Sunday, July 31, 2011

Conyers, Cleaver urge President to invoke Constitutional authority to raise debt ceiling

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Date: Saturday, July 30, 2011

Contact: Matthew Morgan – 202-225-6906

Conyers, Cleaver urge President to invoke Constitutional authority to raise debt ceiling

President has authority and moral obligation to invoke the 14th Amendment to avoid economic catastrophe

(Washington) – Today in a letter to President Obama, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member and Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) called on President Obama to raise the debt ceiling under the authority of the 14th Amendment. Below is the text of the letter:

July 30, 2011

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We urge you to invoke section 4 of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution to raise the debt ceiling and enable the United States government to meet its financial obligations if Congress fails to act in time. We believe that you have both the authority and a moral obligation to do so in order to avoid an economic catastrophe of historic proportions.

Since the founding of the Republic, the United States has always honored its debts, from assuming the obligations incurred during the Revolutionary War, to the present day. As a result, the United States continues to enjoy an outstanding credit rating and historically low interest rates. We must not allow a political deadlock to cause the United States to default for the first time in our history. The consequences of a default would be catastrophic. All three credit rating agencies have cautioned that default would result in a downgrading of our credit rating and a substantial increase in borrowing costs.

In addition to putting our nation's bond rating at risk along with increase interest rates that it will cause, failure to increase the debt limit would imperil every aspect of the federal government, from Social Security to Medicare, to veterans' health care, to national security. States will lose billions in funding, and businesses will not receive payments on their contracts. Default would have a devastating impact on global credit markets and economic growth.

Section 4 of the 14th Amendment reads: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

The Supreme Court has on only one occasion - in the depths of the Depression - had the opportunity to rule on this section. In that case, Perry v. United States, the Court said, "The Constitution gives to the Congress the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States . . . . Having this power to authorize the issue of definite obligations for the payment of money borrowed, the Congress has not been vested with authority to alter or destroy those obligations." Now that Congress has borrowed money and incurred debt, we cannot - as a nation and under our Constitution - walk away.

This section was meant to ensure the payment of Union debts after the Civil War, and to disavow Confederate ones. But it was written in broader terms and extends well beyond those particular obligations. According to Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin: "You're not supposed to hold the validity of the public debt hostage to achieve political ends…. Section 4 is a fail-safe that only comes into operation when everything else is exhausted."

In addition, under the "take care" clause the President has the authority under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." Since Congress has previously authorized all the debts and obligations that would be in default on August 3, we believe this Constitutional authority would also reinforce your ability to increase the debt limit on an emergency basis.

Just as President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation at a time of emergency in our Nation's history to free those who were enslaved during the Civil War, today you face a looming calamity that in some respects is just as grave.

The Congressional Black Caucus will stand behind you, and applaud your courage, as you fulfill your obligation to uphold the dictates of the Constitution to protect the full faith and credit of the United States. We urge you to do that which is necessary for the good of the country.


Emanuel Cleaver

Chairman, Congressional Black Caucus

John Conyers, Jr.

Dean, Congressional Black Caucus

Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary

Approved by forty-two of forty-three Members of the Congressional Black Caucus


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Oklahoma Medicaid Fraud In Child Welfare Shredding Policy

For all those naysayers who stay up nights battling the reality that I am proper and factual in everything I post, here is another codified reason why Medicaid fraud in child welfare is kept hidden from the public.

In Oklahoma they have a shredding policy.

Division of Children, Youth and Family Services/Management Support Unit/Operations
37-9 Remittance Statement of Medicaid Claims Paid Confidential Record 10 O.S., §7005-1.1 through 7005-1.8

Description: File contains State of Oklahoma Medicaid Management Information System report, OKMM 2790, Remittance Statement of Medicaid Claims Paid for OKDHS-Child Welfare; and M2790R04, Targeted Case Management, Monthly Statement.
Volume: 2 cubic feet per year

Disposition: Retain in office six (6) months, then transfer to the OKDHS Records Center. Destroy records when they become seven (7) years old provided: (a) all audits have been completed and all applicable audit reports have been accepted and resolved by all applicable federal and state agencies; (b) no legal actions are pending; and (c) approval to destroy documents has been received from the State Records Administrator. If legal action is pending, destroy two (2) years after exhaustion of all legal remedies provided records meet all stipulated retention requirements, and approval to destroy records has been received from the State Records Administrator.
Added October 13, 1999

Friday, July 29, 2011

Adoption Agency Resort and Casino

That's pretty much how it works.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Southfield doctor to plead guilty in fraud cas

Southfield doctor to plead guilty in fraud case

Detroit— Gwendolyn Washington, a Southfield doctor convicted in a Detroit Public Schools corruption case, is expected to plead guilty this morning in a separate case alleging health care fraud and prescription drug dealing.

