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Welcome to Medicaid for All
Townhall.com ^ | January 7, 2014 | Mona Charen

Posted on 01/07/2014 4:16:08 PM PST by Kaslin

The Washington Post's Ezra Klein has found what he thinks is a bright spot amid the gloomy Obamacare news. When you hear what he's enthusiastic about, you'll perhaps understand why I wonder if there is any common ground at all between liberals and conservatives. Klein reports that Obamacare's "biggest success" is that 4 million new enrollees signed up for Medicaid as of November and the number should be even higher when December's statistics are tallied. "If the point of health care reform is covering people who need health insurance, the expansion of Medicaid should be a huge win."

Sorry, but the expansion of dependence on government is never cause for rejoicing. Conservatives acknowledge that a safety net is necessary for the poor, but we regard only the number of people leaving a government program like Medicaid as cause for celebration, not adding to the numbers who receive benefits. Klein is hardly alone. Nancy Pelosi describes unemployment benefits as the greatest possible "stimulus" to the economy. By this logic, we should put everyone on unemployment, right?

Why is it terrible news that millions more people are signing up for Medicaid? Here are just a few of the reasons:

Medicaid is one of the entitlements whose growth endangers national solvency. Together with Medicare, Medicaid was already consuming more than one in five federal dollars before the enactment of Obamacare. The growth in health care spending was one of the rationales for Obamacare, but expanding Medicaid spending simply contributes to the problem.

Medicaid is plagued by fraud. Among the common scams perpetrated by enrollees, the National Conference of State Legislatures lists "obtaining medications or products that are not needed and selling them on the black market, filing claims for services not received" and more. Providers commit fraud by "billing for services not performed, billing duplicate times for the same service, ordering excessive or unnecessary tests" and so forth. Just last month, dozens of Russian diplomats -- yes, noncitizens -- were charged with bilking Medicaid of $1.7 million over the course of nine years.

Medicaid is not just a program for the poor; it's a poor program. Reimbursement rates for doctors, dentists and other professionals are so low under Medicaid that enrollees have difficulty finding care. Having health insurance does not equate with having medical care. As Avik Roy recounts in "How Medicaid Hurts the Poor," there is a "massive fallacy at the heart of Medicaid, and therefore at the heart of Obamacare. It's the idea that health insurance equals health care." In fact, people without health insurance get care in a variety of ways. The startling news is that Medicaid enrollees fare worse on health outcomes than those with no health coverage at all.

Expanding Medicaid was sold on the premise that uninsured people were driving up health care costs by waiting until they were very sick before seeking care and thus overburdening emergency rooms. If the near poor had Medicaid coverage, the argument went, they would see doctors before their conditions became critical and required expensive emergency room treatment.

But research on Oregon's program, published in the journal Science, found the reverse to be true. Tracking 25,000 enrollees for a period of 18 months, researchers found that Medicaid patients used emergency rooms 40 percent more than similarly situated adults who lacked health insurance. Having a Medicaid card did not divert people away from emergency rooms and into primary care. The number of ER visits for nonemergency matters increased. There was no change in the number of visits for nonpreventable emergencies.

An earlier analysis of Oregon's data found that having a Medicaid card did not improve health outcomes. Medicaid patients were no healthier than the uninsured, except on one measure of mental health (which might be the result of people initially feeling -- however incorrectly -- that they had access to good medical care).

Medicaid is a poor program because it promises benefits but squeezes provider reimbursement to keep costs down. The result is rationing. The poor are forced to wait in long lines for treatment and are sometimes denied care altogether. Klein may applaud these results, but the poor clearly don't. Medicaid is also the model for Obamacare -- top-down price-fixing and mandates from Washington.

There are alternatives -- like a combination of health savings accounts and catastrophic insurance -- that would provide better care to the poor and an improved outlook for the nation's fiscal health. Klein's happy talk notwithstanding, there are no "successes" in Obamacare. Left alone, it will remake the entire health care system in Medicaid's image.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: 0bamacare; abortion; deathpanels; medicaid; obamacare; stateexchanges; zerocare

1 posted on 01/07/2014 4:16:08 PM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

These recommendations and criticism of govt healthcare have been around for years and have had zero effect on the debate. We’re headed for single payer and there’s no going back until the system completely crashes of its own weight.


