Brain drain? In DC? Oxymoron?
Now that the time to sign up for exchange coverage is nearing, a Democratic member, Rep. John Larson (D., Conn.), is saying that “this is simply not fair” – as key staff members head for the exits to avoid Obamacare.
Politico reports that “many on Capitol Hill fear it could lead to a brain drain” and notes that “[t]he problem is far more acute in the House, where lawmakers and aides are generally younger and less wealthy.
Good news for Texas, but it seems there should be more penalties for falsifying records!
Texas Attorney General’s Office Obtains $1.4 Million Settlement against Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast for Medicaid Fraud
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast fraudulently billed Texas Medicaid program for products, services either not provided or not necessary
HOUSTON – The Texas Attorney General’s Office today concluded the State’s Medicaid fraud investigation into Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. Under today’s agreement, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast must pay $1.4 million for fraudulently overbilling the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program.
After a whistleblower lawsuit was filed alleging improper billing practices by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, an investigation was opened by the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Office of Inspector General. The State’s investigation revealed that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast improperly billed the Texas Medicaid program for products and services that were never actually rendered, not medically necessary, and were not covered by the Medicaid program – and were therefore not eligible for reimbursement. For example, state investigators determined that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast falsified material information in patients’ medical records in order to support fraudulent reimbursement claims to the Medicaid program.
Update: Of course, PP is saying the claims are “baseless,” and that they paid all that money to rid themselves of a nuisance suit! (See Texas Tribune’s “reporting” here.)
Update 2 on August 5, 2013: The total that PP agreed to pay is actually $4.3 Million. The first number was just that portion that will be paid to Texas.
“At what point do humans become human enough to have the right not to be killed? How should society balance protection for women who choose to abort their children with the burden imposed by that protection?
“While 62 percent of Texasi and 59 percent of U.S. votersii support a ban after 20 weeks, opponents of the bill stormed the Capitol, disrupted hearings and threatened lawsuits that will likely decide whether the law is enforced. In the middle of the noise, both sides told legislators painful stories about the effect of abortion on their lives.
“Texas’ new law bans abortion after 20 weeks, based on the possibility that the fetus can feel pain at the lower limit of viability since the lower brain structures are in place, the thalamo-cortical connections are developing and primitive memory and learning have begun.iii There are exceptions for life and permanent injury for the mother and severe fetal anomalies. The law also requires that abortion facilities meet guidelines required of facilities that do similar procedures like D&Cs. Doctors performing abortions must obtain hospital privileges within 30 miles of the facility and follow FDA guidelines for medical abortions.
“Christian doctors are in a unique position to guide the public conversation toward one of ethics, rather than popular opinion, science or law. We must also demonstrate Christ’s healing love and forgiveness to those who are in pain because of abortion.”
Evidently, there were men who tried to enter the Senate Gallery ith tampons. Sounds suspicious to me!
“The possession of these and other items is not a crime, and therefore, there was no basis to arrest and detain visitors who possessed such items; however, they were denied access unless they discarded the items,” McCraw wrote. “The Department never took possession of these items and had no justification to do so.”
No officer questioned by the San Antonio Express-News or the Texas Tribune could confirm they had confiscated feces or urine or that they had any knowledge of such items being in the Capitol.
McCraw explained the basis for which officers did not allow feminine hygiene products including tampons and sanitary napkins into the gallery.
“The arbitrary prohibition of feminine hygiene products, for example, on its face would seem absurd,” McCraw wrote. “However, the Department received reports that some visitors planned to throw feminine hygiene products onto the Senate floor. One woman attempted to enter the Senate gallery with approximately 100 feminine hygiene products and she was denied access, as were two men who possessed approximately 50 feminine hygiene products each.”
He also said names of visitors with “suspicious jars or other items” were not documented because they did not commit a crime by possessing them and ”it would be unreasonable to document names of visitors based on what they might or might not do.”
