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A whole lot more Medicaid, but there’s a catch

It looks like the stimulus package is going to spend a whole lot more on Medicaid AND subsidize the purchase of COBRA for laid off workers. Unlike the “let them eat cake” brigade who’ll decry this as extending welfare to the worthless, I have no problem with it. So long as it really is only a temporary measure,

But let’s be clear—Medicaid is dumb public policy. It’s divided between paying for care for the poor and paying for mostly long-term care for the elderly and chronically disabled, and also has subsidies for hospitals in poor areas thrown in. Then it has S-CHIP as its bastard relation. Furthermore, while the Federal government giveth, the states (which are broke but can’t borrow—California alone is $45 billion in the hole!) are by necessity going to have to take away.

There’s no rationale to have that Federal/state divide on paying for health care for the poor and some of the elderly.

Equally there’s also no rationale for having anyone link their
health coverage to employment—least of all those who are not employed
any more. And don’t forget that COBRA only applies to those who have a
program to buy into. In other words it doesn’t apply for those whose
former employer has gone belly-up taking their health plan with them.

So people need help now, and the stimulus package is about all we
have left. But the temporary stimulus once in place must not become a
reason not to fix the underlying problem with American health
care. We need a single progressively financed insurance pool. When we
get that hopefully employment-based insurance and Medicaid will be a
thing of the past, and not a moment too soon.

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eggsfairwayMedicaid Beneficiariesjt1Amanda Recent comment authors
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eggs
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I read this piece of writing completely regarding the resemblance of
newest and earlier technologies, it’s remarkable article.

fairway
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Medicaid Beneficiaries
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Medicaid Beneficiaries

Am I reading the below correctly is this company reporting 2.1 billion a quarter in revenues and that they have decided to help poor people make food choices for those who’s income is liminted and based only what their budgets dictates and what they can only really afford to buy and pay for and this will help them overcome “food insecurity” and this is done so that there choices will be like milk or cheese over say other choices then milk and cheese like kool aid for their kides…. and this has what to do with what they are quoteing… Read more »

jt1
Guest

MATTHEW HOLT Sir i have medicaid and i had to 35 fixs to my collor bones and feet and to my knees and Epilepsy i have bones that broke easy and i was born with it so did i ask for it no i did not so walk a mile in my shoes for a time and you will know what it is like Sir and yes i have medicaid Thank you for you time Sir

Amanda
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Amanda

I dont think it is fair at all! I am so tired of some people getting hand outs and having children on the taxpayers dollars and just creating more mouths to feed that they knowlingly cant support without financial help. People that get housing, etc. It cost me $7000 to have my son, yet a women right next to me with medicaid paid nothing! And that same women gets free formula, reduced daycare, etc. Basically my husband and I are paycheck to paycheck b/c we are trying to do things the right way and becuase we are the wrong color!… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

Good, lets divert some of that Wall Street bailout money going to prop up bonuses (18B for 08) for incompetent execs who caused this mess to education. Maybe you’d like to see those multi-million dollar bonuses get a capped income tax, cause they’re already suffering under so much tax – poor little crooks.

Deron S.
Guest

I’d rather divert some of the current tax revenue to educational initiatives. Why add more tax when there is so much waste in government already?

Peter
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Peter

Deron, education, either for children or parants, requires taxes – care to contribute more, or at least have the wealthy contribute the same percentage as you? If you look at Louisiana school system as an example, probably the worst in the U.S., local tax consessions for wealthy corporations (Int’l Paper, Shell Oil, etc) have diverted millions away from mostly local programs (education). In fact corporate relocation “extortion” accounts for millions in uncollected taxes to local and state government. The system is used to play one state against another with a game of prisoners dilemma. Here in NC property owners (over… Read more »

Deron S.
Guest

Better education and better parenting.

Peter
Guest
Peter

“How can we improve incomes of those at the lower end?”
Love to hear your suggestions.

Deron S.
Guest

Peter – I think we both know that a debate like this has no end, because it is purely ideological. You feel that the effective rates should be equal and I don’t fault you for feeling that way. I just happen to disagree because an equally strong argument could be made that it’s not fair that some pay millions in taxes and others pay a couple thousand. The real debate should be: How can we improve incomes of those at the lower end? The Dems have the stage all to themselves, so I guess we see if they can deliver… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

Deron, why would you think that you should pay 25% of your income in taxes, which reduces your discretionary spending, but the rich guy above you pay 15%? If you want to talk about fairness and equallity whats’s fair about that? Richer people can pay higher taxes and still live well because they earn more money. Think Buffet could survive on a few less million per year?

Deron S.
Guest

Peter – I don’t particularly like our tax system and I agree that there are significant issues needing addressed. With that said, the spin that gets put on the taxes paid by the “rich” is usually way over the top. Warren Buffet might have a lower effective tax rate than some less fortunate, but that doesn’t change the fact that he still pays millions more each year to be an American than the average person. Unfortunately, you won’t see an NY Times article ever state that. That might make them balanced, and they are clearly not striving for that.

Peter
Guest
Peter

“What’s wrong with having 50 universal coverage systems?” Because it would allow the healthcare industry to divide and conquer. Because it would restrict the ability of companies and workers to locate due to the most expensive/least expensive/coverage differences and it would restrict portability. If you lived in Iowa and traveled to Florida and needed medical care, who would pay and how much would they pay? The states should administer the federal program and collect a state portion of tax to fund the program in their state, but the state programs should also be funded by DC to make sure the… Read more »

Tom Leith
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Tom Leith

Matthew says:
> There’s no rationale to have that Federal/state
> divide on paying for health care for the poor and
> some of the elderly.
Right. What’s wrong with having 50 universal coverage systems? The states could provide healthcare financing mechanisms for all their citizens…
t