Skip to comments.States fall for Medicaid trap
Posted on 02/16/2013 1:34:32 PM PST by neverdem
Last week, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform disclosed how state officials in New York scammed federal taxpayers out of billions of dollar by exploiting the Medicaid system.
The federal government matches dollar for dollar what a state spends on Medicaid. New York spends $5,118 per day per patient in state facilities for the mentally disabled, equivalent to $1.9 million a year per patient. Personal care for the home bound is a New York Medicaid benefit that includes grocery shopping and housekeeping, and it costs as much as $150,000 a year per recipient. Overall, New York spends more on Medicaid than the two most populous states in the U.S. California and Texas combined and hauls in more matching federal funds.
The congressional committee is calling for a federal investigation of New Yorks Medicaid spending. But this isnt just a New York problem.
The bigger culprit is the Medicaid matching rule, which invites abuse. It lays out a red carpet even for politicians who are otherwise inclined to be honest stewards of taxpayers money. And the problem is about to get much worse because the Obama health law lures states to loosen their Medicaid eligibility rules and expand enrollment by promising the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of the expansion until 2018, and then 90 percent of the cost thereafter. Thats a 9 to 1 match.
The invitation has enticed even conservative governors like John Kasich of Ohio and Jan Brewer of Arizona, an outspoken critic of President Obama and his health plan. Last week, both governors announced they will participate in Obamacares Medicaid expansion. Brewer said it would inject $2 billion into the states economy.
Not all governors are hurrying to the party. Ten have refused and another 20 are reserving decision.
States that accede to the Obamacare offer will no longer set eligibility rules based on what state budgets can handle. The federal government will call the shots. Packing the Medicaid rolls is the new health laws primary way of dealing with the uninsured, and it would expand Medicaid by an astounding 42 percent in Florida if Gov. Rick Scott (still undecided) goes along.
Last summer, a bipartisan State Budget Crisis Task Force, chaired by former New York Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, warned states not to go along with Obamacares Medicaid expansion. Every deficit-reduction plan being discussed in Washington includes abandoning that 9-to-1 match soon, the task force warned. States that expanded Medicaid to comply with the Obama health law would be plunged into fiscal disaster. Medicaid is already consuming a third or more of many state budgets.
Obama is assuming most governors Republicans as well as Democrats will ignore this danger and opt for the Medicaid expansion. If the governors capitulate, another health program will fall entirely under federal control.
The remedy is to abandon the concept that federal Medicaid payments increase when states spend more. Federal contributions to Medicaid should be fixed amounts, what some politicians call block grants. Its common sense a rarity in Washington.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and the author of Beating Obamacare.
Its a step towards federal single payer. Medicaid is the state-run health insurance program for the poor and uninsured.
States want to rid themselves of a major entitlement cost and the Feds are only too happy to help.
Not to worry. This is Magic Money that doesn't come from your taxpayers but magically appears out of "Obama's Stash"!
I can’t believe Jan Brewer fell for this. I thought she was a heck of a lot smarter than that.
Texas isn’t falling for that crap. I can’t believe tha governors mentioned above are participating. Don’t they realize that the federal funding is only temporary?
“New York spends $5,118 per day per patient in state facilities for the mentally disabled, equivalent to $1.9 million a year per patient.”
I would agree to be mentally disturbed outside a state facility — say on a Caribbean beach — for only $1,000/day. Think of the savings!
El wrongo you son of a postal worker!!! Wrongooooo!!!
Disappointing because both these Governors have been trying to stay within Conservative guidelines along the lines of the Tea Party. Now they deviate when it's the wrong time to give any encouragement to our presumptive emperor!
The Feds are suckering the states to expand their Medicaid rolls and then pull the rug out from under them. When that happens, the states will be stuck holding the bag. Then what?
Which 10 states have refused to be bilked by nobama? Anybody know?
“It lays out a red carpet even for politicians who are otherwise inclined to be honest stewards of taxpayers money”
That sentence makes about as much sense as slapstick in an opera.
As the economy continues to deteriorate, more and more workers will lose their jobs, adding to the Medicaid rolls.
In fact, some businesses will purposely lay off workers in order to decrease their employee numbers to the level where they aren’t required to pay for their employees’ health insurance. The Medicaid rolls will continue to swell.
The states that opt into ObamaCare will be reimbursed for their ballooning Medicaid costs, while the states that don’t won’t.
Governor John Kasich does not seem stupid to me for opting in. In fact, he may be able to win the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on the basis that he’s the only Republican governor whose state’s budget is still in balance, thanks to Medicaid reimbursements from Washington.
Then what? States with state income tax will have to increase the tax rate to subsidize the program. States with no state income tax will have to institute one to fund the program.
And the Feds will still be in charge of eligibity. What an ingenious plan!
I hope Perry sticks to his guns.
Let’s start a bidding war, I’ll volunteer to be mentally disturbed on a creek bank in South Carolina for $ 950.00 per day. What the heck, I’ll even volunteer to be sane for that much.
Why have a bidding war? Combined, we would save New York over $8,000/day.
Proud to tell you that Kansas is one. Obamacare is terrible policy and we’re all too aware of the mess Sebileus makes wherever she goes.
Dr. Carsons Prescription I linked the video where he upstaged Obama.
Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
Thanks for the ping!
Bump for a very important story.
Thanks for the ping.