Posts tagged Medicaid
Planned Parenthood Behind Massive Obamacare Push
Published by NextNewsNetwork
About: Knock, knock, who’s there? Obamacare! This is no joke. Very soon your dinner may be interrupted by a representative from a new outreach campaign educating the public about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it’s commonly known.
“Community Connect, LLC” has been posting ads on craigslist seeking Canvassers to work 5 hour shifts for 12 dollars per hour and team leaders for 15 per hour…and they state they’re working with the Planned Parenthood National office.
According to the ad, the campaign is set to run from November through March 2014 and is starting in Dallas, FT. Worth, Houston, as well as west palm beach and miami florida.
So who is Community Connect, LLC? After a little investigation I discovered that they we recently incorporated on October 23, 2013 in the state of Delaware.
They were incorporated by the “CORPORATE CREATIONS NETWORK, INC” who operates as their delaware registered agent. and because they were incorporated in Delaware, officer and director names are not listed on their corporate documents.
However, because they’re doing business in Florida they’ve registered as a foreign LLC. Documents filed with the state of florida show Community Connect LLC is managed by Planned Parenthood from their principal address in West 33rd Street in New York, NY.
These corporate filings show that Community Connect LLC is not merely “working with” Planned Parenthood, as they claim, but rather they’re being entirely managed by Planned Parenthood itself.
Where does planned parenthood get it funding to form an LLC and launch a door to door campaign promoting Obamacare? Well, according to FactCheck.org Planned Parenthood receives two federal governments sources, the Title X Family planning program and Medicaid.
In August the Washington Times reported that Obama boosted the budget of Planned Parenthood. Clearly now we can see those federal funds are going to being used to interrupt your dinner with a knock at your door and the 10 words Ronald Reagan referred to “most terrifying”…. “I’m with the Government, and we’re here to help”
For the next news network, I’m Gary Franchi
Meet the Next News Team: http://youtu.be/2QnNKwQ2WkY
By Tyler Durden
ObamaScare – The Uncomfortable Truths
With delays, glitches, and broken promises plaguing the President’s healthcare reform, it is perhaps surprising that the level of coverage among the mainstream media of the SNAFU – and more importantly its potential implications – is not higher. Of course, in each news cycle, Obamacare is mentioned, along with a soundbite of how it will all be fixed soon and it’s only the website, but, as the following uncomfortable clip shows, there are notable and far-reaching implications (not the least of which is the progression to a part-time economy that we have so vociferously pointed out – explicitly here and anecdotally here) for Americans and the US economy as a whole.
Obamascare video capture added to original post.
By Hunter Lewis
Why Are the Medical Insurance Companies Silent?
What exactly are they afraid of?
John Goodman, the leading medical care analyst in the country, asked this question a few weeks ago. His piece was entitled: None Dare Call It…. The missing words were economic fascism.
Economic fascism, the system developed by Italian dictator Mussolini and later adopted by Hitler, is a highly developed form of crony capitalism. It has its own code of silence, not unlike the oath of omerta associated with the Mafia.
Private interests and government officials make their deals behind closed doors and are then not supposed to talk about them. To break the oath of silence is considered a grave offense.
In the past, medical insurance companies have been regulated by the states. They enjoyed their crony capitalist deals, but principally with state officials and regulators.
The federal government could not easily bring the insurers to heel, despite periodic efforts to do so. They were quick to put up ads defending their interests. They were not the least bit silent.
For example, when Hillarycare was first proposed during the early years of the Clinton administration, the largest insurance companies came out in loud opposition. They spent huge sums advertising against it on television.
The Clintons were furious, but unable to do much about it. In the end, the insurance companies succeeded in humiliating the Clintons: Hillarycare couldn’t even get through a Democratic controlled Congress.
Perhaps remembering this history, President Obama took a very different approach to developing Obamacare.
First he announced that there would be a game-changing new federal program. Insurers knew this would make or break medical insurance company profits. The president then assembled at the White House the major medical players, including the hospitals and the American Medical Association as well as the insurers, in order to offer them a deal.
Out of hearing of press or public, the president in effect told the big special interests: You can help us craft the legislation, but if you later oppose it, you will be dead meat.
