Alabama is a state rife with Ayn Rand foundations well-larded with Austrian economists, from the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy of Troy University to the Ludwig von Mises Institute (LvMI), a tax-exempt libertarian organization located in Auburn, Alabama, to a blurb for an objectivist club forming at U. of Alabama, Tuscalosa:
If you’re a student at the University of Alabama interested in the ideas of Ayn Rand, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you’re a new fan of her fiction– such as Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, or Anthem– or a die-hard Objectivist, I invite you to join UA’s rational thinkers in discussing Ayn Rand’s ideas about literature, politics, and philosophy by participating in Alabama Students of Objectivism.The dizzying prospect of unfettered free markets with unlimited competition for the consumer -- or the state dollar. Right?
There 's the interesting problem of providing pharmaceuticals for the State of Alabama MedicAid program with a budget of $600,000,000. Wow! Six hundred DoubleMs, big money.
Six hundred MMs opened up to the glories of the Free Market and Competition and getting a good deal for the taxpayers of Alabama -- and the rest of us taxpayers around the United States -- after all the Red State of Alabama is a TAKER state, not a MAKER state like mine. I've got a vested interest in those 600 MMs.
Happens that some interesting language was insinuated into the 2013 House General Fund Budget that guaranteed that American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc., (APCI) would become the sole provider for a Pharmacy Benefit Plan for the State’s then $600,000,000 Medicaid program.
Sole provider? Like, um, monopoly? That doesn't sound like a free market with competition to me. How can this be going on in Ayn Rand's Alabama?
Waheeeell then -- shoot I can translate the word "well" into a three or four syllable word just as good as any Alabaman -- there's the matter of Republican Speaker of the Alabama House Mike Hubbard who "had a consulting contract with APCI," through his "business interests," you see. Hubbard the man and the Speaker of the Alabama House has a damned large lot of "business interests", just for the record.
Then, there's Greg Wren, Republican, formerly HD 75 of Alabama, the probable perp who placed the language into the 2013 House General Fund Budget that guaranteed that APCI would become the sole provider for a Pharmacy Benefit Plan for the State’s Medicaid program.
In a Statement of Facts to the State’s Attorney General’s prosecutors Wren, in a sworn statement, said that he was present at meetings at which the monopoly wording was worked out for the benefit of APCI.
And there's Ferrell Patrick:
Ferrell Patrick is a lobbyist affiliated with APCI. According to OpenBama, Patrick, has been a registered lobbyist for APCI, since 2012.But, what about Steve Clouse, Alabama HD 93?:
.... Patrick is not new to criminal investigations or shady deal making. In 2005, he was involved with Bill Blount in a business venture with Alabama Utility Services. The group become a part of a criminal investigation into possible wrong doing by the company. Blount was, sentenced to prison for his quid pro quo deal with Larry Langford. In exchange for clothes and cash, Blount received a piece of Jefferson County's sewer deals.
As for the “various legislators,” who attended meetings concern the granting of the monopoly to APCI, this becomes a more tricky and subjective matter.Was Clouse "asleep at the wheel"? Was he clueless about what was going on and its implications?
During the 2013, Legislative session Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, served as acting Chair of the House Ways and Means General Fund committee. (Rep. Jim Barton was the Chair but was away from the session many days because he was running for a senate seat).
Clouse told the Alabama Political Reporter in June, 2013, that he did not recall speaking to Hubbard about the APCI exclusive language but did say that he thought that Wren had introduced the wording. Clouse is certainly a contender to be one of the “various legislators,” who was in on meeting about the APCI monopoly. That Clouse did not recall any conversation with Hubbard would seem to defy the very way that Hubbard runs the House. But for now, the statement stands.
Is he naive about monopolies and the lack of openness and competition and transparency and accountability and just plain responsibility for the taxpayers of Alabama -- and me like the other taxpayers in MAKER Blue States who funnel taxdollars into welfare TAKER Red States like Alabama?
Did he know and not care about the corruption of the situation?
Concerned Taxpayers who care about their taxdollars want to know.