While the exact nature of the plea is unclear, federal prosecutors today filed a felony information charging her with health care fraud and soliciting/receiving payment in violation of the Health Care Anti-Kickback statute. Washington is scheduled to appear at noon in U.S. District Court.

She was charged in March with submitting claims to Medicare for procedures received by patients who were dead. She also was accused of writing phony prescriptions for powerful pain medications, which were sold illegally on the black market.

Washington, a Detroit resident who has a medical practice in Southfield, is awaiting sentencing Aug. 9 in the corruption case after pleading guilty to a conspiracy to commit fraud charge in March in U.S. District Court.

From January 2000 to November 2008, Medicare paid Washington and a company called Universal Imaging about $3.5 million for tests performed on her patients, according to prosecutors.

Washington ordered nuclear stress tests for patients every six months, which exposed them to increased risk of developing cancer, according to prosecutors.

In all, Washington submitted bills to Medicare for 10 patients who were dead at the time the services were performed, according to court records. That included 13 office visits, four home visits and eight claims for time spent supervising home care for those patients.

Investigators learned the patients were dead by checking the Social Security Death Index. In each case, the patients died before Washington said they received the services, according to the complaint.

In the DPS case, Washington pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a federal case in which she and others are accused of raiding more than $3 million from the cash-strapped Detroit school district.

Her sister, Detroit art gallery owner Sherry Washington, was convicted in the Detroit schools case last month and faces up to 20 years in prison.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Baby LK Report for July 24, 2011: Don't Run Your Social Worker Down With A Mini Van

Baby LK recaps the week in news for the child protection industry.

Maine Will Not Eat Its Medicaid Meat

Working fast to fix Medicaid billing

If Maine can get its system to conform to federal standards, the U.S. government would increase matching funds.

AUGUSTA - The state's recently approved budget assumes that Maine will receive nearly $17 million if it can get its Medicaid billing system to meet federal standards.
Since it switched computer systems in 2005, and again last year, the state has not been able to gain federal certification. That's important because it has been costing the state money for several years.
This is the lamest excuse I have ever seen published as media spin.  Yes, the computer system may have played a small part of the issue in gaining federal certification, but the real reason lies in the area of Medicaid fraud in child welfare.  Here are $29,759,384 reasons the feds found to support my statement.
HHS Appellate Decision on Maine Department of Health and Human Services 2009 Targeted Case Management
The state currently gets a 50 percent match from the federal government for Medicaidservices -- but if the system meets federal standards, the state would get a 75 percent federal match.

It is not the computer system, it has to do with the lack of regulation.  In child welfare, a child will be placed under the auspices of the state for simply needing resources, whether educational or medical.  Then, the powerful child abuse propaganda machines will parade for more money, called lobbying, all paid through tax dollars, to continue its sustainable practices of phantom billing, double billing, kickbacks, and fraudulent billing.

The state lost Medicaid funds and the Federal Financial Participation Rate was decreased because Maine just would not get its act together in child welfare.

Do not think Maine is alone.  Every single state that is crying the blues about its Medicaid has been penalized by the feds.  They do not want to be compliant and provide for its citizens yet want more money to keep doing what they are doing.

"Take care of the people. How can you get any more Medicaid dollars when you let the children suffer?"

How can a state provide for its citizens when it will not protect its children.  That is why the feds cut Maine's Medicaid funding.  It jacked it up.

"We're cautiously optimistic on certification," said Stefanie Nadeau, director ofMaineCare Services. "We are working feverishly to resolve provider issues. Unfortunately, we've hit a couple of bumps in the road."

Those "bumps in the road" are called "fraud".