Only one insurance company failed to keep this “deal.” It was threatened with both Senate and Justice Department retaliation and quickly fell into line.
The medical equipment manufacturers alone failed to sign on to the deal at all. They were punished with a stiff new tax on medical equipment.
President Obama is now trying to shift the blame for millions of canceled policies onto the insurance companies. You would expect them to defend themselves. But they don’t, either because they are too deep in the deal or too intimidated– or both.
Thanks to Obamacare’s passage, the federal government has much more control over them than during the Clinton administration. They have in effect become government sponsored and controlled entities, and the days of their speaking out publicly against their federal overlords are over.
Do the insurance companies like the crony capitalist arrangements they have become party to, or do they think they have no choice but to go along?
No one can be sure. As Breitbart’s Wynton Hall pointed out, the medical insurers are enjoying both record profits under this administration and buoyant stock prices.
The S&P 500 healthcare stock index has so far this year gained 37.5%, making it the top performing sector. All public shares have benefited from the Federal Reserve’s money printing spree, but medical insurance companies are doing especially well, at least for now.
There is, however, a potential fly in the ointment. The new Obamacare policies are really bad medical insurance policies.
They are bad because they severely restrict your choice of doctor and hospital and often pay the doctor barely more than Medicaid. Paying so little means that doctors may not want you as a patient or will give you very little time.
Medicaid patients are familiar with not being able to find a doctor who will take them. Obama exchange policy holders will now often find themselves in the same boat.
These exchange policies are not private insurance in the traditional sense. As John Goodman says, they are “Medicaid Lite.”
Eventually the public will catch on to all this. There will be a lot of anger. At that point, the crony partners, government and business, will fall out, and insurance profits will be anything but safe.
For now and for the forseeable future, government remains the dominant crony. It is not the private interests controlling government, as much as they would like to. It is the government controlling private interests.
Growing government dominance of crony capitalist arrangements is also documented in a new book by Peter Schweizer called Extortion.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Hunter Lewis
Hunter Lewis is co-founder of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. He is the former CEO of Cambridge Associates and the author of 6 books. His most recent book is Where Keynes Went Wrong. He has served on boards and committees of fifteen not-for-profit organizations, including environmental, teaching, research, and cultural organizations, as well as the World Bank.
Obamacare Is Going To Be The Biggest Expansion Of The Welfare State In U.S. History
Can the U.S. government afford to pay for the health care of 38 million more people? As you will see below, Obamacare is going to be the biggest expansion of the welfare state in U.S. history. It is being projected that a decade from now 17 million Americans will be receiving Obamacare subsidies and an additional 21 million Americans will have been added to the Medicaid rolls. At a time when we are already running trillion dollar deficits, is this really something that the government should be taking on? In addition, it is being projected that bringing millions upon millions of new people into the Medicaid program will also cause enrollment in many other federal welfare programs such as food stamps to surge. Right now, the percentage of Americans that are financially dependent on the U.S. government is already at an all-time high, and Obamacare is going to cause the level of government dependence to go much, much higher. But how much weight can the “safety net” actually carry before it breaks entirely?
Since October 1st, the number of Americans enrolling in Medicaid has surprised many government officials. For example, as USA Today recently reported, the number of Americans signing up for Medicaid is far surpassing the number of Americans signing up for private health insurance policies in many states…
States are reporting far higher enrollment in Medicaid than in private insurance since the Affordable Care Act exchanges opened Oct. 1. In Maryland, for example, the number of newly eligible Medicaid enrollees is more than 25 times the number of people signed up for private coverage.
And there are some Americans that are going to the health care exchanges intending to buy private coverage that are finding out that they are only being given the option to enroll in Medicaid instead. The following example comes from the Wall Street Journal…
The situation sounded absurd, so I asked her to walk me through her application on Washington Healthplanfinder to make sure she wasn’t missing anything. Sitting in New York with my computer, I logged onto the site under her name and entered the information my mother provided over the phone. I fully expected her to realize that she had forgotten some crucial piece of information, like a decimal point in her annual income. We checked and double-checked the information, but the only option still appeared to be Medicaid. She suggested clicking on “Apply for Coverage,” thinking that other options might appear.
