Tuesday, August 09, 2011

'Democrats Challenging (Obama) Administration on Medicaid: Gee, Where Have I Heard This Kind of Non-transparency Before....: Federal Lawsuit

Western Highlands Network (WHN) LME, which oversees public mental health (Medicaid) in many western NC counties, including Buncombe County where Asheville, NC is, has a board which recently had its hand forced in terms of kowtowing to a 'Non Disclosure Agreement' hoisted by another LME (and anchored into place by NC DHHS). That 'Non Disclosure' Agreement forbids disclosure of language associated with behind-the-scenes contract agreements which blocks consumers e.g., Medicaid clients, from being able to potentially obtain medical records and information barring their access to services.

THAT was the big deal as associated with the June and July meetings of the Western Highlands Network LME Board meetings (the board cancelled their August, 2011 meeting, for unknown reasons).

This recent move by the Obama administration to block Mediciaid consumers from suing the government for denial of services is similar in its thrust as pertaining to the issue of blocking Medicaid clients from obtaining information about denial of services.

Today's New York Times (NYT) featured an article outlining how the Obama administration (didn't we elect a Democrat?) ".....maintains that beneficiaries and health care professionals cannot sue state officials to challenge cuts in Medicaid payment rates, even if such cuts compromise access to care for the poor...In a friend-of-the-court brief, the lawmakers said the administration's position 'would undermine the effectiveness of Medicaid'. In addition, they said, it conflicts with MORE THAN A CENTURY of court precedents that allow people to sue to block state actions that are inconsistent with federal law.....The issue, of immense importance to poor people and states, comes to the Supreme Court in a set of cases consolidated under the name of Douglas v. Independent Learning Center of Southern California, No 09-958." (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/us/politics/09medicaid/html

The 'denial of services' is at the heart of how consumers/ clients will and do interface with entities such as WHN LME or any other LME in NC that controls funding to Medicaid mental health services. Simply put, the Non Disclosure Agreement which WHN LME Board was forced to accept and this stance by the Obama administration are twin doppelganger reflections of a government that refuses to be transparent to the people who fund it: the taxpayers. (see: http://madame-defarge.blogspot.com/2011/06/whn-goes-its-own-way-re-medicaid.html)

As iconoclastic journalist, I.F. Stone ("Izzy") stated: "Its bad enough just to have a government."


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