Tag Archives: medicaid

Romney Will Kill Medicaid – Really!

When you can’t run on a record, what is one to do? Scare the masses, of course. It’s a bonus if you can demonize the opposition at the same time. The latest, non-disaster related scare tactic falls under healthcare. Paul Krugman is leading the charge on this one, giving the public an inaccurate lesson on the inner-workings of the Medicaid system. Of course, he’s doing this because evil Mitt Romney will gut the program if elected. Obviously, that’s not the important part of what Krugman said.

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So, what was so blatantly wrong with Krugman’s little lesson for the masses? Well, we can start with his numbers, since offering any at all is a fallacy. Here is the one plus to not offering many details whilst on the campaign trail. When your opposition attempts to figure out exactly what the impact of your “plans” will be, they honestly can’t. They are forced to lie, because they simply don’t know. (And, in a Presidential race, it really doesn’t matter what either candidate wants to do, since everything needs to get through Congress anyway.) So, for the sake of brevity, we’ll just dispense with the numbers entirely, since there’s no way to prove or disprove them anyway, shall we?

Let’s move on to the meat and bones of this little lesson, to what Medicaid really is, and how it works. Krugman’s so cute when he tries to explain things to the masses. It would be ever so much nicer if he would at least attempt to get the facts, though. It’s really not good when even Wikipedia gets it right, and you don’t. Well, maybe it was the fact-checker’s day off at the Times. Yes, Medicaid is relatively good at keeping medical costs down, but no it is not because of the government. You see, for quite some time now, Uncle Sam has contracted out this part of the government healthcare system to the private sector. Medicaid recipients have private insurance policies with premiums that are subsidized by the government. That also blows a big gaping hold in Krugman’s other claim about governmental largesse – the real reason why the government doesn’t have as much “bureaucracy” in this whole equation is because the government doesn’t actually “do” anything but pay the bills. But, I think that most conservatives already know that. Knowing that Krugman is running about telling liberals this nonsense is useful, though. At least we can point out the errors in their sources.

Now, over at the Independent Women’s Forum, there is something of interest on this issue. They have pointed out that this really shouldn’t be a nationwide ballot issue, but a state one. Now that’s getting back into real Romney territory. That is practically straight out of a Paul Ryan stump speech on healthcare reform – or a Romney one pointing out that healthcare shouldn’t be on the Fed plate in the first place. So, when the whining liberals start claiming that Romney wants to take away their Medicaid, if you’re not just going to smack them (verbally since we don’t want folks going to jail), point out that he wants to let the states handle that program, because they know better what their residents need. It’s simple math and geography here. It’s better to have someone closer to you managing these things, than it is to have some pencil pushers far away, right? Who knows? Maybe you’ll actually get a few fence pole sitters with that logic in the next few days!

It Would Be ‘Priceless’ If Romney Admitted He Was Wrong

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John C. Goodman challenges Americans to rethink healthcare in his book from the Independent Institute, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision that determined that the individual mandate was constitutional, there has been much talk about “repeal and replace.” That has lead to the question, what does the GOP have to offer to replace Obamacare?

While Goodman’s suggestions throughout Priceless should probably form the basis of any GOP plan, it’s questionable whether or not that will actually happen. The book is necessarily repetitive, because it suggests a very radical change from what we currently have. Bluntly, the concept of people paying for routine healthcare at a market rate with their own money could be considered frightening, especially to seniors on a fixed income. But, one must keep in mind that Goodman is a long-standing proponent of Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s), and his plan is that people rely HSA’s for healthcare costs not covered by real insurance. In his plan, health insurance would resemble casualty insurance, and would primarily be there to cover major health care expenses.

Radical as his theories may be, Goodman has managed to get the endorsements of a couple former CBO Directors, and a former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, based on posted reviews. Well, it would be a better sign if those officials were still working in their respective agencies, and stated publicly that they agreed with his ideas. Of course there are some GOP politicians that have come out saying that they are impressed with Goodman’s book and theories. But there is nothing from Mitt Romney. That’s not surprising, since Goodman has used Romney’s healthcare reform in Massachusetts as a policy poster child of what not to do – or an example of coming attractions nationwide under Obamacare. Either way, it is anything but praise, like the following:

In fact, there is nothing in the legislation [the Affordable Care Act] that makes “healthcare a right.” Nor is there anything in the new law that makes the role of government more just or fair. To the contrary, a lot of knowledgeable people (not just conservative critics) predict that access to care is going to be more difficult for our most vulnerable populations. That appears to have been the experience in Massachusetts, which President Obama cites as the model for the new federal reforms. True enough, Massachusetts cut the number of uninsured in that state in half through then-Governor Mitt Romney’s health reform. But while expanding the demand for care, the state did nothing to increase supply. More people than ever are trying to get care, but because there has been no increase in medical services, it is more difficult than ever to actually see a doctor.

Far from being fair, the new federal health law will give some people health insurance subsidies that are as much as $20,000 more than the subsidies available to other people at the same level of income.

Right after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Obama administration health advisers Robert Kocher, Ezekiel Emanuel, and Nancy-Ann DeParle announced that the new health reform law “guarantees access to healthcare for all Americans.”

In fact, nothing in the act guarantees access to care for any American, let alone all Americans. Far from it. Again, take Massachusetts as the precedent. The waiting time to see a new family practice doctor in Boston is longer than in any other major US city. In a sense, a new patient seeking care in Boston has less acess to care than new patients everywhere else.

Fairly harsh words for Romney’s healthcare reform that the campaign has undoubtedly been trying to figure out precisely how to deal with on the road. But, there’s one option, albeit unlikely. Why not admit that the Massachusetts health care reform law was a mistake? It’s not like there’s any shortage of factual proof to back that assertion, since Goodman has already taken the time to not only find it, but also expound on it. Sure, it’s off the reservation for a candidate to admit flaws unless there is absolutely no other option. The Romney camp isn’t there, but this isn’t a typical situation either.

While Obamacare has some popular features, in general it is disliked by a majority of Americans. Now that the actual costs for the program are becoming more clear, the need to come up with “something better” should be high on the list of things to do for the Romney folks. Saying that repealing Obamacare on day one isn’t enough – back to that whole GOP “repeal and replace” theme. Goodman’s plan is to move healthcare to a market-driven system, and this is something that a good businessman can manage much better than a typical politician. The left has been hammering on Romney’s background at Bain Capital in an attempt to portray him as an out-of-touch corporate man. But if the GOP “replace” plan was to slowly shift healthcare and health insurance to a true business model, even a past as the most ruthless of corporate marauders could be sold as an asset.

