Georgia hospitals have agreed among themselves to support the extension of a special fee that bolsters the state’s massive Medicaid program. They now face a potentially larger battle — garnering the support of conservative lawmakers who balk at the idea of renewing taxes of any kind. Under the state’s two-year-old hospital provider fee, commonly called the “bed tax,” hospitals pay a percentage of their total revenue to help prop up the state’s Medicaid program for the poor. The money enables the state to draw more than $500 million in new federal matching dollars to aid hospitals that care for large
Comments: Government-run Medicaid and Medicare programs run at chronic deficits. Hospitals make up the difference by boosting prices for everyone else, and the government turns around and blames providers for "skyrocketing" prices. Comically, the Affordable Care Act will make this worse by boosting Medicaid enrollments, further increasing cost of care for the rest of us.
Hospitals and physicians do a lousy job of communicating this message, and instead wear the "greedy" shirt in silence.
Concord, N.H. - A traveling hospital technician accused of infecting dozens of patients with hepatitis C through tainted needles told investigators he had been stealing drugs for more than a decade and was "killing a lot of people," according to a plea agreement filed Monday that would send him to prison for 30 to 40 years. David Kwiatkowski, who has been jailed since his arrest in July 2012, is accused of stealing painkiller syringes from Exeter Hospital´s cardiac catheterization lab and replacing them with saline tainted with his blood. He has agreed to plead guilty to the 14 federal drug theft
A former U.S. Attorney who represents whistle-blowers with knowledge of what happened when armed militants attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya last year says 400 surface-to-air missiles were ´taken from Libya´ during the attack, and that the U.S. intelligence community is terrified they might be used to shoot down airliners. Joe diGenova, whose wife Victoria Toensing – a former deputy assistant attorney general – also represents Benghazi witnesses and others with knowledge of the terror attack, told WMAL radio that the loss of those missiles is also one the reason the U.S. State Department shut down 19 embassies
Long-running accusations that the BBC is biased have been backed by a study that found it was twice as likely to cover Left-wing policy proposals as Right-wing ones. It said the BBC website tended to describe Left-wing think-tank reports as ‘independent’, while Right-wing research was given a ‘health warning’ to say it had an ideological position, the Centre for Policy Studies found. Oliver Latham, who wrote the Bias At The Beeb report, said: ‘Our results suggest the BBC exhibits a left-of-centre bias in both the amount of coverage it gives to different opinions
Orlando, Fla. - An eye-grabbing mural showing a picture of a man shooting a likeness of Trayvon Martin was unveiled Friday at the state Capitol. The message of the 100-foot mural, created by Miami artist Huong, is "We are all Trayvon Martin." The mural shows a man who looks similar to George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch leader who shot and killed Martin in February 2012 and was later acquitted in the teen´s death, shooting a person wearing a hoodie. There´s a mirror in the mural where Martin´s face would be so visitors can see themselves as the teen.
Wind farms are being given around £30million a year in compensation to switch off or slow down their turbines because nearly half the electricity they make is not needed. The cash, which comes from household bills, is paid when the National Grid is unable to cope with the extra power produced during high winds or periods of low demand. Known as ‘balancing’, the arrangement is intended to compensate firms for energy they are unable to sell. But as the number of wind farms grows, the rates have hit record levels. Firms are often paid more to turn off their giant turbines
Trenton — One man was shot and a woman reportedly Trenton — One man was shot and a woman reportedly grazed by a bullet when a gunman opened fire on a porch full of people Wednesday evening in the East Ward, police said today. There was a large gathering of people on and around the porch on the first block of South Walter Avenue around 7:30 p.m. when the gunman walked into their midst, according to police. “Apparently, the suspect walked up on the porch and people started scattering,” Lt. Steve Varn said. As the people began to move, the gunman began
