Fixing Medicaid

  • Article by: EDITORIAL , Washington Post
  • Updated: November 30, 2012 - 10:49 AM

Any serious plan to reduce the federal debt has to deal with spending, and any serious plan to deal with spending has to address Medicaid.

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royal2012Nov. 30, 1212:10 PM

Instead of giving able-bodied welfare recipients free cash welfare payment, free housing, free cellphones, free food, and free medical care, why don't you just make them get jobs? Why? Because welfare is what Democrats use to buy votes. How many of the 48 million food stamp recipients or millions of people living in subsidized housing or getting free cash every month or free health care voted Republican? Almost none.

mark55123Nov. 30, 1212:12 PM

One cost element of Medicaid that is growing is Long Term Care. The combination of aging Baby Boomers with no Long Term Care insurance, and the misconception that Medicare pays for long-term nursing home care, will be a shock to many. The general public misconstrues that Medicaid is just for the poor, but a big chunk goes to middle-class retirees who "go poor" and use other methods to qualify for Medicaid to pay for long term nursing home care.

prokjhlldeNov. 30, 1212:13 PM

US Federal Taxpayers could save $330Billion annually ($3.3Trillion over the past 10-years) by cutting "undocumented immigrants" of the dole for free education, healthcare, ssocial services, public housing , foodstams and legal services.

bigtmnNov. 30, 1212:52 PM

No reduction in benefits for Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid until all members of Congress have the same plans as the rest of the population. No more cadillac plans for the privileged at taxpayer expense.

elmore1Nov. 30, 1212:52 PM

mark55123, you are spot on. With the aging baby boomers we could see a huge increase in Medicaid as people "play" the system. With the huge cost of health care and people living longer, I don't blame them.

swmnguyNov. 30, 12 1:13 PM

We're not going to fix any of the fiscal problems in our economy until we address the fact that healthcare finance is in a bubble. Our whole system needs to be scrapped and redesigned, starting with tuition costs for medical personnel. Every step of our system creates perverse incentives to perform the highest number of the most expensive procedures, to sell the most expensive drugs, and use the most expensive machines. What suffers is actual patient contact with doctors and nurses. Plus, we have the healthiest people on private plans that charge the highest premiums, but the sickest people on the government's dime. Getting the Finance Industry out of controlling the Healthcare Industry would be a start. Ending our confusion between health insurance and health care would help. Getting employers out of providing health insurance would help our entire economy. None of it gets fixed while financial interests are running it all, though.

furguson11Nov. 30, 12 5:23 PM

States shouldn't be allowed to manipulate the medicaid formula like this, but many will do it to cut state share of costs. But in the end to the taxpayers, does it really matter? Someone always pays.

texas_technomanNov. 30, 12 5:34 PM

Long term care is the part of medicaid that will bite us. Father in law went into nursing home, had long term care insurance (lasted one year), then burned through $350k in savings....died before Medicaid kicked in...but you get the idea what nursing home care costs.

mandansmomNov. 30, 12 6:11 PM

"How many of the 48 million [beneficiaries of social support services] voted Republican? Almost none."

Of course not! If you are down on your luck and need a hand up in an economy that only benefits people who don't need help, why would you vote for the guy who means to drive you deeper into the mire in order to keep more money for themself?

The fact that Medicaid is increasingly expensive speaks to the growing number of citizens (yup...citizens; undocumented workers do not receive benefits) who can't afford health care. The system is broken, not the users.

mandansmomNov. 30, 12 6:18 PM

"why don't you just make them get jobs?"

Many (admittedly not all) want or have jobs that don't provide access to health care. Who can support themselves, much less a family, with minimum wage jobs that provide no benefits? Obamacare, no matter how you view it, is a bipartisan baby step toward uncoupling health insurance and employment. If we figure we're smarter than the rest of the industrial world and don't need a single-payer system, then, at least, we need to divorce insurance and jobs.


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