Goodman points out that the primary problem with healthcare is the fact that there is no real price for anything in the industry. Because of this, this complex system does not behave like any other economic system. Contrary to what policy makers would like to have people believe, the problem of increasing healthcare costs is not the amount of money being paid to providers. The problem lies in the fact that people are encouraged to over-consume healthcare services when they are healthy, and under-utilize services when they are ill. This is the direct result of insurance companies catering to the healthy, primarily because their care costs less. Because people are not directly paying for services rendered, and have no real control of healthcare dollars, there is no incentive for them to be frugal in their consumption of healthcare. Bureaucracy has created an environment of wasteful spending, and perverse incentives that keep those that need care the most from actually getting it at all, or at the very least, getting it in the most cost effective way possible. Priceless, while a repetitive text, should be considered required reading for anyone that honestly wants to learn about what ails our current healthcare system, and what problems Obamacare will undoubtedly exacerbate in the near future.

Obama claimed that he made history with his landmark healthcare legislation. If Romney could manage to be daring enough to publicly admit that his Massachusetts plan is fundamentally flawed, and offer a solution along the lines of those offered by Goodman, the upcoming election could end up re-writing that historical moment. The Supreme Court left this issue squarely on the shoulders of the politicians, and that should be interpreted as a call to the GOP to declare open season on failed Obama policies in healthcare, and everything else. The only wrong answers are already on the books thanks to Obama. It remains to be seen whether or not Romney will have the courage to stand up and offer something more than just a promise to undo Obamacare on day one. What about day two?

How Much Does The Government Really Have To Buy A Vote?

A break down of exactly how much does the government REALLY has to buy votes, who pays taxes, who does’t pay taxes, and how much each department spends. Bill Whittle calls Barack Obama’s $1 billion that he will spend to get re-elected “chump change” in comparison. These Big Government statistics are 22,000 times that amount… and each dollar is spent buying votes!

Barack Obama will have ONE BILLION DOLLARS to spend on his re-election in 2012. Bill calls that chump change. Find out how the Big Government statists spent 22,000 times that amount on buying votes in 2011 alone!

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Mama Grizzly Denied

It is no secret that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are in major need of overhauling. In fact, these three entitlements are some of the most heavily debated issues for both political parties.

What no one on either side of the political aisle will stop and think about is how the abuses of these systems that were created to help are now hurting the very ones that need it the most.

My husband and I have adopted 5 children from the foster care system. One of the benefits we receive from the state for them is healthcare in the form of Medicaid until they are 18 years of age.

We received our youngest child when he was only 7 weeks old. He was born addicted to cocaine, and when he came to us, he was still experiencing withdrawal tremors from the drug he was born addicted to. This is one of the most excruciatingly painful things I have ever experienced in my life! I felt so helpless, just wanting to make the pain go away for him!

Thankfully, he stopped having the withdrawal tremors. He is now a healthy, vibrant 3 1/2 year old who is into absolutely everything!

However, about 6 months ago, we began to notice a spot on his spine. It actually began as a bruise, which we originally thought was caused by his tumbling around with his two older brothers.  He may be the youngest, but he thinks he is as big as they are!

Unfortunately, the bruise did not go away. I took him to the doctor, and she told me that bruises of this kind take a very long time to heal. She explained that they are deep, so the healing process and time is much more extensive than a “normal” bruise. Feeling slightly better about things, we went about life, watching and waiting.

However, while the bruise eventually went away, a bump began to appear on his back, in the very same spot. I took him to the doctor yet again. She examined him, and determined that due to the fact that she could move the bump around, there was nothing to be alarmed about. This time, I wasn’t so sure. She told me to keep a watch on it, and if it didn’t go away, bring him back.

Rather than going away, the bump grew bigger. I took him back to the doctor yet again, and finally received a referral to a dermatologist.

Three weeks later, I was finally able to see the dermatologist. Upon examination, he determined that he needed to refer us to a neurologist. I questioned him extensively, and he explained that it could be a number of things, including the possibility of fluid leaking from his spine. This set off alarm bells for me! I tried desperately not to panic, but the thought that this is a real possibility is alarming!

The dermatologist also scheduled an MRI, so the neurologist would have this information at that appointment.

That evening, while discussing everything with my husband, we began to question the length of time it was going to take to get the MRI.  I told him that I would call the doctor’s office back the next day, to see if there was any way we could get the appointment moved up.

Before I had a chance to call, they were calling me to give me the neurologist’s number. I started telling the nurse about my concerns for the length of time we were still going to have to wait. She told me that when she first called to make the MRI appointment, the first available was in March! The doctor was not happy with this, so he personally called back to get an appointment sooner. The nurse assured me that if he had thought it was an absolute emergency, he would have gotten him in immediately! She advised me that if my son complained of his back hurting we simply needed to take him to the emergency room.

We’ve made the necessary arrangements for both appointments- the MRI and the neurology- and were simply waiting.

Then I received a call from the dermatologist office telling me that Medicaid has denied the MRI request! Remember: the children are on Medicaid due to the fact that they were adopted through the state Foster Care System. This is not simply a case of irresponsible parenting on our part.

When the nurse told me that Medicaid had denied the request, I got angry! She said the reason they gave for the denial was because there “was not enough documentation” to warrant an MRI!