Howard responded to McCraw’s with “disappointment with the lack of clarity that he provides.”
“At the end of the day, we are still left with unsubstantiated claims, allegations of suspicious jars but no actual evidence,” she said. “The lack of onsite documentation or eyewitnesses — either from officers or members of the public — seems to undercut the assertions laid out in DPS’ original press release and now their response letter. To be frank, it doesn’t pass the smell test. ”
McCraw added to the list of items that were confiscated and discarded by police including ”paint, confetti, glitter, bottles of bubbles, bags of balloons (not inflated), handheld air horns, a bag full of tomatoes” and two bricks, which were being used to prop doors open and were not going to be used as projectiles, he said.
The Express-News has requested records from the Department of Public Safety regarding the July 12 searches and items discarded.
So, after telling us all these years that they don’t spend money from tax funds for their abortion business, Planned Parenthood is now saying that their facilities are often in the same buildings as the “separate” affiliates that don’t do abortions and that meeting the standards of an ambulatory care center will shut down both businesses.
Planned Parenthood operates 10 abortion clinics in the state that would be mandated to raise to the new standards. The abortion clinics, by law, are separate entities and must be separately funded from health centers where cancer screenings take place.
Planned Parenthood officials acknowledged that, but said some abortion clinics and health centers are housed within the same buildings. She suggested that if it were too expensive to upgrade the abortion clinics, then it could also force a shut-down of the health care clinics in the same building.
Officials could not say how many of the 10 abortion clinics are adjacent or within the same building as health care centers.
Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, responded by email and cited 55 health care centers already have been shuttered in Texas.
That assertion is based on legislative funding cuts from two years ago and is not related to the pending legislation.
And the previously closed health centers are not related to the assertion made in the advertisement.
Health centers that do not provide abortions would not be affected by the legislation.
Remember that University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll that showed that 63% or 62% (depending on whether the question mentioned pain or not) of registered voters in Texas wanted a ban on abortion after 20 weeks? Well, it seems that most US voters agree.This poll found that 59% of voters would support a ban, while only 30% oppose it.
The Huffington Post, not a conservative website at all, solicited a scientific poll by the same group that did the UT/TT poll, YouGov. These results agree with last month’s Gallup poll revealing that 64% of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal in the second 3 months of pregnancy and 80% would make it illegal in the last 3 months.
The HuffPost isn’t making a big deal out of the poll, focusing on the conflicting views of the public rather than on the results of the poll itself. In fact, from my GoogleNews search, it doesn’t appear that (as of 7 AM today) anyone other than a couple of blogs (at the Washington Post and the Weekly Standard), National Right to Life, and LifeNews.com are reporting the poll!
[R]emind me again why pro-abortion activists want healthy five-month pregnant women to abort their healthy child in dirty, unsafe abortion clinics?
This op-ed from Britain’s Guardian has some very good information and I like the conclusion:
Texas is a strongly conservative Republican state and will remain one for the foreseeable future. Davis’ feat of talking for 11 hours got great press, but it’s not going to create a new Texas.
“Who are we to say that children born into the worst of circumstances can’t grow to live successful lives?” he said, adding that even Davis “was born into difficult circumstances.”
“I know she’s proud of where she has found herself in life,” Perry told reporters after his speech. “I’m proud that she has been able to take advantage of her intellect and her hard work, but she didn’t come from particularly good circumstances.”
How sad that the editors who wrote these titles cannot see these statements as compliments.
Update: fixed the links. BBN
My children, the Governor’s children, and all children of human beings are also humans. The question in the mind of some people is, “when are they *human enough* for the advocates of elective abortion on demand?”
The Governor and Texas law affirms that it’s from the moment of fertilization. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with us.
The Governor spoke in support of the right not be killed for every one of our children today, at the National Right to Life National conference in Dallas. You can read his speech at his website, here.
