tom Coburn proposes budget plan to cut $9 trillion over next decade

Sen. Coburn Reveals Deficit Reduction Plan

Sen. Coburn: Worst Tax Comes From Government Printing Money

Senator Tom Coburn Tells Me Why He Likes Bloggers

“…U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released a new report “Back in Black” that outlines how the federal government can reduce the deficit by $9 trillion over the next ten years and balance the federal budget. The 614-page plan was the result of a thorough and exhaustive review of thousands of federal programs.

“The American people are tired of Washington waiting until the last minute to avoid a crisis, particularly when it is a crisis Washington itself created. The crisis, though, is not the debt limit deadline. The crisis is Congress’ refusal to make hard choices and reduce a debt that has become our greatest national security threat. The plan I am offering today gives Washington 9 trillion reasons to stop making excuses and start solving the problem,” Dr. Coburn said.

“Both parties will no doubt criticize portions of this plan and I welcome that debate. My goal is not to replace the work of the budget committees but to show the American people what is possible and necessary. What is not acceptable, however, is not having a plan and delaying reform until some perfect political moment that will never arrive. The fact is doing nothing is a tax increase, a benefit cut for seniors and the poor, and a betrayal of the core values both parties hold dear,” Dr. Coburn said.

Dr. Coburn’s full report is here. A section by section outline of the report is here. A summary of savings is here. Highlights of the report here. …”

http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ContentRecord_id=1d817708-76ed-4b2b-9cc2-076415409d44

Details of Sen. Tom Coburn’s $9 trillion plan to balance the budget released

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, would change entitlements, end numerous tax loopholes and cut military spending by $1 trillion to balance the federal budget.

“…Would save about $9 trillion over 10 years, including $3 trillion from entitlements, $3 trillion from government departments and agencies, $1 trillion from defense, $1 trillion from ending or modifying tax breaks and deductions, and $1 trillion in interest on the debt.

Would reduce the size of government by 25 percent over 10 years.

Would balance the budget within 10 years.

Read more: http://newsok.com/details-of-sen.-tom-coburns-9-trillion-plan-to-balance-the-budget-released/article/3586676#ixzz1SVt1zave

Coburn proposes $9 trillion deficit cut measure

ANDREW TAYLOR

“…The plan by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is laced with politically perilous proposals like raising to 70 the age at which people can claim their full Social Security benefits. It would cut farm subsidies, Medicare, student aid, housing subsidies for the poor, and funding for community development grants. Coburn even takes on the powerful veterans’ lobby by proposing that some veterans pay more for medical care and prescription drugs.

Coburn would also eliminate $1 trillion in tax breaks over the coming decade, earning him an immediate rebuke from Americans for Tax Reform, an anti-tax organization with which Coburn has had a running feud. He would block taxpayers from claiming the mortgage interest deduction on second homes and limit it to homes worth $500,000. He would also ease taxpayers into higher tax brackets more quickly by using a smaller measure of inflation to adjust the brackets.

Coburn was a member of President Barack Obama’s fiscal commission and voted for its plan to cut the budget by about $4 trillion over a decade. He recently dropped out of the closely watched “Gang of Six” senators seeking a bipartisan agreement to rein in deficits and break through the partisanship engulfing official Washington over the deficit.

His re-entry into the deficit debate comes as Obama and lawmakers struggle over increasing the so-called debt limit and avoid a first-ever default on U.S. obligations.

Coburn’s $9 trillion savings figure doesn’t include another $2.4 trillion in cuts to Social Security that are funneled back into the program. In addition to raising the retirement age gradually, he would peg future benefits to a less-generous measure of inflation and curb benefit increases even more for the top 40 percent of earners. …”

“…Cuts to the Medicare program for the elderly and the Medicaid health plan for the poor and disabled would total $2.6 trillion over 10 years, far more than proposed by the fiscal commission or House Republicans. He proposes raising the Medicare retirement age to 67 by 2027 and then gradually increasing it until the retirement age hits 69 in 2080. It would also raise Medicare premiums for doctor visits so that premiums pay 35 percent of such costs instead of the 25 percent currently covered.