Now, if you are not familiar with what an MRI is, WebMD will help explain it:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. In many cases MRI gives different information about structures in the body than can be seen with an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan. MRI also may show problems that cannot be seen with other imaging methods.
As you can see, an MRI is a TEST! The bureaucrats who make the decisions on who is approved and who is not approved can’t take into account that he has been by his pediatrician on 3 separate occasions, as well as a dermatologist. Four doctor appointments is not enough documentation to have a test performed to see if it is something that will require surgery.
However, a local dentist chain has “earned millions by targeting children on Medicaid.” This has gone on for years! My children were actually targeted by this very dentist chain, and had NUMEROUS “cavities” according to the dentists. It sure is strange- we’ve not had a SINGLE cavity since that visit, and the 3 previous visits were cavity free as well! Interestingly enough, the cavity free appointments were not at that clinic!
Unfortunately, they were still in foster care at the time, and not adopted, so I did not have the options I have now that they are adopted!
It took MONTHS, if not YEARS, for this dentist chain to be investigated, and in fact, I was interviewed in the process of the investigation. All this time, approvals went out from Medicaid with no questions asked. Yet, a test for a potentially harmful, or even deadly problem is denied?
This is just one specific situation I know of personally! There are thousands upon thousands of stories of medicaid fraud that go on daily in this country, with nothing at all being done! Yes, there are investigations, but much more needs to be done! Stop the fraud- by doctor’s and recipients, and you will save BILLIONS of dollars (possibly even TRILLIONS of dollars at this point, since the previously linked article is from 2005)!
We have reached a breaking point in our society. We talk about helping those in need- such as orphans- yet we have allowed fraud to run rampant on both sides of the process. We are receiving nothing but lip service from both political parties who claim they are seeking real solutions to the problems we are facing as a nation. Those who are truly in need cannot receive the necessary help because so many before them have abused the system. However, those who know how to “work” the system are allowed to continue “working” it, while those who truly need it are forced to do without.
As a Mama Grizzly, I am watching my little boy like a hawk! At the slightest inkling of increased pain, we have been advised to take our son to the emergency room. Medicaid has denied my son the necessary test to determine what must be done, but rest assured I will not sit idly by! I have made it my life’s goal to fight for these children who start out in life with so much against them! I will not allow these innocent children to pay the price for the actions of those before them!
It is a crying shame that we have allowed our innocent children to carry the burdens of this nation on their backs. They are paying the price for an out-of-control society that refuses to face reality! This is their future we are squandering away!

A Better Way To Cut The Deficit

The Congressional Supercommittee has failed to come up with a deficit reduction plan. Personally, I’m thankful for that, since the very existence of the “supercommittee” was a Constitutional violation.

I won’t get into a long explanation here of the debated cuts-which-weren’t-actually-cuts, or the sequestration of funds, or the odd process by which the supercommittee would have presented a bill. It would be too much like explaining a Rube Goldberg invention.

Instead, I’ll discuss the other budget proposal, the one which the supercommittee apparently never considered: Just stop spending!

Let me explain: According to the Congressional Budget Office, a “cut” includes any reduction in planned future spending, even if the total amount spent is greater than current spending. To use Neil Cavuto’s analogy, it’s similar to a diet where a person plans to gain 100 pounds in ten years, but instead only gains 50 pounds and calls it a “reduction”. The “cuts” the supercommittee considered were “cuts” of this type.

The Tea Party proposal, which wasn’t even considered by the supercommittee, would have frozen federal spending for ten years. That’s it. Project the federal budget for 2021 at $3.8 trillion- the current amount.

By CBO’s standard, this would have scored as a $9 trillion cut over ten years- and bring federal spending into virtual balance.

This proposal presents one challenge: Certain areas of federal spending will naturally increase over time- namely, Social Security (as new retirees begin collecting benefits), interest payments on the national debt, and “other federal mandatory spending” (the U.S. government’s contractual obligations).

In order to offset these anticipated increases over the long term, actual cuts would be needed in other areas immediately. To give an idea of the shape of these cuts, here is a pie chart (image right) of federal spending from 2010 (the current proportions are very similar).

Something you’ll notice right away: 80% of the federal budget is made up of just six expenses: Social Security, the Department of Defense, other federal mandatory spending, Medicare, Medicaid/SCHIP, and interest on the national debt. The other 20% is “everything else“.

The Tea Party proposal didn’t include specific cuts. Simply an agreement to freeze the budget would have been a huge victory. I’ll take a little license here and make some “proposals” of my own to keep the budget amount at roughly $3.8 trillion for ten years.

1) Freezing the military budget isn’t a bad thing. Admiral Mike Mullen offered a $100 billion reduction is DoD spending in 2010, which he said could be accomplished without making major changes to our military posture, defunding current operations, or defaulting on contractual obligations. I’ll take Adm. Mullen at his word, and assume that these cuts could also be implemented in the form of reducing expenditures over time by freezing the military budget (and assuming that some of our current operations will end within the next ten years).

2) Offset growth in “other federal mandatory spending” by cutting in other areas. The “other federal mandatory spending” category is made up of the federal government’s contractual obligations- military and civil service pensions, federal unemployment extension funds promised to the states, food stamp and HEAP funds, etc.

It goes without saying that there is substantial work to be done in reducing (and in some cases, eliminating) these expenditures- but this is work that can only be done over the long-term. Among these solutions would be transferring responsibility for food and heating assistance to the states, privatizing long-term unemployment insurance, converting future federal pensions into defined contribution programs, and the like. Naturally, some of the solution to these expenses is fixing our broken economy, which is far too long a subject for this post.

In the short term (i.e. over the next ten years), the amount of these expenses would have to be offset.

3) Paul Ryan is right- privatize Medicare (and block-grant Medicaid). Ryan’s plan, which includes an $18,000 annual premium subsidy and, for low-income seniors, a cash account of up to $9,500 to offset out-of-pocket expenses, will reduce the projected cost increases of Medicare- but it will still increase in cost as more baby boomers enter retirement.

Offset these increases by cutting Medicaid funding by 20% or more, and block-granting the remaining funds to the states. Federal regulations add to the states’ cost of supplying Medicaid, so cutting regulations offsets some of the reductions in funds. Let the states decide how to spend the rest of the money- for example, Mitch Daniels’ highly-effective (and cost-reducing) “Healthy Indiana Plan”.

Also: It strikes me as a total failure of the GOP message machine that the generous amounts proposed by Ryan- $18,000 in insurance premiums and $9,500 in a cash account- weren’t being used to sell the idea. Imagine this conversation by pundits on TV:

Democrat Pundit: “Ryan’s plan will kill Medicare, which is a great program!”
Republican Pundit: “Seniors would get up to $27,000 every year to buy insurance and pay out-of-pocket costs, and seniors get to choose their own insurance and keep their own doctor.”

Argument killed.

4) Offset increases in interest payments by cutting departments. Since the budget won’t balance overnight, the national debt would increase in the short-term. This means interest payments on the national debt would increase as well. In the long term, we’ll need strategies for paying down the debt- sale of federal lands, for example- but in the short-term, we can offset the expected increase in interest payments by cutting federal agencies. This is where the “everything else” which makes up 20% of the total budget comes into play.

There are lots of opportunities here- eliminate the Departments of Education, Commerce, and uhh… (yes, I know, it’s an old joke). Cut earmarks and foreign aid. You, the reader, undoubtedly know these talking points by now, so I won’t waste your time repeating them.

