Pete's Prep: Tuesday, April 3, 2018

New videos raise new questions about the Asheville police beating story

Yesterday, the City of Asheville released nine videos from various police officers who responded to the August arrest of Johnnie Jermaine Rush. Former officer Chris Hickman punched Rush in the head during the attempt to arrest him. Rush was stopped after ignoring a warning to use a crosswalk. He argued over getting a ticket, which prompted his arrest. He ran, was tackled, and eventually subdued.

You can see the video clips here and some of the new details they provide. Such as:

  • Rush can be seen wrestling and resisting his arrest, refusing to give his hands to officers so they could put on the handcuffs.
  • The supervising officer who arrived never accused him of lying, as Rush told the local paper.
  • The arresting officer never used a racial slur, as Rush told the local paper.
  • The road Rush crossed was not "deserted," as has been alleged

How is that Medicaid expansion going?

For the better part of a decade, Democrats have demanded states expand Medicaid. Progressives accused opponents of expansion of hating poor people and children.

About five years ago, former Governor Pat McCrory dropped by the annual Manna Food Bank "Blue Jean Ball" in Asheville. He came to support the work that this great charity does. As he walked through the crowd, a leftist ran up to him, got in his face, and berated him for not expanding Medicaid.

She said he didn't care about the poor or children. And wanted people to die.

McCrory briefly tried to explain that it's far more complicated than simply taking the federal money to expand a state program.

He was right.

States that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare are now required to pick up some of the cost of that expansion.

The cash crunch is likely to get worse. Federal actuaries predict that Medicaid’s annual cost, which was $595 billion in 2017, will exceed $1 trillion in 2026. States and many localities pay about 38% of that tab. The remainder is covered by the federal government.

Policy makers in Washington have talked about revamping entitlement programs such as Medicaid, but so far their efforts have gained little traction. That leaves it up to states to try to contain spending—and make do with less.

And the states are often passing the costs on to cities - that raise taxes, fines, and fees to make up the gap.

The Medicaid costs are squeezing state budgets on all other areas of spending.

Medicaid costs have transformed state budgets. In 1964, states’ top three spending items were education, highways and public welfare, according to data from the Council of State Governments. As of 2014, public welfare, which includes Medicaid, had moved into the No. 2 position.

How bad is it?


Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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