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Opponents distorting some facts on Repeal of ACA

Doctor photo

Photo by Army Medicine

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

2 Responses to “Opponents distorting some facts on Repeal of ACA”

  1. Two Trump Supporters says:

    The Federal open borders policy for illegal immigration of the past 30 years and the current UN REFUGEE program has bankrupted state medicaid budgets.

    That’s why Trump was elected President on his promise to Build the Wall and stop illegal and refugee immigration of people who will never get off welfare and medicaid. Put Americans and Veterans FIRST.

    Speaker Paul Ryan and his band of RINO congressman are the problem. Not Trump.

  2. Robert Shannon

    Two Trump Supporters is spot on . I do however want to keep the focus for the moment of how Medicaid has been in dire straits for 20 years and why Virginia Legislators are ducking their responsibilities by ignoring this problem that isn’t going away. They cower from addressing this because they know the left and certainly the media will be all over them should they muster the backbone to finally address this program that is drowning Virginia. 1 of every 5 dollars the state spends is now on this single program. This is not only unsustainable but cowardly for the General Assembly to continue to put off what must be done.

    Eligibility is a good place to start and would encompass the point made regarding illegals who qualify for coverage under Medicaid. It would be a fair and reasonable starting point to make citizenship a qualifier to begin with, but we would hear blood curdling screams about people suffering , children being denied access to health care ( all of which is false since our laws mandate medical providers provide care or face litigation, regardless of one’s ability to pay). Reasonable people can disagree but you can not come to this country illegally and believe that you can stick citizens with your health care costs. No coverage under Medicaid for anyone who is not a U.S citizen. Pro Bono work by free clinics, doctors and other health care providers who donate their time/talents, charitable institutions, churches, community based solutions ( free from tax subsidies) would form a nucleus for health care needs for those losing eligibility. The old adage ” if you find yourself in a hole ….stop digging applies” Either we address this in a rational and thoughtful manner or the entire system is going to collapse. I would rather provide health care for U.S citizens who meet the qualifying criteria than Option B, which is to wait and watch the entire Medicaid program collapse. What sense does that make ?

    Qualifying criteria needs tightened and in a big way. A starting point would be to examine the co-pays of $1 & $3 as mentioned in the earlier article. This is preposterous and these ridiculously low co-pays only compound the problem, contributing to the over utilization mentioned earlier. The private Insurance plans fixed this and did so relatively quickly by raising them to a price point where the waste is arrested. Don’t tell me someone who blows their disposable income in the numerous manners that people do ( the tattoo and body piercing crowd for example) could not come up with $20 for a copayment when they can come up with $200 for a new tattoo or $75 for another damn ring in their nose. Government has fostered a climate where personal responsibility has lost all of it’s meaning. We now have hordes of citizens who blistfully wander through their daily lives making one bad decision after another , and only because society ( and these programs ) allow them to. People only change their behavior when they are forced to suffer the consequences of said behavior. Could you imagine during the depression someone on their way down to the ” soup line” at a local church, stopping by Jimmy’s Tatoos to get tattoo in 1931 ?

    How Medicaid quantifies incomes is another area that must be addressed. Citizens have learned how to game the system and either hide or conceal various forms of income to ” get under the wire” of eligibility requirements that fail to take the monetary value of the myriad of government hand outs that don’t get counted in the income calculations regarding eligibility for Medicaid.

    What would be wrong with returning to an earlier practice of putting a time limit on how long a healthy able bodied person can remain on Medicaid ? We did this years ago for a variety of welfare programs…….you get benefits for 12 months and then you are on your own.

    A news story flashed across the screen this morning on how Trumps Winery has filed application to allow 28 workers to legally come into the U.S for seasonal work at the Trump vineyards because of a shortage of local workers. Their is no shortage of local workers, their is a shortage of local workers willing to do the manual labor ………..and why not , sucker taxpayers are subsidizing their housing, their children’s education, their food costs, their cell phones, etc etc etc , to include their FREE healthcare because our legislators are such cowards they allow this nonsense to continue. I have heard these folks say that ” picking grapes” is below their dignity………..but taking your fellow citizens income ( by coercion ) isn’t ? Warped value systems allowed to mutate over time is the only logical explanation.

    Fortunately one of the benefits I have cited about Trumps election is the death spiral political correctness has begun. We can have an intelligent conversation about the abuses of these programs and not get silenced by the PC crowd who start screaming bigot, hard hearted racist, mean spirited YA–DA–YA–DAA—YA–DAA.
    I have joked over the year when asked by someone ” what qualifications do you have to have to join the T.E.A Party”…to which I reply
    ” you just have to be able to some basic math”

    Bob Shannon


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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