Medicaid: That GIANT sucking sound

36aa246Roy Cooper sees the expansion of Medicaid as a “job creation” tool.  In 1992, Ross Perot talked about that giant sucking sound produced from NAFTA taking all our jobs to Mexico.  In 2016, Medicaid is the giant sucking sound stifling economic growth in our state and trapping even more people in a state of dependence.  Here’s an interesting take on our Medicaid system: 

The popular image of Medicaid is that of a small program that provides basic but good-quality medical care to a limited, impoverished segment of North Carolina’s population – and that politicians have skimped on funding it. The reality is different.

  • A small program? Try this experiment: Walk down the street and think of every fifth person as a Medicaid recipient. That’s because nearly one in five North Carolinians is enrolled in the program.
  • Limited? Imagine that over eight years one city the size of Greensboro and another the size of Durham were added to North Carolina. Well, that’s how many people were addedto the Medicaid rolls in one recent eight-year span.
  • Impoverished? Someone with a $490,000 house, jewelry, a good retirement account, a nice car and a business can still qualify for long-term care under Medicaid.[…] 
  • Medicaid is now the second biggest item in the state budget. At $3.1 billion in state spending for FY 2012-13, Medicaid spending is second only to K-12 public education.[…] 
    • That price tag has shot up by nearly a billion dollars from just a decade ago.That’s an increase of 42 percent
    • .And good care?  Care may be good quality – if you can get it. Poorly designed cost-cutting measures have significantly reduced the availability of care to Medicaid patients. […]

For FY 2012cooper1-2, North Carolina spent $12.2 BILLION on Medicaid.  That’s nearly TWICE what Virginia had budgeted, and THREE TIMES what South Carolina had.  From 2000-2012, North Carolina’s Medicaid enrollment grew  by 76%. THAT was second — among its neighbors — only to Virginia’s 92 percent.   In 2012, Medicaid was 25% of the North Carolina state budget.  That was second only to Tennessee, which had Medicaid as 31% of its budget. In 2012, North Carolina’s Medicaid was buttressed by a 65% match from Washington.  That was third — among its neighbors — behind 70% for South Carolina and 67% for Tennessee.

In 2010, there more than 1.8 million North Carolinians enrolled in Medicaid.  That led ALL of the state’s neighbors, with Tennessee’s 1.5 million and Virginia’s 1.02 million coming in second and third.  In North Carolina, only 27 percent of enrollees were either elderly or disabled.  The remaining 73 percent were “parents and children.”  When you look at payments, as of that year,  62 percent went to elderly and disabled while 38 percent went to “parents and children.”

Here are the mandatory benefits the federal government says HAVE to be provided by Medicaid in each state:

  • Hospital services for inpatients
  • Hospital services for outpatients
  • Health screenings for individuals and children under age 21
  • Nursing facility care
  • Home healthcare
  • Physician checkups and other services
  • Rural health clinic visitsmoneywhirl
  • Visits to federally qualified health centers
  • Laboratory tests and X-rays
  • Family planning
  • Nurse midwife care
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Visits to pediatric and family nurse practitioners
  • Visits to licensed freestanding birth centers
  • Emergency and non-emergency medical transportation
  • Tobacco cessation programs for pregnant women

Here are the “optional” benefits — above and beyond the federal mandates — that North Carolina’s Medicaid system provides:

  • Freestanding ambulatory surgery centers
  • Public and mental health clinics
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetists
  • Chiropractic care
  • Dental care
  • Dental surgery
  • Optometrists
  • Psychologists
  • Dentures
  • Home medical equipment
  • Prosthetics
  • Adult health screenings
  • Case managementmomoney
  • Home and community-based services
  • Hospice care
  • Personal care
  • Private duty nurse
  • Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
  • Inpatient psychiatric care for individuals under age 21
  • Inpatient care for mental diseases for individuals age 65+
  • Intermediate care for intellectual disabilities

Keep all of this in mind for the next time you hear Chris Fitzsimon or Roy Cooper belly-aching about how we’re *cheap-skating the elderly and disabled.* 

Democrats beat on Pat McCrory for refusing to accept the Medicaid money from DC to implement ObamaCare.  They claimed the money would create an economic boom during some tough economic times.

wimpyThat kind of thinking, like so many other statist schemes, is one big shell game.  Money is being rearranged and passed around.  No wealth is being created.

It’s understandable to want to help the elderly and disabled who simply can’t take care of themselves.  I have some extended family who have struggled for years with caring for a disabled family member.  I know it’s a tough scenario to find yourself in.

But — at the rate we’re going — this program will keep enrolling people and sucking money out of the productive, private side of the economy.  What started as a way to help the really needy folks has been expanded by politicians seeking to create dependency and buy votes.  Dumping even more money into this is not going to “fix” a thing.  Whether the cash comes from DC or Raleigh, it is still being confiscated from the productive class.

