Category Archives: Health & Human Services

Kincade fire revisited

On October 23,2019 a fire ignited in Northern California. The location was next to John Kincade Road. southeast of the town of Cloverdale in Sonoma county. A place that I am very familiar. It’s where I grew up and called home for many years..  Spending about 35 years in Sonoma county(home of the Bohemian Grove) , there are few places within the county I haven’t left my footprint. That would include The Geysers geothermal field located in California’s Mayacamas Mountains which John Kincade Road passes through. The birth of the Kincade Fire.
Cal fire reports fire starting at 9:27 pm..  If you do a Google search you will find the media reporting start times at 9:24 pn and 9:27 pm.   When the fire was called in, we are told the caller reported a power line was down.  The caller or  the report of the power line being down has not been confirmed.   Unconfirmed or not , the media still reports it as if it were factual evidence.  The media is also leading people to believe it was at a location of a PG & E  high power transmission tower PG &E claims that one of its  lines e failed  at exactly 9:20 pm.   Four  or seven  minutes (depending which media organization is reporting it) before the fire started.  Here is a photo of  the tower and the location. Image 1A
tower

Image 1A

There is a video that is being circulated that shows the exact time and location the fire started.  The various media organizations claim this  video proves where, how, why and when the fire started.  They insinuate the power line broke on the transmission line tower, shut the light off at powerplant  building (seen in the photo) and that the broken power line started the fire 4 minutes or 7 minutes later,  at that very location.  I’m going to use that video and show you that the fire started at/or  before their 4 minute or  7 minute claim.  I’ll also show you that the fire ignited at a different location. Vindicating PG & E for being the cause of this fire.

The video they/we are using was filmed from around 20 to 21 miles away.  The camera was located on a tower in Santa Rosa.  It’s part of a network of cameras placed throughout California set up to spot fires. The  Image 2A is a nightshot of the location of the transmission tower from 20 miles away.    The bright light is the location of the building by the transmission tower.  On the right in the image there is a map.  The yellow triangle at the bottom is the camera’s location and the yellow balloon is where the light is located at.  This is the camera that captured the frames in the video.

camloc3

Image 2A

The  video is a time lapse video.  It’s presented at a higher speed. When played at the speed presented, it appears that the light went out and the fire started at the same location.  I’ve provided the video below.

The video can be deceiving when only viewed at the higher speed. What I did was slow the video down, closer to actual time, to get a better understanding of  the actual time the fire bwecame visable.  I managed to capture four frames back to back. One frame was at 21:19:51(the last time the light was on).  Next frame was at 21:19:55(no light, no fire visable).   Next frame was at 21:20:09(first time fire becomes visable but difficult to see so I tossed it).  Final frame is at 21:20:13(when the fire becomes clearly visable).

Keeping three frames I stacked them  frame by frame so that you can see all three events occurred within a 18 second time period.  Image 3A  The bottom frame is when the fire becomes visable.  The middle frame(red box) shows the time between the light being visable and the fire being visable.  The top frame show the last time the light was visable. Notice the times.  The fire becomes visable within 18 seconds after the light shut off.  Proving the fire started long before 9:24 pm or 9:27 pm. There was no 4 or 7 minutes later.  Also, notice the locations of the light and the fire.  Two different locations.  Remember, this is being filmed from 20 miles away.  The fire and light appear close together.  As you get closer to the event, the distance between the two locations is far greater.

Image 3A

In the next image I took 1/2 of the first frame and 1/2 the last frame and matched them together to show the 2 different locations. Image 4A

Image 4A

The video and images clearly show that the fire started at a different loication and long beforew the 4 or 7 minutes. So where was the ignition point?  Taking the informatioin I had available, I did the following. I knew the distance from the camera was around 20 to 21 miles away. The angle was about 2 degrees difference between the fire and the light.  I used the method in Image 5A and came up with the results in Image 6A.