Instead, almost mockingly, her “Eligibility Results” came back: “Congratulations, we received and reviewed your application and determined [you] will receive the health care coverage listed below: Washington Apple Health. You will receive a letter telling you which managed care plan you are enrolled with.” Washington Apple Health is the mawkish rebranding of Medicaid in Washington state.
The page lacked a cancel button or any way to opt out of Medicaid. It was done; she was enrolled, and there was nothing to do but click “Next” and then to sign out.
As you read this, there are more than 62 million Americans enrolled in Medicaid right now.
According to Obamacarefacts.com (a pro-Obamacare website), Obamacare could add 21 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls over the next decade.
And according to a report that came out earlier this month, 17 million Americans will qualify for Obamacare subsidies.
So when you add those numbers together (21 million plus 17 million), you come up with a total of 38 million more people that the government will soon be providing health care for.
And that does not even take into account more than 20 million elderly Americans that will be added to the Medicare program by 2025 as our population rapidly ages.
The government is going to have to find a whole lot of money from somewhere to pay for all of this.
And as I mentioned above, it is being projected that this surge in Medicaid enrollment will also be accompanied by a surge in enrollment in other welfare programs such as food stamps. Just check out the following excerpt from a recent Politico article…
Noting that the Affordable Care Act “could potentially have a profound impact on SNAP participation,” the Agriculture Department announced its plans to study the possible development last week in a document submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review.
The department says it wants to look into state coordination of SNAP and Medicaid enrollment and renewal, the process for directing Medicaid applicants to SNAP and the number of SNAP applications.
Lawmakers who have advocated for SNAP stressed that the increase in food stamp recipients would result from people who should already have been in the program.
“If people are eligible, they ought to be enrolled in it, so that’s a good thing,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), a farm bill conferee who has stated that he would not vote for a bill that includes significant cuts to SNAP, in a phone interview with POLITICO.
So we could ultimately end up with millions upon millions more Americans enrolled in food stamps and other major federal welfare programs.
Not that helping the poor is a bad thing. It certainly isn’t.
But at some point if too many people jump on the “safety net” it is going to break.
According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.2 percent of all Americans are currently receiving benefits from at least one government program each month.
That is nearly half the country.
Most of the people that are receiving these benefits actually need them and would be glad to get off of these programs if they could.
However, without a doubt there are some people out there that are abusing the system.
For example, one welfare recipient recently called into a radio show in Texas and was completely unapologetic about the fact that she planned to stay on welfare for the rest of her life…
While workers out there are preaching morality at people like me living on welfare, can you really blame us?
I get to sit home… I get to go visit my friends all day… I even get to smoke weed…
Me and people that I know that are illegal immigrants that don’t contribute to society, we still gonna get paid.
Our check’s gonna come in the mail every month… and it’s gonna be on time… and we get subsidized housing… we even get presents delivered for our kids on Christmas… Why should I work?
Ya’ll get the benefit of saying “oh, look at me, I’m a better person,” but when ya’ll sit at home behind ya’lls I’m a better person… we the ones gettin’ paid!
So can you really blame us?
You can find a YouTube video of the entire conversation right here.
Once again, the vast majority of Americans on welfare are not like this.
Most Americans would prefer to have a good job or to own a thriving business and be providing for themselves. But as our economy continues to decline, the number of Americans that are able to independently take care of themselves will continue to go down.
Right now, the percentage of Americans that are dependent on the government is already at an all-time high, and Obamacare is going to add tens of millions more Americans to the welfare rolls.
So what does this mean for the future of our country? Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…
This article first appeared here at the The American Dream. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://endoftheamericandream.com
We Are Heading For The Greatest Doctor Shortage In American History
The United States already has an emerging shortage of doctors, and thanks to Obamacare that shortage is about to become much, much worse. Right now, the U.S. has close to a million doctors, and about half of them are over the age of 50. Many of them are beginning to wonder if practicing medicine is worth it anymore. In some specialties, treating Medicaid and Medicare patients pays so little that many doctors are now turning them away. Other doctors are charging their regular patients enormous amounts in order to make up for the money that they are losing on Medicaid and Medicare patients. And of course the paperwork and the red tape imposed on doctors by the health insurance companies and the federal government gets worse with each passing year. Some doctors actually spend more time filling out paperwork and dealing with red tape than they do seeing patients. On top of everything else, there is the constant and never-ending threat of being sued by predatory lawyers and losing everything. The giant malpractice insurance premiums that many doctors have to pay are an extreme financial burden on many practices. When you add it all together, it really is not surprising to learn that large numbers of doctors all over the nation are being driven into bankruptcy. Unfortunately, Obamacare is going to make all of the problems that I have just discussed even worse. This is going to result in much longer waits to see a doctor, and the level of health care in this country is going to go down substantially.
