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Romney, applauding himself Here is what you have been missing if you haven’t been paying attention to the Romney/Ryan campaign for the past few weeks: 47% of the country are losers! No wait, maybe it’s 60%! Either way, we need to cut government aid to Poors so we can break the cycle of government dependency! Less Medicaid will mean more prosperity! Etc! It therefore came as a BIG FUCKING SURPRISE when we learned that Romney aggressively pursued federal government assistance when he was the governor of Massachusetts. It was not, however, a BIG FUCKING SURPRISE to learn that he balanced the budget by taking millions of dollars from something called the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund.

In his first budget proposal [as governor], Romney promised balancing the budget without tapping reserves, and “without the use of fiscal gimmicks.” However, buried in the details, he suggested tapping reserves such as taking $4 million from the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund, and he included fiscal gimmicks to maximize and divert federal aid into his general state coffers … The Wall Street Journal labeled such financing mechanisms “Medicaid Money Laundering” and a “swindle.”

Translation: after these gimmicks are deployed, it LOOKS like the state has spent money on Poors and is thus eligible to get money from federal Medicaid coffers. But in reality, the state HASN’T spent the money on Poors.

Medicaid is a matching grant program. If a state with a 50 percent match rate like Massachusetts spends $50 on qualifying services, the federal government will provide an additional $50 so there is $100 total for Medicaid services. The federal match payment is much higher in some states, such as Mississippi where it’s almost 75 percent.

Unfortunately, some states concocted budget shell games, often with private consultants, providing an illusion of state spending to claim federal matching funds, when no state spending has occurred. … In such strategies, health care facilities serving the poor are used to claim federal funds to help the poor. But the health care facilities and the poor may get nothing, as the state diverts the federal aid to general coffers — and revenue maximization contractors reap millions in contingency fees. Romney used such private companies to help carryout his strategies.

Every time we learn something new about Romney, we lean more and more towards concluding that he is a shitbag beyond the possibility of redemption.

[Boston Globe]

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