I’m especially proud of the way he praised our pro-life Texans and commended the work we do to support women and girls who find themselves pregnant but are afraid that they aren’t ready, can’t afford the child, or just didn’t want to be pregnant at that time in their lives.
The Governor is taking heat for his comments about Senator
Windy Wendy Davis’ history. This is a woman who should know as well as any of us that an unplanned pregnancy is not the end of plans for the future and should be counted as “unplanned joy.” (That phrase is one of the themes of Feminists for Life.)
Here’s to our Governor Rick Perry!
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today announced a Special Session of the Texas Legislature will begin at 2 p.m. Monday, July 1.
“I am calling the Legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas. Through their duly elected representatives, the citizens of our state have made crystal clear their priorities for our great state. Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn. Texans want a transportation system that keeps them moving. Texans want a court system that is fair and just. We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do.
The special session will consider the following issues:
• Legislation relating to the regulation of abortion procedures, providers and facilities.
• Legislation relating to the funding of transportation infrastructure projects.
• Legislation relating to establishing a mandatory sentence of life with parole for a capital felony committed by a 17-year-old offender.
In the Texas Senate, the filibuster is a method of allowing a minority viewpoint known. The minority Legislator is allowed to speak without time limits and without unwanted interruptions, as long as he or she follows the rules laid out beforehand.
Windy Wendy Davis began a filibuster. She knew the rules, and she broke them. Her fellow Democrat Senators engaged in stalling tactics, but it was the noise and chaos in the gallery that made the three minutes of difference that killed the Bill.
You can watch the Senate video at this page.The
Senators West, Whitmire,Watson, Ellis, Van de Putte, Zaffirini, and (of course) Senator Davis proved to all of us that they value the elective abortion of human beings above orderly government and Legislators.
I was, unfortunately, not shocked that Senator Leticia Van de Putte encouraged the gallery to disrupt the Senate. It also appears that she lied about the timing of her motion to adjourn. See the roll call vote beginning about 12:19/15:50. Note that she spoke and that the temporary President, Senator Duncan, responded after the roll call began. 12:31
I was surprised that the gallery wasn’t cleared much earlier, even though it might have meant that I would have had to leave. However, until the last hour, the outbreaks were intermittent and quickly calmed down.
My friends and I were very concerned about the reaction of those who so clearly showed no respect for the rest of us and who greatly outnumbered the State Troopers. Every seat was full, the pro-life crowd was greatly outnumbered and the halls were crammed with more people in orange. When the standing and shouting became constant, the Lt Governor signaled to the Troopers who began to remove people in an orderly manner.
More Troopers arrived, but they were constantly at risk of physical confrontation, with some of the Orange shirts resisting the request for them to file out. At one point, the Troopers were forced to lock the West doors of the Gallery and the Mob continued to push from the hall and fill the Rotunda.
I certainly didn’t want to be in the middle of a fight with these people and am grateful that the Troopers kept some semblance of order. I don’t believe that there was a way to clear the gallery earlier or with less disruption than we had and am proud of the State Troopers.
Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement on the Kermit Gosnell verdict:
This trial and verdict shed light on a detestable and gruesome industry that takes the lives of hundreds of thousands of babies every year in communities across our nation. Those of us who believe in the sanctity of life will continue to fight for the day when abortion is nothing more than a sad footnote in American history.
Texas has taken the top spot in another of Site Selection Magazine’s annual rankings – this time in the magazine’s ranking of the most competitive states in 2012. Earlier this year, Texas was awarded Site Selection’s 2012 Governor’s Cup for the most new and expanded corporate facilities announced over the year.
The magazine highlighted Texas’ commitment to maintaining a strong job creation climate and reducing the tax burden on employers, specifically through Gov. Perry’s $1.6 billion tax relief proposal.
