Skip to comments.Welcome to Medicaid for All
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.
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.
The Rats never let a bad idea die, in fact, they are always looking to expand them.
EXACTLY, that’s why everyone who can read should go and sign up today, help crash the system.
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).
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.
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
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.
See tag line.
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....”
Medicaid IS single payer.
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As I understand it, NOT signing up will crash the system sooner. Read about the "death spiral."
They’ll take your money,
then force you to lobby /protest /grovel /petition to get it back.
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.
Especially if you're one of those hated Norman Rockwell Americans. Die, die, all die! </Ezekiel Emmanuel>
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.
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.
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.