The White House is on the war path about the 23 states who refused to expand their Medicaid programs, Texas being the most prominent. The Medicaid expansion was part of the ObamaCare bitter pill and 27 states swallowed it. Basically, the deal is that if the states expanded their Medicaid programs by making it easier to qualify the Feds would pick up the whole cost of the expansion. For five years. Then the states are on the hook.
Medicaid provides medical insurance to low income people and the rationale is that without Medicaid they would be using emergency rooms that are dramatically more expensive than regular care.
Here’s what the President had to say about states, again, specifically Texas, who refused Medicaid expansion.
President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors released a report called “Missed Opportunities: The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid.” It said, “One direct consequence of States’ decisions not to expand Medicaid is that millions of their uninsured citizens will not experience the improved access to health care, greater financial security, and better health outcomes that come with insurance coverage.”
The report asserted that if the federal healthcare program were expanded, 171,800 Texans would be able to afford their medical bills.
Needless to say, Texans don’t agree with the report.
Texas Governor Rick Perry’s press secretary, Lucy Nash, told Breitbart Texas, “Medicaid is a broken system that already consumes more than a quarter of our state budget. Accepting President Obama’s Medicare expansion would only increase the amount that Texas would have to pay for a system that the President himself has said is broken. It would be irresponsible to continue to pump billions more taxpayer dollars into aprogram that we know is fundamentally broken.”
“If anyone was in doubt, we in Texas have no intention to implement so-called state exchanges or to expand Medicaid under Obamacare,” Perry said in July 2012. “I will not be party to socializing healthcare and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government.”
Perry’s plan has worked out quite well for Texans. They are single largest job creator among Obama’s 57 states. No state is even close, especially California where they happily expanded Medicaid and where many of the new Texas jobs are coming from. As a matter of fact, Medicaid in Texas has not only not expanded, it’s reducing it’s numbers, down by 0.04% since ObamaCare passed the Congress with only Democrat votes.
The more interesting thing is the actual impact of Medicaid. A study was done in Oregon that looked at one of the key assumptions of Medicaid, emergency room usage. Here’s what President Obama had to say about that subject.
[T]hose of us with health insurance are also paying a hidden and growing tax for those without it — about $1,000 per year that pays for somebody else’s emergency room and charitable care…If there are affordable options and people still don’t sign up for health insurance, it means we pay for these people’s expensive emergency room visits.
The final bill [will] make sure that people are getting the care they need and the checkups they need and the screenings they need before they get sick — which will save all of us money and reduce pressures on emergency rooms all across the country.
You can’t get those savings if those people are still going to the emergency room.
Oregon studied emergency room usage, and here’s what they found:
A landmark study called the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment has found that contrary to the president’s assurances (see above), expanding health insurance to low-income households does not decrease their use of emergency rooms. Results from that experiment, published today in the journal Science, show expanding Medicaid to cover these households instead increases their emergency-room use by a sizable 40 percent.
The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment is the gold standard among studies on the effects of health insurance. It followed thousands of Oregon low-income adults who had been randomly assigned to receive either Medicaid or no health insurance coverage, and measured the differences between the two groups. Such random assignment allows researchers to isolate the effects of Medicaid without interference from potentially confounding variables present in other studies.
Writing in Science, the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment researchers found that Medicaid did increase the use of preventive and primary-care services, but emergency-room use rose as well.
In other words, “if you like your doctor…” The study actually shows that emergency room usage didn’t just go up a little, it went up by 40%. “If you like your health plan…”
Candidate Barack Obama promised us the “most transparent” administration in history. He’s delivered on that promise, the Obama administration is the most transparent bunch of liars since Baghdad Bob.