Tag Archives: Mark Sanford

The Rape of Florida Medicaid


The other day, in my post Without a Doctor, I claimed that the Medicare system here in Florida had been raped by the gubernatorial administrations of Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist; thus decimating their effectiveness as originally envisioned.

In the comments section of The VSJ, in ekg’s post They Really Will Stop at Nothing…our sparring partner lilMike, in a reply to me, asked:

Medicaid in Florida is trashed because Republicans have ruined it?

The short answer: YES! ABSOLUTELY!

In 1965, President Johnson signed the law establishing Medicare and Medicaid. The original purpose of the Medicaid program was:

The Medicaid program, authorized under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, was enacted to provide health care services to low-income children deprived of parental support, their caretaker relatives, the elderly, the blind, and individuals with disabilities.

Going way back to the days of Gov. Claude Kirk (whom I had the pleasure to know personally, regardless of his political leanings), Medicaid has been a prime target of Republican Death Squads.

Gov. Bob Martinez (whom I worked under while with the Florida Board of Nursing) cut, sliced, and pared Medicaid at an alarming rate, especially with regards to our elderly.

But it wasn’t until the reign of Jeb Bush (for whom I billed Medicaid and Medicare at a home health agency) that Medicaid in this state went under the greatest change.

One of Jeb’s first actions upon taking office was to kill his predecessor’s, Lawton Chiles (the only Florida governor in recent history to actually care about health care for children, the disabled and the poor) health care initiative for individuals and small businesses, the Florida Health Care Purchasing Alliance.

But that wasn’t Jeb’s first foray into the rape of Medicaid. In 2003:

Governor Bush is proposing to drop health care and long-term care coverage for about 26,000 seniors and people with disabilities, although they would retain prescription drug coverage.  The governor also is proposing steep increases in co-payments for prescription drugs, which likely would make it harder for some poor patients to afford their medications.  The state already implemented modest cuts in the Medicaid eligibility of elderly and disabled people last year.

In 2005, Jeb had the bright idea (not!) to be among the first to follow his brother George’s edict to make state Medicaid coverage over modeling it like (get this!) a health insurance company, complete with limits on coverage:

Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, both Republicans, have proposed radical changes intended to inject market forces and competition into Medicaid. Under their proposals, the state would give Medicaid recipients a fixed amount of money to buy health care or private insurance.

Under Governor Bush’s proposal, Florida would contribute a fixed amount toward coverage for each Medicaid beneficiary. Patients could use the money to “opt out of Medicaid altogether and purchase health care insurance in the private market,” Mr. Bush said.

(Ironically, today Jeb is on the board of Tenet Healthcare, the same company required to repay the government over 900 million dollars in Medicare and Medicaid overpayments and is plagued by scandal after scandal.)

Even today, Jeb Bush’s failed Medicaid managed care decisions are affecting the State negatively:

”We’ve done the experiment. It has failed,” said Durell Peaden, the Senate’s health care budget chief. “The reports are unsettling. People couldn’t get to specialists, couldn’t get adequate care. And they couldn’t do it cheaply.”

I’m sure Lawton Chiles, the only Florida governor in 40 years to care about it’s citizens, is rolling in his grave right now
 
The son of Gov. Lawton Chiles said today Gov. Charlie Crist has “betrayed” needy children and old people by raiding a tobacco-funded trust fund for $700 million needed to balance Florida’s budget.
 
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Update: The Brainwashing of Republicans


UPDATE: 17 july…

hypocrite

Following my recent post regarding C Street, we now know of another Republican resident of C Street caught with his pants down.

The wife of former Congressman Chip Pickering has filed a lawsuit against his286270businessman-caught-with-his-pants-down-posters1 mistress, one  Elizabeth Creekmore Byrd, a member of the wealthy family that owns Cellular South. Pickering is now employed as a lobbyist for the company.

Pickering’s wife, in her lawsuit, states that her husband and Byrd began having an affair while he was living at C Street, the subject of several of my blog posts on here.

I have to ask the question: While the Fellowship was brainwashing Republicans to vote and toe the fundamentalist Christian line, was it also providing a safe haven in Washington, DC, for the same politicians to carry out their affairs in secrecy at C Street?

Drugs? Alcohol? Wanton women? I swear…the C Street residence is quite the Animal House, isn’t it?

