From the News & Messenger regarding the local Tea Party Rally yesterday:
Stewart, a Republican, said he will ask his colleagues to approve a resolution that would prevent county employees from implementing new Medicaid regulations when they take effect in 2014.
“That is a public option that increases Medicaid to beneficiaries by more than 40 percent,” Stewart said at a Prince William County TEA Party Patriots rally at the McCoart Administration Center on Thursday.
Stewart, who seemed confident that his resolution will pass, said the county would not provide the benefits until it is compelled to.
“We will not implement those regulations until we are required to do so through injunction, which can only be initiated by the attorney general of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” he told the crowd of about 100.
Additionally, Stewart said he believes the regulations will not bear legal scrutiny.
“I do not believe they are legal,” he said about 2 p.m., when the crowd had dwindled from a high of about 200 at noon when the rally started. “I do not believe they will serve anyone.”
He continued, “I do believe that they will hurt the current beneficiaries of Medicaid—the disabled, the poor children and others—who already have difficulty finding physicians who will treat them on the low reimbursement rate.”
Stewart said the regulations amount to “unfunded mandates” that will cost taxpayers money and divert resources from other areas.
“I don’t think the county should be responsible for administering a federal program,” he said.
Still, Stewart said he didn’t know how thing would shake out legally.
STOP! Stewart doesn’t know how things will ‘shake out legally? That might be a real good question to ask before everyone jumps on the bandwagon trying to get re-elected. Injunctions are orders by a court of law to do or not do something. When the feds are involved, ‘an injunction’ can also come along with some enforcement like the National Guard or US Marshalls. Is that what we want? Another University of Alamaba situation?
Stewart says he doesn’t believe expanding Medicaid is legal? Why not? Has all other Medicaid expansion been legal up to this point? Why is this Medicaid expansion, not due to even start until 2014, any different than any other Medicaid expansion? Captain Sound-byte is on a roll now.
Stewart also feels expanding Medicaid will hurt existing recipients? Now how is expanding Medicaid to other uninsured people going to hurt them or anyone else? The logic escapes me. It might hurt ME because I have to pay taxes on it but it isn’t going to hurt the recipient. Let’s be truthful here, Mr. Chairman. Isn’t Mr. Stewart one of the main bashers of the Greater Prince William Community Health Center for low income people? That would be the very health care center where Supervisor Frank Principi is the executive director. We either care about health services for low income people or we don’t. Which is it, Corey?
Mr. Stewart also thinks the only injunction that can be filed against Prince William County is through the AG’s office? Interesting. What is to keep a potential Medicaid recipient from filing a law suit? I expect there are liberal do-good groups all over the United States just waiting for some chump to come along and run his mouth like Mr. Stewart just did. Law suit time.
And who gets to pay for a local law suit? Why the good people of Prince William County. Perhaps Mr. Stewart thinks that his buddy, the AG will come write a check for that also.
Veteran Supervisor Jenkins seems to be on the right track and seems to remember things correctly from 2007. Mr. Jenkins appears to want to avoid duplicitous resolutions like this from the past. From News & Messenger:
Jenkins said that because the health care bill has been signed into law, the county needs to obey and leave it to the courts to decide whether regulations should be implemented.
“The law of the land is in place,” said Jenkins, D-Neabsco. “Whatever happened to the rule of law he talks about? You can’t advocate anarchy, and that’s what that is if he wants to go against the law of the land.”
Additionally, Jenkins said local money would be wasted in defense of the resolution if it passes.
Mr. Jenkins probably remembers another ill-fated ‘resolution’ that costs the county some pretty big bucks and didn’t really accomplish much.
Supervisors Nohe and May echo his reservations, probably for the same reasons. They might not want to get hung out to dry on an ill-conceived plan just because Stewart wants to stir up his base to get re-elected like he did in 2007.
Supervisor Martin “Marty” E. Nohe, R-Coles, said he is cautious about supporting the resolu-tion until he’s seen the gist of it.
“I can’t support any policy that would tell county staff to not obey the law,” Nohe said. “If we have a federal mandate, we need to comply with that mandate. To do otherwise would put county employees in a dangerous position.”
Similarly, Supervisor Michael C. May said he would hold off on giving his opinion until he’s seen the resolution.
He wants to know the fiscal impact of the resolution and if it could be implemented.
But May said everyone on the board is interested in the financial impact the health care bill will have on the county’s government.
“The question is: ‘What’s the best method to address that?'” he said.
And May said he doesn’t want the county to get into legal trouble.
It isn’t like 2014 is bearing down on us. No one would disagree that new laws and inclusions need to be examined for the best route of implementation. However, HCR legislation should not be used to re-elect Supervisor Stewart. All implementation of new laws should be thought through carefully and in a way that best utilizes our existing resources. Resolutions and ‘hell no–we won’t go mentality’ just postpones the inevitable, costs the county money and is political grand-standing at its worst. Even Corey’s handlers aren’t going to get him out of this one. Hopefully other supervisors will join the ranks of Supervisors Jenkins, May and Nohe and take a long, hard look at the storm the chairman is again steering us into. No more circuses for Prince William County.
See the BOCS Tab at the top for addresses.