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Archive for April, 2014

Dear Reader,

As many of your know, CRI funds and sponsors the Transparent Delaware website, viewable at  www.transparentdelaware.org. Transparent Delaware has become the go-to website in the First State for data on State Payroll and State Vendor Contract Data for many concerned citizens.

Unfortunately, our grant to fund the yearly updates required to keep transparentdelaware.org up to date has expired.  We need $3900 to update the information on the site or else we will have to shut it down. We are asking you, our friends of CRI, to help us by making a contribution to CRI targeted to updating the transparentdelaware.org site.

CRI has worked hard to update the information on the site to bring you 2013 Payroll and Vendor Contract data so that anyone who is interested could view how the state pays its employees and those the state does contract business with. This information is critical to news reporters, elected officials, candidates for public office, concerned citizen activists, state employees comparing their salaries to their peers and superiors, or anyone with an interest in how the state spends money.

Now, Transparent Delaware will soon be unavailable to the public unless we raise $3,900 to keep the website updated and available to the public. Unfortunately, the internet is not always “free” and we would be disappointed to leave the most recently available data not easy accessible to you the public. Therefore, we are asking if you would give a most generous contribution to CRI for the purposes of keeping Transparent Delaware open to all. If you believe Delaware’s payment information should be available to the public, please click HERE to donate or send a tax-deductible contribution to:

Caesar Rodney Institute

P.O. Box 795

Dover, DE 19903

 

If we reach our fundraising goals our web host has said it will reactivate the website with the newest information.

We are grateful for your support. Any amount you can contribute to our goal will be appreciated.

Sincerely,

Jim Ursomarso
Chairman & CEO

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Please read this week’s guest post by Lindsay Leveen of the blog Greenexplored.com. Lindsay is a chemical engineer and has been an opponent of Bloom Energy based on the science, or lack of it when the decision was made to give Bloom a favorable deal in 2011 which grants it over $1.1 billion over 21 years for its fuel cell technology. A recent decision by a judge to grant standing to a Bloom Energy competitor gives hope future decisions, if not on Bloom, will be made on sound science and not on cronyism:

 

I have been wondering why DELMARVA Power entered into the deal to act as Bloom’s agent in the BLOOMDOGGLE of DELMARVA’s customers in Delaware???

 

I have blogged about the fraudulent overcharge for excess natural gas above the permitted maximum quantity in generating “unbetter” electrons from the Bloom coffins in the coastal zone of the first state.  DELMARVA is a party to this crime.  But why would a large utility become entangled in a BLOOMDOGGLE of major greenwashing and financial fraud proportions?

 

We have to go back a few years.  The government of the first state wanted greener energy in Delaware and had dictated that DELMARVA should enter into power purchase agreements for wind and solar generated power.  Of particular interest is a project called Blue Water Wind that was intended to supply 200 megawatts of offshore wind power to DELMARVA under an executed power purchase agreement (PPA).   This project on the rocks in May 2011 for lack of funding.  This possible abandonment occurred three years after the project was first announced.  The PPA was for a term of 25 five years and probably would have entailed a purchase of several hundred million dollars of wind power by DELMARVA Power.

 

http://thedailyrecord.com/2011/05/30/delaware-wind-project-hits-a-snag/

 

What was not reported by the Daily Record was that DELMARVA sorely wanted out of the PPA that was forced upon it by the Delaware state government as accounting rules would require DELMARVA to recognize the future payments under the PPA as debt on its balance sheet.

http://www.fasb.org/summary/stsum47.shtml

 

Hence when Al Gore and John Doerr brought the idea of locating Bloom Energy in Delaware with all those high paying manufacturing jobs that Governor Markell promised, DELMARVA Power jumped at the opportunity to get out from under the PPA with the folks in blue rather than green water.  The Blue Water folks walked away from their $2 million deposit (per the Daily Record link above) but did not have to pay DELMARVA Power an additional $6 million.  For DELMARVA Power this was a godsend.  No debt on the balance sheet, no need to deal with intermittent wind power, and they could simply become Bloom’s agent to collect the subsidy that Governor Markell, Secretary O’Mara, and Bloom negotiated in the smoke and sulfur filled room in the first state.  The epitome of win, win and more win

 

Note the news of the possible demise of the Blue Water project was on May 30, 2011 and this coincides with the permit preparations and bogus tariff approval that allowed the Bloom Boondoggle, the BLOOMDOGGLE, to occur.  In January 2012 NRG the developer of the Blue Water project placed the project into a cryogenic deep freeze.  Remember Secretary O/Mara issued his bogus coastal zone act completeness report for the Bloom project on February 10, 2012.  NRG was probably told to go fly a kite in the windy blue waters off the coast that would soon host the Bloom Coffins.