Most Americans don’t realize that we already have a shortage of doctors in this country. According to CBS News, right now there is “a shortage of 20,000 doctors nationwide”.
But that isn’t too bad. We could get by with that.
Unfortunately, at the moment close to half of all doctors in the United States are over the age of 50. And thanks to Obamacare and other changes in the health care industry, many of them are fed up and would like to retire.
And this comes at a time when our population is rapidly aging and our nation will need more doctors than ever.
According to CBS News, it is now being projected that we will need an additional 52,000 primary care physicians by the year 2025.
Please note that the statistic I just mentioned is just for primary care physicians. Overall, the American Association of Medical Colleges has projected that we will experience a shortage of more than 150,000 doctors over the next 15 years.
And all of the numbers above assume that we will not see mass doctor retirements due to Obamacare.
Unfortunately, a whole host of polls and surveys of doctors in recent years indicate that is exactly what we might end up seeing. One of these surveys was discussed in a recent Washington Times article…
A Physicians Foundation biennial survey of 13,000 doctors found that 60 percent would choose to retire today if they could. This is up from 45 percent when the survey was done in 2008, two years before the law was enacted.
At the moment, there are about 960,000 doctors in the United States.
So what would happen if 200,000 of them suddenly decided to leave the medical profession?
That is a frightening thing to think about.
And a lot of doctors are also indicating that they have absolutely no plans to take any Obamacare patients. For instance, a recent survey of New York doctors found that those that are currently signing up for Obamacare may have a very, very hard time finding doctor…
New York doctors are treating ObamaCare like the plague, a new survey reveals.
A poll conducted by the New York State Medical Society finds that 44 percent of MDs said they are not participating in the nation’s new health-care plan.
Another 33 percent say they’re still not sure whether to become ObamaCare providers.
Only 23 percent of the 409 physicians queried said they’re taking patients who signed up through health exchanges.
We are entering a time when the U.S. medical industry is experiencing a massive transition. Gone are the days of the friendly family doctor that would care for you and your children from the cradle to the grave. Those old school physicians are slowly but surely leaving the profession. One notable example of this was recently chronicled by the Chicago Tribune…
It’s not often that a doctor attracts national attention for charging too little. But that is exactly what happened to one small-town Illinois physician who is hanging up his stethoscope after almost 60 years of practicing medicine.
Against the contentious debate over health care reform, Dr. Russell Dohner achieved notoriety for charging just $5 per office visit — a fee that’s remained unchanged since the 1970s and is roughly the equivalent of a large latte today.
Once upon a time, doctors and patients enjoyed a very special relationship in this country.
But now that has all changed. Today, the federal government, state governments, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, health administrators and a whole host of others have gotten between doctor and patient, and it is ruining the industry.
So what is the solution?
How will America deal with the coming doctor shortage?
Well, apparently Obama thinks that making Americans pay much more for health coverage will work. After all, if our out-of-pocket costs go up, won’t we be less likely to seek medical help?
One 60-year-old registered nurse that has been fighting cancer for six years was absolutely horrified when she learned that her current policy was being canceled and that she would be forced to purchase a much more expensive one…
I’m a 60-year-old registered nurse with an individual Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BC/BS) PPO policy. I have been battling cancer for 6 years. I recently received a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield stating that my existing policy is being canceled as of Dec. 31 because it doesn’t cover certain benefits required under Obamacare. I was devastated. Next, I was bewildered as I was told repeatedly by President Obama that I COULD KEEP MY POLICY! What happened to that promise? In addition, I’ve been with the same plan for over 6 years. Why shouldn’t I be “grandfathered?”
