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House GOP declares war on the chronically ill, private medical insurers

by: Eric B.

Thu May 09, 2013 at 17:45:06 PM EDT

On what planet, I would like to know, do House Republicans reside on, because it ain't Earth. From Gongwer.

House Bill 4714, introduced by Mr. Lori (R-Constantine), would seek the waiver to giver certain nondisabled adults meeting the income limit the choice of going ontoMedicaid or obtaining private insurance. It also would develop incentives for healthy behavior and – in something certain to be controversial – limit nondisabled adults to 48 months in the program. The limit would apply prospectively, so previous time on Medicaid prior to the expansion taking effect would not count against Medicaidbeneficiaries.

The bill would end the expansion for nondisabled adults (people between 21-65 without a disability) if federal support for implementation and administration of the expansion falls below 100 percent. Right now, the federal government would only fund the Medicaid expansion at that rate until 2017. During a period of years, the state would have to ratchet up support until contributing 10 percent of the cost.

The bill also would require nondisabled adults to contribute no more than 5 percent of their annual income to their coverage, whether through co-pays, deductibles or premiums, although the Department of Community Health could grant exemptions based on ability to pay.

What possible logic exists to warrant capping Medicaid benefits at four years? The entire point of expanding Medicaid is to keep people on some kind of insurance and not pushing the costs for their care onto private insurance in hospital emergency rooms.

Also, in what world do people's chronic health conditions just go away after four years? Further, this creates costs by eliminating a way to manage a heath problem that is not yet disabling by taking away health care until a recipient's health declines to the point of it disabling them. Under Rep. Lori's Michigan, if a person on Medicaid develops diabetes that is managed successfully so that it doesn't become a disability, after four years his or her coverage disappears until it gets so bad that it becomes really expensive to treat.

Are these people really that dumb, or are they just mean spirited?

Eric B. :: House GOP declares war on the chronically ill, private medical insurers
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The "logic" of the four-year Medicaid cap...
...is tied to the four-year lifetime cap on cash assistance through "welfare."

Republicans are simply making explicit what they've always believed: That Medicaid = Welfare, and the "able-bodied" poors don't deserve either beyond four years.

These are folks  who believe in their gut (since the empirical data is entirely lacking) that the poor (specifically, the "urban" poor, IYKWIMAITYD) are gaming every aspect of the social safety net, and then squandering the assistance they do receive on gambling, illegal drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and other "nonessentials" like clothes and cell phones.

So to answer your question...it's BOTH dumb AND mean-spirited.  

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." ~ Harlan Ellison

It's a jobs program.
Don't you get it? If these lazy, no-good poor people are not just given everything, they'll go out and get a job, and Michigan's unemployment rate will be the lowest in the nation.

You've been asking Governor Snidely where the jobs are, right? Well, there's your answer.

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