5) The big one: Social Security. This is the area which will grow exponentially over the next ten to fifteen years, as the Baby Boom generation enters retirement. It’s also a political minefield: Freezing social security payment amounts would mean political suicide for the GOP.

Again, there’s a long-term fix for Social Security in the form of privatization. But, as with any long-term solution, there’s a short-term problem to address as well.

What’s needed here is a “bold plan” (please forgive the Herman Cain-ism), and Walter Williams has one: Offer an exchange of Social Security payments for a federal land grant. The federal government currently holds 29% of the landmass of the continental United States- nearly 650 million acres. Offering this land to those who will enter Social Security in 10-20 years, in exchange for their Social Security payments, could accomplish two things:

a) offset projected Social Security expenses;

b) create a demand for development in the states where this land is held- Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Nevada, etc.- for new home construction, road development, electrical, natural gas, and water supply systems, service-oriented businesses such as grocery stores and restaurants, and the like.

I think this is a terrific idea, and merits much more attention than it currently recieves.

In sum: It’s easy to overcome the budget hyperbole from both sides of the aisle and see a solution to our budget problems. All you need is a calculator, a pie chart, and Occam’s razor.

The Herman Cain/ Newt Gingrich Sit-Down

Last night two GOP Presidential candidates squared off in what was referred to as a Lincoln-Douglas style debate. CSPAN really came through in a grand scale by airing the complete debate, and they should be commended for that decision. The debate was sponsored by the Texas Tea Party Patriot PAC, and was more of an informal sit-down discussion between Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich ,than it was an actual debate. The sit-down was held in Houston Texas, and the timekeeper was Rep. Steve King of Iowa, a staunch conservative favorite of grassroots Patriotic Americans across the nation, including the Tea Party groups that played a major part in rejecting big-government Liberals in the 2010 mid-term elections. Rep. King was obviously chomping at the bit to jump into these discussions, and stated so a few times. Why not allow him or other members of Congress in on some of these discussions in future sit-downs? This sit-down was more informative than all of the past media-circuses posing as 2012 GOP Presidential debates….. combined!  This event was limited to 3 main topics: How to reform Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Very good choice of three very important problems facing America in the very near future.

The timing of the event was somewhat problematic for politically active college-age voters and football fans in general, as it aired at the exact same time as what was billed as the college football game of the century between #1-ranked LSU and #2-ranked Alabama. (LSU beat Bama in a game of field goals 9-6 in overtime, by the way.)  Personally, I flipped over to C-SPAN during a commercial while watching the game and never went back. Yes, the Cain-Gingrich sit-down was that interesting to me, once I caught a glimpse of the totally relaxed atmosphere, and the fact that both candidates were given the full amount of uninterrupted time to explain their solutions to today’s problems if elected as our President in 2012. 

 

Now comes the time for some hard truths that came out of this sit-down. While it should come as no surprise that Herman Cain was in over his head in going up against the super-experienced and very government-savvy Newt Gingrich, what did come off as a surprise was the fact that Mr. Cain was shown to be largely incapable of thoroughly explaining realistic, unique solutions to today’s problems in America during this sit-down. (Other than relying on past soundbites and following Mr. Gingrich’s lead on most occasions last night.) For those who may think I am being too hard on Mr. Cain here, I,ll give you an example:

Mr. Cain constantly says that he will use the “Chilean Model” when asked about how he would deal with our Social Security impending insolvency. He repeats how Chile fixed their SSI problem decades ago, and that he would just use that system here in America. While that makes for a good soundbite, the fact is that Chile didn’t have anywhere near the unfunded liabilities that our SSI program is facing today, their economy is miniscule compared to America’s, and Chile installed their program before their economy grew by leaps and bounds, allowing them to create a sustainable program in a growing economy. The differences can be seen here, from traveldocs.com, in which we see the following related facts:  

Chile has pursued sound economic policies for nearly 3 decades. ( America simply has not, as we are now $15 trillion in debt ) Chile’s approach to foreign direct investment is codified in the country’s foreign investment law, which gives foreign investors the same treatment as Chileans. Registration is simple and transparent, and foreign investors are guaranteed access to the official foreign exchange market to repatriate their profits and capital. Net foreign direct investment in Chile in 2010 was $18.2 billion, up 43% over 2009. Chile is moving forward with true free market principles that are based on a very limited and transparent government. This is the direct opposite of the direction Barack Obama is taking America. During the most recent recession, Chile was basically unscathed and actually grew their economy by a very healthy 5.2% 2010. America? Our credit rating was downgraded for the first time in U.S. History.

Simply stating that what works in Chile will work in America just doesn’t cut it as being a viable answer as to how we can fix our SSI problems. Mr. Gingrich laid out a complete plan to reform our Social Security program last night, in which it starts out with making SSI the separate program it was originally designed to be. Take it out of the general budget. Force politicians to quit using it to prop up our national debt that they have racked up over the past 4 decades. Newt elaborated on how the government is basically robbing the people blind and how they are lying to our youth when forcing them to pay into an SSI system that simply will not be there for them when they retire. While that hard truth will have Liberal heads exploding across America this week, this is the exact kind of truth in messaging we must have in America today. Absent this kind of truth-telling, we will never be able to resolve our entitlement programs looming insolvency,  and will not be able pass on the American freedoms and prosperity opportunities to future generations of Americans that past generations have enjoyed. While telling the truth about the actions of our government seems to be taboo in most political circles today, this sit-down in the great State of Texas is a must-see event for all Americans. “The truth shall set you free.”

In summary, Herman Cain was the student and Newt Gingrich was the professor during this sit-down. While that was pretty much to be expected, we can’t ignore the amount of very important information that came out of this sit-down on how to move America forward and get this country back to running a surplus, ( as opposed to today’s trillion dollar deficits) by reforming our entitlement programs. Mr. Cain wrapped up this event with a hilarious question to Mr. Gingrich that asked what would Newt do first in his position as Vice President, alluding to the situation that when Cain was elected President, he would select Newt as his VP.  Newt was laughing so hard he had trouble answering the question.  Finally newt replied along the lines of that he would take a lesson from former VP Dick Cheney and “Not go hunting.”  This was a marvelous display of the self-sacrificing teamwork/expressed desire to unite to defeat Obama that the GOP needs to show the people more of as we head towards next year’s presidential elections. A team of 8 dedicated Conservatives (as opposed to 8 individuals fighting against each other) will show the nation they mean business in taking America back from the Liberal Party in 2012.

