Legislation and or the repeal of legislation is a sloppy convoluted process that entails give and take, trade offs, compromises and a lot of hyperbole, a lot of hyperbole.
The narrative being promoted by the media at the moment is the 24 million who are estimated over the next 10 years who will lose health insurance coverage as a result of the plan being evaluated now in various Congressional bodies. What isn’t talked about is the numbers losing coverage as we speak, as well as those who would lose coverage if the Affordable Care Act ( ObamaCare) is left in place. As they say in politics it all depends on whos ox is being gored.
Under the ACA millions are already losing coverage or being abandoned by the insurance carriers who are exiting the marketplace because this current structure leaves them no other choice but to exit. Increasing numbers of states across America where citizens who are looking for insurance coverage under the exchanges , they often have 1 option , and only 1.
The critics who are citing the millions who will lose coverage under proposed reforms chose to ignore that many of those are people who climbed onboard the states who expanded Medicaid , should the Federal government change Medicaid to a Block Grant program would lose that coverage as a result of States then being forced then to do what they should have done a decade ago—reform Medicaid.
I argued strenuously with Del Chris Peace in 2012 when he spoke here at the King William County Republican Party meeting over the need for reform of Medicaid, namely along the lines of the absurd $1 & $3 co-pays. One of Medicaid’s chief problems is with utilization rates, how frequently Medicaid beneficiaries are using the services, often times for pretty frivolous reasons.
Back in the 1980’s when H.M.O’s and P.P.O’s first came into popular use the Insurance industry soon saw the very same utilization problems that they easily traced to the same ridiculously low co-pays they had in these plans. If someone perceives something as free………..they waste it. You had subscribers using their health insurance low co-pays to visit their doctor’s offices for the most silly of reasons, often for something they could have easily and safely self- treated at home. It didn’t take long after the private insurance companies raised co-pays until they saw utilization rates drop 40-60%. All of a sudden a bee sting or an ankle sprain didn’t warrant a trip to the doctor’s office or emergency room.
Peace argued that Medicaid was a program for the poor, and that I needed to understand that. To which I replied…. “ Del. Peace, are you talking about these poor people covered from head to toe with tattoos & body piercings “ ? Amazing how people spend their disposable income when their basic necessities are being paid for by someone else isn’t it ?
Medicaid should indeed be turned into a block grant program so that the wisdom of our Founders can be put to work, setting up 50 separate and distinct experiments to see who can deliver the highest quality at the lowest costs, which is just what will happen. The truly poor and destitute will get care.
If some 26
year old ner do well sponging off his parents ( or girlfriend) collecting food stamps & unemployment so he can lay around all day watching TV has to get off his ass and get a job because he lost his Medicaid eligibility………………..I’ll sleep okay, and so will you.
Bob Shannon King William