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Barbour’s Medicaid claim, more than a little off the mark?

“Our rolls dropped from 750,000 to 580,000 in the first couple of years,” Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour crowed last week on Capitol Hill, referring to alleged Medicaid enrollment trends after he took office in January 2004. If it had even an ounce of truth, that would be a whopping 22.7 percent decline! There’s just one small problem, the potential 2012 GOTP presidential candidate’s numbers are misleading; at least according to statistics provided by his own administration.

Of course there’s nothing new in a conservative candidate playing fast and loose with numbers, and that’s just what Boss Barbour did both while speaking in Washington and later while pressing the flesh with voters in the early primary state of New Hampshire.

The Division of Medicaid inside the Mississippi Governor’s Office, changed the method it used for counting Medicaid enrollment in 2006, almost midway into his first term. OK, so what? Well, Barbour’s numbers only come close to working if he uses a beginning figure from the old counting method and an end figure from the new method – a huge, colossal, big time apples-to-oranges comparison.

Under the old method, some Medicaid recipients were counted more than once in a single reporting period. For example, if a person dropped off the Medicaid rolls, for whatever reason, and re-enrolled during the same month, that counted as two enrollments rather than one.  Under the new method, adopted by Barbour’s administration, the duplicate statistics for enrollment are eliminated; so when a person drops off the rolls and later signs back up in the same month, it only counts as one enrollment rather than two.

Why change the method on how enrollments were counted? No one knows for sure – or at least that’s what Boss Barbour’s people are claiming. But here’s a theory. What if he did it for the very reason he’s trying to exploit right now, so the numbers would drop, and drop dramatically, and then he could claim to be the Medicaid Messiah of the far right?

According to Mississippi Medicaid spokesman Francis Rullan, if someone uses the old method of counting, then Mississippi’s average monthly Medicaid enrollment during fiscal 2004 was 768,004. Barbour took office midway through that year. Applying the old method to today’s numbers, the March 2011 enrollment was 741,000, Rullan said. That’s a drop of 27,004, or 3.5 percent, in Medicaid enrollment since Barbour took office, not the 22.7% the GOTP hopeful is pushing.

Now, let me see, is there a difference there? Well, yeah … there’s a big difference between claiming a 22.7% drop and a 3.5% supposed drop.

But wait for it…

Iif someone uses the new method of counting, then figuring from when Barbour took office in January 2004, and Mississippi’s Medicaid enrollment was 574,852. After fluctuating up, down and then back up, enrollment hit 633,543 in January 2011. Any basic statistics class can figure this out; it’s an increase of 58,691, or 10.2 percent, during Barbour’s first seven years in office. AN INCREASE! Not the 22.7% decrease he’s claiming, but a 10.2% INCREASE!

Boss Barbour is a LIAR! Or at best, he’s a flim flam man, a con artist, a charlatan! He’s the living breathing epitome of today’s GOTP candidate.

Who cares if he’s a liar, making stuff up as he goes along? He’s white, male, southern, conservative, and Christian! And that’s all that matters to the right wing fringe – aka the Tea Party – controlling today’s GOTP. Let’s see, a man who purposefully manipulates numbers so he comes across as the greatest thing in conservatism since the Gipper. Is he electable? Not to the vast majority of voters who don’t worship at the icon of conservatism. Which, thank goodness means he may appeal to the right wing nut jobs – aka the Tea Party – but to the rest of America he’ll come across as the man he is, Boss Barbour.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in 2012 Election, Politics, Right Wing Crazies

 

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GOTP presidential hopefuls hammer health care, have nothing new to offer? Nope not one new idea, just more of the same old tripe they’re always scooping out …

And so, it’s 20 some odd months until Election Day 2012 and a very small group of potentially high-profile Grand Old Tea Party (or the group formerly known as Republican) candidates show up like the early spring honey bee hoping to impress the equally small hundred or so conservative activists Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa that most Americans (that would be GOTP, Independent and the very small smattering of Democratic voters) agree with their particularly odd variation of “values”, and opposition to all and everything President Obama represents, but mostly his socialistic health care overhaul; and that all of this could somehow magically help the GOTP make historic gains in 2012.

One of the most incredible long shots in political history, except for possibly with this year’s gathering of right-wing odd balls and fruit cakes is Michigan Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who not surprisingly is a huge a tea party favorite, and who – also not surprisingly – got the noisiest reception when she told the “huge” hundred plus crowd gathered that voters are ready to overturn the federal health care law and oust President Barack Obama during next year’s election.

“The ultimate arrogance, in my opinion, is Obama-care,” Bachman said. “That’s why I am so absolutely confident in 2012. Americans have made the decision that we’re going to take our country back.”

Ah yes, the perennial GOTP favorite line, “we’re going to take our country back.” But to where do you want to take it, and for whom Congresswoman? Are we going back to 2008? Back to those happy carefree days of Bush/Cheney when habeas corpus was suspended on a whim if your name had Mohamed in it, or before our military was free from Gays and Lesbos? Or back to the pre-Camelot days before all those pesky Black people dared to eat at the same lunch counter?

Of course the Newt was there, and the deep south’s Haley Barbour and even former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain spoke to add a splash color to the Midwest white bread event as the token conservative African-American, since Justice Clarence Thomas was unable to attend due not being sure how to bill the gathering and still at least try to appear impartial on the bench.

But why Iowa you ask? Is it because it’s a field of dreams, and hopefully Newt, Barbour and company will all walk into the corn and finally fade away? Or is it simply because event organizer, Iowa Congressman Steve King, believes that his home state, the state where the nation’s first presidential caucus will take place, is the proper venue to help conservatives shape the debate as members of the GOTP begin looking for a candidate to run against Obama.

