Medical Reform In D.C., Republicans Being Tripped Up By Message And Insatiable Demand For Entitlements, What To Do?
According to Steve Forbes, Editor of Forbes Magazine - Medicaid is our problem in reforming the failed Obamacare.
A brief review of what Medicaid is - "The federal government would pony up half the costs, the states the other half. But even though the states shared the tab, Washington dictated the rules. States managed the program but couldn't make any changes without getting "waivers" from the Department of Health & Human Services. In addition to covering low-income earners, Medicaid was expanded over the years to help pay for seniors who have no assets and for long-term care for people with disabilities."
But here are the problem perverse incentives - "There was no fixed budget, and spending went to whatever medical bills were submitted. The only way governors could contain costs was to reduce the reimbursement rates for health care providers, which is what happened. Around one-third of physicians no longer take on new Medicaid patients." So, consultations faded away and tests whether medically necessary or not, exploded.
And here is a shocker - "Reputable studies have found no difference in the health outcomes for people on Medicaid and those with no insurance!"
Under Obamacare - eligibility rules were relaxed and the rolls exploded by 11 million (So when they tell us about all those losing insurance a lot came from here). But it gets worse, costs have exploded and medical care has deteriorated, and more providers refuse to accept Medicaid.
Now we get to the complaining by Democrats, because - "House Republicans want to rein in Medicaid's runaway costs by, among other things, gradually rolling back much of the Obamacare eligibility expansion of Medicaid funding, starting in 2020. They would give states more leeway in making changes to the program. In return, states would get a set amount of funding per person, which would grow by a fixed formula, instead of being open-ended, as it currently is. States could also choose to receive a block grant, that is, a chunk of money from Uncle Sam that would provide a fixed amount of Medicaid funding and remain unchanged."
Steve mentions an unanswerable question for the left wing and the Democrats - "It's puzzling, to say the least, that they can defend a program that is ever more costly, increasingly ill-serves its beneficiaries and is riddled with fraud - the Government Accountability Office has found that more than 10% of the program's payments are 'improper'."
And a great idea to reform and help the truly needy is health savings accounts. So, what we need to do is - "Openly 'incentivize' states to enact a program in which most participants would have comprehensive catastrophic coverage and generous health savings accounts (HSA's). The insurance would have high deductibles, which would make it cheap. People would use the money in their HSA's for regular medical expenses. The key is that Medicaid beneficiaries would own their accounts."
Finally, it will work. Why? Medicaid per capita spending is $7,500-$7,800, enough to buy a quality high deductible catastrophic medical health insurance plan - for a low-income family of four it leaves at least $10,000 for everyday expenses to be paid by their Health Savings Account.