Governor Steve Beshear‘s office published a press release today to announce $2 million in tax incentives have been granted to the Neogen Corporation in Lexington for expansion. According to the press release this expansion will create 75 new jobs.
Medicaid is on an unsustainable path towards fiscal disaster, putting Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens at risk.
Today, 2 out of 3 children on Medicaid are denied appointments with specialists, compared to only 1 in 10 privately-insured children. Without essential, sweeping reform, Medicaid will continue wasting Kentucky’s resources on a grossly overexpanded enrollee base while failing in its fundamental mission of providing access to health care for the truly impoverished.
These findings are highlighted in a new report by the Bluegrass Institute, entitled “An Unsustainable Path: The Past and Future of Kentucky Medicaid Spending.” The report will be released at a policy briefing this Wednesday, June 29, at 12:30 p.m. in Room 248 of the University of Kentucky’s Carol Gatton Business and Economics Building.
“I think the evidence suggests it’s time to turn to more fundamental reforms instead of piecemeal fixes,” said the report’s author, John Garen, Ph.D., Gatton Endowed Professor of Economics at the University of Kentucky and a Bluegrass Institute adjunct scholar.
Co-sponsored by the Bluegrass Institute and the BB&T; Learning Laboratory on Capitalism, the policy briefing is free and open to the public.
All media inquiries should be directed to Jim Waters, Vice President of Policy and Communication, at email@example.com.
One of the most significant reforms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, is the expansion of Medicaid to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Since the bill’s passage, many studies have surfaced showing poor health care access and outcomes for patients with Medicaid.
We’ve written recently on a study by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that found children receiving health care coverage through Medicaid were far more likely to be denied by a specialist than children with private insurance.
Now the government wants to prove the same thing. The New York Times reported yesterday that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will begin a new project posing secretly as patients to determine how difficult it is to get access to care when on government health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare.
The question remains, why is HHS conducting a study so similar to that of the NEJM and others?
Thomas Lifson of American Thinker surmises, “It is all too easy to see where this is leading. Having expanded demand without addressing the supply of doctors, and paying less for that expanded demand than market prices, the Obama administration needs a fall guy, and doctors fit the bill.”
If you are job hunting in the midst of our nation’s financial downturn, consider this: there is an organization that, even when rumored it would experience a shutdown, is still handing out taxpayer money in bonuses!
Care to take a guess at who that might be? Yup, you guessed it.
This is exactly why transparency is so important. It is the first step toward keeping our government accountable.
It looks like at least one knowledgeable state leader agrees with us.
Per CN2, Kentucky Senate President David Williams also finds the governor’s attempt to scuttle NCLB accountability premature. Like us, Williams knows the new state assessment Beshear wants to use is not yet fully developed, and many elements such as the End of Course high school exams and the lower grade exams are not even available at this time. In fact, some elements won’t be ready for prime time (created with trial runs completed) for several more years.
This is not to say that eventually the state’s system won’t work out well; but, until we see a couple of years of data, I’m not ready to disband the only accountability system currently in use to evaluate our schools. After all, Kentucky failed to get a viable assessment program not once, but twice since KERA began. That isn’t a track record to inspire more gambling with our kids as we rush committing to what could be a home run, but might also be the third strike out.
The new 2011 edition of the ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index is now out. But it contains no surprises for Kentuckians.
Both Kentucky’s economic outlook and performance rankings occupy the same spots from last year at No. 40 and No. 31 respectively. Neighboring Tennessee ranks below Kentucky on ten-year economic performance at No. 36, but much above Kentucky on economic outlook at No. 8.
Tennessee’s absence of a state earned income tax and its status as a right-to-work”>right-to-work state has provided Tennessee with the eighth highest absolute domestic migration in the nation over the past ten years.
Kentucky’s dismal economic outlook is based on 15 equally-weighted factors including highest marginal personal and corporate income tax rate (8.2%), debt service as a share of tax revenue (11.8%), percent of workforce in public sector (5.6%), average workers’ compensation costs (2.29% of total payroll), the imposition of the inheritance tax and forced-union status.
The ALEC-Laffer economic outlook index makes clear where Kentucky needs to make serious changes to improve its long-term economic condition: the top marginal personal income tax rate is the tenth highest in the nation; the miscellaneous tax burden (excluding income, sales, and property taxes) is twelfth highest; the ratio of debt service to tax revenue is third highest; and the quality of Kentucky’s legal system (based on tort litigation treatment, judicial impartiality, etc) is the second worst in the nation.
Click here for the full report.
According to this report card, Kentucky has ample room for serious fiscal improvement.
By Phil Impellizzeri, Bluegrass Institute intern