Reason: Video: “How Medicaid & ObamaCare Hurts the Poor

This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStateNow on WordPress, April, 2013

It’s not that we have a Federal health insurance program for the poor that’s the problem. But how it’s setup and run that is the problem because Medicaid was never setup to be run affordably and efficiently. The idea of Medicaid is that “we are going to have free health insurance for the people who are on Medicaid. With the states, doctors, hospitals and clinics having to figure out how to pay for most of it with the Feds not chipping in much”.

And what the states, doctors, hospitals and clinics are saying is that “we can’t afford that we need to be compensated for the healthcare that we deliver. Otherwise we are not going to be able to deliver it because we have our own bills to pay”. Medicaid along with Medicare were setup in 1965, the difference being that Medicare was setup with a direct revenue source and increase in the payroll tax. Medicaid has never had that, it’s had to come out of general revenue from the Feds and states and what the Feds have basically said is that. “We do have the money for it” and have past the costs down to the states, hospitals, clinics and doctors.

So the way to fix Medicaid is to make self-financed with it’s own revenue source. And we could do that by having Medicaid be paid for by its customers like all other health insurance plans. Including Medicare so workers would pay for a portion of their Medicaid insurance, along with their employers. With these low-income workers being eligible for a tax credit at the end of the year. And people who are unemployed would get an additional payment to pay for their Medicaid.

As well as giving Medicaid patients an option to choose another health insurance plan with their Medicaid dollars, but they wouldn’t be forced to and we would see less people taking Medicaid for another plan. And then I would do what’s called in Washington, block-grant Medicaid to the states for them to run under a couple of conditions. That anyone eligible for Medicaid would have the option of taking Medicaid and getting that health insurance. And that their Medicaid dollars could only be used to pay for Medicaid.

The concept of Medicaid is sound so that even low-income workers can have access to health insurance and health care in America. But the way it was setup and run has created a hole for the states, hospitals, clinics and doctors to fill. And what they are saying is that “we can no longer afford to fill that hole” and as a result Medicaid patients are now getting stuck without having health insurance. Something by law they are eligible to have.

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CATO: Blog: Ilya Shapiro: ObamaCare’s Medicaid Expansion Violates Federalism

Va Organizing Medicaid Expansion Press Conf
This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStateNow on WordPress, January, 2012 and then reposted

I would’ve gone farther to bring down healthcare costs with things like preventive care, taxing junk food and drink, getting junk food and drink out of public schools, encouraging people to eat healthy and exercise, mandatory physical education K-12 and other things. And I certainly didn’t like the Medicaid expansion that was in the ACA that wasn’t paid for. And that’s what I”m going to blog about.

Medicaid was set up in 1965 as part of the LBJ Great Society. To provide Health Insurance for low-income people who can’t afford it, sounds noble enough right. And that the Federal along with state governments would provide the funds to pay for it, another Federal mandate on the states. One problem with Medicaid has been the Feds haven’t lived up to their share of the costs of Medicaid that they wrote in their own law and as the cost of health care in America has gone up.

Health care costs have gone up since Medicaid was created in 1965, so has the States Medicaid costs. But the Federal Government, has not only not paid for their share of what they originally said they would pay for, but of course they haven’t been providing the funds to pay for the new Medicaid costs that the states have picked up as well. Which have been made worse the last ten years with state revenue shrinking with a couple of recessions and everything else.

What I would like to do with Medicaid is take it off both the Federal and state budgets. Allow each State to have their own Medicaid as well as healthcare system. And then turn Medicaid into a semi-private non-profit health insurer. With each State having their own version of Medicaid. And make Medicaid self-financed as well by their customers and employers, Unemployed workers would get an additional tax credit to go along with their public assistance check to cover their Medicaid insurance.

Low-income workers would pay for part of their Medicaid insurance. And their employer would cover the other part. And both the workers and employers would be eligible for a tax credit to cover that. And you could pay for that out of corporate welfare. As well as workers and employers could use that tax credit and opt out of Medicaid for private health insurance.

I got this rule that I like to use in life, before you create a new mess, clean up your first mess. Which is how I would describe Medicaid. It’s a Financial Mess, that no one wants to pay for. Because the money isn’t there, it has to come out of general revenue. And takes money out of other priorities. So before you expand something like that, you should first fix it.

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Los Angeles Times: Report: David G. Savage & Noam N. Levey: Medicaid Could be in U.S. Supreme Court’s Sights

This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStateNow on WordPress, March, 2012 and then reposted

As part of trying to expand health insurance to uninsured Americans in 2010, when President Obama and Congressional Democrats created the Affordable Care Act in 2010, They put in a Medicaid prevision that required states to expand their Medicaid rolls by roughly twenty-million people. Democrats and I’m one of them, that by in large supports the ACA, added another unfunded mandate, meaning the Federal Government requiring States to do something, without giving them the resources to pay for it.

They added a new unfunded mandate to a program that’s already an unfunded mandate. The economy is not great today and states are still strapped, but the economy was worst in 2010. Roughly 2M more people unemployed in 2010 then today. Whether the Medicaid Prevision in the ACA is unconstitutional or not, I’m not a lawyer and that’s above my pay grade, but to me anyway all unfunded mandates should be Unconstitutional, whether they are now or not.

But the point is the unfunded mandate in the ACA is just bad law pure and simple. The goal of the ACA was to expand health insurance for the uninsured who can’t afford it. To be eligible for Medicaid, you have to be living in poverty. A lot of the people who can’t afford health insurance today aren’t in poverty at least by definition. But can’t afford health insurance through their employer or on their own. But make too much money to be eligible for Medicaid. And in the ACA 20M out of the 30M, that were going to get Health Insurance, were to get it through Medicaid.

