Published March 10, 2011
We've talked - and will continue to do so - about the unintended consequences of Obamacare.
But there's one aspect I’m not sure is so unintended. Obamacare requires states keep Medicaid rolls at least at their current levels, and the law requires state Medicaid programs to begin covering all non-elderly people who earn up to 133% of the federal poverty level - or about $29,000 for a family of four.
That means half of those getting health care thanks to Obamacare will do so through Medicaid, costing the states $118 billion over 12 years, according to a Republican congressional report.
This when states are already facing record budget gaps across the board.
Before Obamacare changes - states already spent around 16% of their budgets on Medicaid. Besides the ridiculous and unsustainable costs of Medicaid expansion, there's the fact that it's just not a good system.
According to Dr. Scott Gotlieb, a professor at the New York University School of Medicine, Medicaid is actually worse than if you had no insurance at all.
For one - states have been forced to cut Medicaid reimbursements so low that most doctors won't even take it anymore. He also points to a study in the medical journal, Annals of Surgery, showing Medicaid patients were twice as likely to die in the hospital following a major surgical procedure than those with private insurance.
Those without insurance had better odds than those with Medicaid – 25% were less likely to die in the hospital.
An American Journal of Cardiology study shows those with Medicaid are two times as likely to have a major heart attack after heart procedures than those who had no insurance at all.
And Medicaid patients are 8% less likely to survive ten years after a transplant than either the privately insured or uninsured.
Gottlieb says one of the reasons for the discrepancies is because Medicaid is not allowed to be targeted to individuals and the blanket coverage is too unweilding to be effective.
So what's the Democrats solution? Expand Medicaid more.
These people are becoming delusional - burying their head in the sand and digging in their heels.
It's time reality and responsibility took priority over politics.