The Patriot Post® · Build Back Behemoth Medicaid

By Robin Smith ·
https://patriotpost.us/articles/82995-build-back-behemoth-medicaid-2021-09-27

Socialized medicine has been growing, and the winners are big healthcare systems, big health insurance companies, and those who are willing to live their lives as wards of the government. Democrats are working to expand Medicaid dramatically, increasing dependency on the government and its redistribution of wealth.

Best summarized by, of all places, a recent NPR article, “Biden’s Broader Vision for Medicaid Could Include Inmates, Immigrants and New Mothers,” Biden’s proposal redefines benefits to include added food and housing for the poor, postpartum care of new mothers for one year, and removing barriers for benefits for individuals in the U.S. illegally.

In March, Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to spend $1.9 trillion ostensibly on COVID-related programs and the economy. But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 8.4 million Americans unemployed in August and 10.9 million job openings. That’s largely because the U.S. has essentially created a universal wage that incentivizes being idle. That includes ARPA, which increases the matching payments for Medicaid, worrying all who care about the value and quality of healthcare.

In the $3.5 trillion behemoth Democrat spending package, there is a provision aimed “to close the Medicaid coverage gap” in the 12 states that did not expand Medicaid for able-bodied adults under ObamaCare. This human “infrastructure” proposal is to create a new Medicaid program permitting the secretary of Health and Human Services to send subsidies directly to health insurance companies, circumventing the states completely.

Biden’s “Build Back Better Act” will mean a massive transfer of wealth from working taxpayers to the U.S. Treasury, where payments will be made directly to private insurance companies for citizens who would not otherwise be eligible for a state’s Medicaid program. No wonder big insurance companies love and support any sort of Medicaid expansion. Remember that government assistance via Medicaid was “designed to provide health coverage for low-income people” with enrollment at four million in 1966, the first year patients received health insurance coverage. Today, there are 80.5 million people receiving Medicaid, or an astounding one-fourth of all Americans.

The Democrats’ argument for expanding Medicaid even further is to give patients access to healthcare that they could not otherwise afford. Medicaid enrollment has increased each year, so if this approach to healthcare was effective, the cost of healthcare should be coming down and health outcomes should be improving, right? Instead, the average cost per person for healthcare was $147 in 1960 and is projected to be $15,500 in 2021. The costs of healthcare have continued to rise dramatically despite the government having over 43% of the population on one of its government health insurance programs.

Increased government involvement leads to escalating costs in healthcare, translating directly into limited access to patients. This is not the solution. So what is? We must have price and billing transparency to create competition and allow patients to shop for value and savings. We must give patients choices by breaking up the consolidation of the healthcare delivery system and removing barriers to entry. Finally, we must have healthcare delivery innovation that keeps insurance and government in their bounds to ensure against financial ruin and offer a safety net, rather than overseeing each transaction and practice. This will reduce costs, increase patient access, and improve outcomes and technologies.

Forty years ago, President Ronald Reagan was right in his Inaugural Address when he declared, “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” Biden and the Democrats want each American, even illegal immigrants, more and more beholden to taxpayer money for the purpose of elections. The people of America must fight for their freedoms by reforming the healthcare system.