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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Saturday, December 1, 2012

FRSFreeStatePlus: Washington Times: Editorial: "Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Time Bomb": How To Fix Medicaid

EDITORIAL: Obamacare’s Medicaid time bomb - Washington Times

The only real problem I have with the 2010 Affordable Care Act better known as "Obamacare", is the Medicaid. Provision in it that expands this already very expensive health insurance program for low income people whether they are working or not. Because it doesn't have a funding source in it, its essentially free health insurance for people who can't afford health insurance. And who also live in poverty and there isn't a tax in the rest of the economy that funds Medicaid, unlike with Medicare. With the payroll tax and State Children Health Insurance, which is funded through the tobacco tax. Medicaid has nothing like that, so the states are required to figure out how to fund Medicaid on their own and the. Federal Government which is suppose to fund at least a portion of Medicaid, generally comes up short to fund. Their share, which leaves the states to not only fund their share of Medicaid on their own or end up denying. Low income people health insurance because they don't have the funds to cover them.

The US Supreme Court got two things right back in June about the ACA, that healthcare mandate was Constitutional. By ruling it a tax and also that the states shouldn't be forced to come up with the funds on their own to pay for the Medicaid expansion. That if the Federal Government is going to expand Medicaid, that they the Feds have to pay for it but that just takes care. Of the Medicaid problem as it relates to the ACA, the Medicaid has another problem that they had pre 2010. Which is a financial hole in the Medicaid system, no direct funding source to pay for it and the fact that the Feds. Generally come up short in paying their fair share under law from 1965 when Medicaid was created, that the Feds are. Suppose to pay for anyway so another thing that needs to be fixed about Medicaid is how do we fund the. Program period and how should it be run in the future.

What I would do is give Medicaid a direct funding source which is what Medicare has, come up with a tax. That directly cover Medicaid so the Feds and states no longer have to worry about how to pay for Medicaid. And then block grant the program to the states, with a condition that the states have to cover the people who are eligible for Medicaid. And who sign up for Medicaid, as long as the funding is there in Medicaid to cover them and we could finance Medicaid. In a couple ways, that employers who have Medicaid eligible employees, pay into Medicaid to cover their portion of their employees. Health insurance, with their employees covering the other part, that the employees get back in an expanded. Earned Income Tax Credit or employers would be able to cover their Medicaid eligible withe the same level. Of health insurance with private health insurance under the same funding format.

For low income people who are unemployed, a part of their Medicaid health insurance could come out of. A boost in their public assistance, as well as taking part of their Welfare or Unemployment Insurance checks out. To cover their share of their Medicaid but we need to end the unfunded mandate that is Medicaid and put on affordable financially. Sound footing and fully financing it would be the way to do that.