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"Progressives" continue effort to make failure to buy junk insurance a federal crime

Now they're even making "news" by running their own fake* polls! Gosh, they learn fast.** And don't talk to me about Medicaid expansion:

Medicaid eligibility is assets-based. All Medicaid expansion does is move the opportunity to lose all your assets before getting health care up the income ladder. Why do I suspect that the people who think the bill is so great have never had to make that choice? Not to mention that Medicaid's a welfare program -- ever popular, politically -- that's going to be cut back as soon as it starts, if it ever does start.

Now, dropping the age of eligibility for Medicare year by year so all are covered -- the original Kennedy proposal, before he drank the Obama Kool-Aid -- is something I could get excited about. But of course the administration -- eagerly aided by "progressive" access bloggers -- took that off the table immediately.

NOTE * "Results of a poll conducted for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has been pushing for a public option and its pollster... "

NOTE ** Somebody should ask Bowers if Rahm traded that quote from Sibelius for "message discipline" in other areas. I'm guessing yes.

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Submitted by hipparchia on

so your income has to be low and if you've got anything of value, you have to use that up first [with some exceptions]. and if your income fluctuates above and below the required amount, you bounce in and out of medicaid. yeah, that's just ducky for continuity of care.

i've seen analyses that suggest that this back-and-forth will continue after health care 'reform' and that it won't, that once you qualify for the exchange, you stay in the exchange and don't go back on medicaid. i have no clue who to believe on this point.

Submitted by jawbone on

The public knows it is a poverty program and sees it as the last hope of care and also the marker that soneone has lost all pretense to a middle class existence.

Requiring most of the funding to come from individual states means it has wildly varying coverage and eligibility. It is subject to cutbacks at exactly the times it is most needed.

It is a way to sweep the poor under the rug -- or onto the ice floes, from a the Corporatist righ's point of view.

Oh, yeah, those ice floes are melting. Well, whatever sinks their boats....

Submitted by jawbone on

current recession and unemployment has increased, well, poverty....

LINK Susie which has link to WaPo articfle.

The recession has fueled the greatest influx of Americans onto Medicaid since the earliest days of the public insurance program for the poor, according to new findings that show caseloads have surged in every state.

More than 3 million people joined Medicaid in the year that ended in June, the data released Thursday show. That pushed enrollment to a record 46.8 million, exacerbating the financial strains on already burdened states and complicating the federal politics of health care.

The analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy and research organization, found that in three-fifths of the jurisdictions, including Maryland and the District, people rushed into the safety net for health coverage at more than twice the rate as the year before.

Now, why, Mr. President, did you take single payer off the table???

Medicare for All...with a robust private option.

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

Many middle class professionals have learned how to get in on Medicaid. Medicare doesn't cover long-term nursing homes, and private insurance is very costly, so as they age, they shelter their assets (say, give the house to the children, retaining a life estate), retaining only enough to pay for about 6 mos. in a good nursing home. If they have to go into the nursing home, after 6 mos. they qualify for Medicaid, and Medicaid administrators rarely if ever require them to move into a less expensive facility. It's not a point of shame that they've fallen out of the middle class; it's a point of pride to be clever enough that they've got the government to pay for them. Even among the hard right-wingers the belief that the government should pay for nursing homes is very strong. Another advantage of HR676 is that it extends Medicare coverage to nursing homes and ends the cynical manipulations.

Programs for the poor are generally poor programs. When you find an exception, you will find that the relatively well-off have figured out how to get in on the benefits.

Fredster's picture
Submitted by Fredster on

The medicaid officials (not sure if it's state or Fed) will go back a certain length of time in your financials to see if you've been moving assets around. I'm not sure if it's three years back or longer.

Fredster's picture
Submitted by Fredster on

would not work unless they changed the reimbursement formula from what it is now. There are fewer and fewer doctors who are willing to take on medicaid patients. Further since it's a fed/state combo on paying for benefits, the states would just go nuts over that idea.

But of course the administration -- eagerly aided by "progressive" access bloggers -- took that off the table immediately. And don't forget that even the idea of opening medicare to those 55-64 died a quick death when Lieberman got a cross look on his face and muttered something.

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

It was mentioned by one of the PNHP speakers at the single payer meeting I went to - there already are too few doctors in some places who will take Medicaid, so expanding the program would just put greater strain on those scarce resources. Both the House and Senate bills expanded Medicaid IIRC.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

Although you had to dig deep into the stories and read between the lines. The corporate media (which I'm sure is partially owned by Wellpoint) did not want anyone knowing what an obvious stinker the Public Option Sparkle Pony was.

