Tag Archives: medicaid

The Rising Cost of Congress

For the last year, we have all been beaten over the head repeatedly with the notion that health care costs are rising so fast that families can’t afford their insurance.  Is anyone applying the same formula to Congress?  They don’t mind spending our money in a care-free manner.

We’ve built numerous post-offices and airports as Congressional namesakes.  Fountains have been built, statues erected, and airports that only Congressmen use… once-in-awhile.

Why doesn’t that need reform?  What happened to that Obama scalpel that was to be applied to the federal budget.  I don’t remember much of anything getting cut out.

Congress is working out a $1.9 trillion increase to the federal debt limit.  The increase alone would have funded the entirety of government operations and programs less than a decade ago.  That’s a much more serious cost increase than what’s happening in health care.

Many might argue that health care is why these costs are rising so fast.  That’s diversionary at best.  Stay focused.  The expansion of Medicaid is funded by the States (where it belongs), the fact that the federal government is involved in health care at all is a gigantic Constitutional issue that no one wants to tackle.  What’s even more misleading is the fact that the largest expenditure actually has nothing to do with health care… it’s income security (Social Security, welfare, and unemployment) at 22% of all expenses.

So it’s not the military, it’s government entitlements?  It gets worse.  Tack on Medicare and Medicaid and you have the next 20%.  That’s right, 42% of our deficit-producing expenses are due to programs Congress signed into law and cannot run efficiently (or effectively).

Congress talks about the cost of wars because with how executive war powers are setup now, they aren’t to blame.  The President sends troops somewhere, they have to support them.. it’s now their fault.  Darn shame that’s now where the bulk of our money is really going.

In the recent health care reform debate, there were discussion of saving billions of dollars from the government health care programs by addressing fraud, waste and abuse.  I say, get busy.  We are paying you to oversee (they call it regulate) the programs they force down our throats.  So get regulating.  If Medicare are so fraught with inefficiency as claimed by Democrats last year, then why haven’t they fixed it?

Americans tire of hearing how we have to change everything but Congress.  I guess perhaps we have stopped believing the hype and now we know where the change is needed.

Medicaid an Anchor Around The Necks of States

Medicaid and Medicare were held up as the government-run successes that prove that we can afford universal health care and that it works.  In North Carolina and Oklahoma, severe Medicaid budget overruns are being reported and the blame is partly that enrolllees are using more medical services.  Of course they are, because it’s free.  That is precisely the problem with a medical system that costs the direct consumer nothing.  They will abuse it.

Now we start to hear that patient access is facing severe challenges.  Less than 50% of doctors take Medicaid patients.  As the provider-pay issue rises, where providers are severely under-compensated, doctors drop out of the Medicaid program.  amedNews.com had this to say:

Now that we have an 18-month reprieve, giving us time to work on a replacement of the flawed sustainable growth rate formula for Medicare payment, let’s take a look at Medicaid. As bad as the Medicare problem is, it pales in comparison with the enormous inequities for patients and physicians that come from the patchwork of Medicaid programs.

Fewer doctors for more patients leads to a medical access nightmare.  One the Democrats have failed to foresee or are simply ignoring in order to get their radical plans passed.

A heritage.org article states that Medicaid also fails to be effective as a health plan:

In a recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, for example, researchers found that women on Medicaid were three times more likely to die of breast cancer than were women not on Medicaid. Women on Medicaid tended to have late-stage diagnoses and receive less radiation treatment. Medicaid is unable to offer its enrollees the same level of quality care that the private sector offers.

Government-run health care modeled on expanding Medicaid is neither more efficient nor effective than our current health care system, but at least if it’s run by individual states, it’s Constitutional.  If that’s any comfort at all.

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