Image 5A

In Image 6A the red ballon is the location of the powereplant building with the light that shut off and the transmission tower that supposedly started the fire.  My results led me to believe  fire started in the area circled in green.  My location is pretty close to the location Cal Fire post as being the ignition point of the fire as seen in  Image 7A( Cal Fire, red ballon. The blue circle is location  the media is pushing).

image 7A

Something I should also mention is that the fire became visable from 20 miles away within 18 seconds.  The fire had to have been burning a lot longer than 18 seconds to be visable at that distance.  The only other way to get a fire to flash that quickly is by using  an accelerant.  In the case of an accelerant, there would have been a huge flash when the fire was ignited.  Exactly what a witness in this next video mentioned.

Additional talking points

Calpine

The media is focused on that single location as being to ignition point.  Why don’t they put some attention on the owner of the powerplant building where the light shut off?  The owner is Calpine.  Calpine ownes the majority of the powerplants at The Geysers.  They claim to have shut their facilities down due to high winds.  Why?  Winds have zero effect on geothermal plants.  PG & E owns all the high power transmission lines.  Wind would have no impact on the powerplant.  Also, the powerplants generate their own power.  PG &E high power transmission line failing would not shut the lights off at the power plant.  Even if it was connected to the plant.  Powerplants provide electricity to PG &E, not the opposite way around..  Any line failure of PG &E would never shut the power off at the powerplant.

Calpine is owned by Energy Capital Partrners(ECP). ECP has owned assets in every major power market in the USA. Their portfolio can be viewed here.

Cal Fire

It’ was fairly easy to eliminate the transmission tower as being the cause of the fire.  Why doesn’t Cal Fire speak up?

Cal Fire resources  .

“CAL FIRE owns and operates over 3,000 fire and emergency response and resource protection vehicles. In support of its ground forces, the CAL FIRE emergency response air program includes 23 Grumman S-2T 1,200 gallon airtankers, 11 UH-1H Super Huey helicopters, and 14 OV-10A airtactical. From 13 air attack and nine helitack bases located statewide, aircraft can reach most fires within 20 minutes”.

In addition I found the following.  They have 61 dozers,  50 fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft which include  , 2 Air King A200 and   1 or more of the  following, Dornier Do-228, C-23A Sherpa (SD3-30), Air Tractor AT-802A “FireBoss” ,  Grumman S-2T, Lockheed P-2 Neptune, CL-215/ Bombardier 415 “Superscooper”, Douglas DC-7,McDonnell Douglas MD-87, British Aerospace Bae 146/ Avro RJ85, L188 Electra,  Lockheed C-130 Hercules, Boeing 747, DC-10,  AH-1 Firewatch “Cobra” ,Sikorsky S-61, Sikorsky S-64, Sikorsky S -70 “Firehawk”,Eurocopter AS-332L,  Boeing-Vertol BV 107, Boeing 234 “Chinook”, Kaman “K-Max”, Bell 212, Bell 205 A++, Bell 412, Bell 407, Bell 206B “JetRanger”,  Bell 206L-III “LongRanger”, Eurocopter AS350 AStar, MD 500D,    Aérospatiale SA 315B “Lama”, Alouette 316B, Lockheed C-130, UH -60 “Blackhawk”, Boeing CH-46 “Sea Knight”, CH -47 “Chinook”, Sikorsky CH-53E “Super Stallion” (Sikorsky S-80E).  For details click here.

Cal Fire’s budget is up to 2.6 billion dollars.

Besides wondering why Cal Fire has all the military class aircraft that we never see,   I have to ask ” with all the money spent on Cal Fire and the inventory of helicopters and dozers that they own,  why did the decide to contract out for fire suppression instead of using their own inventory?”  Cal Fire didn’t use any of their dozers or helicopters for the kincade fire,

CalFire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California has become a “hustling ground” for the state leadership(Democrats).   Clearly it looks as if they are using Cal Fire and  fire disasters to scame money out of Californians as well as tax payers throughout the USA.  The residents in California end up suffering the most.  Cal Fire knows exactly what caused the Kincade fire. Democrats have made it clear that they want to control/ownership the power supply in California.  Cal Fire’s silence only helps them attain that goal.  Cal Fire’s leadership is a joke.  Back in the day we used to have smoke jumpers that would have shut this fire down. Where are they?  More time was spent talking about, watching the fire then was spent on fighting it.  Totally disgusting.  Having some experience fighting forest fires I understand it’s difficult work so I commend those that actually fought the fire. My appreciation goes out to you.