When the government approved letting states experiment with new ways to deliver Medicaid services, it promised the innovations wouldn’t cost taxpayers any extra money. Somebody in the bureaucracy, however, failed to keep track. A new report by the chief watchdog for Congress finds that the so-called demonstration projects have cost taxpayers as much as $32 billion more than if the program has just been left alone over the last five years. The overages include $21 billion in overpayments by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to individual states, and another $11 billion in extra spending by the states,
In 2011, officials in Honolulu, Hawaii began construction on a controversial 20-mile rail project partly because of almost $1.8 billion in federal subsidies to President Barack Obama´s home state. The project´s total cost estimate stands at $5.3 billion, but if other similar projects are any indication, the final price tag will increase dramatically before anyone even gets to buy a ticket. What´s playing out in the Aloha State is happening all over the country. “This rail project is our bridge to nowhere”, says University of Hawaii law professor Randall Roth. “We are convinced that it will be billions of dollars
House of Raeford officially closed its turkey slaughterhouse in Raeford on Thursday, putting 950 people out of work. The company first announced plans to shutter the facility in March. It’s also closing its turkey hatchery in Rose Hill and ending its relationship with about 140 turkey farmers in Eastern North Carolina. House of Raeford was by far the largest employer in Raeford, a city of fewer than 5,000 people just south of Fort Bragg. (Snip) House of Raeford said in March that elevated corn prices, as well as falling turkey prices and flat turkey consumption in recent years, have made
Amid the backlash against Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn for referring to minority students as “dark ones,” the Michigan Department of Education acknowledged Thursday that it sent inspectors to study the school, including its student diversity. The department reversed after earlier saying no such review had taken place. On Wednesday, Arnn told lawmakers during testimony against the state’s adoption of Common Core standards in reading, writing and math that his college had been approached by the Department of Education because it “didn’t have enough dark ones,” referring to minority students. While Arnn’s comments drew criticism from many lawmakers and alumni,
Philadelphia — New Jersey´s law requiring residents show a "justifiable need" to get a permit to carry a handgun in public was upheld by a federal appeals court. A mandate that residents demonstrate an "urgent necessity for self-protection" to get authorization to publicly carry a handgun doesn´t run afoul of U.S. constitutional protections of the right to bear firearms, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled Wednesday. "The justifiable need standard is a longstanding regulation that enjoys presumptive constitutionality," the panel wrote. The ruling comes more than four months after the U.S. Supreme Court rebuffed
Forced to march in a human chain and lined up with hands behind their heads, this is how to round up illegal immigrants Russian-style. Moscow police launched a no-nonsense crackdown on suspected illegals working on stalls in a market. Officers prodded suspects with batons and pinned them against police vans as searches were carried out. (Snip) Dmitry Demidenko, of the Russian Federal Migration Service, said: ‘Some 11,193,289 immigrants are living in Russia, and 3.76million of them live here illegally. ‘We are searching for them and expel from the country as we find them.
The sales assistant who refused to show U.S. talkshow billionaire Oprah Winfrey a luxury handbag costing nearly £25,000 claims the superstar lied about what happened in the luxury Swiss boutique where she works. Speaking anonymously to Sunday newspaper SonntagsBlick, the Italian bag lady said she felt ´powerless´ and in the grip of a ´cyclone´ after Winfrey went on TV in America to claim she had been the victim of racism. Winfrey was in Switzerland in July when she walked into the Trois Pommes boutique in Zurich looking for a handbag to match the outfit she was going to
LOS ANGELES -- Oprah Winfrey says she's "sorry" a media frenzy emerged after saying she experienced racism during a trip to Switzerland."I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland. I'm really sorry that it got blown up. I purposefully did not mention the name of the store. I'm sorry that I said it was Switzerland," Winfrey said "I was just referencing it as an example of being in a place where people don't expect that you would be able to be there," she continued.In recent interview with "Entertainment Tonight," Winfrey recalled a clerk at an upscale Zurich boutique refusing to show her a handbag. Winfrey said she was told she could not afford the $38,000 purse. Staff has added more text.
