Monday, April 14, 2014

Sen's Lucas and Howell, We are With You

The face of care and compassion
If I said Sean Connaughton's re-entry into Virginia politics was divisive, well, I would be wrong. Seemingly we can all look at one another in agreed shock. The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) last week made a questionable choice on their new executive director position.

It is not often that this blog comes to stand with Senate Dems, but Senators Howell and Lucas both contributed to this Washington Post article by Laura Vozzella with their (well founded) doubts about Mr. Connaughton's supposed role at the VHHA.

Rather than defer to a doctor, hospital administrator, or public figure dedicated to healthcare, they chose a divisive former port director and transportation administrator?

"But," said (figuratively) everyone, "But, really? Him?"



Monday, March 31, 2014

Strongest Ally Backs Off

Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Barry DuVal released a letter two days ago, urging the Governor and Democrats to pass the biennial budget without continuing the hostage scenario that they have started over Medicaid expansion.

The letter flatly states that the straight-up Medicaid expansion (Marketplace Virginia is now off the table) does not have the Chamber's support, and that the program is in need of serious reform before any expansion takes place. In other words, it's what Republicans have been shouting from the mountaintops.

Without the Chamber's support, the Governor's public backing for this full-steam-ahead approach to Obamacare expansion is getting less and less popular by the day. Already more than 50 localities representing over 3.8 million people, and numerous organizations have asked Governor McAuliffe to de-couple Medicaid expansion and pass a clean budget. How long until he (and Democrats) listen to the people?

VA GOP Caucus

vagopcaucus.blogspot.com

Four Percent

"Virginians, who twice voted to send Obama to the White House, disapprove of the job he is doing 52 percent to 44 percent. They oppose the Affordable Care Act, the health-care law known informally as Obamacare, by an identical margin at a time when state budget negotiations are deadlocked over whether to expand Medicaid under the law.  
“President Obama’s support in Virginia, which he narrowly carried in his reelection, remains stuck in negative territory, with his 58-36 percent disapproval among independent voters the big reason why,” Brown said. “Interestingly, Virginian voters say 33 to 15 percent they would be less likely rather than more likely to vote for Warner if President Barack Obama campaigns for him.”   Article linked here
If Virginians opposed the job the President is doing because of the mess that is Obamacare, it doesn't take a genius to figure out their feelings on Medicaid expansion.

So, what's up guys? Why are Dems still standing in the way of doing the responsible thing, revisiting this issue after we have taken the budget off of the bargaining table. Maybe their priorities should be a little closer to those of their constituents? Because only 4 percent of them think that this should even be an issue. Just see below from last week's Washington Times as well.
"Just 4 percent of Virginia voters think the top priority of Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the General Assembly should be Medicaid — an issue that has paralyzed the budget process... A [Quinnipiac] survey shows Medicaid trails unemployment, education and the economy as issues on which respondents think the Democratic governor and lawmakers should primarily be focused. 
Mr. McAuliffe, who called lawmakers back to Richmond after they were unable to resolve the issue during their 60-day legislative session, on Wednesday blamed the ongoing standoff on leaders of the Republican-controlled House of Delegates." 
 Article linked here
So you try to hostage your way against the people using the budget to force through legislation that they don't want, and Republicans are the problem? Rich.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ken Plum Whines Because Dems Can't Answer Questions

Last night, House Democrats presented an amendment in the nature of a substitute to HB5002. [Read: they tried to replace the House budget with the Governor's VERY late budget]. By itself, sure, that is fine…However, they should've read it, or had someone read it to them, or at least been able to answer questions regarding it…ANYTHING.

Below is a video showing Ken Plum whining because he and his colleagues couldn't answer SIMPLE questions about the Governor's budget…that they wanted as a replacement.

…maybe this is why Ken Plum was removed from the Appropriations committee…



After Delegate Plum was done embarrassing himself, House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones explained to him that Virginians deserve elected officials who will read legislation and who understand how their tax dollars are being spent…not just guesses…