I am in no way a fan of PG &E.  I am far less a fan of the democrat leadership.   It would be nice to see a little bit of integrity coming from their way. I don’t believe for one second that PG &E is responsible for the Kincade fire.  PG &E had shut the power down at 5:00 pm earlier that day. The light we saw in the video had to be running on the powerplants own electricity. Also, the high power transmission lines are built to handle winds up to 145 mph.  Another thing that never gets mentioned is that there are other companies that have power lines in the same area.

PG &E initiated its power shut offs were more than likely done because high winds automatically shut down their wind generators thoughout the state.  It wasn’t fire they were worried about.  They were worried about not being able to supply the power needed.

The high winds have zero to do with climate change,  If a person wants to know what causes the weather all they would need to do is see who was flying “weather modification” missions earlier that week.  That’s the cause of California droughts and all the dead trees through out California.  That’s why we have man made aluminum dust covering a large part of the state.

My last to thoughts today are “Never believe anything that comes out of the mouth of a California politician or State official, at any level.  They are always lying to you” and “The fire evacuations during the Kincade fire were not done to save people.  They were done because they didn’t want you to see what they were doing.”   Even if you saw something…….

More than 100 of the approximately 430 cell sites in Sonoma County were knocked out of service because of a loss of power Monday, the peak day for cellphone network outages during the 11-day period since the Kincade fire erupted on Oct. 23, according to Federal Communications Commission records.

To see in more detail how Gavin Newsome waste tax payer dollars, click here.

Respectfully,

Deplorable Patriot

Happy New Year

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Trump ends churches’ refugee-resettlement gravy train

In Luke 20 is an account of yet another attempt by Jewish rabbis and teachers to trip Jesus. Trying to entrap our Lord by catching Him saying something untoward so that they could then hand Him over to the Roman authorities, they sent “spies” to ask Jesus “Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”.

To which, Jesus calmly replied that we are to abide by the government’s laws: “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” (Luke 20:25)

In the matter of immigration, St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), whom the Catholic Church honors as a Doctor of the Church and regards as its greatest theologian and philosopher, respected a country’s laws governing immigration and would gravely disapprove of illegal “immigrants,” much less their brazen demands for special treatment in the U.S. today. So prudent and concerned was St. Thomas for the wellbeing of the host country that he recommended that even legal immigrants be granted citizenship only after 2 or 3 generations.

See “St. Thomas Aquinas disapproved of illegal immigration and expected all immigrants to assimilate

But Christian churches in the United States have become lawless and law-defying institutions.

In the name of “charity,” some churches are defying and violating U.S. federal government laws on immigration by providing “sanctuary” to those who are in the U.S. illegally and face deportation. See DCG’s Dec. 13, 2016 post, “Churches vow to offer sanctuary to illegal aliens“.

More than defying immigration laws, under the Obama administration, churches and other “faith-based” institutions had formed a lucrative alliance with the U.S. government in aiding and abetting illegal immigration and “refugee” re-settlement, contrary to the Left’s mantra of “separation of church and state”.

As an example, the Baptist Child and Family Services (BCFS) had very lucrative contracts with the Obama administration’s HHS, DHS, and other agencies. One such contract was for BCFS to acquire and operate the luxury Palm Aire Resort & Hotel to house illegal “children” at a cost of $50 million. Another contract was for the BCFS to provide “basic shelter care” to 2,400 “unaccompanied alien children” for just four months in 2014, at a cost to taxpayers of more than $182 million. BCFS’s lucrative contracts with the federal government would explain its president and CEO Kevin Dinnin’s bloated annual salary of more than $477,799.

See “Collusion of Church & State in Invasion of Illegals: $182M to house ‘unaccompanied children’ for just 4 months

But under President Trump, that gravy train is drying up.

Michele Jurich reports for Catholic Voice, May 13, 2019, that “With the U.S. government continuing to severely limit the number of refugees who enter the country under its auspices, Catholic Charities of the East Bay (CCEB) [in the San Francisco Bay Area] has ended its resettlement program.”