Site Selection considered a number of criteria for the ranking, including total new and expanded facilities in 2012, total new jobs created in 2012, rank in the corporate real estate executive portion of the 2012 Site Selection Business Climate Ranking, state tax climate as ranked by the Tax Foundation, performance in the Beacon Hill Institute’s State Competitiveness Index, and the number of National Career Readiness Certificates per 1,000 residents aged 18-64.
To view the full article, please visit http://www.siteselection.com/issues/2013/may/top-comp-states.cfm.
Texas Senate Passes Pro-Life SB 303 to Help FamiliesProtect Loved Ones Near the End of LifeLt. Governor David Dewhurst and Sen. Donna Campbell M.D. Deserve Thanks!April 24, 2013Dear Larry and Beverly:Very good news! Last week the Texas Senate passed SB 303, a strong pro-life bill that will change current law to help families protect their loved ones near the end of life. Supported by pro-life Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and authored by Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville), the full Senate passed SB 303 on a decisive 24-6 vote.Your Texas state senator, Sen. Donna Campbell M.D., voted to support SB 303, a pro-life vote. Please thank Lt. Governor Dewhurst and Sen. Campbell for their support. See sample messages below.SB 303 is strongly supported by broad coalition of pro-life and provider organizations including Texas Alliance for Life, the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, and the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission.Voting for SB 303 were: Campbell, Carona, Davis, Deuell, Duncan, Ellis, Eltife, Estes, Fraser, Garcia, Hinojosa, Huffman, Lucio, Nelson, Nichols, Rodriguez, Schwertner, Seliger, Uresti, Van de Putte, Watson, West, Whitmire, and Zaffirini.Voting against SB 303 were: Hancock, Hegar, Patrick, Paxton, Taylor, and Williams. Senator Brian Birdwell was absent.
Prevents secret DNAR orders (“Do Not Attempt Resuscitation”). Current law allows doctors to order DNARs without even notifying the patient or family.
Prevents the involuntary denial of food and water, except in extreme circumstances when the treatment would harm the patient or hasten his or her death.
Increases the time of the dispute resolution process from 12 to 28 days when a family and patient disagree about appropriate end of life care.
Significantly limits the class of patients to whom the dispute resolution process can be applied.
Requires doctors and hospitals to treat all patients “equally without regard to permanent physical or mental disabilities, age, gender, religion, ethnic background, or financial or insurance status.”
Preserves conscience protections so physicians are not required to provide futile or harmful procedures indefinitely.
A great deal of false and misleading information about SB 303 has been spread by several groups, especially by one group in particular that is based in Houston. In response, the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops issued a strongly-worded letter to set the record straight. Please see this: http://txcatholic.org/news/327-misstatements-against-end-of-life-care-reform-corrected-in-letter-to-lawmakers
See my earlier post about the rebuke TRTL received from the Texas Catholic Bishops Conference. – http://wp.me/p1FiCk-XW – and an even earlier explanation (long winded, I’m afraid) – http://wp.me/p1FiCk-Wb
Edited 4/27/13 to add that last paragraph – BBN
We’ve all been hearing about the supposed “War on Women” by Conservative law makers – and, by extension, voters – in Texas. Well, President Obama and Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebellius just fired another shot in the war against Texas and State’s rights.
UPDATE: In an emailed statement, Texas Department of State Health Services spokeswoman Carrie Williams says that the agency just received notice that it will lose the Title X grant and is “reviewing the information to get a sense of the full impact.” The agency hopes the transition is smooth and the provider base remains strong, she wrote.
EARLIER: The federal government has pulled from the state of Texas millions in family planning funding, granting the money instead to a coalition led by the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas, which says it can serve a greater number of women with the available funds.
For more than four decades, federal Title X funding has been dedicated to funding family planning services and covering clinics’ infrastructure costs. The funds are generally granted to providers (like Planned Parenthood) and/or to state health agencies. In Texas since 1980, the majority of the funding has been administered by the Department of State Health Services — roughly $18 million in 2012, for example; since 2009, DSHS has been the sole grantor of Title X funds.
