Kire Schneider Online

Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Father of American Liberalism

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Fiscal Times: Eric Pianin- The Unintended Consequences of Expanding Medicaid

Source: The Fiscal Times-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I have a hard time believing that people on Medicaid would end up going to the emergency room more often now that they have health insurance especially for conditions that aren’t emergencies. As this article from The Fiscal Times suggests. And besides even if that is the case why wouldn’t these ER’s just turn these people away or tell them to make an appointment with one of their doctors. And come back tomorrow and if ER’s aren’t allowed to do that, then they should be allowed to.

This whole debate about Medicaid is about the fact that we do not finance it very well. And we do not finance it very well because we do not have a direct revenue source for it. Unlike Medicare and rely on general tax revenue from the Feds and states to pick up the tabs for it. And until recently before the Affordable Care Act the Feds hadn’t been paying their fair share for Medicaid. A public health insurance program that covers low-income Americans. And the Feds haven’t been paying their share under law because of the high costs of Medicaid. But you give Medicaid a direct revenue source and allow each state to run their own Medicaid program and you fix financial problems of it and no longer have states debating whether they afford to expand their Medicaid or not.

The way to fund Medicaid would be to have a payroll tax on it that would be paid for by employers. And workers to not only cover their employees Medicaid insurance, but for unemployed workers as well, or increase what people get on Unemployment and Welfare Insurance to pay for Medicaid as well. And we could also either give our low-income workers and expanded Earned Income Tax Credit to pay for this. Or increase the minimum wage substantially to cover it as well with a break for small employers. And we wouldn’t have to worry about Medicaid financing in the future again.

RW Johnson: Medicaid Expansion Under The Affordable Care Act