Nationally, according to Refugee Council USA, the Trump administration has admitted only 12,151 refugees, which is less than 40% of the historically low 30,000 refugee admissions goal.

CCEB’s 90-day service contract with the federal government ended on May 8, 2019. As a consequence, although CCEB was scheduled to receive 100 refugees in fiscal year 2019, which began Oct. 1, 2018, the agency received “just eight”. But the numbers of refugees in CCEB’s resettlement program already had decreased over the last two years. In fiscal year 2018, CCEB was projected to receive 145 refugees; 100 were received.

This effectively ends the involvement of about 40 East Bay parishes in setting up apartments, driving newcomers to appointments and helping them feel at home in their new land. Over the past three years, these parishes have been actively involved in co-sponsoring refugee families. Reportedly, “many” of those refugees had worked for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Christopher Martinez, CCEB’s chief program officer, said that those who have received assistance from Catholic Charities in the past can still request assistance in legal and housing matters: “Any family, if they need support, can always reach Catholic Charities. We want to build on that legacy.”

Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay in Berkeley and the International Rescue Committee in Oakland will continue to resettle refugees in the East Bay.

See also:

~Eowyn

Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Guess the main culprit of Oregon’s $623 million projected budget shortfall…

When the “Affordable” Care Act was passed, it expanded tax-payer funded health coverage through Medicaid. States that agreed to participate and expand eligibility would be reimbursed by the federal government at 100% of the costs with those reimbursement costs declining by 2020.

As Nasdaq reported in 2016, states would take a hit to their budgets once the reimbursements were reduced. From their report:

At this point, many states have seen dramatic increases in their Medicaid enrollment levels beyond original expectations, which may pose serious fiscal consequences.

While this growth speaks volumes about the progress toward meeting the federal government’s goal of increasing the number of Americans with health insurance, it arguably falls short in addressing the financial burden to state governments.

With federal reimbursement levels declining in a few years, states have largely focused on the most economical and efficient delivery methods (e.g., health maintenance organizations) to help alleviate fiscal costs going forward. Still, budgetary pressures are likely to persist. Enrollment projections were wrong and costs have exceeded expectations. That is why more than 20 states, mostly conservative, Republican-dominated states, opted out of joining the ACA program and are now enjoying an “I told you so” moment after analyzing the program’s fiscal costs.”

Oregon Live reported on Tuesday that the state’s general fund and lottery revenues could total $23.6 billion from 2019 to 2021, a 5 percent increase from the current budget, yet the state could still go $623 million in the red, according to a tentative budget overview from the Legislative Fiscal Office and Department of Administrative Services.

And the main cause of this deficit? Rising costs for the state’s Medicaid program. From their report:

Under the Affordable Care Act, states such as Oregon that expanded Medicaid must pick up a greater share of the cost over time. Existing taxes that fund the program are also set to wind down.”

Adding to that deficit is education costs that will increase due to the passage of Measure 98 in 2016. That will result in an increase in spending on the programs by $147 million annually.

How’s that “big f*cking deal” working out for you now, demorats?

DCG

Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Trump administration HHS dumps contract to buy aborted baby body parts

It is bad enough that taxpayers continue to be forced to “subsidize” Planned Parenthood — the largest abortion business in America, killing 320,000 unborn babies every year, 900 babies every dayto the tune of $400 million a year, thanks to these four senators. (See “Four senators blocked Senate from passing bill to defund Planned Parenthood,” Aug. 26, 2018.)

Did you know that taxpayers also pay for federal government agencies’ purchases of aborted baby body parts for medical research?

In response to pressure from Congress and pro-life groups, including Operation Rescue, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finally terminated a contract with Advanced Biosciences, a company that procures aborted baby remains from abortion facilities and sells them.

Here’s the HHS’s press release of Sept. 24, 2018:

After a recent review of a contract between Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. and the Food and Drug Administration to provide human fetal tissue to develop testing protocols, HHS was not sufficiently assured that the contract included the appropriate protections applicable to fetal tissue research or met all other procurement requirements. As a result, that contract has been terminated, and HHS is now conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations. In addition, HHS has initiated a comprehensive review of all research involving fetal tissue to ensure consistency with statutes and regulations governing such research, and to ensure the adequacy of procedures and oversight of this research in light of the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved. Finally, HHS is continuing to review whether adequate alternatives exist to the use of human fetal tissue in HHS funded research and will ensure that efforts to develop such alternatives are funded and accelerated.