(Edit, maybe it’s only half of that.)
Before this year, Federal tax dollars came back to Texas in two major funds: the Women’s Health Program and Family Planning, or Title X funds. Texas “matched” a certain amount and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services administered the dispersion of the money. Because the money paid for or freed up other funds for staff, marketing, and “infrastructure” or office overhead, PP was helped to keep their abortion clinics running. The overall effect was that State matching tax dollars helped PP to funnel patients, if not dollars, to their abortion clinics.
Texas was forced to make severe Budget cuts across the board in 2011, including Family Planning funds. This led to prioritizing what little money we had:
“State lawmakers cut funding for family planning services by two-thirds in the last legislative session, dropping the two-year family planning budget from $111 million to $37.9 million for the 2012-13 biennium. They also approved a tiered budget system for family planning funds, which gives funding priority to public health clinics, such as federally qualified health centers and comprehensive clinics that provide primary and preventative care over clinics that only provide family planning services.”
The Senators spoke to a group including Larry Nuckols and I, who were in DC representing the National Pawnbrokers Association.
The Committee Substitute was passed this afternoon with 9 yes votes in the House State Affairs Committee. The Chairman of the Committee, Byron Cook voted “yes,” after assuring the Committee that the Bill (which is not available online or in the Committee) will not outlaw human cloning at Universities.
Voting “no” were four brave Republicans – I’ll list them all as soon as I can verify and make sure I don’t miss anyone. Unfortunately, some of our conservative members weren’t present. I will also name them when I can do so without missing anyone.
I worked with Representative Raymond’s office to come up with good definitions, but I don’t know how much of those definitions made it into the final Bill.
Luckily, in spite of the lies we’ve read over the years, no one has yet been able to clone a human embryo.
What is now encouraged is the purposeful creation of a human embryo by cloning. The embryo may never be implanted, but the Bill declares that the nascent human should be killed and broken up
Talking about Texas’s history of conservative pro-life and pro-family laws.
One woman claimed that the standards shouldn’t be the same as an ambulatory surgical center because they do abortions on 9 year olds!
Minimal standards are considered too much by the abortion industry. They’ve fought every move to keep women and girls safe, and whip out those coat hangers every chance they get.
Women who have D&C’s after a miscarriage have them at a hospital or surgical center, not at in an office setting. But according to the abortionists, healthy mothers having abortions – or 9 year old girls – should be happy with a clinic setting.
AUSTIN – Abortion clinics would be required to meet stricter standards under a bill approved 5-2 by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee Tuesday after emotional testimony over whether the measure would protect women’s health or risk it by causing clinics to close.
“My intent in filing this bill is only to protect Texas women who undergo this procedure,” said Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, who authored the measure with two fellow doctors, Republican Sens. Donna Campbell of New Braunfels and Charles Schwertner of Georgetown.
Planned Parenthood called the measure, Senate Bill 537, a “back-door abortion ban.”
Be very proud of our Texas Senators Cruz and Cornyn. They are fighting for rights — the right to speak, the right to read books, the right to keep and bear arms.
Watch the video! “Do they need a bazooka?” Senator Feinstein could just as well ask, “Do they need those books? Do they need all those words?” I say, Ma’am, rights are not to be limited except to save life in the case of immediate threat.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a ban on the sale and manufacture of more than 150 types of semi-automatic weapons with military-style features Thursday in a party-line vote.
The 10-8 vote came after a heated exchange between Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who Feinstein scolded for giving her a “lecture” on the Constitution.
It’s the fourth piece of gun control legislation to make it out of committee and perhaps the one with the longest odds of becoming law, given opposition from Republicans to a new ban on the weapons.
Committee Democrats first beat back four amendments offered by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) that would have carved out exceptions to the ban. Cornyn asked for exceptions for victims of domestic violence, military veterans and those living on Southwest border states that he said were affected by Mexican gang violence.
