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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: They don't even care enough to fake it anymore

Times:

WASHINGTON — The White House is encouraging skeptical state officials to expand Medicaid by subsidizing the purchase of private insurance for low-income people, even though that approach might be somewhat more expensive, federal and state officials say.

Just an outright transfer of public money (taxes) to private entities (health insurance companies) despite the fact that thirty cents of every dollar pumped through blood-gorged bellies of the health insurance companies goes to overhead, CEO bonuses and salaries, and profit.

And whaddaya know:

The idea of using “premium assistance” to buy private insurance for new Medicaid beneficiaries is a sharp departure from the 2010 health care law, in which Congress expanded Medicaid to cover the poorest Americans and assumed that people with higher incomes would obtain private coverage through the exchanges.

Once again, I wasn't cynical enough. This didn't occur to me. Doubtless it's been in the works since the beginning. Now that the kayfabe of the 2012 election is over, the various local oligarchies can settle down to passing out the goodies.

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danps's picture
Submitted by danps on

The wording on this is weird to me:

The idea of using “premium assistance” to buy private insurance for new Medicaid beneficiaries is a sharp departure from the 2010 health care law, in which Congress expanded Medicaid to cover the poorest Americans and assumed that people with higher incomes would obtain private coverage through the exchanges.

Why would new Medicaid beneficiaries need private insurance? Does Pear mean Medicaid-eligible citizens getting private insurance instead of Medicaid? His wording implies private insurance is a supplement to Medicaid, not a replacement for it. Later he writes about states "taking federal money for the expansion of Medicaid but using it to help people buy commercial insurance instead," so presumably these people are not Medicaid beneficiaries.

The political priority seems to be to try to get as many states as possible to buy in to the system, presumably on the assumption that once states join they'll have a hard time dropping out. Many states are resisting the program altogether, so this might be a carrot to get them in.

In addition to some governors, doctors appear to be a roadblock too:

The idea appeals to many doctors and hospitals because they typically receive higher payments from commercial insurance than from Medicaid.

“We supported the expansion of Medicaid before this idea came up, and we are more excited now,” said David W. Wroten, the executive vice president of the Arkansas Medical Society. “Providers of all types would be paid at private insurance rates, and that will help recruit physicians for Medicaid, especially in rural areas.”

Getting them on board seems important too. The higher rates from private insurance might help overcome that resistance.

The primary measure of it as a policy is whether or not it improves peoples' quality of life, and this part seems to be the key:

In addition, many advocates prefer Medicaid because it has strict limits on co-payments and deductibles and provides benefits that may not be available in commercial insurance. These include long-term care, dental services, medical equipment and even personal attendant services for some people with severe disabilities.

Federal officials said state Medicaid programs could provide these extra services as a supplement to private insurance.

If people are paying for private insurance that is too expensive to use, it's a terrible policy. If they pay at rates they can afford and they get better health care, then the policy is a good one - even with the tribute paid to private insurers.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

If what's being rolled out in the latest Oligarch Panzer Attack (by Chief Panzer Lackey Obama) is putting anyone who would otherwise have qualified for Medicaid into the "private exchanges" (private insurance) plans, then there's no Medicaid anymore. Those same people will get to pick between the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum options, will only be considered (ecomonically) eligible for "bronze" -- high deductible, no coverage pieces of financially ruinous junk -- and then be forced into further entrapment into that horrow show of the "subsidy - scheme" that was so well described by the anonymous author published by Craig Roberts.

So where exactly does "Medicaid" even exist anymore in the above scheme?