 

http://www.nrgenergy.com/nrgbluewaterwind/index.html

 

DELMARVA Power has a duty to protect its customers, but as Bloom’s agent they have now directly overcharged their customers for excess natural gas beyond the maximum permitted quantity Secretary O’Mara ruled as administratively complete, to generate these unbetter electrons from the Bloom coffins in the coastal zone.   Note I use “unbetter” as Bloom in their greenwashing on their website claims to deliver “better electrons”.  As the British say sarcastically “better my elbow!”

 

http://www.bloomenergy.com/clean-energy/

 

DELMARVA Power may have cleverly slinked away from BLUE WATER, but now that they are a direct party to fraudulent billing to the customers they are licensed to protect under a bogus tariff that exceeds the maximum permitted quantity of natural gas.  They are now actually in HOT WATER.  Hillary Clinton had WHITE WATER, DELMARVA Power had BLUE WATER, and none of these folks could ever find GREEN WATER as they all simply sucked all the GREEN out of the water.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitewater_controversy

 
As for Governor Markell and Secretary O’Mara neither of them walk on water and both should attend a junior college and learn some ethics and thermodynamics.  Better still they should be spending all their time preparing their court defense in the case of Fuel Cell Energy that a federal judge ruled has merit for the cronyism these two gangrene politicians exhibited in welcoming the Bloom BLOOMDOGGLE to the first state.

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From the Independent Institute:

“According to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation, in fiscal year 2010 the average Medicaid payment per enrollee was $5,563. To be sure, there was a wide variance: For aged Medicaid enrollees the average payment was $12,958, and for disabled enrollees it was $16,240. The average for adults was $3,025, and for children it was $2,359.

Medicaid enrollees have terrible access to care, according to a number of studies discussed in John Goodman’s Priceless (chapter 15). New research published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that it would be better simply to give Medicaid patients this money and let them spend it directly on medical care.

Posing as patients, researchers made almost 13,000 calls to doctors’ offices in ten states, seeking appointments for a variety of ailments. Those posing as privately insured patients got appointments 85 percent of the time. Those posing as patients on Medicaid got appointments only 58 percent of the time. Researchers also posed as uninsured patients who were willing to pay in full at the time of the appointment.

The result? For appointments costing more than $75, 78 percent of the “uninsured” researchers got a medical appointment — a success rate 36 percent higher than for those posing as Medicaid patients and quite close to those posing as privately insured.

The policy implication? Taking Medicaid money away from Medicaid bureaucracies and giving it to low-income people to pay directly for health care would increase access significantly.”

 

The argument over Medicaid is not even whether or not we should have it and how much we should pay for it. The question is WHY the government and its elected and unelected officials continue to offer shoddy health insurance to poor/disabled nonseniors and treat Medicaid as though it was a program gifted by the Almighty, or whatever entity you believe in. Medicaid has structural flaws in its payment model (higher taxes on everyone, large bureaucracy) and delivery of services and it needs to be modified or else Delaware, like nearly every state in the union, will be dragged down with Medicaid as a budget-buster this decade. And this all came BEFORE Medicaid expansion under ACA.

source:

http://blog.independent.org/2014/04/14/uninsured-patients-are-36-percent-more-likely-to-get-medical-appointments-than-are-medicaid-patients/

http://blog.independent.org/2014/04/08/medicaid-patients-access-to-specialists-has-dropped-almost-one-fifth-in-five-years/

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From Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Forbes.com: For the individual insurance market (plans sold directly to consumers); among the ten states seeing some of the sharpest average increases are: Delaware at 100%, New Hampshire 90%, Indiana 54%, California 53%, Connecticut 45%, Michigan 36%, Florida 37%, Georgia 29%, Kentucky 29%, and Pennsylvania 28%.

 

You read that right. No state in America had a bigger increase in individual insurance market premiums than our Diamond State. Delaware currently has only 2 health insurance companies, and Blue Cross Blue Shield gets almost all of the individual market. Coventry’s market is much smaller. With the over-emphasis on sicker and older people purchasing health insurance on the ACA “Marketplace” exchanges this past cycle, what will the prices look like in November when the Health Exchanges reopen?

Delaware’s exchange enrollment rate is official about 11,000 (final tally to be given at  future date), but most of those people obtained subsidies to purchase insurance or were added to the Medicaid rolls. All subsidies and Medicaid are paid for by taxpayers (Meaning: you)and so far the vast majority of Delaware enrollees were not the young and healthy individuals the state exchange needs for November.

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