For those who may have missed the debate, you may watch it in it’s entirety here. Special thanks go out to our friends at the Texas Tea Party Patriots PAC that brought us this very informative event. Thank you again, C-SPAN for airing it. The Cain/Gingrich sit-down will also be re-aired several times on C-Span today. Get involved. Get educated. Watch that event.

 

Footnote: Did I forget to mention the fact that NO TV station would sign on to air this debate? Why is that? Because they would not be allowed to ask their “gotcha questions” or attempt  to embarrass the GOP by starting petty fights, or maybe it was because they couldn’t ask them what kind of pizza they prefer? Fox is supposed to be fair and balanced, yet proved themselves to be just as hypocritical and embarrassing to truth-seeking Americans as the rest of the media puppets of today, when it came time to air this event.  Shame on all of you, as that was a huge disservice to all concerned Americans today.

 

 

Put Me In Charge

This is  a newspaper article that was originally published on November 18, 2010 in the Waco Tribune Herald in Waco, Texas.

I first read it in an email that was forwarded to me by our staff cartoonist, the ever talented A.F. Branco, and it is just too good not to share!  The email asked if I would have the guts to pass it on. I’ll do more than forward it to a few friends, I’ll share it with ALL THE WORLD to see!

This 21-year-old lady understands things more than most people 2 or 3 times older than she is!  She sees her future crumbling in front of her, and she sees the solutions as nothing but common sense. I would have to say I most definitely agree with her! There is not a single thing that I disagree with her on! If she ever runs for office, I will DEFINITELY vote for her!

 Put me in charge . . .

Put me in charge of food stamps. I’d get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for Ding Dongs or Ho Ho’s, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.

Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I’d do is to get women Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations. Then, we’ll test recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine and document all tattoos and piercings. If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, smoke or get tats and piercings, then get a job.

Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in a military barracks? You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. Your “home” will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your own place.

In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or you will report to a “government”  job. It may be cleaning the roadways of trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you. We will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo and speakers and put that money toward the “common good”.

Before you write that I’ve violated someone’s rights, realize that all of the above is voluntary. If you want our money, accept our rules. Before you say that this would be “demeaning” and ruin their “self esteem,” consider that it wasn’t that long ago that taking someone else’s money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.

If we are expected to pay for other people’s mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.

AND while you are on Government subsistence, you no longer can VOTE! Yes that is correct. For you to vote would be a conflict of interest. You will voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Government welfare check. If you want to vote, then get a job.

State Medicaid Budgets Slashed / Where's the Outrage?

As we see President Obama currently campaigning across America and telling citizens that Republicans are out to hurt the poor, pollute the air and push Granny off the cliff, we see that the President’s administration is approving cuts to State medicaid healthcare programs, some of the them seeing as much as a 10% total reduction in funding. With medicaid costs soaring, many state budgets are on the verge of insolvency. Driven by higher enrollment and medical costs,  Medicaid spending was projected to rise an average of 11.2% in fiscal 2011, which ended in June, from $427 billion in 2010, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. We were promised that healthcare costs would go down for everyone if Obama-care was passed into law, yet it is proving to do just the opposite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For fiscal year 2012, the association estimated state Medicaid spending will rise 19%, largely because of the end of the federal stimulus dollars.

Medicaid enrollment has exploded in large part due to the mandates in Obama-care that has made healthcare insurance so expensive that companies could no longer afford to offer it to their workers. While the stimulus package was touted as a way to spur the economy through such things as “shovel-ready-jobs” a huge part of it was spent to shore up over-burdened State Medicaid budgets caused by, you guessed it, the passing of Obama-care. If this was not the case, then why has the Obama administration had to hand out over 1300 Obama-care waivers, which temporarily allows health insurers to offer low cost plans,( which is outlawed in Obama-care) as of May, 2011?

Using federal stimulus dollars to prop up exploding medicaid costs due to Obama-care forcing millions of more people to be put on Medicaid rolls was just another gimmick to try to cover up the truth about the Liberal Democrats so-called health-care reform. As the stimulus dollars dried up, states are forced to make steep cuts to their Medicaid programs. This will hurt folks who had health care insurance from work before the passage of Obama-care, but are now on medicaid, plus the poorest of the poor. Where is the outrage?

Check this out for just one example of what is being done to the poor people on medicaid today:  More States limiting Medicaid hospital stays. What stands out the most in that article is the fact that many States have already received federal approval to cut Medicaid budgets, yet those facts have largely been hidden from us. Arizona, which last year stopped covering certain transplants for several months, plans to limit adult Medicaid recipients to 25 days of hospital coverage a year, starting as soon as the end of October.

Hawaii plans to cut Medicaid coverage to 10 days a year in April, the fewest of any state.

Both efforts require federal approval, which state officials consider likely because several other states already restrict hospital coverage.

Many states will simply refuse to discharge a patient who needs to stay the full time in the hospital, and say they will just eat the extra costs, but how long will they be able to keep their doors open under that scenario? Where is the outrage about [Democrat] Governor Jerry Brown cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from Medi-Cal, with the Obama administration’s approval?  Where is the outrage ?

Los Angeles Times: California Gets OK For Large Cuts To Medi-Cal
The Obama administration will allow California to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from Medi-Cal, a move doctors and experts say will make it harder for the poor to get medical treatment. California plans to reduce rates by 10 percent to many providers, including physicians, dentists, clinics, pharmacies and most nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Thursday (Gorman, 10/28) Where is the outrage on how Obama and the far left Liberals in California want the poorest of the poor in California to go without medical care?

North Carolina is facing the same dilemma of medicaid budget cuts as California:

Associated Press/Houston Chronicle: Different Takes On NC Medicaid Shortfall Argued
Republican budget-writers and Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue’s administration quarreled Thursday over why North Carolina’s Medicaid program could face a $139 million shortfall this coming year. State health regulators told the Legislature’s chief oversight committee they’re falling short of meeting $356 million in net reductions for the division that oversees Medicaid, the government-run health care plan for poor children, older adults and the disabled. They said the savings are difficult, if not impossible to come by this year in part due to slow enrollment of the chronically ill in the state’s managed-care arm (Robertson, 10/27).