Coburn would cut $1 trillion from the Pentagon budget over a decade. He would block military retirees from the Tricare Prime health care plan, the option with the lowest out-of-pocket cost, saving $115 billion, and he would raise the prescription drug copayment under the program, as well as require higher out-of-pocket fees. He also would reduce the fleet of aircraft carriers from 11 to 10 and Navy air wings from 10 to nine.

“I have no doubt that both parties will criticize portions of this plan, and I welcome that debate,” Coburn told reporters. “But it’s not a legitimate criticism until you have a plan of your own.” …”

Read more: http://newsok.com/coburn-proposes-9-trillion-deficit-cut-measure/article/feed/277294#ixzz1SVv9PdWz

Read more: http://newsok.com/coburn-proposes-9-trillion-deficit-cut-measure/article/feed/277294#ixzz1SVuTvAOK

Finally some adult supervision in the Senate.

In order to come even close to balancing the budget over the next ten years requires spending cuts of over $10,000 billion over the next ten years.

Senator Coburn is the first Senator to even come close to this.

Senator Rand Paul is another Senator who understands the urgency and magnitude of the problem.

That said I would much prefer implementing the FairTax over trying to reform the existing Federal income tax system.

Also, I prefer Paul Ryan’s approach to reforming Medicare by letting consumers purchase their own health insurance plan.

I applaud Senator Coburn’s courage in his Back To Black approach to fiscal responsibility and sanity.

A great first rough draft.

Keep up the good work.

I would like to see the revenues and outlays by fiscal year as broken down in the President’s U.S Budget proposals and the Republican proposals by fiscal year over the entire ten year period.

This should be forthcoming if the proposal is to be taken seriously.

Until I see these numbers, I cannot support or recommend Coburn’s plan for the simple reason it may be backloaded.

Background Articles and Videos

Tom Coburn on U.S. Debt Limit: Political Capital With Al Hunt

Sen. Lieberman, Coburn Spell Out Their Plan to Save $600B

Senator Coburn “The President Submits A Budget To The Senate & No One Agrees To Vote For It!” pt.1

Senator Coburn “The President Submits A Budget To The Senate & No One Agrees To Vote For It!” pt.2

Dr. Coburn addressing underlying problems with the food safety bill

3/09/11: Sen. Rand Paul on balancing the budget

03/17/11: Sen. Rand Paul Introduces Five-Year Balanced Budget Plan

S-1 FY2012 Senator Rand Paul

(Nominal Dollars in Billions)

Fiscal Year Outlays Revenues DeficitsSurplus Debt Held By Public
2011 3,708 2,228 -1,480 10,430
2012 3,100 2,547 -553 11,051
2013 3,152 2,755 -397 11,532
2014 3,227 3,088 -139 11,748
2015 3,360 3,244 -116 11,942
2016 3,430 3,349 19 11,997
2012-2016 16,269 15,083 -1,188 n.a.

http://campaignforliberty.com/materials/RandBudget.pdf

4/14/11: Sen. Rand Paul Speaks Out Against the Continuing Resolution

Senator Lee explains the enforceability of a balanced budget amendment

Senator Pat Toomey Explains That Failing To Raise Debt Limit Doesn’t Cause Default

Neither the Republican Party nor Democratic Party Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposals are the road to peace and prosperity but a Tea Party budget with balanced budgets most definitely is:

Which Budgets Are Balanced And Living Within The Means of The American People?