It turns out that her out-of-pocket costs for health care are going to be going up somewhere between $4,500-$6,500 per year…
After a sleepless night, I learned that I could choose from a Gold, Silver, or Bronze plan (HMO or PPO) being offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield. As my doctor doesn’t accept HMO plans, my best choice would probably be the Bronze or Gold PPO. However, my premiums and out-of-pocket costs are INCREASING $4,500-$6,500 per year. What happened to saving $2,500 per year as purported by the current administration? Also, these rates include a 10-percent federal tax … so much for “no new taxes!”
And a lot of other Americans are discovering that the high deductibles under Obamacare are going to make going to the doctor an extremely expensive proposition. The following is from a recent American Thinker article…
In a recent conversation, a good buddy enraged by his new private insurance premiums and $5,800-per-year deductible said something that struck me as undoubtedly prophetic.
“I’d literally need to be dying before I would start paying this ridiculous deductible for routine care.”
Under ObamaCare, those who work for a living incur massive premium and deductible increases to subsidize those that cannot or will not provide their own insurance. In the universe of ObamaCare, unless you are among the privileged dependency class that enjoys free health care, gone are the days when cautionary calls can be made to the doctor because a child has a stomachache or bad cough, because such calls will cost you five hundred bucks or so.
So maybe we won’t have such a huge doctor shortage after all since most Americans won’t be able to afford to go see a doctor anyway.
And the number of Americans going out of the country for medical care will certainly increase as well. According to Deloitte Consulting, a whopping 875,000 Americans were “medical tourists” in 2010. As Obamacare is fully implemented, it is inevitable that we will see that number soar well over a million.
Is this how we will get back to equilibrium? By making health care so expensive that nobody can even afford it?
This article first appeared here at the The American Dream. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://endoftheamericandream.com
Where does your tax dollar go? (An infographic)
Watch the “net interest” percentage going forward as interest rates rise. That’s going to put a cramp in our lifestyle.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
[ CIM: Interesting story from Michael, as always, but rather timely for me as I wait for the bills to roll in from a very recent surgery. Wanted to share this before it slid into the archives and off of my radar. Image added to original post. ]
How a $1 Bag of Salt Water Becomes a $546 Bill at Hospitals
Much like every other aspect of the U.S. ponzi economy, the healthcare system is one gigantic centralized oligopolistic racket. The New York Times has done some excellent coverage on this topic as of late, most recently in an article I highlighted earlier this month about how Americans are now finding themselves forced to travel overseas for surgery.
That article demonstrated how the medical industry is simply one huge convoluted racket, in which contracts are secret and no one has any clue about anything except for a small group of players involved. In fact, it reminds me of an incredible article from 1982 that explains how diamonds are actually basically worthless, and that the whole market is a gigantic con. You take something that is essentially free, and then charge a fortune for it through middleman markups.
And don’t think Obamacare is going to help you either, we all know it was written by lobbyists and special interests, just like every other piece of legislation from crony Congress. From the New York Times:
It is one of the most common components of emergency medicine: an intravenous bag of sterile saltwater.
Luckily for anyone who has ever needed an IV bag to replenish lost fluids or to receive medication, it is also one of the least expensive. The average manufacturer’s price, according to government data, has fluctuated in recent years from 44 cents to $1.
Yet there is nothing either cheap or simple about its ultimate cost, as I learned when I tried to trace the commercial path of IV bags from the factory to the veins of more than 100 patients struck by a May 2012 outbreak of food poisoning in upstate New York.
Some of the patients’ bills would later include markups of 100 to 200 times the manufacturer’s price, not counting separate charges for “IV administration.” And on other bills, a bundled charge for “IV therapy” was almost 1,000 times the official cost of the solution.
It is no secret that medical care in the United States is overpriced. But as the tale of the humble IV bag shows all too clearly, it is secrecy that helps keep prices high: hidden in the underbrush of transactions among multiple buyers and sellers, and in the hieroglyphics of hospital bills.
At every step from manufacturer to patient, there are confidential deals among the major players, including drug companies, purchasing organizations and distributors, and insurers. These deals so obscure prices and profits that even participants cannot say what the simplest component of care actually costs, let alone what it should cost.