President Obama asserted the unilateral power to "tweak" inconvenient laws in last Friday´s news conference, underscoring his Administration´s increasingly cavalier notions about law enforcement. So it´s good that the judiciary—a coequal branch of government, in case the Administration forgot—is starting to check the White House. In a major rebuke on Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an unusual writ of mandamus, which is a direct judicial order compelling the government to fulfill a legal obligation. This "extraordinary remedy" is nominally about nuclear waste, writes Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the 2-1 majority, yet the case "raises significant questions about the
Oprah Winfrey says she´s kinda sorta "sorry" for the fallout that ensued after she told the media about a "racist" encounter at a purse store in Switzerland ... saying, "I´m really sorry that it got blown up." Yeah, right. Oprah addressed the media at the premiere of "The Butler" in L.A. last night -- backpedaling after the shop in question started to refute O´s allegations of racism during an incident last month. The shop owner says the whole thing was a "misunderstanding" and had "nothing to do with racism." Last night, Oprah said ... "I think that incident in Switzerland."
On August 12, Joe DiGenova, attorney for one of the Benghazi whistleblowers, told Washington D.C.´s WMAL that one of the reasons people have remained tight-lipped about Benghazi is because 400 U.S. missiles were "diverted to Libya" and ended up being stolen and falling into "the hands of some very ugly people." DiGenova represents Benghazi whistleblower Mark Thompson. He told WMAL that he "does not know whether [the missiles] were at the annex, but it is clear the annex was somehow involved in the distribution of those missiles."
Last week I wrote a column about the reality that House Republicans are ready to cave on so-called comprehensive immigration reform. There was a final paragraph in that column my editor decided not to use. That is the editor’s right for two reasons: one, every site has a voice they wish to adhere to interns of form and content; and two, he who pays, gets the final say. Ironically, what was omitted by my editor was not lost on scores of astute letter writers who commented on the piece. I would like them to know that I have the same feelings
IRS? A system of voluntary tax compliance cannot survive a dishonest IRS. Lois Lerner and company have virtually ruined the agency. For the foreseeable future, each time an American receives a tax query, he will wonder to what degree his politics ensures enhanced or reduced scrutiny — or whether his name as a donor, activist, or partisan has put him on a watch list. Worse still, when a high commissioner of the IRS takes the 5th Amendment, it sends a frightening message: those audited go to jail when they refuse to testify; those who audit them who do the same
In the wake of a rodeo clown’s anti-Obama skit this weekend, the Missouri State Fair is forcing all clowns to undergo sensitivity training. The state fair commission voted Monday to ratify the decision to ban the clown in question who wore an Obama mask as the rodeo announcer asked if the crowd wanted to see him get run down by a bull. The crowd enthusiastically approved, according to local media reports. But the state commission went further, saying it will require that before the Rodeo Cowboy Association can take part in any future state fair, “they must provide evidence to
The Missouri chapter of the NAACP appealed for the U.S. Department of Justice and the Secret Service to launch an investigation and open a federal case against the rodeo clown who donned a mask of President Obama’s face and mocked with the crowd: Do you want to see a bull run down Mr. Obama? The NAACP says the clown was guilty of inciting violence against the president. In a statement reported by Breitbart, the NAACP’s state president, Mary Ratliff, wrote: “The activities at the Missouri State Fair targeting and inciting violence against our president are serious and warrant a full
Over the weekend, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is “for big government and trying to go along to get along.” She added that Christie has “got a schtick going there where he’s got a YouTube videographer following him around, kind of these set-up situations sometimes so he can be seen as perhaps a little bit avant-garde and going rogue on things.” Christie said nothing in return. He should. Here’s why.Taking on Palin is good politics for Christie or Jeb Bush or anyone else who is planning to run as a quasi-establishment candidate for president in
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that she will soon tour the nation and deliver a series of speeches to promote more trust in government. She made her remarks at an annual American Bar Association meeting in San Francisco. More specifically, Mrs. Clinton said she was launching a series of speeches on foreign policy. And as part of those addresses, she planned to speak about the need to restore faith in government, Breitbart reported. She also bashed voter identification laws, telling 1,000 members of the
The father of one of three Florida teens charged in a vicious school bus attack said his son is “sorry” for taking part in the July beating that made national headlines. As the trio headed to court on Tuesday, Julian McKnight said his son Julian, 15, has also suffered in the aftermath of the July 9 attack on a Pinellas County school bus after it left Lealman Intermediate School in the St. Petersburg-area community of Gulfport. “All I can say is that he had his consequences already, you know?” McKnight said. “This is life. I am sorry what happened