Yes, they may be inept, but the past three weeks have been David Williams’ time to shine when it comes to losing hard. Here’s the KDP’s comment on Stumbo outmaneuvering Williams in order to avoid both education cuts and a Medicaid apocalypse:
“I’m proud of each of the 101 legislators, House and Senate, who put Kentucky first on Thursday,” said Dan Logsdon, Chairman and Executive Director of the Kentucky Democratic Party. “Clearly David William’s vision of Kentucky differs greatly from the rest of his fellow legislators, including a majority of his own party. Last night he was sent a clear message that Kentuckians value our children’s education and we don’t believe devastating the state’s health care providers and putting thousands of jobs at risk is good policy. David Williams now knows that, when you take a stand that puts the education, health and livelihoods of Kentuckians at risk, you stand alone.”
“Senator Williams is free to do whatever he’d like but at this point anything he does is an impotent political gesture,” said Logsdon. “The bottom line is that he lost – eight of every ten Republican legislators abandoned him. Senator Williams put forward a plan that would have hurt Kentuckians and then tried to obstruct a compromise because he wasn’t getting his way. Last night we saw that legislators from both parties believe that temper tantrums are no way to govern.”
But while we’ve avoided the Medicaid apocalypse, Kentucky’s not out in the clear by a long shot. Kentucky Youth Advocates’ statement below:
There is no question that this issue is filled with a series of high risk propositions. For instance, the Governor is clearly on the line to save the millions he projects in expanding managed care. If he fails in that promise, then Kentucky’s children and families will be on the line as policymakers implement broad and deep cuts to needed supports.
Managed care itself is also a high risk proposition. The national experience with managed care is as diverse as the nearly three dozen states involved. In some cases, managed care has produced dramatic savings and improved health outcomes. In other cases, the reverse has occurred. We are especially hopeful that the Governor will ensure that before any managed care option becomes a reality, its impact is carefully explored. As an example, a growing positive for Kentucky’s children is the rise in school-based health services, which is usually built upon close collaboration between schools and the local health department. Yet in the only existing managing care arrangement in Kentucky, school-based health services built around that kind of collaboration are explicitly precluded from happening because of the provider. The Commonwealth cannot afford that kind of unintended consequence for any segment of our Medicaid population.
Perhaps the most dramatic high-stakes proposition we face is the continuing failure of Kentucky’s leaders to address the state’s budgeting strategy. It is a strategy that makes Kentucky lurch from one fiscal crisis to the next. If we are to stop the state fiscal crisis from continuing as an annual rite of spring, then we have to get serious about aligning our tax structure with the realities of the 21st Century. A commitment to an adequate, sustainable and transparent budget system – which includes new revenue — means that we can at last begin to invest in Kentucky’s future rather than investing merely in electioneering. Citizens should demand that commitment animate the Governor’s race and dominate the 2012 General Assembly.
The real long term solution is Jim Wayne’s tax reform bill, but we’ve got a long way to go before our legislature and governor get behind that kind of common sense.