It was a bad week for Medicaid expansion. I’ll bring you up to date on that and the county in Arizona that was losing its only insurer, as well as the Obamacare innovation center I last mentioned on this webinar some months ago.
Kasich’s Kalamity – his pen-and-a-phone Obamacare Medicaid expansion – continues to go off the rails in Ohio. The feds rejected his request for a waiver to charge all Medicaid recipients a small premium regardless of income. This means that the hole in Ohio’s state budget is going to be $1 billion bigger than it would have been under the waiver Kasich wanted. Good luck, John, finding a billion dollars lying around somewhere. And other states, don’t miss the lesson here – expand Medicaid and Washington gets to tell you what to do, even more than it already does.
A study came out this week showing that Medicaid expansion has reduced employment in the states that adopted it. It seems a lot of people in those states heeded Nancy Pelosi’s advice after Obamacare was passed, and took up the violin. In other Medicaid news, the total amount of improper payments in the Medicaid program has surpassed ONE TRILLION DOLLARS – that’s trillion with a ‘t’. While it includes other things, there’s a lot of fraud in that number. And the problem is getting worse, the numbers show. CBO says the cost of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion will be $64 billion this year. Three weeks ago, the Truth Squad’s report included a chart showing that Medicaid expansion accounts for one-tenth of the yearly federal budget deficit. Every dollar spent on Medicaid expansion goes straight to the national debt. Do you think future generations will thank us, or curse us?
Moving on, Pinal County in Arizona is not going to be without an Obamacare insurer after all. Blue Cross Blue Shield reversed course and will now stay in the Obamacare exchange for that county. Before you get too excited, Blue Cross jacked up its rates 50 percent and dropped out of a different county in Arizona. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when the decision to reverse course was made. What are the odds, do you think, there isn’t a dirty deal in there, somewhere?
After being out of the news for months, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation was the subject of three stories last week. CMMI is a creature of Obamacare that is supposed to look at ways to save money in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. CMMI is experimenting with reducing reimbursements to providers for chemotherapy. Can you say – rationing? CMMI is supposed to limit itself to pilot projects, but it has one pilot going that covers 75 percent of the country. It is forcing providers to be its guinea pigs, instead of asking for volunteers. It is supposed to wait for the results of its experiments, but is implementing final changes before the results are in. Worst of all, it is bypassing Congress by running its experiments indefinitely as de facto programs, instead of bringing them to an end. Critics have observed this breaches constitutional separation of powers. I’ll keep my eye on CMMI and report back to you. I have a feeling CMMI is going to become increasingly controversial over time.
In conclusion, I will toot the healthcare working group’s horn just a bit. We received our first bit of favorable publicity. Our friend Phil Kerpen at American Commitment wrote an article recently defending Tea Party Patriots against the attack in Politico lumping TPP in with various scamPACs that billed themselves as Tea Party, but really just bilked people out of their money. In the article, Phil wrote that TPP’s healthcare working group has never flagged in its efforts to stop insurance company bailouts, repeal Obamacare, and adopt free-market reforms. The working group thanks Tea Party Patriots for believing in us and giving us the opportunity to reach far more people with our message than we could by ourselves.
Kasich’s reform package goes down in flames; his Medicaid expansion guarantees state budget woes ahead
Study: Medicaid expansion reduced employment in the many states that participated in it
Medicaid improper payment total hits ONE TRILLION DOLLARS; problem getting worse
CBO: price tag for Medicaid expansion this year is $64 billion. Taxpayers on the hook.
BCBS to cover insurerless Az county, but jacks up rates 50% and drops a different county
CMMI runs amok: reducing payments for chemo, running demo covering 75% of the country, bypassing testing.
ACA innovation center CMMI circumvents Congress w/mandatory participation in ‘experiments’ that run indefinitely
Obamacare innovation center CMMI threatens constitutional separation of powers; abuse of ‘demonstrations’ cited
OCTS ‘has never flagged in efforts to stop ins co. bailouts, repeal ACA, adopt free-market reforms. Thx @kerpen