While that is good news, the Susan B. Anthony List, which spearheaded the effort to halt all such activity, points out that this means that fetal tissue experimentation may continue as long as it meets government “standards”. SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a written statement:

[HHS] Secretary Azar must put an immediate moratorium on funding for research using aborted baby organs and tissue purchased from the abortion industry. Further, Secretary Azar should instead devote tax dollars to ethical alternatives that – unlike experimentation on fetal tissue – produce successful therapies for patients. Canceling a single contract and conducting a review is a small step forward, but overall is completely inadequate.

Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue also points out that HHS is just one federal government agency that canceled its contract to procure aborted baby body part. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) currently funds experimentation using human fetal tissue and organs to the tune of $100 million U.S. taxpayer dollars. Much of the aborted baby tissue and organs goes to create human-mouse chimera — mice that are altered to more closely resemble human systems.

The President of Operation Rescue says:

“Ghoulish experiments that use humanized mice… have no business being funded by the American taxpayer, most of whom would be horrified to learn their tax money was being used in this way. All experimentation on aborted baby remains funded by the U.S. government must be terminated for the sake of human decency.”

Aborted baby tissue is also being used to produce vaccines. See:

H/t CSM

~Eowyn

Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Time magazine claims to have internal Navy memo on constructing temporary tent cities for 117,000 illegal border-crossers

The Left already are homicidal in rage over President Trump.
This surely will make their heads explode.

The Oxford Dictionary defines “invade” as:

  • Encroach or intrude on.
  • Enter in large numbers, especially with intrusive effects.
  • Enter so as to subjugate or occupy it.

By those definitions, the entry of millions of illegal aliens across the US-Mexico border certainly qualifies as an invasion.
Just as it is a criminal act for someone to enter your home without your permission, so it is with national borders.
Just as police arrest a home-invader, so it is the responsibility of a government to arrest those who cross that country’s borders without permission.
Just as police incarcerate home-invaders, so do national governments once they arrest illegal border-crossers.
But when illegal border-crossers come in large numbers, they overwhelm the capacity of local, state and federal prisons:

  • In the 1970s, an estimated 1.1 million illegal border-crossers entered the U.S. — o.5% of the U.S. population.
  • That number increased to 1.3 million in the 1980s, to over 5.8 million in the 1990s. (Wikipedia)
  • By 2007, the number of illegal “migrants” in the U.S. peaked at 12.2 million, or 4% of the total U.S. population. (Pew Research Center) The most recent estimate of the number of illegals in the U.S. was 12.1 million as of January 2014. (Department of Homeland Security)

In 2014, the Obama Administration placed some 7,700 illegal alien children in military bases in Texas, California and Oklahoma. The temporary shelters were shuttered after four months.
Unlike previous administrations, the Trump administration is actually enforcing U.S. immigration laws, which is one of Donald Trump’s campaign promises. What the jackals of the Mainstream Media call “separation of families” is actually the Trump administration enacting a measure that flowed from the  Clinton-era Flores vs. Reno Supreme Court decision allowing unaccompanied illegal border-crossing minors be held “in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the minor’s age and special needs.” The Left excoriate Trump’s enforcement of federal immigration laws a “zero tolerance” immigration policy, as if the U.S. doesn’t have a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to other crimes, such as homicides.
Currently, there are tens of thousands of law-breakers being held awaiting criminal proceedings for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexican border. They have to be sheltered somewhere. But current facilities are at their breaking point and the immigration courts face deep backlogs. To add to the problem, because of the MSM and Democrat hyenas’ manufactured outcry about Trump “separating” the families of illegal border-crossers, Trump’s solution is to hold the children — who previously had been housed elsewhere — with their law-breaker parents, further straining the system.
Currently, migrant children are being held in facilities run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). One facility, a converted Walmart in Texas, was recently opened to reporters, igniting another predictable media firestorm.
Last Wednesday, President Trump ordered the Pentagon to work with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to house as many as 20,000 illegal border-crosser children who are without an adult relative — the Unaccompanied Alien Children program. Yes, Virginia, heartless parents actually let their children illegally cross the US-Mexico border by themselves! But you don’t hear anything about that from the media jackals, do you?
DHS has completed assessments at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Dyess Air Force Base, Fort Bliss in Texas and Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas for potential use.
Now, Time magazine claims exclusively to have an internal U.S. Navy memo on plans to construct tent cities in California and Florida which will temporarily house up to 117,000 illegal border crossers.
Time‘s article is in its print issue of July 2, 2018, with that deliberately provocative and fake cover of a photoshopped image of President Trump as a bully towering over a tiny, crying child. To compound the fakery, the original image from which the child was cropped is also fake. (See “Proof that MSM news on Trump’s “family separation” is political propaganda“)

