Nancy: We’re Finding Out What’s in It and It Stinks

NRCC - House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi (in)famously said that Democrats would have to pass the government takeover of healthcare before the American people could find out what was in it.

PELOSI: “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” (David Freddoso, “Pelosi on Health Care: ‘We Have to Pass the Bill So You Can Find Out What Is In It,” The Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog, 3/9/2010)

Ever since that fateful day, Americans have learned what was in the government takeover of healthcare law and they haven’t liked it. Each new discovery is more ridiculous than the next. Take the latest news reported this week that the government takeover of healthcare law will enable middle class families to enroll in Medicaid, the healthcare program intended for the poor. This “glitch,” as it was reported will cost taxpayers $450 billion. The healthcare plan Americans didn’t want and America can’t afford just got a whole lot more expensive:

“SEVERAL MILLION MIDDLE-CLASS PEOPLE GET NEARLY FREE INSURANCE MEANT FOR THE POOR”: “President Barack Obama's health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed.

“The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of about $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services department.

“Up to 3 million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly.” (“A Glitch in ObamaCare Could Give Middle Class Insurance Intended for Poor,” Associated Press, 6/21/2011)

MEDICAID ERROR TO COST $450 BILLION: “If we do a back-of-the-envelope calculation, in which the average annual Medicaid expenditure per early retiree is $15,000 per year, the ten-year cost of this glitch is $450 billion. ‘It’s almost like allowing middle-class people to qualify for food stamps, [Foster] suggested’.” (Avik Roy, “The $450 Billion Glitch: 3 Million Extra Middle-Class Americans Eligible for Medicaid Benefits,” Forbes, 6/21/2011)

Those middle class families who enroll in Medicaid won’t like what they get. Fewer services are covered and fewer clinics accept Medicaid patients as those with Medicaid are turned away and denied appointments. Imagine what will happen when Medicaid rolls swell with millions more enrollees:

CHILDREN WITH MEDICAID FACE LIMITED ACCESS TO CARE DUE TO PROVIDER REIMBURSEMENT CUTS: “Children with Medicaid are far more likely than those with private insurance to be turned away by medical specialists or be made to wait more than a month for an appointment, even for serious medical problems, a new study finds.

“Lower payments by Medicaid, delays in paying and red tape are largely to blame, researchers say. …

“Sixty-six percent of those who mentioned Medicaid-CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) were denied appointments, compared with 11 percent who said they had private insurance, according to an article being published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“In 89 clinics that accepted both kinds of patients, the waiting time for callers who said they had Medicaid was an average of 22 days longer.” (Denise Grady, “Children on Medicaid Shown to Wait Longer on Care,” The New York Times, 6/15/2011)

“AS NUMBER OF MEDICAID PATIENTS GOES UP, THEIR BENEFITS ARE ABOUT TO DROP”: “The Obama administration injected billions of dollars into Medicaid, the nation’s low-income health program, as the recession deepened two years ago. The money runs out at the end of this month, and benefits are being cut for millions of people, even though unemployment has increased. … To hold down costs, states are cutting Medicaid payments to doctors and hospitals, limiting benefits for Medicaid recipients, reducing the scope of covered services, requiring beneficiaries to pay larger co-payments and expanding the use of managed care.” (Robert Pear, “As Number of Medicaid Patients Goes Up, Their Benefits Are About to Drop,” The New York Times, 6/15/2011)

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