FIAF – Mediscare edition

This week, President Obama went into attack mode :

We’re told that Medicaid would simply be handed over to the states — that’s the pitch: Let’s get it out of the central bureaucracy. The states can experiment. They’ll be able to run the programs a lot better. But here’s the deal the states would be getting. They would have to be running these programs in the face of the largest cut to Medicaid that has ever been proposed — a cut that, according to one nonpartisan group, would take away health care for about 19 million Americans — 19 million.

Who are these Americans? Many are someone’s grandparents who, without Medicaid, won’t be able to afford nursing home care without Medicaid. Many are poor children. Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s Syndrome. Some are kids with disabilities so severe that they require 24-hour care. These are the people who count on Medicaid.

But he went on:

This congressional Republican budget is something different altogether. It is a Trojan Horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plans, it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It is thinly veiled social Darwinism. It is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everybody who’s willing to work for it; a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class. And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training, research and development, our infrastructure — it is a prescription for decline.

[read the entire speech-and the Q and A- and try to say that it’s not a political one. Go ahead. I dare you.]

But, Medicaid reform is killing the people is working in Rhode Island.

The experiment dates to the final days of the Bush Administration, when Health and Human Services granted a Global Consumer Choice Waiver exempting Rhode Island from many of Medicaid’s federal rules and mandates. The state used it to move to managed care from traditional fee for service, in return for accepting a spending cap over five years of $12.1 billion, including federal matching payments.

How’s that working out? Well, a study released late last year by the Lewin Group, a consulting firm, found that the Ocean State’s reform with a federal waiver has been “highly effective in controlling Medicaid costs” and improving “access to more appropriate services.”

This -obviously – goes against the narrative. Only the federal government can do things right. The states want to KILL YOU.

Our guess is that President Obama’s real objection to Medicaid block [ed] grants is political. He doesn’t want Washington to lose control. He and most Democrats want to use Medicaid to cover as many people as possible as a way to pave the road to single-payer national health care. It’s no accident that ObamaCare was written to add about 15 million more people to the Medicaid rolls, most of whom will be middle-income earners.

there is a good article on Ryan/Obama back and forth regarding Medicaid reform here. You know, Obama, the idea of Medicaid reform is that we spend less money … to make is fiscally sustainable.

Which cannot be said for Obamacare.

When President Obama tours the country and touts Obamacare, one thing you never hear him highlight is that half of Obamacare’s projected decrease in the number of uninsured comes from people who would simply be dumped into Medicaid at taxpayer expense. Of the 32 million people that the Congressional Budget Office says would gain insurance under Obamacare (a demonstrably false number in the first place), fully half — 16 million — would simply be added to the Medicaid rolls (see Table 4). According to the CBO’s projections, the cost of this massive Medicaid expansion would be nearly $1 trillion over Obamacare’s real first decade (2014 to 2023).

The truth of Obamacare, and more broadly the budget debate, is that the Democrats have no interest in being fiscally responsible. And their reaction to Republican attempts to get the house in order goes beyond the pale:

“Demagoguery” is not too strong of a word to describe Obama’s speech. Two million mothers and young children will be left without “access to healthy food.” Violent crime will soar and illegal aliens will flood across our borders because of cuts in law enforcement. “Hundreds of national parks” will close. We won’t be able to “protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, or the food that we eat.” Airline flights will be cancelled or delayed, and safety will be threatened in parts of the country. “Weather forecasts would become less accurate.” Governors and mayors will “wait longer to order evacuations in the event of a hurricane.” The list went on and on.

WHAT happened to Mr. Hope and Change? Who told us, in ’08, that we were living beyond our means and we needed to cut cut cut. That the republicans had been irresponsible? Once elected, he created $825 billion in “stimulus.” Spending which is now the new normal. He has argued that the deficits he’s run up are a result of the deep hole Bush had put us in; he didn’t realize how bad things were when he was campaigning; Republicans had put us in a ditch … etc etc.

The most obvious explanation for the big switch in Obama’s position is that he always wanted a much bigger government, but he knew that Americans wouldn’t vote for him if he openly campaigned on it. If there was ever any doubt that Obama had lied to Americans when he promised that an Obama administration would make government smaller, people just needed to listen to his speech on Wednesday.

Yes, this.

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