Philip Elliott and W. J. Hennigan archly and without bias (sarcasm alert!) report for Time, June 22, 2018, that the magazine obtained a draft U.S. Navy internal memo on plans to construct detention centers for tens of thousands of immigrants on remote bases in California, Alabama and Arizona: “The planning document indicates a potential growing military responsibility in an administration caught flat-footed in having to house waves of migrants awaiting civilian criminal proceedings.”

According to Time, the internal Navy memo outlines plans to build or propose to build “temporary and austere” tent cities in these states:

  • Alabama: House 25,000 migrants at abandoned airfields just outside the Florida panhandle near Mobile; at Navy Outlying Field Wolf in Orange Beach and nearby Navy Outlying Field Silverhill.
  • California: House 47,000 people at former Naval Weapons Station Concord, near San Francisco; 47,000 people at Camp Pendleton, the Marines’ largest training facility located along the Southern California coast.
  • Arizona: The planning memo proposes further study of housing an undetermined number of migrants at the Marine Corps Air Station near Yuma.

The military has not yet been ordered to construct these new detention facilities, but the internal Navy memo estimates that the Navy would spend about $233 million to construct and operate a facility for 25,000 people for a six-month time period. The proposal suggests these tent cities be built to last between six months and one year. Military officials propose a 60-day timeline to build the first temporary tent facility for 5,000 adults. After that, they could add room for 10,000 additional individuals each month.
The memo was written by Phyllis L. Bayer, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment, in anticipation for a request from DHS. It recommends Navy Secretary Richard Spencer sign off on the plan, which allocates roughly 450 square feet per immigrant held for housing, support staff and security, and send it to Defense Secretary James Mattis.
See also “Mexican presidential candidate calls for mass migrant invasion of U.S.

~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Thousands mistakenly enrolled in California's Medicaid expansion