Feinstein, the sponsor of the underlying bill, called the amendments “an effort to nip it and tuck it and create exceptions.”
Cornyn said it would Feinstein’s bill would leave citizens with “peashooters” and outgunned by criminals.
Y’all have got to watch @GovernorPerry at CPAC this afternoon!
“The popular media narrative is that this country has shifted away from conservative ideals, as evidenced by the last two presidential elections. That’s what they say. That might be true if Republicans had actually nominated conservative candidates in 2008 and 2012,” Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) said in his address at CPAC this afternoon.
A friend asked us what to do about the latest “American Community Survey,” received from the US Census Bureau. There is a possibility of a $100 to $5000 fine for not filling out the questionnaire, although I can’t find a record of anyone ever being prosecuted.
Seriously, I don’t care what sort of security or “confidentiality” the Bureau promises, do you want to tell any stranger what time you leave your house to go to work? And isn’t it bad enough that we already have to tell the IRS exactly how much your income was last year and exactly where it came from?
If, like me, you think these are too many questions, questions that are too personal and invasive, take the time to call your Congressman and our Texas Senators.
Representative Lamar Smith – Congressional District 21 Washington Office (202)225-4236 San Antonio Office (210)821-5024
Senator John Cornyn Washington Office (202)224-2934 San Antonio Office (210)224-7485 Austin Office (512)469-6034
Senator Ted Cruz Washington Office (202)224-5922 San Antonio Office (210)340-2885 Austin Office (512)916-5834
Texas is ranked as the number one exporting state for the 11th year in a row, according to 2012 annual trade data released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“The fact that Texas is ranked the nation’s top exporter for the 11th year in a row further demonstrates that our strong economic climate provides a broad range of opportunities for businesses to succeed,” Gov. Perry said. “Our longstanding commitment to holding the line on taxes, keeping our workforce strong, and maintaining reasonable regulations and fair courts has led to more than a decade of leading the nation in exports.”
Texas was recently named the top state to do business by Area Development magazine, and Business Facilities magazine awarded Texas as the “State of the Year” for the aggressive economic development strategies that have helped attract jobs and investment. Texas governor Rick Perry was awarded the “Governor’s Award 2012” by fDi Magazine for being the most successful in attracting new investments to the state.
Gov. Rick Perry has reappointed seven members to the Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency Board of Directors for terms to expire Jan. 31, 2017. The institute improves health care quality, accountability, education and cost to the state by encouraging health care provider collaboration, effective health care delivery models and coordination of health care services.
. . . Beverly Nuckols of New Braunfels is a board certified family physician. She is a member of the Texas Medical Association, Texas Academy of Family Physicians, Comal County Medical Association, and Texas Physicians Resource Council. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and a board member and secretary of Texas Alliance for Life.
Governor Rick Perry explains why Texas won’t create a State Obamacare health insurance exchange:
Setting aside the obvious fact that health insurance is readily available under current conditions — the problem has been price, not availability — these exchanges represent nothing more than another federal power grab in the guise of a supposedly free market.
States were given the option to set up and execute their own exchanges — at their own expense. The fine print, however, specified that the exchanges would have to follow all rules and guidelines imposed by the federal government, with little to no flexibility. The kicker: Many of these rules and regulations are unknown.
Again, this is par for the course as we continue down the road to fiscal disaster at the hands of ObamaCare.
In Texas, Medicaid spending already accounts for nearly 25% of our general revenue spending, and its costs are only expected to continue skyrocketing.
While the president has promised to subsidize states for Medicaid costs in the near term, in the long term, states are going to be on their own.
ObamaCare has already begun to affect many companies, too, with some publicly announcing plans for layoffs in order to make up for increased insurance-related costs.
Governor Rick Perry wrote a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sibelius:
Gov. Perry’s letter said. “It would not be fiscally responsible to put hard-working Texans on the financial hook for an unknown amount of money to operate a system under rules that have not even been written.”