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Republicans propose new state bureaucracy

Posted by Max Brantley on Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 11:22 AM

At the top of today's hypocrisy watch is a proposed piece of legislation from Sen. David Sanders and Rep. Bruce Westerman. It would create a new bureaucracy to root out Medicaid fraud. It's focused on the recipient end, not the service provider. It is mostly about fingerprinting Medicaid recipients so that they must prove their IDs through a scanner when they seek medical services.

To date, most findings of significant Medicaid fraud are on the provider side — cheating hospitals, cheating drug companies, cheating doctors, unnecessary procedures, drugs used for non-indicated uses, fraudulent billing that sort of thing. But Republicans are sure the real fraud is a poor person seeing a doctor for a sinus infection who isn't duly qualified for the state's sympathy. Expansion of Medicaid to near universal coverage will make a new bureaucracy to install fingerprint scanners and all the other expensive stuff envisioned here even more irrelevant. But never mind that. New indignities for poor, working people and obstacles to public rights and services (be it voting or medical care) is part of the New Republican Order.

You don't suppose Sanders and Westerman know somebody who'd like to sell the state all this newfangled equipment, do you? Or some pals who'll run this new state agency? The state and federal government have existing means to combat fraud, by the way. This effort should begin with some believable demonstration of the need to first target sick people, not the providers where most of the money goes.

UPDATE: This bill smells of ALEC cookie cutter legislation and, sure enough, here's a look at use of the "smart cards" in other states. Barriers to participation. Ineffective in reducing fraud. But will create device sales for somebody and some new jobs for Republican hacks.

AND SPEAKING OF WORKING PEOPLE: A bill to repeal the state prevailing wage bill — which sets a pay standard on state building projects somewhat akin to federal prevailing wage law on federal projects — was defeated on a roll call vote after lengthy debate in the House Public Health Committee. Democrats hold a majority on this committee, if you're wondering how that happened. The bill got eight votes, needing 11.

Comments (13)

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My wife and are almost to the point that if we could persuade our adult children and grandchildren to join us, we'd head across the border to Canada.

The hell with this stupidity!

We're headed down the TeaParty drain to the cesspool with OK, MS, AL, LA and SC!

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Posted by Salieri on 02/07/2013 at 11:49 AM

Let us cheer for small victories. I am happy the prevailing wage bill died in committee. The labor unions apparently have not yet lost all of their influence. Of course, it was proposed by a Benton County Republican, Dan Douglas, who once was a working man himself, but he got rich selling off the family farm he inherited for developments, before the bubble burst in Benton County. As DBI mentioned on another thread, it's sad how wealth can make people forget all about how it is to work for a living.

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Posted by plainjim on 02/07/2013 at 12:00 PM

At the emergency room door, pause, scan the fingerprint, and wait for the agonizingly slow computer to verify that the bleeding victim is not defrauding the system. If okayed and the patient is still alive, you can now wheel in the body to wait in line.

Oh hell, let's have fingerprint scanners at grocery stores to make sure "welfare" recipients are buying the proper "poor food" not steaks or caviar. Before anyone buys a luxury car, a fingerprint scan will assure that it's not going to be a "welfare cadillac." Places selling 10 mpg used junkers are exempt.

According to elitists Prissy Sanders and Westerman, it is not intrusive to impose such requirements on people who are not them. However, let's install fingerprint scanners at all gun stores, gun shows, and after-church gun swaps, even though they claim that only "honest" people buy guns at those functions.

Remember, fraud is everywhere, except in the legislature.

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Posted by YossarianMinderbinder on 02/07/2013 at 12:08 PM

Actually, Yoss, another Benton County Republican, first-termer Sue Scott, has brought up this idea about how the legislature could prevent poor people from using food stamps to buy food which does not gain her approval. Look for some kind of legislation as the GOP's (Greedy Old Pricks') war on poor people continues, with all these bright ideas from my legislators from Benton County.

This from the same people who say government ought to leave rich folks alone.

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Posted by plainjim on 02/07/2013 at 12:29 PM

As I stated before, why are these purportedly anti-abortion legislators voting for legalizing abortion? Sure, they put humiliating, stupid, and unconstitutional restrictions on availability, but, in the final analysis, they are voting to make abortions legal under those circumstances. So, unless they are totally banning abortion, those "righteous" legislators are to be considered pro-abortion.

They are neither pro-life nor pro-wife.

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Posted by YossarianMinderbinder on 02/07/2013 at 12:38 PM

Republicans sure have been experts lately in creating government waste.

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Posted by Artificial Inteligence on 02/07/2013 at 12:41 PM

You can be sure money-grubbing, self-promoting Sanders will finagle a job as a lobbyist or consultant for the bid-wnning Medicaid biometric scanning firm if-and-when this piece of crap legislation becomes the rule of law.

Still, Sanders may have a hard time explaining his sponsorship of this bill to some right-wing Southern Baptists and evangelical pre- tribulationist who believe that biometric scanning is the Mark of the Beast -- 666 and all that. Rapert's friend, End Times Prophet and Republican Party Evangelist, Rev. John Hagee, would certainly be trumpeting that the passage of Sanders' bill is a sign of the Christ's Second Coming.

But I guess religious hypocrisy is nothing new to lying liars like Sanders and evangelist Rapert, who will have no problem selling this bill to religious Tea Party sheep who don't mind branding the Mark of the Beast on the forehead of the crippled, poor, elderly and my-nor-ities.

But I guess as long as this group of ignorants are in office, we should continue expect a steady stream of such hate-filled legislation to flow from the halls of the Arkansas State Capitol.

God help us all!

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Posted by ProfessorEmeritus on 02/07/2013 at 1:08 PM

Why is the party of smaller government moving into every private corner of our lives?

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Posted by Verla Sweere on 02/07/2013 at 2:49 PM

Always hoped to see Max choke David Sanders on Arkansas Week. Not choke him to death but choke him enough to rumple his hair and his Zoot suit.

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Posted by Dobert on 02/07/2013 at 4:03 PM

I always thought he bought his suits at Mafia R Us.

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Posted by Polecat on 02/07/2013 at 4:11 PM

Verla, I'm sure one (or more) of our resident talipublicans can answer that question.

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Posted by ozarkrazo on 02/07/2013 at 5:20 PM

I've decided to call this Legislative Session "Republicans Gone Wild!!"

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Posted by RYD on 02/07/2013 at 5:58 PM

RYD, I have decided to call it the "Worst Legislative Session in History."

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Posted by plainjim on 02/07/2013 at 8:41 PM
Showing 1-13 of 13

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