Friday, June 17, 2011
FDLs Jane Hamsher, and Jonathan Capehart: How to save Medicaid
I'm not a fan of cutting Medicaid just to cut it even in a broader Deficit Reduction package. Because of the fact that so many people depend on it for their Health Insurance. Low Income workers, the unemployed, Low Income Senior Citizens who have to depend on both Medicaid and Medicare for their Health Insurance. And this adds up around 70M americans unfortunately in America obviously, not Canada, Brazil, Sweden, hopefully you get point. But I'm also not for throwing millions of more people as what happened with the Affordable Care Act of 2010, at least until we reform it in a way to make it more Cost Effective. Since the Federal Government doesn't even want to Fully Fund the portion of Medicaid its required to under its own Medicaid Law of 1965. Because of how expensive it is, which means States because they are required by law from the Federal Government to fund its portion of the program. But they also get stuck having to fund what the FEDS don't come up with the revenue to fund. Making Medicaid an Unfunded Mandate for the States, an Unfunded Mandate is a mandate that the Federal Government puts on the States. Without providing the funds to pay for it, which creates an Unfunded Mandate. So we have a problem where the White House and Congressional Democrats throwing more people on to Medicaid without providing the resources to pay for it. And now we have Congressional Republicans going out of their way to cut back the Safety Net in America, with apparently Medicaid being their next target. Which creates a new problem for Medicaid and the 70M people who depend on it.
So what would I do with Medicaid is leave in place as far as the Health Insurance service its provides but change the structure of its Management. By getting it off the backs and budgets of the States and FEDS and make it an Independent but Publicly Owned. Either by the Federal Government or we could set up a State Medicaid System. Where each State would have their own Medicaid Health Insurance service. Where there would be a National Medicaid Office in Washington that would serve to provide oversight but not to manage each Medicaid Service. So each Medicaid Service in all Fifty States, would be Independent not run by government, with its own Management and Board of Directors that they would select. And be Self Financed as well so the States and FEDS would no longer have to worry about how to finance it. I would finance Medicaid through its patients and their employers. And the Low Income workers on Medicaid who can't afford their share of their Medicaid Costs, would get their EITC or Earned Income Tax Credit expanded to pay for their share of their Medicaid Coverage. Or these workers could use their Health Insurance Credit to pay for their share of private Health Insurance. And people on Welfare, Unemployment, Disability or Social Security Insurance would get their checks expanded to pay for their share of their Medicaid Coverage.
Lets not ruin Medicaid by throwing too many people on it without paying for the coverage and lets not cut it to peaces without an alternative for its patients. Lets reform it in a way that finally saves the program for everyone that depends on it instead.
Click on the link of the blog to see a video from Fire Dog Lake talking about Medicaid