And that leaves taxpayers and patients alike with an inflated bottom line and little or no way to challenge it.
But even before the finished product is sold by the case or the truckload, the real cost of a bag of normal saline, like the true cost of medical supplies from gauze to heart implants, disappears into an opaque realm of byzantine contracts, confidential rebates and fees that would be considered illegal kickbacks in many other industries.
The top three group-purchasing organizations now handle contracts for more than half of all institutional medical supplies sold in the United States, including the IVs used in the food-poisoning case, which were bought and taken by truck to regional warehouses by big distributors.
Dr. Frost, the anesthesiologist, spent three days in the same hospital and owed only $8, thanks to insurance coverage by United HealthCare. Still, she was baffled by the charges: $6,844, including $546 for six liters of saline that cost the hospital $5.16.
“It’s just absolutely absurd.” she said. “That’s saltwater.”
Last fall, I appealed to the New York State Department of Health for help in mapping the charges for rehydrating patients in the food poisoning episode. Deploying software normally used to detect Medicaid fraud, a team compiled a chart of what Medicaid and Medicare were billed in six of the cases.
But the department has yet to release the chart. It is under indefinite review, Bill Schwarz, a department spokesman, said, “to ensure confidential information is not compromised.”
It’s under indefinite review. Just like your freedom.
Full article here.
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Posted by Judy Morris
Sen. Rand Paul’s Medicare Reform Bill: $1 Trillion in Savings in 10 Years
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation on August 1 that would change the cost and the function of Medicare.
Paul, a medical doctor, claims that his Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act (CHCSA) would “fix the Medicare system in its entirety,” and save taxpayers $1 trillion in the first decade after its enactment.
“As a doctor, I have had firsthand experience with the vast problems facing health care in the United States. Medicare, as we know it, is broken and in desperate need of reform. It is indefinitely $43 trillion short and must be reformed now before it’s too late. My plan fixes the Medicare system, and gives seniors access to the best health care plans enjoyed currently by Members of Congress and does so without breaking the bank,” Dr. Paul said. “Seniors deserve to have a world-class health care system, and U.S. taxpayers deserve to have their hard-earned dollars put to better use, in a system that will not eventually bankrupt this country.”
In its analysis of Paul’s proposal, United Liberty reports:
Seniors would have access to a marketplace of various insurance plans that cannot deny coverage to anyone for any reason. While the government still pitches in with about three-quarters of the total costs, the open market makes it fairly less complicated for the senior to find a more inexpensive option, since companies will have to compete to meet the needs of growing numbers of customers. The Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act assures that there’s a gradual raise in the Medicare retirement age, which would go from 65 to 70 over a generation, leading to a major cut in overall costs.
It is undeniable that Medicare pays out more in benefits than it takes in through payroll tax.
According to a report in Forbes published in May:
The trustees of Medicare have stated that the promises they have made exceed their projected revenues by tens of trillions of dollars. Senator Tom Coburn (a physician in private life) has estimated that the average American couple contributes approximately $110,000 to Medicare over their working careers and receives over $330,000 of Medicare benefits. On Feb. 20,USA Today cited Urban Institute data pegging those same figures at $88,000 and $387,000, respectively.
Read the rest at The New American, here.
Posted by Judy Morris
America Already Has Socialized Medicine – A Trillion for Medicare & Medicaid and Another Trillion for Obamacare Subsidies
America already has socialized medicine and Medicare and Medicaid now cover the heathcare costs of nearly 60% of Americans to the tune of a trillion bucks a year. Under Obamacare, direct insurance company subsidies are estimated to cost another trillion. By the time Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies kick in, it’s doubtful that there will be many left in America who won’t have heavily subsidized or totally cost free healthcare.
Medicare and Medicaid Entitlements
USA Today reported that Medicare and Medicaid costs were $992 billion in 2010 and expected to grow by $90 billion in 2011, here.
Medicare and Medicaid spending rose 10% in the second quarter from a year earlier to a combined annual rate of almost $992 billion, according to new data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The two programs are on track to rise $90 billion in 2011 and crack the $1 trillion milestone for the first time.