you don't say
Shocker, not.
From CNN Money: California signed up an estimated 450,000 people under Medicaid expansion who may not have been eligible for coverage, according to a report by the U.S. Health and Human Services’ chief watchdog.
In a Feb. 21 report, the HHS’ inspector general estimated that California spent $738.2 million on 366,078 expansion beneficiaries who were ineligible. It spent an additional $416.5 million for 79,055 expansion enrollees who were “potentially” ineligible, auditors found.
Auditors said nearly 90% of the $1.15 billion in questionable payments involved federal money, while the rest came from the state’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal. They examined a six-month period from Oct. 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015, when Medicaid payments of $6.2 billion were made related to 1.9 million newly eligible enrollees.
There were limitations to the California review, however. The audit extrapolated from a sample of 150 beneficiaries. The authors reported a 90% confidence level in their results — whereas 95% would be more common. That meant that the number of those ineligible could have been as low as 260,000 or as high as 630,000.
“If HHS has a strong reason to believe that California is systematically making enrollment errors, it would be helpful to show that in a more robust analysis,” said Ben Ippolito, a health care economist at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. “The federal government should ensure that states are being good stewards of federal money.”
Nonetheless, the audit highlighted weaknesses in California’s Medicaid program, the largest in the nation with 13.4 million enrollees and an annual budget topping $100 billion, counting federal and state money. Medicaid covers one in three Californians.
The inspector general found deficiencies in the state’s computer system for verifying eligibility and discovered errors by caseworkers. The Medicaid payments cited in the report covered people in the state’s fee-for-service system, managed-care plans, drug treatment programs and those receiving mental health services.
California’s Department of Health Care Services, which runs Medi-Cal, said in a statement that it agreed with nearly all of the auditors’ recommendations and that the agency “has taken steps to address all of the findings.”
In a written response to the inspector general, California officials said several computer upgrades were made after the audit period and before publication of the report that should improve the accuracy of eligibility decisions.
Among the 150 expansion enrollees analyzed in detail, 75%, or 112, were deemed eligible for the Medicaid program in California. Auditors discovered a variety of problems with the other 38 enrollees.
During the audit period, 12 enrollees in the sample group had incomes above 138% of the federal poverty line, making them ineligible financially for public assistance, according to the report.
In other instances, beneficiaries were already enrolled in Medicare, the federal health insurance for people 65 and older or who have severe disabilities, and did not qualify for Medi-Cal. Onewoman indicated she didn’t want Medi-Cal but was enrolled anyway.
In 2014, the state struggled to clear a massive backlog of Medi-Cal applications, which reached about 900,000 at one point. Many people complained about being mistakenly rejected for coverage, or their applications were lost in the state or county computer systems.
California was one of 31 states to expand Medicaid under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The health law established a higher federal reimbursement for these newly eligible patients, primarily low-income adults without children. After expansion started in 2014, the HHS inspector general’s office began reviewing whether states were determining eligibility correctly and spending taxpayer dollars appropriately.
Read the rest of the story here.
DCG

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Washington state’s health-exchange rates to jump 24 percent


Shocker, not.
From Seattle Times: Washingtonians buying insurance through the state’s health-insurance exchange will see the largest premium increases next year since the exchange was created in 2013.
The Washington Health Benefit Exchange board this week approved rate increases averaging 24 percent. The rates, first approved by the state’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner, will impact about 180,000 customers.
“We at the exchange understand that, yes, this is going to create a challenging environment that is going to be difficult” for customers, said Michael Marchand, chief marketing officer and spokesman for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which was created after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2010.
Customers of the exchange will also have fewer insurance providers to choose from in 2018. In King and Pierce counties the number drops from seven to four, Snohomish County goes from six to three and Kitsap County from four to three.
Rate increases averaged 11 percent last year, 4 percent in 2016 and 1 percent in 2015.
Read the rest of the story here.
DCG

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Aetna drops last 2 state markets under Affordable Care Act

Obama_laughing
Obamacare going as planned. Let’s hope we can get rid of this monstrosity.
From Yahoo: While Republicans rewrite the Affordable Care Act in Washington, the future of the current law has grown hazier with the nation’s third-largest health insurer completely divorcing itself from state-based insurance markets.
Aetna said late Wednesday that it won’t sell individual coverage next year in its two remaining states — Nebraska and Delaware — after projecting a $200 million loss this year. It had already dropped Iowa and Virginia for next year. The insurer once sold the coverage in 15 states, but slashed that to four after losing about $450 million in 2016.
The government-backed marketplaces are a pillar of the Obama-era federal law because they allow millions of people to buy health insurance with help from income-based tax credits. But insurers like Humana, and now Aetna, have been fleeing that market, and the remaining coverage options are growing thin. Other companies like the Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer Anthem say they are wary of returning without a guarantee that the government will provide cost-sharing subsidies that reduce expenses like co-payments. Those are separate from the tax credits that help pay premiums.
The White House has assured lawmakers it will continue paying the subsidies, but it has offered no long-term guarantee.
About 12 million people bought coverage for this year on the exchanges, and every market had at least one insurer offering coverage. But a growing number were down to one.
Companies are in the middle of figuring out their prices and coverage plans for next year, and insurance experts expect some holes to develop in those marketplaces.
“All it takes is one insurance company to exit, and that can create panic for other insurers and they pull out too,” said Cynthia Cox, a health insurance expert for the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, which studies health care. “Insurers don’t want to be the last one holding the bag.”
The federal law prevents insurers from rejecting patients based on their health, so if competitors pull out, the last insurer may be left covering all the high-cost patients in that market.
Metropolitan or highly populated areas are still expected to draw several insurers. But rural areas may not be attractive to insurers looking to cut losses. They generally have a smaller, older population.
Ultimately, insurers with the most common brand in health insurance, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, will decide the fate of the marketplaces. Many of those plans specialize in individual insurance and have a long-standing presence in their markets. They also are the only remaining option on exchanges in nearly a third of the nation’s more than 3,100 counties.
DCG