What has exasperated this problem is the fact that in the 2010 elections, Republicans were elected into governments across America and are now facing actual truth in numbers about their State budgets, many of which are mandated by law to be balanced annually. State budget battles are exposing the exploding medicaid cost-burdens being forced onto state budgets due to Obama-care mandates, and the attempt to hide these costs through federal tax dollars being  funneled to state medicaid programs through the stimulus package. 

With Republicans holding a majority in the House of Representatives today, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid no longer have carte blanche to use federal tax dollars to hide the disastrous effects Obama-care is having on State budgets across America.  This idea that “everyone gets free healthcare” with the passing of Obama-care is now proving to be nothing more than a Liberal fairy tale heavily rooted in the denial of the reality that comes with Obama-care.  When Barack Obama says he will insure an extra 35 million Americans through Obama-care, he conveniently refuses to tell the people just who he will steal from in order to pay for it. He started the whole thing off by taking $500 billion dollars from Senior’s Medicare to pay for Obama-care, and he is counting on Seniors to be naive enough to believe it was somehow Republicans who were pushing Granny off a cliff, and thus con them into voting for four more years of Barack Obama’s thievery from one class of citizens to another.     2012 just can’t get here fast enough!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Congressional "Super Committee" Meets, THCA Urges Protection From Texas Rep. Hensarling Co-Chairman

Texas Nursing Home Advocates Encourage Co-Chairman Hensarling to Maintain Adequate Medicare and Medicaid Funding for Preservation of Quality Care, Key Caregiver Jobs

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Texas Health Care Association (THCA) today praised the 12 bipartisan U.S. House and Senate members of the Congressional “super committee” for convening their initial meeting in Washington, and urged committee co-chairman Jeb. Hensarling (R-TX) and his colleagues to protect quality nursing home care and key caregiving jobs as they focus on Medicare and Medicaid funding matters in the months ahead.

“We are encouraged by the super committee holding its first meeting today, and optimistic about the development of sensible recommendations that lower our nation’s deficit while still protecting quality nursing home care for Texas seniors,” said Tim Graves, President of THCA. “Congressman Hensarling has a key position in this special panel, and we encourage them to work in partnership to generate ideas to lower spending while maintaining the provision of important health care services for our most vulnerable frail, elderly citizens. To do so, we urge them to protect Texas seniors by opposing additional cuts to nursing home care.”

Graves noted that Texas is especially challenged by chronic Medicare and Medicaid underfunding that has put the continued provision of quality nursing home care at risk in many local communities. Recent funding challenges include Medicaid nursing home cuts of $58 million enacted this year and federal Medicare cuts of $1.6 billion over ten years implemented as part of health care reform and other regulatory changes. In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has reduced Medicare nursing home funding in Texas by $234 million – a 10.4% rate reduction for 2012 – at a time when nursing homes are experiencing rising costs of care as residents are requiring additional complex and acute care services.

“As we strive to provide highest quality care for Texas’ seniors and continue to employ the dedicated men and women who help us deliver this care, we are committed to making sure that Rep. Hensarling and the super committee members are informed about the crucial need for stable nursing home care funding,” said Graves. “We offer ourselves as an information source to the committee as they weigh funding options and take into account the impact that Medicare or Medicaid cuts would have on nursing home care programs, front-line jobs and local economies in Texas and across the nation.”

SOURCE Texas Health Care Association

Boehner Releases Framework of Debt Ceiling Deal

John BoehnerOn Sunday night, Obama announced that a deal on the debt ceiling had been reached. While House minority leader Nancy Pelosi was saying that some or none of her Democrats might vote for the proposal, House Speaker Boehner held a conference with the leaders on the right side of the aisle.

Later Sunday night, he released the details of the framework on his website.

The framework is a two-step increase with a trigger:

Phase one is an immediate $900 Billion increase to the debt ceiling that will hold the government over until roughly February. In exchange for that increase, discretionary spending will be cut and capped immediately which will save $917 Billion over ten years. In an effort to prevent the increase from happening without the savings (remember Reagan anyone?), the ceiling increase will not occur until Congress and the President implement the spending cuts. This would signal that a short term measure will need to be passed to allow a small debt limit increase (perhaps a week’s worth) while Congress irons out the spending cuts.

Phase two: The President can ask for a second debt limit increase of $1.5 Trillion if either a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is sent to the states for ratification or a the recommendation of a 12-member special committee are implemented that would save more than $1.5 Trillion.

The trigger: Specific spending caps would be put in-place to limit spending. If the government fails to remain below these limits, it will trigger across-the-board cuts to government spending. The trigger is specifically hit if the Joint Committee fails to achieve at least a drop of $1.2 Trillion in the deficit. Once the trigger fires-off, the President can request another $1.2 trillion increase in the debt-limit. If the increase is passed, across-the-board cuts in all government spending equal to the difference between $1.2 trillion and the amount of the deficit reduction enacted by Congress. These cuts would be equally applied to mandatory and discretionary spending, both defense and non-defense. While Medicare would be included in the cuts, Social Security, Medicaid, veterans benefits and government pay (civilian and military) would not be affected.

One way to read the summary presentation from Boehner is that the triggers could cause the spending cuts to be split 50-50 between Defense and Medicare spending. Some reports have said that the Medicare spending would only affect providers (hospitals, doctors, suppliers) not beneficiaries.

As a final note, the framework includes no tax hikes, but the committee will be free to recommend them as a method for reducing the deficit.

 

Bachmann Campaign Responds to Questions on Medicaid Payments

Washington, D.C. – Bachmann for President Spokeswoman Alice Stewart has issued the following statement in response to questions regarding Bachmann and Associates Counseling Clinic receiving payments from the Minnesota Medicaid Program:

“Medicaid is a valuable form of insurance for many Americans and it would be discriminatory not to accept Medicaid as a form of payment. As a state-sponsored counseling service, Bachmann and Associates has a responsibility to provide Medicaid and medical assistance, regardless of a patient’s financial situation.”

I Am So Angry

Once again I am veering off the ongoing saga of our story to adopt children through the Broken Foster Care System.

If you’ve already read my Mother’s Day story, you know that our adoptions were finalized in July of 2009.

After the adoptions it took some time for the kids to adjust to the fact that they were in fact adopted, not foster children any longer.  Thankfully, our youngest child didn’t know any difference at all.  When he would have visitation from his case workers it was just another friend coming over to visit. In reality, I do not believe the next two children (age wise) truly comprehended the difference either, as they were so young when they came to us, as well, that it was more like just a visit with friends when their case workers came over.

