The iron-fisted shakedown powers that come with Medicaid expansion

State treasurer Dale Folwell and a handful of Republican legislators attempted to do something about the outrageous cost of healthcare and hospitalization.  

Apparently and unfortunately, the veto-proof GOP majority’s legislative leadership was not too enthused. 

Now, here we are with Democrat Roy Cooper using his executive powers — and the Medicaid expansion legislative Republicans gave him — to hijack the whole health care cost issue Folwell and the other conservatives originally raised:

[…] Today, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and the NC Department of Health and Human Services announced new actions leveraging the state’s Medicaid program that will encourage hospitals to relieve a potential $4 billion in existing medical debt for approximately two million low and middle-income North Carolinians and ease the burden of medical debt in the future.

NCDHHS submitted a request to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to approve a set of conditions hospitals must meet to be eligible to receive an enhanced amount of Medicaid funds. These conditions include relieving existing medical debt and establishing policies to prevent the accumulation of medical debt for low- and middle-income North Carolinians. Hospitals that choose not to meet these conditions will receive the standard amount of these funds.

“Large medical bills from sickness or injury can cripple the finances of North Carolinians, particularly those who are already struggling,” said Governor Cooper. “Freeing people from medical debt can be life changing for families, as well as boost the overall economic health of North Carolina.” […] 

Translation:  If a hospital wants the extra $$$$ that comes with expanded Medicaid, it must comply with the “conditions” that Roy & co. have established.  

You KNOW the hospitals want that extra money.  You can only imagine the “conditions” Cooper and his team could dream up:  *At least 34 percent of hospital CEOs must be either L,G,B,T or Q*. *At least 24.5 percent of physicians at a facility must be AAPI (Asian-American, Pacific Islander) and non-binary.*

The potential – the possibilities – simply boggle the mind.

Tackling medical debt is a noble task.  But cracking down on personal debt while continuing to incur mind-blowing governmental debt is a losing proposition. The debt will no longer be paid from just your pockets, but from the pockets of millions of taxpayers. 

When you take cash from the government, they own you.  It’s not unlike how pimps control their whores and crack dealers gain control of junkies.