2 posted on 01/07/2014 4:24:49 PM PST by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
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To: Kaslin

The Rats never let a bad idea die, in fact, they are always looking to expand them.


3 posted on 01/07/2014 4:25:45 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (The War on Drugs has been used as an excuse to steal your rights. Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: saganite

EXACTLY, that’s why everyone who can read should go and sign up today, help crash the system.


4 posted on 01/07/2014 4:28:45 PM PST by stockpirate (It appears good men have decided to do nothing, so evil is prevailing......)
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To: Kaslin
The Washington Post's Ezra Klein. . . . "If the point of health care reform is covering people who need health insurance. . . ."

This clause reveals the liberals' faulty premise. In truth, the point of the federal government is that it only exercise those powers explicitly delegated to it in the Constitution. Stealing money from some citizens (no matter how rich or evil), against their will, in order to give it to other citizens (no matter how nice or needy), or to pay their bills--that is not a power granted to the federal government in the Constitution. In fact, it is a form of involuntary servitude, which is prohibited in the Constitution. Yet this redistribution of wealth is the foundational tenet of the modern Democrat Party (since FDR).

5 posted on 01/07/2014 4:28:57 PM PST by Charles Henrickson (Constitutional conservative)
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To: FReepers
"Of course, I want people to have health care," Obama supporter Cindy Vinson said.

"I just didn't realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally."


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6 posted on 01/07/2014 4:35:14 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: saganite
We’re headed for single payer and there’s no going back until the system completely crashes of its own weight.

Agreed
Let's just look at what it will cost to put everyone on Medicare.
Medicare already consumes 3X what is put into it by the FICA deductions from those that are working.
This is 3% of your gross earnings....thus that needs to be increased to 9% of your earnings to actually cover what is being spent on those 65 or over.
Now we have to add in the medical expenses of everyone else thus raising the contribution to at least 15%(estimate)of gross earnings.
That's quite a hit to the productive part of society.

The above are just a SWAG guess. Maybe someone here could find a better approximation of the actual costs.

7 posted on 01/07/2014 4:38:40 PM PST by Politically Correct (A member of the rabble in good standing)
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To: Charles Henrickson

Right Charles...

I always cite the 13th Amendment to dumbfound liberals:

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Ummm, so I suppose the PRODUCERS in society are being PUNISHED FOR SOME SORT OF CRIME by the CONSUMERS (the GimmeDats)? /sarc


8 posted on 01/07/2014 4:43:12 PM PST by AlanGreenSpam (Obama: The First 'American IDOL' President - sponsored by Chicago NeoCom Thugs)
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To: Kaslin

The primary reason for the jump in Medicaid enrollment is that a change in the qualifications was included in the ObieCare bill. The same thing could have been accomlished with a one paragraph bill, and the remaining ObieCare funding could have used to increase Medicaid pay-out thereby not only saving billions, but actually improving the program’s quality of care and... most importantly... actually producing a net increase in the number of insured, something they haven’t accomplished so far.


9 posted on 01/07/2014 5:35:58 PM PST by ArmstedFragg (hoaxy dopey changey)
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To: Kaslin

See tag line.


10 posted on 01/07/2014 5:38:22 PM PST by Carry_Okie (0-Care IS Medicaid; they'll pull a sheet over your head and take your home to pay for it.)
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To: saganite

Well, Obaba likes Medicaid as he stole almost one trillion from Medicare.

Relative’s health insurance was $235/month.
Obama cancelled it and now?
ObamaCare equivalent: $409/month
Thanks Obama! /s

re. Medicaid...I knew a doctor who took Medicaid...was very frustrating for the doctor who said the Medicaid paid low, paid slow and often rejected claims which had to be repeatedly re-submitted. As soon a she had enough “paying patients” (with real insurance), she stopped seeing taking Medicaid patients...just was not worth the hassle.

But now, we have Obama Cr*pCare! Glory be!
“If you like your doctor....”
“If you like your insurance...”
“You will save $2,500 per year....”


