Saturday, June 30, 2012

So much for that budget "surplus" in Fitzwalkerstan

Not that this should surprise you, but that alleged $154 million budget surplus that the Walker folks claimed in the month before the election? Yeah, it was bullshit.
A shortfall in state health care programs has nearly doubled - to $372.3 million - in the past three months, but state officials believe they can eliminate it by next summer, the head of the state Department of Health Services said Friday.

Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith said in a letter to legislative leaders the potential deficit was rising because Gov. Scott Walker and lawmakers in March eliminated an enrollment cap on the Family Care program they had put in place last year.

Family Care provides services to help the elderly and disabled stay in their homes or other community settings rather than enter nursing homes.

Walker and his fellow Republicans put the enrollment cap in place in July to hold down costs, but within months federal authorities ordered them to eliminate it.

Removing the cap helped bring the anticipated shortfall in Medicaid programs from $204.3 million in March to $372.3 million now, Smith said in his letter. Medicaid is funded jointly by the state and federal governments, so the state needs to come up with only a portion of that - $148.9 million.

The federal government pays more for the program than the state, but it will pay its share only if the state meets its commitment.
And no, that extra $148.9 million the state has to come up with was never mentioned in the memo released by DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch one month before the election. In fact, the memo said another thing that landed in the news this week.
...the Federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics has released its Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. This reported stronger growth in employment in the third quarter of 2011 than previously reported.
Well, the BLS just released that report this week (here's my rundown of that report, and the lies it exposed), and it showed that Wisconsin lost 11,000 jobs in the Third Quarter of 2011. Now I understand that there are seasonal adjustments in Summer, but I'm guessing 11,000 jobs lost is not "better than expected employment growth." And the 11,500 more that were lost in the 4th Quarter probably wasn't in the forecast either, eh?

So the Medicaid expenses and the employment losses have proven another pre-election statement from false from this dishonest administration. The real question is, will the media ever learn to be skeptical as a result of it, because they sure weren't before the election. Yes, Journal-Sentinel and State Journal and the rest of you gutless transcribers, THIS IS ON YOU. We expect Scotty and co. to lie at this point, but it is your job to call them out and ask questions to verify this. YOU FAILED AT THIS, and now the rest of us will pay a deep price for the next 30 months as a result.

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