Sid Salter's column today bashes Rep. Steve Holland for originally supporting Haley Barbour's Medicaide bill, accusing him of "crawfishing": "Trouble is, the record shows that Holland was the chief House negotiator in the legislative conference committee that approved the Barbour-backed Medicaid reform bill which removed the PLAD category from Medicaid coverage in the first place. Holland signed off on the conference report, presented it to the House, and spoke passionately in favor of its passage.ÊHolland sold his fellow House members on the wisdom of removing the category from Medicaid. Don't believe it? Ask them."
Classic gotcha journalism -- EXCEPT Holland talked about why he changed his mind on the floor of the House, a fact that Salter might have known had he attended the special session. Maybe he did, but we never saw him there once. I did see David Hampton at the press table in the House one day, though, so maybe that covered it for the editorial team.
Rep. Cecil Brown corrects Salter's misinformed column above in a letter to the editor today. And Salter would have known more of this had he attended the sessions he wrote about. We hear all the time that The Clarion-Ledger editorial summonses people to them rather than go out in the community and observe things for themselves. The column above shows the folly in that strategy--and why so many people can't stand to read the C-L.
Brown: "During the recent special legislative session, Chairman Holland ó with Chairman Morris' concurrence ó has led the fight to reinstate Medicaid coverage for all PLADs. His actions are consistent with the position he took in the regular session. The charge that Rep. Holland has been inconsistent in his support for full coverage for the PLADs is simply uninformed and incorrect."
I know this is a little off the subject (or maybe not), but I have a question I hope someone can answer. I think I know the answer, but I'm not positive. According to these articles our Governor is touring the country bragging about the tort reforms he was able to have instituted in our state:
My question is - who is paying for this *little* junket?
It wouldn't be the taxpayers of Mississippi, would it?
The taxpayers who were asked to fork up money for improving roads to casinos and $13 million to spruce up our rest stops and welcome centers (all good uses of money, if you have it to spend), but were told that the state didn't have the money to fund education or pay for Medicaid recipients who have prescription bills higher than their incomes. Those taxpayers?
If the taxpayers of Mississippi are paying for this trip on the governor's new plane (which said taxpayers just bought him), they ought to have sense enough to scream bloody murder.
Oh, right, right, I'm one of those taxpayers.......ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!
Somebody tell Haley he is not in DC or in private business anymore, and his expense account runs in front of a lot of auditors . . . uh, voters . . . now.
Oh, never mind, don't bother telling him. We'll just have to get someone thriftier in three years. Unless things turn up, we won't have a choice (Haley is too high-maintenance for this state already).
Good for Bobby Harrison at the Daily Journal for trying to clear up irresponsible reporting:
That brings us to the current debate over Medicaid. Many members of the House, led by Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, have been trying to prevent up to 65,000 aged and disabled from being removed from the Medicaid rolls on July 1.
Holland, chairman of House Public Health and Human Services Committee, and many of his fellow House members have been criticized for voting to remove the Medicaid recipients during the regular session of 2004 and now changing their mind.
The short answer is in their eyes they made a mistake during the regular session.
But reports from various media outlets that have stated that Holland spoke passionately during the regular session in favor of the legislation removing the recipients are simply incorrect. [...]
Holland said the Senate and governor would not agree to a Medicaid bill unless the 65,000 were removed from the rolls. Holland said he feared that the governor's office would try to run Medicaid without legislation and through executive order. He said he was worried about what would happen then.
Finally, Holland and the House leadership caved - but only after getting the governor to agree to try to get the federal government to continue to cover about 20,000 of the 65,000 scheduled to be removed from the Medicaid rolls.
Link to Harrison's column