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Candlelight vigils and funerals are being planned to highlight those who, activists say, will die under Trumpcare

hyperbole
From Vocativ: Activists are planning several protests around the country — at elected representatives’ offices and places of worship — to mourn for those they say will die if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
Protesters are holding candlelight vigils, symbolic funerals, and die-in demonstrations to protest President Trump and the Republican Party’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with a new bill, called the American Health Care Act or AHCA. The first vote by the House of Representatives on the measure is scheduled for Thursday.
One of the more grim protests being planned will be held in Des Moines, Iowa, in front of Republican Congressman David Young’s office. Organizers say the event is “a vigil to mourn the deaths of the Iowans and Americans that will die if Trumpcare is passed. Almost 200 Iowans are projected to die each year, 2000 total over the next decade. We need to make sure David Young knows what he would be voting for.”
Organizing For Action, the political advocacy group that grew out of President Obama’s first presidential campaign, is planning a funeral procession in New York’s Staten Island with an effigy of Trump as the grim reaper. The protest, planned for Thursday, will march to Representative Dan Donovan’s office.
Indivisible, an organization made up of former Congressional staffers, is also organizing a series of candlelight vigils for the estimated 24,000 people who will die yearly if the GOP plan is passed as it currently stands. One demonstration, to be held at a San Diego church, will “pray for mercy for the sick and suffering in San Diego and across America.”
In Cincinnati, nearly 100 people have said they will attend a “die-in” protest on Wednesday. Each participant is instructed to lie down on the ground while holding a sign stating their hypothetical cause of death. Among the suggestions are “I died from a bacterial infection because I couldn’t afford to go to the doctor” and “My cervical cancer wasn’t discovered in time because I couldn’t go to Planned Parenthood.”
The American Health Care Act is scheduled for a floor vote in the House of Representatives on March 23. President Trump and his administration have reportedly held a series of phone calls and meeting intended to pressure Republicans opposed to the bill to fall in line.  Several Republican lawmakers have come out against the bill, which they say fails to live up to promises of a full Obamacare repeal.
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, some 24 million Americans are estimated to lose health insurance over the next decade if the plan goes through.
DCG

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

UN warned Trump that ObamaCare repeal could violate international law

United Nations
From Fox News: The United Nations warned the Trump administration earlier this year that repealing ObamaCare without providing an adequate replacement would be a violation of multiple international laws, according to a new report.
Though the Trump administration is likely to ignore the U.N. warning, The Washington Post reported the Office of the U.N. High Commission on Human Rights in Geneva sent an “urgent appeal” on Feb 2.
The Post reported that the confidential, five-page memo cautioned that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act would put the U.S. “at odds with its international obligations.”
The warning was sent to the State Department and reportedly said the U.N. expressed “serious concern” about the prospective loss of health coverage for 30 million people, that in turn could violate “the right to social security of the people in the United States.”
Congressional Republicans failed in March to pass an ObamaCare replacement bill. A new proposal is emerging on Capitol Hill, but it’s unclear when it might be considered and how sweeping it may be.
A spokesman for the U.N.’s human rights office in Geneva confirmed the authenticity of the letter, which was sent by Dainius Puras, a Lithuanian doctor who serves the U.N. as “Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.”
Xabier Celaya, a spokesman for the U.N., said Puras cannot comment on his ObamaCare letter until it becomes public in June.
Though the report calls out the Trump administration, there’s very little the U.N. can actually do. 
According to the report, the letter sent to the Trump administration also was supposed to be shared with the majority and minority leaders in both houses of Congress — but that did not happen.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer’s office said they never received the letter, as did officials in House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. The letter from Puras did make its way to the Department of Health and Human Services, where an unnamed employee supposedly leaked it.
DCG

Please follow and like us:
error0