Brooks to vote against Healthcare plan

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 23, 2017, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the House plan to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. No Democrats are expected to vote for the American Health Care Act, so keeping as many Republican votes as possible is essential to passage.

US Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) announced on Wednesday, “I will vote against the House GOP healthcare/welfare plan this week because it does not deliver on the promise I made to Alabamians to deliver a clean repeal of Obamacare. Instead, this legislation creates a huge new welfare program. Over the long haul that’s going to result in either higher premiums, higher taxes, or greater deficit and debt that’s going to burden our economy for decades to come.”
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Bentley leads team to Washington to lobby for new Healthcare law

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, March 20, 2017, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) was joined by Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia), State Senator Trip Pittman (R-Montrose), Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper), State Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar, and key aides in Washington DC. The team is in Washington hoping to influence the effort to repeal and replace the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, better known as Obamacare.
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Palmer votes against American Health Care Act

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 16, 2017, US Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) was one of three Republicans on the House Budget Committee to vote against the American Health Care Act.

Congressman Gary Palmer issued the following statement: “We have one opportunity to answer the healthcare crisis the American people are facing. In my opinion, the current bill does not answer this crisis. I voted against the American Health Care Act in the Budget Committee because the promises of changes in the future are insufficient. Now that the bill has been reported out of committee, I will continue to work for the changes that are necessary to ensure Medicaid is a viable and affordable program to provide healthcare to the people who need it most. In that regard, I believe block granting Medicaid to the states and requiring work for able-bodied working age adults are essential to achieving this objective. I look forward to working with my colleagues to make these and other improvements to this bill.”
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Steve Marshall addresses St. Clair County Republican Party

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 16, 2017, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) spoke to the St. Clair County Republican Party in Moody.

Marshall is the newly appointed Attorney General, whom Governor Robert Bentley (R) appointed to the post after appointing AG Luther Strange (R) to the United States Senate creating the vacancy.

St. Clair County District Attorney Richard Minor (R) said that Steve Marshall is one of my best friends. “Of all the prosecutors in the state of Alabama Gov. Bentley chose the best prosecutor in the State of Alabama,” to be Attorney General.
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Want to see public records? It’ll cost you

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama’s Open Records Act stinks.

It’s worthless. It’s mostly unhelpful. And for those entities that know how to use the loopholes and rules to their advantage, the law can actually be a deterrent to accessing open records.

The Alabama Medicaid agency is one of those entities.

In “fulfilling” a recent request I made for documents, the agency highlighted all of the holes in the law and took advantage of every ambiguity to essentially deny me access to public records.
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Medical Parole Bill get favorable report by Senate Committee

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, the Senate General Fund Committee approved Senate Bill 87, which would set up medical parole for sick and aging Alabama prisoners. SB87 is sponsored by State Senator Trip Pittman (R-Montrose).

Sen. Pittman said that prison medical care is costing us $100 million a year and based on pending lawsuits that might not be enough.
Sen. Pittman said, “Paroling them will make them eligible for Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Last year we brought forward the Medical furlough Act where prisoners would go to nursing homes and hospitals for care and then could return to the prison when and if their illness improved. We have had several meetings where we tried to get care providers to agree to accept the prisoners. It was difficult to get private partners to commit to that. Under the Medical Parole act, they would no longer be prisoners and that would remove the stigma of prisoners in the nursing home.”
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Bill to save Sheriffs money on inmate Healthcare costs

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, March 9, 2017, the Alabama House of Representative passed a bill to allow sheriffs in Alabama to pass some of their healthcare costs to Medicaid. Under current law the county Sheriff’s office is responsible for all of the costs of the healthcare of the prisoners in the county jail. Since Obamacare has greatly increased the cost of healthcare, providing prisoner healthcare has become a burden on Sheriff’s Departments across Alabama.
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More money, bigger salaries under new legislation for OIT

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Legislation to create a standalone agency under the auspices of the Office of Information Technology (OIT) is being aggressively pushed by Gov. Robert Bentley, even though OIT has repeatedly shown itself incompetent in its management of the STARRS accounting system, eStart time and attendance software, CARES system that facilitates Medicaid, CHiPs services for the State’s children, disabled and poor. There are other mismanagement issues but these are big ones.
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Senate passes bill to crack down on Medicaid fraud

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Senate passed a bill Tuesday intended to crack down on Medicaid fraud and reduce the burden on Alabama taxpayers.

The legislation, Senate Bill 85, sponsored by Sen. Trip Pittman was included on the Senate Republican Caucus’ priority list. It strengthens penalties against those who knowingly commit Medicaid fraud and providers who fraudulently bill the State for their services or tests.

“We have phenomenal health care providers and hospitals in our state, but there are some bad actors who have cost taxpayers millions of dollars through fraud,” Pittman said today. “This Medicaid fraud reduction bill will close the loopholes criminals used to bilk taxpayers.”

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Please, let’s not legislate for hate

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

With all the challenges facing the Alabama Legislature – a need for prison reform, a broke Medicaid system, apparent widespread corruption – some lawmakers seem awfully focused on non-issues that basically are intended to bash the state’s LGBTQ community.

Our politicians never get tired of these hot-button issues: Let’s get rid of undocumented immigrants; let’s close our borders to Islamist refugees; let’s make sure Birmingham can’t raise its own minimum wage or become a Sanctuary City.
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