The Medicaid prevision of the ACA is just another example of why Medicaid was never designed properly from the first place. It was designed to be a health insurer for low-income Americans, that would be controlled by the Federal Government, but that the States would have to implement. What Uncle Sam would want them to do or pay a financial penalty for not taking the Medicaid expansion.

Unlike Medicare that was designed to a Federal health insurer run by Uncle Sam that is paid for by an increase in the payroll tax. I believe both Medicaid and Medicare are overly centralized. And that the States should have the authority to set up their own Medicaid and Medicare systems. With the resources to run them with the Feds serving as a regulator not operator.

Back in 1965 when Medicaid was created, it should’ve been set up as a health insurer for the poor but that was run by the states, or they would regulate it, that was self-financed so it wouldn’t have to be a financial hole that it is today and that would only cover the basics that people need to survive and to be healthy and it could’ve served as a model for health insurers ever since. And not be so expensive to run, with states wondering how they are going to pay for it.

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Los Angeles Times: Editorial: Healing Medi-Cal: Let California Have Medi-Cal

Demonstrators Against Medi-Cal Cuts

Demonstrators Against Medi-Cal Cuts

This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStateNow on WordPress, February 2012 and then reposted

Los Angeles Times: Editorial: Healing Medi-Cal

A lot of states are swamped in deficit and debt thanks to high unemployment. With a lot fewer people working and paying taxes as we had four years ago. And instead of working and paying taxes, they are instead consuming more public services. Paid for by less tax revenue, California being a perfect example of this. Medicaid was already set up in the 1960s as an unfunded mandate that has to come out of general revenue.

Unfunded mandates makes it even harder to pay for Medicaid. And when we have fewer people working and more poor people in the country Medicaid or Medi-Cal as its called in California becomes even harder to pay for, especially with the Federal Government Continuing to pass down regulations without the funds to pay for them. The way to fix Medicaid not just for California, but every other state, there are a few of ways.

One let each State have Medicaid to run. Each State would have its own version of Medicaid. Which would help make Medicaid self-financed, that would be paid for by its consumers and their employees. Unemployed workers would get a tax credit provided by the Federal Government to cover their health care costs and employers would get a tax credit from the Feds to cover their Medicaid costs.

Two instead of even having the states run Medicaid, convert each Medicaid into a semi-private non-profit self-financed health insurer that provides health insurance for low-income people. And let the States, Feds and locals regulate these health insurers instead.
Medicaid wasn’t set up to be efficient or cost-effective. But to provide health insurance for people who couldn’t get it any other way. Which it has done for the most part, but it needs to be reformed. To make it cost-effective, especially when budgets are tight for everyone.

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NBC News: Video: NBC Nightly News’s Don Harris: Howard Jarvis, Jerry Brown & the 1978 California State Election

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The mid and late 1970s was a very rough time for America economically and 1978 is a perfect example of that and with California being the largest state in the union, perhaps Californians felt the rough economy with the high interest rates, inflation, energy shortages, high employment perhaps California was hurt the worst by this economic period. The country had already started moving Right politically starting in the mid 1960s, and by the late 70s the country was already thinking, “maybe we need a different economic course and new political leadership in charge”.

Property taxes were becoming unpopular in California and I’m sure in other states. The property tax is about as regressive, not progressive of a tax you can impose on someone, especially if they are struggling to just pay their bills and perhaps are looking for work. And when the economy is down like it was in 78 and you are struggling, you feel the pinch of the property tax a hell of a lot more than someone who’s home is fully paid for and runs or owns a successful business.

So when California businessman Howard Jarvis comes around with a plan to cut property taxes in California by putting it on a state referendum because he knows that State Legislature won’t approve of it being controlled by Progressive Democrats, both the Assembly and Senate and has the money and backers to fund the referendum, people take notice even in a state like California which is overwhelmingly Democratic politically.

Anti-Property Tax Crusader

Anti-Property Tax Crusader

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Reuters Plus: Video: The Trail With Samuel P. Jacobs: Rick Santorum vs. Mitt Romney: The Next Ten Days Crucial

Big Government Republican

Big Government Republican

This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStateNow on WordPress, March, 2012 and then reposted
Alabama has already been called for Rick Santorum by NBC News and now CNN. Rick Santorum has been been holding a slim but steady lead over Newt Gingrich. Whose actually in 2nd Place in both states, not Mitt Romney whose the GOP frontrunner. Mitt has called Rick Santorum “desperate”, calling someone desperate whose about to win two more States in the deep South.

The deep South is an area the Republican nominee is going to have to win overwhelmingly. In order to have any shot of beating President Obama in the general election. And their frontrunner has yet to win a state in this region. Unless you want to include Florida, that politically more looks like California than Alabama or Mississippi and their frontrunner is in third place in two of these States.

Mitt is the overwhelmingly favorite to win the Republican nomination for President. I believe even the Santorum Campaign would acknowledge that at least in private. But the point of these Southern primaries, is that the GOP race goes on. And Mitt is going to have to continue to raise and spend money. To spend against Rick Santorum, a big government Republican. Who’s on the fringe in American politics and will never be President of the United States. Because of this, money Mitt needs to spend against President Obama in the general election.

Flip Flopper

Flip Flopper

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NBC News: Video: Election Night 1978, November 7th, 1978: Short Video

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Some local New York State elections courtesy of WNBC-TV in New York City, which is naturally the NYC NBC affiliate there. Followed by NBC News coverage of some governors races and one Senate race in Mississippi. A short video with only about a minute of it or so covering national politics on any kind. So not much to go on for me at least just shy of third birthday in November, 1978 and obviously no personal memory of this night. But this is interesting in the sense that give you a little idea anyway of how politics was covered in America back then.
1978 Elections

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