11 posted on 01/07/2014 6:46:07 PM PST by OldArmy52 (The question is not whether Obama ever lies, but whether he ever tells the truth.)
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To: Kaslin

Medicaid IS single payer.


12 posted on 01/07/2014 6:57:16 PM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: Kaslin; RichInOC; Prince of Space; JoeFromSidney; TNMountainMan; alphadog; infool7; Heart-Rest; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

13 posted on 01/07/2014 6:58:39 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: stockpirate
Everybody signing up would be the Democrat/Socialist dream come true. Then everyone would be on Single Payer Health and the Miracle Medical advances of the Western World would be no more. No more research. No more new procedures. No more new medicines. No more new antibiotics to replace the ones fading due to pathogen immunity. It wouldwill be 1910 again. You get sick you die.
14 posted on 01/07/2014 7:00:12 PM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: stockpirate
EXACTLY, that’s why everyone who can read should go and sign up today, help crash the system.

As I understand it, NOT signing up will crash the system sooner. Read about the "death spiral."

15 posted on 01/07/2014 7:32:19 PM PST by upchuck (My Internet addiction is so bad... it's alt of ctrl.)
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To: Kaslin

They’ll take your money,
then force you to lobby /protest /grovel /petition to get it back.


16 posted on 01/08/2014 8:24:03 AM PST by 4Liberty (Mr President 'If you Like your college transcripts...can we see them?')
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To: Charles Henrickson
Yet this redistribution of wealth is the foundational tenet of the modern Democrat Party (since FDR).

The hallmark of every form -- Bolshevist, Fabian, Maoist -- of socialism is its complete disrespect for every alternative tradition of government. It has a Mephisto-stink of self-importance (Satanic pride?) about it.

17 posted on 01/08/2014 1:56:24 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: arthurus
You get sick you die.

Especially if you're one of those hated Norman Rockwell Americans. Die, die, all die! </Ezekiel Emmanuel>

18 posted on 01/08/2014 1:58:20 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: lentulusgracchus
It goes for the elite, too. I truly think they do not understand the ramifications of eliminating the last freemarket medicine on earth. Or they do and do not consider it because that is in the future and those people think about the future abstractly in terms of bringing the perfect society to Man. They also tend to think that researchers will do their researching for love of Mankind and will work for free. All the other expenses, of which the pay of the personnel is not the major portion, will just disappear in the socialist utopia. They point to all the medical research going on in Switzerland and Germany which have their own socialized medical systems but that research is dơne for the American Market which is the only way it gets paid for. When the American Market is gone, so is medical research. In a government system medicine is just one expense that has to be balanced against Military and Welfare and the funds required to finance the extreme amount of corruption that is endemic to the system. Research offers no immediate benefits and will not be paid for or will be financed meagerly with funds that will mostly get diverted to politicians personal interests.
19 posted on 01/08/2014 2:39:16 PM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: arthurus
In a government system medicine is just one expense that has to be balanced against Military and Welfare and the funds required to finance the extreme amount of corruption that is endemic to the system.

In the 60's a book appeared about the defeasance of the French navy in WW II by an (embarrassed) former French officer, Pierre Auphan. Auphan pointed directly to the socialist schemes of the former Socialist government of France, for the material and training deficiencies that largely immobilized the French fleet during the War. He also made the point that the Socialists always intended social schemes to compete with defense priorities, as a way of deflating the latter and weakening the country.

IOW, social schemes are basically an engine for destroying nation-states from within.

20 posted on 01/08/2014 4:02:19 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: arthurus

Like most liberals, Klein thinks Medicaid will provide healthcare for the poor, but he doesn’t really care about the quality of the medical care they will be getting. By being in favor of it, he can assuage any guilt he may feel about being a member of the elite class while simultaneously professing his compassion for the less fortunate.

I hope the slimy piece of excrement known as Ezra Klein rots in hell.


21 posted on 01/09/2014 3:05:43 PM PST by Prince of Space (Be Breitbart, baby. LIFB.)
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To: Prince of Space

Affluent conservatives who are embarrassed by or feel guilty for their wealth give their money away. Affluent liberals who are embarrassed by or feel guilty about their wealth take other people’s money and give it away.


22 posted on 01/09/2014 6:56:04 PM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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