Medicaid is funded through states, not the federal government. The states have balanced budget laws and, as ALNM says, ever-dwindling resources. When Dubya cut federal taxes and created unfunded mandates like "No Child Left Behind," the states began to go broke. Their only recourse: Raise state and local taxes and cut services like Medicaid. The point is, state services are based on the availability of state moneys (and of course, the political leanings of the governor and state legislature.)

By contrast, the federal government can raise federal taxes on a large pool of people and/or print its own money to boost its resources. In addition, Medicare is a system that has survived for decades in an ever-changing political landscape. It's not going anywhere, and can be funded indefinitely.

Thus, an expanded FEDERAL health care system is the only answer if one truly wants universal, high-quality health care.

Submitted by hipparchia on

is a mix of state and federal. i forget the details, but the federal govt says to each state: this is the absolute minimum benefit you have to provide and this is how much $$$ we expect you to put up and if you do that we'll match it with this amount of $$$ and if you choose to do more we'll give you a little bit more $. this is why the benefits vary pretty widely from state to state, some states are more generous with their tax dollars.

Submitted by jm on

"Why do I suspect that the people who think the bill is so great have never had to make that choice?"

While certainly there are currently uninsured supporters of the bill who will benefit from it, I'd like to know how many of the "Pass. The. Damn. Bill." blowhards already receive coverage through their employers, to what extent they are covered and at what out-of-pocket cost. Call me cynical, but I suspect for many, if not most, of these people the issue is more about posting a "win" in Obama's column than it is about compassion for those less fortunate than them.

Submitted by jawbone on

Of private for-proft health insurers adding no value while sucking money from the people at ever increasing rates, with higher co-pays and deductibles, with delay of treatment and denial of care.

Obama will try to use anger against the BHIPs (Big Health Insurance Parasites) to get his bill passed, but his bill will only increases their ability to suck money from the people. Mandates, babeeee!

AOL posts today about report that health insurer profits increased 250% in the past 10 years.

This is not new to readers of Corrente and those who pay attention to single payer supporters, and probably not new to most people's gut reactions to what's happening with health CARE and insurance, but it has been off the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) front pages and talking head programs for quite awhile. Seems to be back since CA Anthem went ballistc with their premiums increase, which, while in line with increases for individual plans all over the country, got MCM attention and then the famous "sternly worded letter" from Sibelius.

Why now? Bcz the WH was losing the messaging war with BHIPers and the Repubs and ConservaDems? Bcz some in the media became a bit frightened of losing their own coverage? Bcz there's some real reporting going on? I tend toward the first....

Profits for the 10 largest U.S. insurance companies jumped 250% between 2000 and 2009 while millions of Americans have lost coverage, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The report found that the five biggest insurance companies -- WellPoint (WLP), Cigna (CI), UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Aetna (AET) and Humana (HUM) -- saw their profits increase 56% in 2009, a year in which 2.7 million people lost their private coverage.

What's more, the report found that the companies combined earned a total of $12.2 billion last year. And lest we forget, on the executive compensation, CEOs of the top five received $24 million on average in 2008, the report said.

Given the timing of the release of the report, was the document an effort by the Obama Administration to increase pressure on the insurance industry as it looks to gain the public's support for health-care reform? It's clear that health insurance companies don't seem to have a lot of friends these days.

SNIP

The report entitled Insurance Companies Prosper, Families Suffer: Our Broken Health Insurance System aims to provide the administration more insight and fighting points. It found that WellPoint's increase in California isn't unique. While providing examples of other "shocking" premium hikes, the report also says that experts predict these increases will continue.

And higher premiums aren't the only problem. The report shows how the amount spent on prescription drugs over the past decade continues to become a smaller piece of the expense pie, while administrative costs -- salaries, administrative expenses and profits -- at insurance companies are becoming a large part. The highly concentrated industry also provided coverage to 2.2 million fewer people in the first three quarter of 2009.

The coverage in this articles does not mention that Wellpoint Anthem had also decided it could raise premium rates at any point during the coverage year, not once as year as is now customary.

Given the arguments against high profits and lower coverage provided by these parasites, how can someone like Sibelius continue to work for the hideous Epic Fail plan put forth by the Senate? Oh, yeah...get the parasites their government mandated victims.

How can Obama expect the public to accept this Epic Fail health insurance protection plan?

Come Monday, I guess, we will finally see what Obama is willing to fight for and accept. Maybe not actualy fight for...but something will be on the table with his fingerprints on it.

I found this AOL article interesting given where it is placed--at solidly middle to right AOL. What does it mean? Stay tuned.