Oregon among biggest gainers in health insurance coverage, Gallup poll shows
"Despite problems with its health insurance exchange, Oregon ranks among the top 10 states for a drop in the number of uninsured, according to a new Gallup poll. A telephone survey showed 14 percent of Oregonians were uninsured through midyear 2014, compared to 19.7 percent uninsured last year. That drop, of 5.4 percentage points, ranked Oregon 7th among states, according to telephone interviews conducted for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Arkansas ranked first, with a drop of 10.1 percentage points, and Kentucky second at 8.5 percentage points."
RAD: We're supposed to be happy? The need was to cover 600,000 Oregonians, we've only covered 300,000 mostly already enrolled in Medicaid. So in truth we've gained nothing in the past year due to the failure of the website roll out. And as we move to a federal application process everybody enrolled will have to re-enroll. How many will be lost in the shuffle? Why should Oregonians be happy about the gross incompetence of Governor Kitzhaber and his team?
Kansas bond rating downgraded after tax cuts
"An ambitious plan to cut income taxes in Kansas will end up costing the state more money than it initially estimated after a key ratings agency downgraded the state’s debt on Wednesday. Standard & Poor’s cited structural imbalances created by the tax cut in its decision to slice Kansas’s bond rating from AA+ to AA. That means Kansas will have to offer a higher interest rate to lenders when it issues new bonds. The package of tax cuts, backed by Gov. Sam Brownback (R) and his conservative allies in the state legislature, was never offset with equal spending cuts, S&P said Wednesday. The lost revenue is expected to eat up much of Kansas’s budget reserves during this fiscal year; S&P said it expected the state to face a $333 million budget shortfall this year."
RAD: Serves Kansans right! Eating up budget reserves is asinine. It's like eating your seed corn. I thought Kansans were farmers! They should understand this was a stupid decision by an ideologically blind governor. What's worse is cutting programs that help people in human services, education and other state functions - roads, corrections, higher education and the environment. You don't get more by doing less, you get less! Where's the Wizard of Oz when you need him?
Koch brothers begin Oregon ad blitz attacking Jeff Merkley for debt limit, budget votes
"Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce -- the Koch brothers' group reportedly planning to spend $3.6 million trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon -- opened a three-month advertising campaign Wednesday with a TV commercial attacking Merkley's votes on government spending. The group is funded by large, undisclosed donors who have joined the political network established by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, who in the last election cycle orchestrated some $407 million in political spending for conservative causes. The commercial makes no mention of Merkley's Republican challenger, Portland pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby. She has welcomed the advertising campaign while making it clear that she didn't work at all with the group -- which would be a violation of federal election law."
RAD: The Koch brothers live in Texas so why are they poaching in Oregon politics? Sure Monica Wehby and the Oregon GOP are clueless. If you believe this I have a CRC bridge plan to sell you! This negative ad independent expenditure is unregulated and the donors unknown and thanks to the Supreme Court it's perfectly legal. While you have a vote, Koch, Inc. are betting the house they can buy an election in Oregon. Well their track record in 2012 was poor. House money doesn't always win in Vegas and it won't in Oregon. Consider a Koch brother's economic stimulus package for local TV stations!
Washington's primary system means 2 Republicans will go tête-a-tête in 4th District come November
AP via Oregonian
"For the first time in Washington history, two candidates from the same party will face off in a general election for a U.S. House seat. Republicans Clint Didier and Dan Newhouse advanced Tuesday from a crowded field of candidates in the open 4th Congressional District primary election. Since 2008 Washington has had a top-two primary system, meaning that the top two vote-getters regardless of party affiliation advance to the general election. Didier, a former NFL star, and Newhouse, a Yakima Valley farmer, drew the most votes in early returns, setting up a showdown between Newhouse, a mainstream conservative, and Didier, a tea party favorite."