By Judith Siers-Poisson on February 27, 2008

David Roberts of Grist.org writes in the Nation, "So there you have it: just in the past week, elite opinion against coal has accelerated, two major coal projects have run into embarrassments, and an independent report has confirmed that things are only going to get worse." Power consulting firm Wood MacKensie says that "the rate of coal plant cancellations accelerated during 2007 to the point that more than 50% of the new coal capacity announced since 2000 has now been canceled." On top of that, the cost of building new power plants has increased 130% since the start of the decade. Desperation is palpable in industry's efforts in places like Kansas. After the Sunflower plant was denied a permit last year based on failure to meet air quality requirements, they leaned on their friends in the state legislature to pass a coal-friendly "compromise" bill. When Governor Kathleen Sebelius promised to veto the bill, Sunflower resorted to blatant bribery. The firm says they "will give $2.5 million over 10 years to Kansas State University ... but only if the plant is approved." But what about the promise of "clean coal"? Roberts states that "an official at Royal Dutch Shell said last week that carbon prices would have to reach about $100/tonne -- three times current levels -- before investment in carbon capture and storage would make economic sense."

Comments

We all remember the TV show “Roots” could this have been the real inspiration for AmeriChoice Health. The 101 Dumbest Moments In Business 2003 EDITION Whiffed pitch No. 6: blatant stereotyping. By Mark Athitakis April 1, 2003 (Business 2.0)– GRAND PRIZE WINNER, DUMBEST MOMENT OF 2002
In September, insurance company AmeriChoice brings trucks to blighted neighborhoods in New York City and gives away coupons for free chickens as an incentive for the underprivileged to switch their Medicare coverage. New York state senator Carl Kruger files a complaint with the state attorney general. The 101 Dumbest Moments In Business 2003 EDITION – April 1, 2003 Apr 1, 2003 … Just don’t tell him about the “Chinese health balls.” ….. In September, insurance company AmeriChoice brings trucks to blighted … New York state senator Carl Kruger files a complaint with the state attorney general….. Falling on his sword, Welch announces he’ll give up most of the perks,…

2009 and 2010 $120,000 from your tax dollars at work
Philadelphia PA Mayor Nutter received two years in a row $60,000 checks to help keep open and operate the city swimming pools. These checks came from AmeriChoice Health and on the surface seems like fine gifts. Yet, they are Bribes non the less, these checks come from a company who receives all its money from the Federal State Governments as a vendor for Medicare Medicaid services is not allowed to offer bribes kickbacks and money gifts of any kind in order to promote its share of the market place. This is also not allowed as a use of your taxpayers dollars yet it happens.What does it really cost the City of Philadelphia to receive this money? Americhoice Health has a long history of corruption over the years yet seems to be protected by those who are responsible to over see their actions why is that? Sorry must apologize just received a notice that AmeriChoice Health was under the impression they thought they were suppose to have started their very own stimulus and economic program package and the one they implemented, they had no idea it violated all the Stark ,Health and Kickbacks laws. Some one will have to notify the following departments it was all a mistake or error in judgement, the Department of Justice, CMS, Dept of health and Human resourses,the FBI,and IRS, and any other agency effected by this tragedy or unfortunate misunderstanding. No harm, no fowl, forgive and forget, OK, then how about some coupons for a free whole fried chicken…..

Among its provisions, the anti-kickback statute penalizes anyone who knowingly and willfully solicits, receives, offers or pays remuneration in cash or in kind to induce, or in return for: A. Referring an individual to a person for the furnishing, or arranging for the furnishing, of any item or service payable under the Medicare or Medicaid program; or B. Purchasing, leasing or ordering , or arranging for or recommending purchasing, leasing or ordering, any goods, facility, service or item payable under the Medicare or Medicaid program. Violators are subject to criminal penalties, or exclusion from participation in the Medicare and Medicaid rograms, or both. A violation of the anti-kickback law is a felony offense that carries criminal fines of up to $25,000 per violation, imprisonment for up to five years and exclusion from government health care programs.The federal anti-kickback statute, 42 U.S.C.§ 1320a-7b(b), prohibits individuals or entities from knowingly and willfully offering, paying, soliciting or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid or any other federally funded program.

If this were any one person not a corporation they would be in jail now, if the FBI were called in on this matter they would be in jail now, if the IRS were notified they would be in jail now. Since all Ameri-Choice checks come from the United Health’s home office they should be held equally responsible for any bribes, kickbacks, Stark, Fraud and inducements violations that have occured. Federal and State Governments have developed such a depended position with this company that laws and rules no longer apply for them.This role is nothing new for the AmeriChoice people and its been going on for years, look at some of the prior news articles that date back for years only now they can afford to hire the best of Law firms and give the most for Political contributations all on the back of the taxpayer. Sure the Laws have become tighter but you can still dance away their problems.

Three years ago they were reported to these Federal agency’s and as of todays date not only were they allowed to continue doing business but were never charged once. Protected vendor status sure, politics sure,limited government budgets sure, Federal and State officals looking the other way sure, and rather then stop these activities a strong desire not to rock the boat existed. Even with the vast changes in the laws and budgets,a hands off policy remains, you tell me what’s wrong with this picture? The Government created this monster and now they don’t know what to do about it, like shooting yourself in your own foot etc. Tons of money to advance their national growth, its market positions, tons of money for political donations, tons of money to send 75 millon back to its home office from New York state alone, tons of money to suppot National TV shows, tons of money to pay hugh State fines, tons of money to hire the very best law firms, tons of money to pay for bribes and kickbacks, tons of money for hugh salarys and bonuses, all done on the back of the American taxpayor, you see this company receives all its money from the Federal government. Should your tax dollars be held to a higher standard? Should the government agencys responsible for there review be held to that same standard?Should the IRS audit their corruption? Why has this company not been charged? How long can the buck be passed here in more ways then one? Hey, it’s your tax dollars don’t complain now then don’t complain later.tax dollars for bribes // Oct 6, 2010 at 8:57 am

Bill Moyers presents "United States of ALEC," a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of -- ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.