Maine Targeted Case Management Audit 2007
MaineCare is the state's version of the federal Medicaid program, which provides health insurance to low-income Mainers.
For years, Paula Benson, who handles the MaineCare accounts at the Achilles Foot & Ankle Center in Augusta, has struggled to get claims handled properly in a timely manner. In January, she and her husband Daniel, a podiatrist, signed up for one of Gov. Paul LePage's Saturday meetings with the public to express their concerns about the system.
"We showed him our error rate was at 40 percent," she said.
LePage designated someone at the Department of Health and Human Services to take calls from Paula Benson when she had trouble with the system. Since then, the error rate has dropped, but 50 to 60 claims out of 600 are still erroneously rejected each month, she said.

Governor LePage will not make formal content because he advocates for the new model of social infrastructure which is the construction of the poverty industrial complex.  By unraveling the social safety net and repealing child labor laws and standards, corporations are free to come in and partner with the state through quasi-governmental partnerships to secure, not just the old funding streams of the social safety net, but to acquire new, cheap labor through the "nurturing of children", the new corporatized foster care.
That compares to one Medicare rejection each month on about 400 claims, she said. Medicare is health coverage for the elderly.
Nadeau said the system handles a large number of claims each month -- nearly 1 million -- and that the state pays out $30 million in claims each week. The state is preparing for a team of federal auditors to visit the state this fall -- possibly the end of September or early October -- to test the system to see if it can be declared federally compliant.
Benson doubts it will be ready in time.
"I don't think it's realistic," she said. "I do not think it will happen."
The state hired Molina Healthcare, based in California, to install the new system and to run a call center where the state's providers can get help with problems. In addition to Maine, Molina has contracts with Idaho, Louisiana, New Jersey and West Virginia to manage Medicaid billing systems.

Molina and other companies such as MAXIMUS, make enormous profits off of the poor in what is called administration fees and other sophisticated revenue-maximization schemes.  Maine's computer system problems allowed the state to generate revenue off the backs of the needy.
There are 5,000 enrolled MaineCare providers who must process claims through the Maine system. They range from hospitals and nursing homes to podiatrists and mental health agencies.
The state does provide bridge payments to those who are having trouble getting claims processed properly. The temporary payments are designed to keep money flowing to the providers while kinks continue to get worked out of the system.
"There's a large majority of issues still out there yet to be resolved," Nadeau said. "If you're the provider who is having your cash flow impacted, it does not seem like a positive experience."
To help providers better understand the system, DHHS conducted 26 forums across the state this spring.
Members of the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee say they hope the department and Molina will be ready to reach compliance.
Rep. Margaret Craven, D-Lewiston, said she received a complaint about the system from a constituent about three weeks ago. She said Molina, which has run similar systems in other states, should be held accountable for reaching federal compliance.
"I'm hoping over hope we're going to reach that threshold," she said.
House Committee chairman, Rep. Meredith Strang Burgess, R-Cumberland, said she's heard from developmental disabilities providers who continue to have trouble.
"As a new administration came on board, the committee made it really clear to the department that they should put as high a priority as possible to make sure the computer system becomes fully functional," she said.
She described the $17 million in budgeted savings as a "placeholder," noting that there will be several tests and deadlines that must be met to win certification. But she said the September 2010 switchover was done in a more thoughtful way -- for one thing, they ran two systems simultaneously for several weeks -- to put less stress on providers.
"We will not allow the crazy computer errors to go on like they were in the past," she said.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

John Conyers And The Legally Kidnapped

US Representative John Conyers (D) Michigan 14th, and Ranking Member of the US House Judiciary Committee checking out Legally Kidnapped


US Representative John Conyers (D) Michigan 14th, and Ranking Member of the US House
Judiciary Committee checking out Legally Kidnapped.

Thanks to our beloved Beverly Tran for this picture.


Get ready.  I'm coming for you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Snip Snip - Baby LK Report For July 17th 2011

Baby LK recaps the week in news for the child protective industry.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Marcus Bachmann becomes sideshow

Marcus Bachmann becomes sideshow

Marcus, left, and Michele Bachmann attend a campaign event. | AP Photo
Marcus Bachmann, left, didn’t deny his clinic counseled gays to change their sexual orientation. | AP PhotoClose
Marcus Bachmann’s attempt to put to rest questions about his Christian counseling practice has only served to draw more attention to his views on homosexuality.
And for Michele Bachmann, who’s trying to focus her presidential run on opposing government spending and other economic issues instead of the culture war, the firestorm over her husband is full of political peril — even as Christian groups say the episode is reaffirming their connection to the Minnesota congresswoman.

