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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Health reform’s hidden costs, Placing states and citizens at a huge risk--Attacking the American Spirit

Governors across the country have begun screaming at Congress, “Hold on a minute. Time out on this health care reform thing.”

Truth has begun to set in, that as a result of federal health care reform, every state faces a plethora of unfunded mandates that will drown them in dilemmas and red ink. Once it passes (or, if) the hidden costs of federal health reform will immediately become clearer. As a result, states and local governments will increasingly find it impossible to fund their most vital services – education, police, fire, water, energy, roads and bridges.

Governors have warned for years that the cost of Medicaid threatens their state budgets. They had hoped Congress would fix the problem, not exacerbate it. Congress, instead, has been showing it is deaf to governors and to citizens.

But the increased billions to be spent on Medicaid is just the tip of the iceberg.

This is a partial list of the increased cost and loss of state revenue faced by states, and their residents. I am certain you can add many thoughts to these.


Click here to continue,read more...

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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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