One final word: Pickering “cast himself as a defender of decency, particularly on television and the Internet, and was among House members urging then-President George W. Bush to declare 2008 “the National Year of the Bible.”

The Brainwashing of Republicans, Part II


My story about The Brainwashing of Republicans has certainly become a blogosphere hit, and today we have more on The Family and C Street, a residential home for Republicans Gone Bad.

As meager details of The Family, the C Street residence housing wayward politicians, and the comments (or lack of comments) from the residents of C Street and/or past residents of this half-way house come to light, Ms. Maddow has come under fire for her reporting:

Which leads me to Zach Wamp, the Republican from Tennessee who’s been recently brought into the topic of C Street, by admitting the residents there have entered into a “secret pact” to not discuss their life in the compound.

I have to ask this question: Why has Wamp lived at C Street for twelve years? If C Street is the home for helping Republicans, what in the world did Wamp do two years after his arrival on The Hill to to be sent to live at C Street?

In a recent interview (funny how Wamp’s giving out all these interviews, but not actually saying anything), he states:

“In the state of Tennessee, if you are an elected official and you are involved in a Christian fellowship, it ain’t gonna hurt you,” he said. “There ain’t nobody perfect.”

Um. Congressman Wamp? You’re not involved in a Christian fellowship! You’re lock, stock, and barrel an integral part of this “operation” and have been for twelve years? Why? What kind of “spiritual guidance” have you needed for twelve years?

Here’s the scoop on Congressman Wamp. A Gingrich Conservative swept into office since 1994, he’s one of the original gang who swore to term limits, thenzach reneged on that promise (although he’s running for Governor in Tennessee in 2010). In the news article quoted, Wamp was living in a “small apartment” in the DC area.

He’s also a cocaine addict,  supposedly beating the habit in 1984 and subsequently found Jesus. Does this have anything to do with the reason he’s been a resident at C Street since 1997?

Is the man so weak he has to be locked up when he’s not working?

How about Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas? Why is he living at C Street?

Or Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma? The same guy who is discussed here?

Even Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who believes that doctors who perform abortions should be executed and lesbianism is rampantly “afflicting” grammar school girls, “allegedly” counseled Ensign on how to cover up his prolonged and unrepentant sexual dalliance that was virtually incestuous. Coburn too, is a member and resident of “The Family” home, which is religiously incorporated, near Capitol Hill.

The Brainwashing of Republicans?


I’ve decided to pretty much stay out of the hoopla surrounding the escapades of Senator John Ensign and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, passing it off as just another example of the hypocrisy involved when a group of people tell others what to do or not do in their bedroom.

Of course, most times it’s Republicans doing the telling and citing the word of God in the purest fundamentalist Christian sense when they do.

Then, when caught with their britches down and their gavels hanging out, once again it’s God in the purest fundamentalist Christian sense who gets the credit for showing them the error of their ways. And we’re all supposed to forgive and forget.

After the comedy tour known as The Return of the Wasilla Hillbillies (more – lots more – on that coming in future posts), nothing really surprises me anymore.

Except for this. TPM has found a connection between Ensign, Sanford, and other political bed-hoppers-while-praying-to-The Almighty in the form of a halfway house hidden away in the hallowed streets of Washington, DC.

Both Ensign and Sanford have mentioned something called “C Street” whilst expressing their extramarital mea culpas to the waiting ears of their Republican brothers (and, of course, God in the purest fundamentalist Christian sense).  Why didn’t we think of this before? Who better to counsel and confer with these miscreants than their very own Scientology-style cult designed to wash them of their sins?

c street

Courtesy of The Washington Post

From The Washington Post:

On any given day, the rowhouse at 133 C St. SE — well appointed, with American flag flying, white-and-green-trimmed windows and a pleasant garden — fills with talk of power and the Lord. At least five congressmen live there, quietly renting upstairs rooms from an organization affiliated with “the Fellowship,” the obsessively secretive Arlington spiritual group that organizes the National Day of Prayer breakfast, an event routinely attended by legions of top government officials. Other politicians come to the house for group spirituality sessions, prayer meetings or to simply share their troubles.

It seems like  “The Family”, apparently another name for the super-secret Scientology-style  “The Fellowship” which runs C Street, which, according to author Jeff Sharlet, has been around for a while, reminding wayward Republican politicians they have strayed from the path.

And shaping right-wing conservative neocon policy along the way?