Regional Care Organizations Collapsing

October 27, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The promised dream of Regional Care Organizations (RCOs) saving the State’s underfunded and overburdened Medicaid system continues to unravel.

Just recently, the University of Birmingham Medical Systems and Viva Heath Inc., abandoned their programs indefinitely, citing the instability of State funding.

Last month, The Alabama Political Reporter obtained a letter from Mike Warren, President and CEO of Children of Alabama, to Medicaid Agency Commissioner Stephanie Azar in which he detailed the failure of the RCO plan adopted by Gov. Robert Bentley (which was approved by the State Legislature). In it, Warren offers a withering critique of the programs including the false promise of cost savings under the RCO model. “The numbers are frightening,” Warren writes. “RCOs will actually cost the State’s General Fund a substantial amount more than keeping the current program funded.”
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Attorney General Reacts to Hubbard Loyalist’s Plans for Ethics Reform

September 2, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Alabama House Ethics Committee Chairman, Mike Ball (R-Madison), announced his plans (yesterday) to form a commission to review the state’s ethics laws. Ball, a staunch defender of convicted felon and former House Speaker, Mike Hubbard, told WHNT-TV in Huntsville that his committee would “review the State’s Ethics laws and recommend improvements in time for the opening of the Alabama Legislature next year.”

However, just hours after APR published its story on Ball’s plan, Attorney General Luther Strange, sent his comments.  “I am strongly opposed to Rep. Mike Ball’s idea of a commission to review Alabama’s ethics law. The whole point of such a commission would be to undermine the law,” said Strange.  “Alabamians want our ethics laws enforced, not gutted.”
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Morrow Files Ethics Complaint Against Rebekah Caldwell Mason

April 6, 2016

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—An ethics complaint has been filed against Gov. Robert Bentley’s former senior advisor, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, by State Representative Johnny Mack Morrow (D-Red Bay), stating she improperly influenced legislative actions.

Morrow says this animosity Mason has shown towards him began 25 years ago when, as a student in his economics class, she was unhappy with the grades she received.

In the complaint, Morrow recounts actions surrounding a local bill that applied only to Franklin County, a bill that Gov. Bentley had publicly and privately said he would sign. When speaking to alreporter.com, Morrow said, “She was pillow-talk lobbying…that’s caused the problem.”
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