During the past year, the American public has learned that the Affordable Care Act will not stand good for Barack Obama’s promises of lower insurance rates and better healthcare. This being the case, ObamaCare supporters are scrambling to somehow keep the only remaining, empty promise made to gullible constituents: the Act will provide insurance for the majority of the nation’s habitually uninsured. It will be the only means left them to declare ObamaCare a “success.”
In addition to threatening scofflaws with penalties–that is, TAXES–it had been the intent of ObamaCare’s authors to expand coverage throughout the nation by demanding that each state provide Medicaid to Americans up to 138% of the federal poverty level. When the Supreme Court struck down this coercive, unconstitutional scheme, Medicaid expansion programs became optional. The federal government has hoped to entice states into participating by offering to pay 100% of Medicaid expense for the first 3 years and 90% thereafter. (Of course, this pledge involved only reimbursement for Medicaid CLAIMS, not administrative and other costs.)
But thus far, 25 states have either refused to expand their Medicaid program or are leaning hard in that direction. Why will half of the nation likely refuse to sign on? After all, the federal government is now reimbursing states just 57% of Medicaid expense. Shouldn’t 100% be a deal no one could pass up?
Medicaid was originally created as a healthcare safety net for the poorest Americans. It was not designed (back in 1965) to cover more than 60 million people, according to recent estimates. Doctors and healthcare providers are paid in a very meager way for their Medicaid services, and many have either dropped out of the program or are refusing new Medicaid patients. Thus care providers are vanishing just as millions of new Medicaid patients are entering the marketplace.
The promise of ObamaCare was to cover at least ½ of the 60 million uninsured Americans by 2022. But this is where the wicket gets very sticky.
“If all states were to go along with the optional Medicaid expansion, nearly 90 million people would be enrolled in the program by the end of the decade, including those newly-eligible under the ObamaCare optional expansion. However, as many as 60% of these new enrollees are likely to drop private coverage in order to sign up for Medicaid, moving from private to public insurance that will be funded by taxpayers. That will strain not only federal and state budgets, but would also shred the safety net for the poor as they are forced to compete with millions more people to get care from the limited number of providers who see Medicaid patients.”
So nearly 20 million would flee private insurance to participate in the “free” government-provided program. They would be competing for care with those who are privately insured (that is, patients upon whom doctors and hospitals can make a profit.) Costs for the non-Medicaid patient would surely increase as providers charge these individuals higher rates in order to make up for the loss they are taking on the federally insured. And of course, whether at the state or federal level, taxpayers will bear the burden.
To date, 33 states have refused to build ObamaCare exchanges; and as many as 25 will not participate in the Medicaid expansion. Republican governors/legislators in these states know ObamaCare to be a massive federal entitlement program and unconstitutional effort to exercise life and death control over the American public. If these lawmakers remain committed, the Affordable Care Act must fail. There simply won’t be enough people to pay the tab.