I call tonight’s report ‘Sicko – Obamacare is Warping the National Psyche’. Is it possible to make yourself sick in the head? The Obamacare news this week suggests the answer is yes.
Let’s start with spending. The nation had a balanced budget for most of its history, outside of war-time, until about 30 years ago. We’ve been running chronic deficits ever since. Once you cross the line and convince yourself you can spend money you don’t have, it becomes easier to start crossing other lines.
I’ve mentioned Medicaid mission creep on previous webinars. There’s now an entire cottage industry devoted to misusing Medicaid to pay for things like housing, utility bills, and other things way beyond healthcare. Devotees call it ‘social determinants of health’ and they are busy preparing the ground for new demands for ever-higher social spending through the Medicaid program. Just put in the hashtag #SDOH on Twitter and you can see these busy beavers at work.
Then there was the story this week about the proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in all Medicaid expansion states. This would shift some Medicaid beneficiaries from the regular federal match rate – about 50 or 60 percent – to the elevated Medicaid expansion match rate – currently 100 percent, but falling to 90 percent over the next few years. Get it? We have to have a higher minimum wage so we can pull down more free money from Washington. Let me suggest to you that it’s pathological to sit around dreaming up schemes like this instead of figuring out how to create prosperity, and it all starts with the wrong-headed notion that the deficit doesn’t matter and money grows on Washington cherry trees.
The Obamacare news this week also contained more than its usual share of flim-flam, deception, and bribery. But what would you expect from a law born of flim-flam, deception and bribery? CMS is misusing taxpayer information for a new marketing campaign to target people who pay the individual mandate, trying to get them to buy Obamacare policies, instead. Next, HHS tried to hide a report showing that Medicaid expansion under Obamacare is causing Medicaid fraud to go up sharply. Next, many taxpayers are failing to submit the proper forms to reconcile their actual wages to the tax credits they receive under Obamacare, but the IRS gives them tax credits the next year, anyway. The bribe money just keeps flowing. Finally, CMS told the remaining insurers who are still left in the Obamacare exchanges that the government will go easy on them when it comes to consumer complaints, such as enrollment errors. The insurers are being handed a crutch, all in the name of propping up Obamacare.
Connect the dots and what do you get? Our thinking is getting more and more twisted as a country. Another reason why I say Obamacare is a cancer, and must be ripped out root and branch.
#SDOH Industry burrowing away; leveraging Medicaid to clamor for more spending in other programs
Latest Medicaid expansion gimmick – raise the minimum wage and more will qualify for higher federal match
CMS misusing taxpayer info to target mandate payers in Obamacare marketing campaign
HHS hides report suggesting Medicaid expansion cause of stunning rise in Medicaid fraud.
Taxpayers failing to reconcile ACA credits to wages; IRS spits out subsidies anyway. #RubeGoldbergsRevenge
CMS hands remaining insurers a crutch, signaling it will go easy on consumer complaints (enrollment errors, etc.)