After weeks of increased attention in the blogs and mainstream press, Marcus Bachmann made his first public comments on the subject in an interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune published Friday. He didn’t deny that his clinic has counseled gays to change their sexual orientation. But he said such therapy is only conducted at patients’ request and is not the focus of the practice.
Bachmann also sought to explain a widely circulated audio clip in which he seems to refer to gays as barbarians by suggesting that the tape was altered.
He said it was a “myth that I have ever called a homosexual a barbarian.”
“I was talking in reference to children. Nothing, nothing to do with homosexuality,” he told the newspaper. “That’s not my mindset. That’s not my belief system. That’s not the way I would talk.”
The “barbarian” comment was made in a May 2010 interview on the Christian radio show “Point of View.” It comes in the midst of an extended discussion of homosexuality and adolescent sexual questioning.
The questioner, host Penna Dexter, brings up the “culture wars” and asks Bachmann how Christian parents should respond to a teenager who claims to be gay.
“I think you clearly say, ‘What is the understanding of God’s word on homosexuality?’” Bachmann answers. “I think that this is no mystery, that a child or preadolescent — particularly adolescents — will question and wonder about sexuality. That’s nothing new under the sun, since the beginning of time. I don’t think we should take that, because we wonder or we think or we question, does that take us down the road of homosexuality.”
“Could you add the word ‘experiment’ to that?” Dexter asks.
“Certainly there’s that curiosity. But again, we have to understand, barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. And just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what’s called the sinful nature, and we have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings to move into the action steps.
“And let’s face it: What’s our culture, what is our public school system doing today? They are giving full, wide-open doors to children, not only giving encouragement to think it but to actually encourage action steps. That’s why when we understand what truly is the percentage of homosexuals in this country, it’s small. But by these open doors, I can see and we are experiencing that it is starting to increase.”
Partial audio of the interview was posted at the time it aired by an anti-Michele Bachmann blog,, that also provided a link, no longer functioning, to the full interview.

Host Dexter told POLITICO in an email that it was clear to her that Bachmann “used the word ‘barbarians’ to refer to children.”
She added, “I got it completely. It was an endearing term, in a way, that made sense to me and to our audience. We believe that children are born with a nature that inclines them to challenge and break rules, and that it is thus the parents’ responsibility to guide their children along good and productive paths.”
Dump Bachmann blogger Ken Avidor said the clip on the site was edited for length — the edits are clearly marked with sound effects and do not affect the exchange in question — but not altered in any way.
“If Mr. Bachmann is claiming I falsified the audio, he really needs to provide proof,” Avidor told POLITICO.
Michele Bachmann’s campaign declined to make Marcus Bachmann available or to clarify his remarks Friday.
The charge that the Bachmann & Associates clinic practices “reparative therapy” to turn gays straight has been alleged for years. It received new life in the past week with the release of an undercover video in which a gay activist pretends to be seeking to change his orientation. A counselor tries to help him become straight, largely at the patient’s urging.
Marcus Bachmann defended the action, citing the man’s claimed desire to change his sexuality. This is consistent with Bachmann’s other statements over the years, such as a 2006 Minneapolis City Pages article in which he was quoted saying, “If someone is interested in talking to us about their homosexuality, we are open to talking about that. But if someone comes in a homosexual and they want to stay homosexual, I don’t have a problem with that.”
Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council said despite the official disapproval of major medical organizations of reparative therapy, “there is actually a lot of evidence” that it can work if the patient wants to change.
“The political goal here, from critics of Michele Bachmann and her husband, is to make them look like kooks who believe things no serious person believes and engage in practices no respectable therapist practices,” Sprigg said. “Those attacks are misguided and incorrect, and among Christians it will only help her campaign to see that she and her husband are very serious and sincere about their faith.”
Nonetheless, when confronted with the topic in recent days, Michele Bachmann has quickly sought to change the subject.
In Iowa on Monday, she answered a local television reporter’s question about the clinic by saying, “We’re very proud of our business, and we’re proud of all job creators in the United States. That’s what people really care about.”