Indiana has drawn a line in the sand. Earlier this year Indiana passed legislation that would prohibit Planned Parenthood from providing any services to Medicaid recipients or, more accurately, receiving payment for said services. The Obama admistration has responded by threatening to withhold the entire federal share of Medicaid funding. The legislation was not part of Governor Mitch Daniels agenda but rather an idea long advocated by "right to life" state legislators who argue it's time to start standing up for principle. Other states that have long wanted to defund Planned Parenthood are watching to see if Indiana can buck the federal mandates and somehow keep Medicaid intact. If Indiana is successful Kansas and North Carolina will probably follow. The Obama administration must now decide if it is willing to cut off Medicaid to an entire state just to keep Planned Parenthood working.
Alice Rivilin, Director of the budget in the Clinton administration and a member of the Obama defect commission has taken the Republican position in the debt ceiling debate. Dr.Rivilin told CNN " There's no mystery about what we ought to do, we just need to get on with it," Rivilin, like Republicans, would only raise the debt limit if plans to cut long term spending were attached to the debt limit bill. She also cautioned against tax increases as part of the debt limit bill.
Tennessee has enacted legislation that make the reforms recently labeled as radical in Wisconsin seem almost trivial. Tennessee has eliminated collective bargaining for school teachers entirely. Under the new legislation if school board and unions agree on a position then “memorandums of understanding,” which replace the collective bargaining contract are adopted. Where there is no agreement the school board is allowed to set the terms unilaterally.
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