Politics

Politics
12:13 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Managed Care Official Criticizes Kentucky's Approach to the Medicaid System

Michael Neidorff, CEO of Centene
Centene

The CEO of a major Medicaid managed care company (MCO) is criticizing Kentucky for the way the state deals with businesses like his.

Michael Neidorff is the CEO of Centene, which operates Kentucky Spirit, one of three statewide MCOs that has managed Medicaid patients for the state since last year.

In a recent call with Wall Street investors, Neidorff criticized Kentucky officials and the mindset they have about what managed care can do for the state.

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat September 22, 2012

Noise and Notes: Chess Grandmaster Maurice Ashley and Louisville's Hoop Dreams

International Chess Grandmaster Maurice Ashley
The Chess Drum

International chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley visited Louisville this week for the annual IdeaFestival where he discussed how the game impacts decision-making in business and life.

In 1999, Ashley received worldwide acclaim for being the first African-American to win the coveted grandmaster title, and he doesn't mind the role model status he's attained either.

The Brooklyn-native is an ESPN commentator and Harvard fellow, who has been touring the country for years advocating that the game is a useful tool for character-building, especially for children and teenagers. Ashley sees chess as an intellectual combat that can raise a person's thinking and provide insights into how they do or do not make critical decisions

I talked to Ashley about being a pioneer, what chess can tell us about U.S. politics and the obsession people have with the game.

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Politics
11:05 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Wicker Launches First Ad, Attacks Yarmuth Over National Debt

Republican congressional candidate Brooks Wicker has launched his first ad of the general election campaign, and it attacks Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth over the country's increasing debt under President Obama.

The online ad features Yarmuth at a town hall meeting three years ago at Central High School discussing the president's pending health care overhaul. Yarmuth faced a series of questions from constituents, many of whom opposed the legislation.

It criticizes the congressman for saying he didn't know how the government would pay for the rising cost to entitlement programs on top of the Affordable Care Act.

Check it out:

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Politics
1:57 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Policy Group Uses Census Data to Encourage Medicaid Expansion

A progressive economic group says Kentucky should expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act based on recently release Census data.

The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy points to data that shows the percentage of Kentuckians without insurance dropped last year based on early elements of the health care law.

The drop was mainly attributed to a large number of young adults who are staying on their parents’ insurance thanks to one of the law’s provision.

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Politics
9:02 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Paul Amendments Help Block Veterans Jobs Bill

U.S. Senate

Senate Republicans shelved the Veterans Jobs Corp Act on Wednesday due to amendments introduced by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., that sought to strip foreign aid from Middle Eastern countries.

The jobs bill would have added a $1 billion to help create jobs and train returning veterans for the workforce. Last week, Paul proposed changes to the measure to take away U.S. assistance to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya in response to the recent protests and attacks against American consulates and embassies.

The changes would have tripled funding for the jobs bill, according to Paul's office. But the amendments put up a procedural step that required 60 votes to waive objections.

That vote failed 58-40 in the Senate on Wednesday.

From The New York Times:

The bill was opposed, by, among others, Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, who said he believed the bill duplicated existing job programs for veterans that are not well run, and Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, who has been seeking amendments on bills that would cut off funding to Egypt and to Pakistan until Pakistan freed Shakil Afridi, the doctor who helped the United States find Osama bin Laden.

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Politics
5:21 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

House Republicans' Agenda Includes Tax Code Updates, Reduced Spending

Kentucky’s House Republicans have unveiled the agenda they will pursue if the party wins a majority of the chamber this fall.

The GOP has focused its attention this year on unseating Democrats in the state House. To help that effort, House Republicans have promised to address fiscal issues, taxes and government reform if elected.

Republican leader Jeff Hoover says, among other issues, the GOP will require that every bill be read before a vote.

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Politics
5:17 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Democrats Walk Out of Meeting on Insurance Exchange

A second legislative hearing on Kentucky’s federally-mandated health insurance exchange led to a dramatic walkout by Democrats today.

For the second consecutive time, the interim joint Health and Welfare committee saw their meeting devolve into arguments over the exchange.

And this time, a motion by Republicans to register a vote of disapproval against the exchange led every Democrat to get up and leave in the middle of the meeting.

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Politics
4:21 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

McConnell Praises Suu Kyi’s Leadership

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., continues to praise Nobel Peace Prize winner and Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi ahead of her visit to Louisville.

Suu Kyi received the Congressional Gold Medal on Wednesday for her commitment to democratic reforms in Burma, which is also known as Myanmar. The medal is Congress’ highest honor, and lawmakers including McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. John McCain, as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former First Lady Laura Bush attended the ceremony.

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell says Suu Kyi has been an international symbol of peace and democracy since first being put under house arrest by the Burmese dictatorship in 1991.

"For nearly two decades—two decades—she remained under house arrest in her mothers old home on university avenue on the shores of Inya Lake. Over the years I’ve followed Suu Kyi closely, and I’ve done what I could to advance her cause," he says. 

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Politics
12:56 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Louisville Tea Party to Host Candidate Forum

The Louisville Tea Party will hold a forum featuring several local candidates running for Congress, Metro Council and the Jefferson County school board, but the group’s leader is criticizing Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth for not attending.

The forum is being moderated by 84 WHAS radio host Mandy Connell on Thursday, and is expected to draw more than 100 people.

Candidates running for the Kentucky General Assembly are also invited to the forum, and Louisville Tea Party President Sarah Durand says the event will question those candidates on issues that other groups and the mainstream media have overlooked.

"We plan on asking the state Representative and state Senate candidates about pension reform, which we have not heard enough about in the media," she says. "With the school board, I haven’t seen anybody asking them about raising our taxes every single year. We plan to ask the school board candidates how they feel about that and how they would deal with budget shortfalls if they’re not in favor of raising our taxes every year."

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Politics
10:07 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Poll: Beshear Has Broad Support

Kentucky Governor's Office

After winning a 20-point re-election last November, Governor Steve Beshear enjoys support from nearly two-thirds of Kentucky voters according to a Bluegrass Poll released Wednesday.

The survey found that 64 percent of likely voters approve of the governor's job performance, which is eight points more than his landslide victory over Republican David Williams in the 2011 gubernatorial race. Beshear remains popular despite the overall acrimony and gridlock in Frankfort that spawned an especially personal General Assembly this year.

The governor's agenda did not advance much during the legislative session either, but voters cite his political moderation among his best attributes.

From The Courier-Journal:

But they said Beshear, who is a year into his second term, has improved his popularity by taking a more centrist approach, distancing himself from President Barack Obama’s most controversial policies — such as coal regulation — and avoiding contentious social issues, such as abortion and religion.

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