The jump in health care spending is the biggest since the Medicare prescription drug benefit was added five years ago and ends a brief lull in the spending increases that occurred during the economic downturn…..
Medicare and Medicaid paid a record 57.5% of patient bills for hospital, doctors, drugs and other care in the last quarter, up from 49.3% in 2005.
Both Medicare and Medicaid are expected to grow significantly. Forbes reports that there are already 50 million folks enrolled in Medicaid. They pay nothing and get free medical care. The Kaiser Family foundation reports that there are currently over 49 million folks enrolled in Medicare, here. Obamacare is expected to increase Medicaid enrollees by 20 million, here.
Expanding Medicaid, which is funded jointly by states and the federal government, is a key part of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act. And though the U.S. Supreme Court last year largely upheld the law, it did allow state governors to opt out of expanding Medicaid coverage to more Americans.
Still, the Medicaid expansion should bring 5 million Americans into the expanded Medicaid coverage next year and eventually up to 10 million more newly insured Americans by 2017, Avalere’s Stento said. Before the Supreme Court ruling, Avalere projected there would be 11 million new Medicaid enrollees in 2014 “with that phasing up to 20 million by 2017 and 21 million by 2019,” Avalere said.
Already, there are about 50 million Americans enrolled in Medicaid health insurance for the poor or affiliated health coverage programs like the State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP).
Although Medicaid was originally sold to the states as a federally funded entitlement and revenue generator for the states, eventually the cost of the program was approximately split between the states and federal government at about 50:50. Medicaid is a huge tax burden on the states. Similarly, Obamacare has also been sold to the states as revenue generators because the states “agreeing to go along with the Medicaid expansion are taking advantage of a cash infusion of more than $900 billion in federal dollars from 2014 to 2022 under the health law.” according to the above referenced Forbes article.
Medicaid and Medicare costs do not include the cost of subsidized Obamacare plans, although the expansion of Medicaid is part of Obamacare. Who is eligible for Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies? According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, eligibility depends on family income and dependents.
Beginning in October 2013, middle-income people under age 65, who are not eligible for coverage through their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare, can apply for tax credit subsidies available through state-based exchanges.
Additionally, states have the option to expand their Medicaid programs to cover all people making up to 138% of the federal poverty level (which is about $33,000 for a family of four). In states that opt out of expanding Medicaid, some people making below this amount will still be eligible for Medicaid, some will be eligible for subsidized coverage through Marketplaces, and others will not be eligible for subsidies.
Like any federal program, subsidies and eligibility are complicated formulas. How much will Obamacare subsidies cost?
Here is a great talk given at The 21 Convention in 2012, by Doug McGuff, MD, a prominent member of the ancestral health (paleo-primal) community: “Fitness, Health, and Liberty.” Doug, an emergency room physician, is well known for his ‘Body By Science‘ program, a high-intensity interval training program.
This is an important presentation because Doug presents the historical picture on how the physician-patient relationship went from a fiduciary relationship between provider and consumer to a 3rd party morass of collectivized medicine that sacrificed individual services to the needs of the masses in general in order to conform to the rules outlined by the medical establishment-insurance industry alliance.
While it is easy to blame the Democrats or blame Obama for the nationalization of medical care, this system began to form many years ago under the auspices of self-serving medical practitioners who built alliances with the government-medical establishment in the pursuit of rent-seeking arrangements. Dr. McGuff notes that doctors, who had short-term gains in mind, ultimately sacrificed their profession to these pursuits and thus “set into motion the long-term unintended consequences that resulted in their ultimate enslavement.”
His discussion of the formation of the “Blues” plans to guarantee payment for services while receiving tax-exempt status in exchange for community ratings is spot on. Community ratings, that did not allow for discrimination based on individual health status, were the beginnings of socialized medicine and thus opened the door to moral hazard and the current system of pre-paid medical care that defies all the principles of personal accountability and the free market.
This presentation is 72 minutes, but it is worth every minute of your time. I work in this industry and can tell you that Dr. McGuff has presented the best short timeline I have seen on the topic of how 3rd-party insurance and government-business alliances came to destroy the U.S. health care system. Dr. McGuff is also a libertarian, as if you can’t tell by the presentation.