However, the oldest two children definitely knew the difference. In fact, I do not believe the reality has set in to this day. They “know” they are adopted, that this is their home, we are a forever family, but what does that really mean to a child who has been cast back and forth within the system all of their lives?

Dealing with the aftermath of things settling down and us finally becoming a family was overwhelming in many ways, yet like a breath of fresh air all at the same time.

Today, we are almost 2 years past the final adoption. Things are the same, yet different. When things would come, and questions were asked we’ve always addressed the questions directly and honestly.

One of the issues we have had with three of the four older children is being destructive. It doesn’t matter what it is, they will destroy it. They have LITERALLY peeled paint right off the wall. They tear up almost every toy they’ve been given. Our youngest daughter destroys her clothing.

At the current time I am removing absolutely everything from their game room with the exception of a couple of plastic buckets of toys. Until I am able to move things around, there is a bookshelf with books, games inside, and just general kid stuff. There is a TV and TV stand. I have already removed the quilt rack, which they destroyed, and the blankets that I had for them to cover up with when they watch TV. I have removed some of the blankets because they were given to them as adoption presents by a local church who makes quilts for each child that is adopted.

I am flat out exhausted from trying to replace things that are broken; caution not to climb on the bookcase because it will fall and either hurt someone really bad or literally kill them; cleaning out broken toys, and other variety of clean up from their destructive behavior.

Our youngest, who I refer to in my writings as “the baby”, just turned 3-years-old. It is amazing to see the difference in his playtime behavior from the other four children.

We learned in our classes to become foster parents that the most formative years is birth to 3 years. That amazed me, since their language skills are not developed, coping skills are not developed, and other things that seem like they would be more important than the first three years.

However, our family is a prime example of how true this is. Our baby- the three-year-old, has been taught from the very beginning how to treat toys, clothing, our home, and how to take care of things in general.

Very recently, after dealing with the aftermath of yet more destruction, my husband made an observation that had never crossed my mind. He said that maybe no one ever taught the other four children how to play! This struck me as odd, since I play with all of them. However, their “most important formative years” were already passed when we got them.

I wonder how much of this truly has an effect on how they treat things now. They see the positive examples, get in trouble when they do destroy things, yet they still do not seem to learn. They still keep repeating the very same behaviors.

So why am I angry, you ask? Because I feel like the system has set my older children up to fail! My husband and I are doing everything we know to do to UNDO the bad parenting that they had by their biological parents, as well as foster parents that did not care and try to RETEACH the PROPER way to play and treat things. This goes beyond just “messy kids”. This goes beyond the “kids will be kids” excuse. It is literally to the point that buying them toys is just a waste of time and money.

This past weekend is a prime example. We took the kids shopping, and I decided to try one more time with new toys. We bought them Lincoln Logs, because they love to build stuff with blocks. They did well the first day. Then, what do you know… the next day, they are in the game room throwing the Lincoln Logs at each other and the window! Now, they had been warned that these were not to be thrown, because throwing things is one of the frequent offenses that they get in trouble for. Oh, I know, all kids throw things. However, there is almost a systematic destructive intent to the actions of at least two of the children. One for certain, the other one has come a long way. (She actually was not involved in throwing things this time, so we are making a little progress!)

There’s a well-known saying in the foster care system, although it is breathed in hushed tones. It reminds me of the scene from “St. Elmo’s Fire” where Wendy’s mom whispers everything that she finds “too horrible to utter”.

So, what is this phrase that is “too horrible to utter”?

Too old too adopt.

This is not true, in the sense that you are never truly “too old” to be adopted. There are adults who have been adopted.

what this simply means is that most people want to adopt a younger child- a baby most preferably.

Our oldest two children were almost “too old” to adopt. I will try to explain this more as I go along, because I do not want this to be misunderstood.

I love ALL of my children very much. And yes, I know all children- biological or not- have issues. I know… kids will be kids. I know all the cliches, true as they may be. However, there is a “magic age” that once passed, it becomes a great deal more difficult to get past the “issues” of being in foster care. That “magic age” is about 5-years-old, give or take a bit.

Our oldest child was 6-years-old when we got her, and 7-years-old once she was finally adopted. She had already learned to “play the system”. However, she met her match with her mommy and daddy! She may have been allowed to play her previous foster families to get her way but it didn’t work that way with us! We were told this is why they (the case worker and therapist) wanted us to meet them, because they both knew needed parents that would be firm yet loving, not push overs as they had previously had.

And yes, before it is suggested, they have been through YEARS of counseling- that did absolutely nothing to help them resolve these issues or help us deal with things. Basically it was just a “system requirement”. Don’t get me wrong- we had a WONDERFUL counselor! But to actually help get to the core matter of the issues it did nothing!

I am angry that the system did not expedite the cases of my older children in a more timely manner so they would have had a more settled life before they did.

I know that this will just make them stronger in the future. I know that challenges grow us.

But that does not make me any less angry.

What makes me the most angry is that in my almost 4 years of being involved in some form of the foster care system, not one single time has an elected official responded to my various correspondences.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down with a MedicAid investigator about 6 months ago and share some of my experiences and complaints regarding the Medicaid fraud within the foster care system. He was quite intrigued, yet was not very hopeful that anything would ever come of my complaints. I told him I have absolutely no problem testifying in a court of law about our experiences. I am MORE than willing to be the voice, the hands, the feet… the whole BODY in this fight for these children stuck in this broken system of foster care!

Tax payers are being fleeced by doctor’s who prescribe unnecessary medications to children in foster care because it is “easy money”.

My two oldest children were two that fell into the above category. It makes me wonder if the fact that they were being “doped up” has caused lasting affects on them.

I am angry that no one seems to care enough to really get involved.

It makes me angry that even now, in my writing, I have comments directing me how I should leave parts of my story out- whether it is my faith or my political stance.

While I appreciate the input and comments, I can’t change who I am. I won’t change who I am! My faith is one of the most significant facets of who I am! Without my faith I have nothing. Jesus Christ is my Strength.. my very breath that I breathe. There’s no way I can continue in this fight without standing on my faith in Christ. If that offends people, so be it! I accept the fact that there are those who do not have faith in Christ. I don’t try to force my beliefs on them. I don’t ask them to change. I do not say I will not continue fighting this fight with people who do not believe as I do. I will GLADLY join with ANYONE who will join in this fight- a fellow Christian, atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, you name it! So if I’m not requiring that they change for me, why is it being suggested that I leave out this part of my story? I refuse. If that offends some people, so be it! That just makes me angry!