The legislature keeps punting on this issue – -thanks to a lot of well-placed and well-timed campaign contributions, I’m sure.  Growing Medicaid is the last thing we need to be doing in North Carolina.  We’ve got to get the mess under control


9 thoughts on “Medicaid: That GIANT sucking sound

  1. We need to remember who was primarily responsible for NC saying ”NO” to the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, and that was Phil Berger and the Senate leadership. While Thom Tillis and Pat McCrory were still waffling about what they intended to do on that issue, Berger rushed a bill through the Senate rejecting the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, forcing the hands of both Tillis and McCrory. Hooray for Phil Berger.

    We also have some Obama Republican snakes in the grass in both the administration and the legislature who still want to implement the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. One is running in a western House seat in a marginal district and was strongly pushed by those around Speaker Tim Moore, and has openly called for adopting the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

    Another is a recently appointed Representative from Greenville, whose main reason for seeking the appointment when the seat became open was pushing for the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. He made a big contribution to Tim Moore just weeks before the seat officially became open, so he is clearly in sync with Moore. He was strongarmed into the appointment in total violation of NCGOP rules, and Dallas Woodhouse told the media that he approved the seriously flawed procedure.

    Tim Moore has pushed lots of liberal issues but he usually tries to stay behind the scenes when he does it. The links of these two supporters of Medicaid expansion to Moore indicate that he is likely up to something.

    We have to also remember that we are almost to the point that the ”free” federal money for the expansion changes to money that has to be supplemented by the state, and that counties also have to pay a share of Medicaid payouts.

    Roy Cooper is a leftwing idiot on the Obamacare Medicaid expansion and so are the Obama Republicans who are scheming to do it.

    1. The great things about blogs are that people like GU Wonder can spat out blatant untruths and get away with it. The ‘recently appointed’ Legislator from Greenville never once said he was for Medicaid Expansion. Get over it GU Wonder. If you want to the real truth, I said that, just as Brant pointed out, that we need to help people who, through no fault of their own, get insurance who cannot qualify for insurance. That was it. Period point blank. “The main reason for seeking the appointment’…What utter nonsense…It is really sad when you make up your own reality and do not discuss facts. I am a practicing physician who everyday sees the massive abuse of the Medicaid system by people whose sole income comes from having children. I get paid $0.11 on the dollar and there is no way I can run a small business losing money like that. Expanding Medicaid as Obama has put forth puts me out of business. We need to reform Medicaid. We need to reform our father-less societies. GU Wonder you kill any credibility you want by spouting out half truths and fiction. I don’t hide behind a fake name. I back up what I say with my word and my name…

      1. If you are now against the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, then good. As to your earlier statement, I tend to believe the source who actually heard your comments, but if you have moved to opposing Medicaid expansion, that is a positive move. You were challenged earlier on that issue, and you refused to answer. You now have and stated a much better current position. I hope you will stick to it.

        Now if you will just move off of your liberal positions on giving needles and syringes to drug addicts and on bankrolling Michelle Obama’s stupid ”food deserts” boondoggle in NC, both of which you seem to have taken a leadership role in!

        1. Wonderkind I really don’t care what you believe. I know what I said. Some distort facts to push an agenda. I deal in the world of facts and they are what they are. There is also a concept in the world called ‘Investment’–it means performing an action in the present so that one would achieve a desired result in the future. Also when dealing w ‘investments’ it is also helpful to see where similar processes have occurred and their results. Now so be it w the needle exchange program. It has been shown to decrease the rate of HIV and Hep B transmission by 30% while also increasing the rate of getting those addicts into treatment by another 40%. Unless you live under a rock, you should know that the Opioid crisis is now a national epidemic affecting all socioeconomic classes. These are not just people living in underpasses. They are your neighbors and coworkers. Therefore HIV and Hep B, which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in medications to control, need to be curtailed. If you have insurance, your bill is massively inflated to help pay for the others treatment. Also a large number of addicts end up in our penal system where you and I pay upwards of a $1Million a year in tax money to treat each prisoner. So, in terms you may understand, this ‘investment’ in my opinion is well worth the effort up front not only to help end the human suffering but to save taxpayers millions of dollars of their hard spent money. Sticking your head in the sand does not make problems go away. Only rational prospective problem solving does…

          1. Hmmm! ”Investment” – the favorite Orwellian term used by the left for government spending. The conservative Jim Martin administration opposed this program, and it has been a proven failure except, of course, when its analysis is spun by Obama and Clinton operatives.

            And you also led the fight to have taxpayers fund beer coolers . . . err . . . ”vegetable coolers” for convenience stores, in support of the food deserts crusade of Michelle Obama.

            Also, who can forget the totally illegal process used to hand you that seat in the first place?

  2. Between HB2 and all the other issues Berger has stood strong on, I decided to give him some campaign money. And I do not live in his district. I see him and the Senate as the only firewall for us to keep from implementing the full blown radical progressive agenda the House and Pat would love to have.

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