“We need to take this nation to the next level of its destiny,” King told the crowd. “You can shape that destiny.”

Of course with Bachman, Newt and Barbour that “next level of its destiny” can only mean backwards or farther off the cliff of economic collapse started during the last administration.

While Iowa is the traditional launch pad for the presidential nominating season, when one sees the sharply conservative rhetoric from Saturday’s little rally, allegedly reflecting an Iowa GOTP that’s drifted not just to the right, but to the far right, coupled with some polling data from last year showing more than 60 percent of GOTP caucus-goers there are identifying themselves as not only Christians but evangelicals, you have the makings of a gold old fashioned revival meeting, the type where Mormons – such as Mitt Romney – need not apply; of course it’s also then going to be an evangelical crowd that’s going to have a hard time getting its arms around a two time adulterer, or a deep south nominee, which leaves the nomination wide open for Huckleberry, Bachman and Palin. How wonderful.

Interestingly enough Newt insisted that most Americans agree with his conservative values, with the Newtster actually saying the 2012 election would provide a chance to end the “domination of the left and move this country back to the center-right.”

That would be the center right where family values stands for cheating on not just one but two spouses, marrying each mistress in turn and then claiming you couldn’t control your hormones because of your deep seated love of country?

Haley said the GOTP can win next year if their candidates stay focused on key issues — health care and balancing the federal budget — without getting distracted by arguments about personality. Of course by balancing the budget he means zeroing out any progressive programs, while continuing to cut taxes to the top 2% of the nation’s population and allowing defense spending to maintain its unabashed feeding frenzy.

“What is important to us is to have a new president,” Barbour said. “This election needs to be about policy.”

That’s right. It’s all about the policy of taking our country back to a time when uppity folks like foreign born blacks knew their place, isn’t that right Governor? It’s about an America where homos and lesbians weren’t allowed in polite society, and it’s about the America where the term foreign policy meant telling our allies to shut up, sit down and do what we told them to do.

During the “event”, the speakers all focused on criticizing President Obama and the Democratic Party, and the Newter even took the time to say how he “helped balance a budget for four straight years” while House speaker. That of course was due more largely to the efforts to his fellow philanderer President Clinton, than for anything he himself managed to do, between his own affairs while impeaching the President for his infidelity.

But of course, Newty also took the opportunity to attack – yet again – President Obama’s handling of the air strikes in Libya. He ridiculed Obama for consulting the Arab League and the United Nations, but not Congress, before getting involved. The Newt said he wouldn’t have approved the air strikes, even though he pushed for air strikes and a no-fly zone just a week or two before the President implemented that very policy, but said Newt, “once you get involved, you put on the pressure and you win quickly.” As compared to becoming bogged down in not one but two wars with absolutely any exit policy, clear cut goals or objectives.

Cain, who decided to be the one speaker not talking about the federal health care law, said the conservative movement is gaining strength and will help the GOTP “take back the government”.

He does understand that the GOTP’s version of “taking back” the government would mean he’d be serving them the pizza, and driving Miss Daisy around town, doesn’t he? Taking the country back doesn’t mean equality for Blacks, Hispanics, Gays or Lesbians. It’s taking the country back to the happier times of Herbert Hoover before Labor Unions and desegregated class rooms.

Seeming to be oblivious to all of this, and believing the fact that since he’s a wealthy black man meant he shared in the GOTP dream, he said the U.S. has “an entitlement spending crisis” that must be reformed in order to solve the nation’s financial woes. Being the GOTP code for throwing the poor and the elderly out on the street where they belong. Cutting social security benefits to the disabled, cutting WIC and women’s pre-natal and health care, slashing college loan programs to the poor and zeroing public broadcasting, and arts programs.

“We don’t like the radical socialist agenda that is being shoved down our throats,” he said.

And what he wanted to say is we don’t like the idea that the poor can have free health care, and have their standard of living increased, and that we have a minimum wage and child labor laws and the like, and that he could’ve made much higher profits if only he could’ve paid lower salaries or could’ve had five and six your olds slaving away in his pizza kitchens.

Meanwhile, Bach on the farm, the Congresswoman from Michigan steered things back onto the effort to repeal the health care reform law and said that American’s bad feelings for the law had created a strong tide of support for the GOTP positioning itself for next year’s election.

“It’s never gone below a majority of Americans who want to see Obama-care repealed,” Bachmann said. “This is, I believe, the greatest power grab that I have ever seen.”

Really, “it’s never gone below a majority of Americans who want to see Obama-care repealed”? While that might be true of any Rasmussen poll, in the world outside of the FOC PAC bubble the clear majority doesn’t want it repealed, and is happy with the law. And are you really serious when you claim this is the greatest power grab you’ve ever seen Congresswoman? So, one can only assume you either haven’t paid any attention to the whole political coup thing in Wisconsin? Or, you wholeheartedly agree with it?

Bachman exhorted the hundred or so listeners that the stakes in next year’s election are enormous, and that “what we are going to determine together, here in Iowa, is quite frankly whether we will pass the American Dream on to the next generation.”

Of course that’s the American dream of white, Anglo-Saxon, Christian evangelicals. Not the one that includes people of color – except to clean the house, repair the roof, pick the vegetables and maybe collect your garbage. It’s also not the American Dream of any of those darned Muslims and their Mohamed; it’s not the American Dream of religious freedom, unless you strictly uphold to the idea that America is a Christian nation; of course it’s a Christian nation that is largely denying the Christ, and his teachings regarding caring for the poor and the sick among us, and of brotherly love etc. It’s the Evangelical Christian American Dream of the Old Testament where Gays are stoned to death, and only white people get to be President. It’s the American Dream of preemptive warfare and unending tax cuts and never having to pay the bill for the Wild West diplomacy.

 

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