I am just angry! As you can see I am angry about a lot of things! These children do not deserve to have to deal with the burecratic crap that they are being dealt right now! Something should have been dong a LONG time ago to solve these issues!

Newt Goes From Bad To Worse

In the interest of full disclosure I must go on record before I go on further and say that I am not a supporter of Newt Gingrich. From the moment I heard he was considering a bid for the White House I was was not happy. Mr. Gingrich is simply an extension of “the elite establishment” that we have had in Washington for decades.

Yes, it has been more than a decade since he held an actual position; however, he still has the same elitist attitude that we are stuck with today.

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand- which for much of this country, that is highly possible- you know that Newt Gingrich caused quite a bit of an uproar over the weekend in a discussion on “Meet The Press“. I will not waste either one of our time re-hashing the specifics of the show- if you do not know what happened you can read more about the incident written by one of my fellow journalists in this article.

Last night on  Fox’s “On The Record with Greta Van Susteren”, Greta had Mr. Gingrich on as a guest to allow him the opportunity to go “on the record” about what he meant and how he mis-spoke. However, he went from bad to worse on the show last night.

In Greta’s opening dialogue with Mr. Gingrich she made a light-hearted joke with him about how she went out of the country for a few days and when she comes back she sees he’s “blown up the Republican Party.” Anyone with half a brain would know that she was joking with him and not attacking him. However, Newt came out of the box swinging, saying, with quite the snide attitude in his voice, “Well, first of all, I think that’s pretty exaggerated on every front.” Greta jumped in very quickly to tell him she was teasing, and though Newt tried to acknowledge that he knew she was teasing, his demeanor, attitude and tone made it very clear he was on the attack.

Although Mr. Gingrich did say he made a mistake in what he said, and said he apologized for what he said regarding Paul Ryan’s plan, his attitude and tone seemed to have a very familiar tone- how dare you ask me a question like that!  Had he been more humble in his attitude with what is going on it might be a different story.  Instead, he came across as very snide.

As the conversation continued with Greta he seemed to calm down a bit. However, by this point any semblance of self-respect had been lost. By the end of the conversation with Greta, he actually made a point that interested me regarding his plan to propose a “10th Amendment Implementation Bill” which would actually enforce the 10th Amendment. That sounds great, in theory, however, my question is shouldn’t ALL of our laws be implemented and enforced already? Will this mean we will have to go back and create a “1st Amendment Implementation Bill”? And a “2nd Amendment Implementation Bill”? And so forth and so on. When will it end? We have laws in place for a reason. We should not have to put forth another piece of legislation just to implement a law that was put in place more than 200 years ago.

With all this being said, I must admit I am fairly new to the “political scene”. It wasn’t until right before the 2008 election that I starting paying real attention at all to politics. Yes, I voted, and I researched the issues before I voted, I just never kept up with politics. I saw it as nothing more than a bother. I was partially right- politics is a bother, but it is much more than just a bother! The future of our country is at stake because of politics!

I could be wrong- and if I am, I am sure someone will correct me in their comments- but I don’t know of any other candidate to burn his bridges so quick out of the gate! It was just one week- give or take a day or two- from the time Mr. Gingrinch made his “official” announcement that he was running for President that this incident happened.

Mr. Gingrich, I’ve never held a political office in any shape, form or fashion, but if your skin is this thin, applying for position of President of The United States of America with the American people is not the job for you.

 

 

See the profiles of other potential 2012 GOP Candidates

Medicare Premium Increase Means Trouble for Seniors, States and Workers

EmergencyA large portion of Medicare recipients and individual States should ready themselves for what should not be all that shocking: Obamacare didn’t bend the cost curve down – at all. Medicare premiums for 2012 are set to rise to $113.80 per month, an almost 20% increase over the $94.60 2011 premiums,  which will hit fixed-income earners and cash-strapped States with an increasing burden.

Social Security recipients will be the first hit. As an Associated Press wire reported, the first COLA increase in years will likely be wiped out by increasing health care premiums.

“The government is projecting a slight cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits next year, the first increase since 2009. But for most beneficiaries, rising Medicare premiums threaten to wipe out any increase in payments, leaving them without a raise for a third straight year.”

Secondly, those low-income earners on Medicaid will not be hit with the increasing premium – it will instead be passed on to the state providing the Medicaid. This will cause a pass-thru cost to state income and sales tax payers. As almost all states are facing tremendous shortfalls due to entitlement mismanagement such as this, more and more costs will be passed on to taxpayers and more services will have to be cut to avoid default.

In 2010, Medicare premiums were the same as they were in 2009. All this before Obama’s health care reform was passed. Now that we’ve had more than a year of liberal health care planning and management, a 20% increase in premiums comes due and Donald McLeod from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services hinted that even the Obama administration wasn’t prepared for the increase. Mr. McLeod pointed out that the President’s budget projected Medicare premiums to be $108.20, not the $113.80 that CMS expects.

 

As Promised, Health Reform's Effects Already Being Felt

During all the informing, educating and persuading that Nancy Pelosi, President Obama, and Harry Reid did to get health care reform passed, they made some key assurances.  Two of those promises have certainly come true.  First, Speaker Pelosi said that citizens would have to pass the bill to learn what’s in it.  While the citizens would have preferred to change what was in it, it’s apparent that instead the voting population will rely on post-decision discovery.  Secondly, the President himself confidently shared with Americans that they would feel the effects from this legislation as early as this year – and he was very right.

A Houston Chronicle article informed that the Medicare cuts required to make the health care reform budget-neutral are driving doctors away from Medicare patients and reducing staff wages and benefits.  That means many current patients of doctors that are forced out of Medicare participation will be forced to try and find a new doctor.  So either Obama lied when he told us that, “If you like your doctor, you can keep them..”, or he lied when he said the health care reform would actually reduce the deficit as it would cost $297 Billion extra if the Medicare cuts are removed from the law.

A secondary problem caused by a lack of planning in the health care bill is that the majority of physicians deciding not to participate in Medicare are primary care physicians. As Jay Heflin, of The Hill.com, quotes a health care facilty designer, “We don’t have the primary care infrastructure in place in America to cover the need. Our clients are looking at and preparing for more emergency department volume, not less..”, it’s obvious that the unintended consequences of the reform are not positive.  People will increasingly use E.R.s as primary care centers which cost many times what it costs to see a doctor.  Of course, it’s still free, so why would the pattern change?

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