4/5/11 Republican Leadership Press Conference

Republican Party Budget Proposals

S-1 FY2012 Chairman’s Markup

(Nominal Dollars in Billions)

Fiscal Year Outlays Revenues Deficits Debt Held By Public
2011 3,618 2,230 -1,388 10,351
2012 3,529 2,533 -995 11,418
2013 3,559 2,860 -699 12,217
2014 3,586 3,094 -492 12,801
2015 3,671 3,237 -434 13,326
2016 3,858 3,377 -481 13,886
2017 3,998 3,589 -408 14,363
2018 4,123 3,745 -379 14,800
2019 4,352 3,939 -414 15,254
2020 4,544 4,142 -402 15,681
2021 4,739 4,354 -385 16,071
2012-2021 39,958 34,870 -5,088 n.a.

http://budget.house.gov/UploadedFiles/PathToProsperityFY2012.pdf

Sen. Toomey Unveils his FY 2012 Budget

Senator Pat Toomey Talks with Michael Medved about his Budget

S-1 FY2012 Senator Pat Toomey(Nominal Dollars in Billions)
Fiscal Year Outlays Revenues DeficitsSurplus Debt Held By Public
2011 3,625 2,230 -1,351 10,351
2012 3,477 2,538 -919 11,418
2013 3,485 2,964 -521 12,217
2014 3,509 3,216 -291 12,801
2015 3,623 3,391 -233 13,326
2016 3,765 3,524 -241 13,886
2017 3,853 3,736 -117 14,363
2018 3,955 3,916 -39 14,800
2019 4,140 4,108 -32 15,254
2020 4,302 4,325 23 15,681
2021 4,493 4,566 73 16,071
2012-2021 38,602 36,304 -2298 n.a.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/55116239/Restoring-Balance-Final

Democratic Party Budget Proposals

S-1 FY2012 President’s Budget

(Nominal Dollars in Billions)

Fiscal Year Outlays Revenues Deficits Debt Held By Public
2011 3,819 2,174 -1,645 10,856
2012 3,729 2,627 -1,101 11,881
2013 3,771 3,003 -768 12,784
2014 3,977 3,333 -646 13,562
2015 4,190 3,583 -607 14,301
2016 4,468 3,819 -649 15,064
2017 4,669 4,042 -627 15,795
2018 4,876 4,257 -619 16,513
2019 5,154 4,473 -681 17,284
2020 5,442 4,686 -735 18,103
2021 5,697 4,923 -774 18,967
2012-2021 45,952 38,747 -7,205 n.a.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/tables.pdf

Tea Party Budget Proposals

S-1 FY2012 Tea Party’s Balanced/Surplus Budget(Nominal Dollars in Billions)
Fiscal Year Outlays Revenues Surpluses Debt Held By Public
2012 2,500 2,500 0 10,900
2013 2,800 2,800 0 10,900
2014 3,000 3,000 0 10,900
2015 3,200 3,200 0 10,900
2016 3,300 3,300 0 10,900
2017 3,400 3,500 100 10,800
2018 3,500 3,700 200 10,600
2019 3,600 3,900 300 10,300
2020 3,700 4,000 300 10,000
2021 3,800 4,300 500 9,500
2012-2021 32,800 34,200 1,400 n.a.

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Pronk Pops Show 37, July 20, 2011–Segment 0: President Obama Lies and Scares People On Social Security–Stop Spending and Balance The Budget!–Videos

Pronk Pops Show 37, July 20, 2011: Segment 1: The American People’s Solution To Economic Stagnation: Increase National Debt Ceiling By $2,000 Billion To $16,300 Billion In Exchange For Passage of A Balanced Budget Amendment And The FairTax Bills And Repealing The Income Tax 16th Amendment To U.S. Constitution–A Balanced, Fair And Transparent Approach To Creating Jobs and Growing A Peace and Prosperity Economy–Videos

Pronk Pops Show 37, July 20, 2011: Segment 2: It’s Time For A Permanent, Prevasive and Predictable Stimulus Package–The FairTax–Launching A Peace and Prosperity Economy–Videos

Pronk Pops Show 37, July 20, 2011: Segment 4: Conservative, Libertarian and Tea Party Movements Sold Out and Betrayed By Gang of Six and Progressive Republicans In Senate–$1,000 Billion In New Taxes!–Videos

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