Posts tagged ‘Medicaid’

Assorted Links 2/12/12

  • The PPACA Mandate: The Government’s Best Case” – “We are all familiar with an individual mandate that was authorized by the U.S. Congress and notoriously upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court: the affirmative duty of persons of Japanese descent to report to a Civil Control Station. Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1943).” And that worked out so well….
  • Why Is Gasoline Consumption Tanking? – “Even if you dismiss the recent plunge as an outlier, the declines in retail gasoline deliveries are mind-boggling. If you look at the data from 1983 to 2011 on the link above, you will note that delivery declines align with recessions.”
  • How Many Kids Are Sexually Abused by Their Teachers?,” by Brian Palmer, Slate, February 8, 2012 – “Probably millions.”
  • Lead Cooled fast Small modular reactor design could be a ‘SUPERSTAR’ – “‘Small modular reactors, or SMRs, are small-scale nuclear plants that are designed to be factory-manufactured and shipped as modules to be assembled at a site. They can be designed to operate without refueling for 15 to 30 years. The concept offers promising answers to many questions about nuclear power–including proliferation, waste, safety and start-up costs.'”
  • Dealing with the Dreaded CEL (check engine light) – “‘the five most common causes of a check engine light and what you should do about them…’ The list: faulty oxygen sensor, loose or faulty gas cap, faulty catalytic converter, faulty mass airflow sensor, bad spark plugs and/or wires.”
  • If You See Something, Shut Up – “M. Zudi Jasser is a physician, a U.S. Navy veteran, an American patriot and a Muslim who does not hold with those who preach that Islam commands its followers to take part in a war against unbelievers.” The film is The Third Jihad.

Beniamino Gigli – Wikipedia

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  • 6 Ways The Job Search Has Changed Post-Recession – “4. Social media is the new recruiting tool
  • Ditch the Textbooks – “The majority of the modern management texts are written by theorists who render the content into endless seas of meaningless terminology. A better idea is to forgo textbooks altogether.”
  • Why Not Hire Your Own Adjunct? They Are Very Inexpensive – “Since college tuition is so high, why not skip the campus middleman and ‘hire your own professor’ as a private tutor?
  • Charles Murray, Author of ‘The Bell Curve,’ Steps Back Into the Ring – “Publishers, forget about carefully reasoned, nuanced discussions of the issues of the day—that stuff is for college professors, or yuppies off yammering away in their salons. If you print politically oriented books and you want to make the big bucks, you need to think like a boxing promoter and stage fights that will get attention. And nothing, but nothing, draws hype like a match-up between liberal pundits and the man they love to hate, the belligerent behind the The Bell Curve, the warrior against welfare, the proudly politically incorrect Charles Murray. Mr. Murray’s newest book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (Crown Forum), makes a pretense of making nice. It bills itself as an attempt to alleviate divisiveness in American society by calling attention to a growing cultural gap between the wealthy and the working class.”
  • Drescher: Getting fit can give a new lease on life – “Taking a forced sabbatical from politics has been a blessing in almost every way,” Morgan wrote in his 2008 book, The Fourth Witch, which he describes on the cover as “a memoir of politics and sinning.”

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  • Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) faces insider-trading investigation
  • Can you change your partner in marriage? – “Ultimately, though, she said it was necessary to accept the other person. She knocked on the square wooden table and said ‘You can round off the corners, but your spouse will still have the same basic shape.‘”
  • 20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes – “Which and That – ‘Which’ introduces a relative clause.
  • The Kodak Moment – Unleashed from Scarcity, Editing Becomes More Important – “There is a burden in … abundance, a pain we’ve all experienced. It’s the burden of whittling down the flood of photos into a coherent and efficient package. Because there isn’t a barrier at the input end anymore, we have to erect that barrier later, or the insanity of fifteen photos of the same mountain, the same animal, the same sunset, the same flower, or the same family smiling becomes clear. We only need one or two good ones. We don’t need them all. In fact, maybe we don’t need most of them.”
  • IT guy answers daughter’s Facebook rant by shooting her laptop – “You can have a new one when you buy one” (video at link)
  • Why caring for my aging father has me wishing he would die – “[O]wing to medical advancements, cancer deaths now peak at age 65 and kill off just 20 percent of older Americans, while deaths due to organ failure peak at about 75 and kill off just another 25 percent, so the norm for seniors is becoming a long, drawn-out death after 85, requiring ever-increasing assistance for such simple daily activities as eating, bathing, and moving. This is currently the case for approximately 40 percent of Americans older than 85, the country’s fastest-growing demographic, which is projected to more than double by 2035, from about 5 million to 11.5 million. And at that point, here comes the next wave–77 million of the youngest Baby Boomers will be turning 70.”
  • The Real Trouble With the Birth-Control Mandate – “Critics are missing the larger point. Why should the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decree that any of us must pay for ‘insurance’ that covers contraceptives?
  • Obamacare vs the Catholic Bishops – “There is some tragic irony to all this. We should not forget that many religious leaders have long-supported increasing the role of the state in health care and the economy at-large, perhaps thinking that conscience clauses would protect their institutions against any undue interference. Well, they were wrong; what the state giveth, the state taketh away. If you invite the state to ‘assist’ more and more of your activities, it will eventually start telling you how to do things. … Economic ignorance among religious leaders comes at a very high cost to their own good works.”

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Federal Financial Support for State and Local Governments

Federal assistance provided to states, local governments and Indian tribes can take the form of grants, loans, loan guarantees and tax subsidies. Such assistance is intended to provide these entities with the ability to address national objectives.

northbound US-89 in Salt Lake City
Creative Commons License photo credit: CountyLemonade

One of the most common forms of financial support provided to states and localities is federal grants. Federal grants issued to states and localities cover a broad range of government sponsored and supported services and objectives. Grants may include health services, training for displaced workers, transportation, empowerment zones and enterprise zones for community development.

Grants can take the form of either categorical or block grants. As a result of federal legislation in the 1990s, financial assistance was provided to states and localities in the form of block grants. Existing categorical grants were combined for the specific purpose of providing block grants. Categorical grants provide spending that is targeted to specific purposes. Block grants offer a wider level of discretion to state and local governments for the purposes of identifying problems and then designing programs that will meet the goals of the block grants.

Congressional Deskbook, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy SchneiderSome programs, such as Medicaid, may be classified as direct or mandatory spending. In such cases, an authorizing law provides the actual spending authority for those outlays. Grants provided for infrastructure, community development, education and other purposes are considered to be discretionary and are funded through the appropriations process.

Conditions are typically attached by Congress to spending programs. Furthermore, Congress may attach other conditions in law related to the spending under a program as an attempt to ensure the integrity of the program’s management. In some cases, further conditions may be attached by Congress as a way of achieving a national purpose. One of the most famous instances of this took place when Congress wished to encourage states to increase the legal drinking to 21. As a way of doing so, the receipt of the full allocation of federal highway funds by states was conditioned upon each state adopting age 21 as a legal drinking age.

Congress may also choose to attach financial participation or matching funds requirements to programs. These efforts are often intended to promote better program administration, since state and local government funds are also at risk.

For more information about federal and congressional budgeting, see TheCapitol.Net’s 1-day course The President’s Budget, 1-day course Understanding Congressional Budgeting and Appropriations, and 2-day Advanced Federal Budget Process.

Source: Congressional Deskbook: The Practical and Comprehensive Guide to Congress, by Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider, Sec. 9.40 Presidential Budget Process, and Sec 10.200 Congress and Federalism: Financial Support for State and Local Governments.

For detailed information about the legislative and budget process, see these resources from TheCapitol.Net:

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