Beshear's budget figures hide a system of 'mismanaged care'
On July 7, 2011, Gov. Steven Beshear announced that the state's expansion of managed care in the Medicaid program would save taxpayers $375 million in general funds and $1.3 billion in all funds during the three-year contracts.
Beshear said efficiencies would balance the Medicaid budget in the first fiscal year and create 543 new jobs He said the plans would improve coordination of care and reduce costs.
Instead, managed care has used dollars formerly directed to services to pay for a layer of bureaucracy between the Medicaid department and the providers that has sopped up about 20 percent of the Medicaid budget in fees and profits. In addition, the department has been expanded to supervise the managed care organizations, sucking more dollars out of services.
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Managed care organizations profit by denying services and by delaying provider payments. Yes, there have been some savings from eliminating overcharging by some providers, but those savings could have been achieved with proper supervision and without creating this mess.
While the population needing mental health care and substance addiction treatment grows, funding has been cut. While the heroin addiction rates goes through the roof, funding to provide services has been reduced.
Governments don't seem to understand that addiction is a mental illness and that illnesses like bipolar disorder and addiction are physical illnesses that impact the brain and people's behavior. If they understood that, they might loosen up their purses a bit.
The ability to provide necessary services keeps being restricted by poorly conceived government programs and bad judgment.
Aid OK with Barr?
Has 6th District Representative Andy Barr indicated how closely he will look for pork in the inevitable FEMA appropriation bill in the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornado?
Bowled over by Lex
Thank you to Mayor Gray and the city of Lexington for the hospitality extended to bowlers from across the United States who competed in Lexington over the past eight weeks in the National Elks Bowling Tournament.
Everyone had a fabulous time in Lexington and we hope to bring the tournament back to Kentucky. Also, a special thanks to John Pohl of the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau as well as Terry Johnson of the Bluegrass Sports Commission. Their efforts planning for this tournament allowed us to present a great event for our bowlers. Collins Bowling Center was a perfect partner and a wonderful host for our tournament. Lastly, Lames Abrahim at the Clarion Hotel really made our stay special and was a great help with the food, rooms and meeting space. Very special thanks to all.
Larry "Joe" Gates
92nd Past President
National Elks Bowling Association
Huntington, W. Va.
Gun laws won't work
The city of Chicago has one of the toughest gun laws in the country. So far this year, there have been 503 shooting resulting in 95 deaths. Explain to me again how more gun control laws are going to help.
Lessons for living
Three thoughts which I have learned from others, have become a great guide in my old age:
1. You cannot fix everything.
2. Remain calm.
3. Try to love everyone.
I recently read in the Herald-Leader that Jeff Ruby is going to open his restaurant in CentrePointe by January, 2015. Ruby is now doing food trucks?
Where's the candidate?
Gov. Steve Beshear, we are waiting.
Beshear promised, after Ashley Judd was run out of the U.S. race, that Democrats would have a formidable candidate to run against Sen. Mitch McConnell. We are still waiting. He should hurry and make good on his promise.