Chances are extremely high that you will see in the upcoming days some politician warn you about how bad the Senate health care bill is. A senator from my state decided to go on a little tour yesterday meeting with people and talking about how damaging the supposed cuts to Medicaid will be. I have heard some lawmakers warn us that people will die because of the purposed legislation to fix or repeal Obamacare. Yes, the sky will fall if we pass the bill, right? The crux of the controversy over this bill lies with the effort to reform Medicaid. As with any entitlement, any attempt to cut back on it will bring about folks who claim people who support these cuts are evil and cruel individuals.
For those who do not know what Medicaid is about, it is in simple terms, assistance in paying for health care to those low-income people who cannot afford it. You could say it is another form of welfare. Millions of people depend on Medicaid to help them pay for their medical expenses. The problem with Medicaid is that it is a very expensive entitlement for both the Federal and State government. Millions of taxpayer dollars go into the programs and it is a very unsustainable program. Reform must take place soon. The rate of growth must be stopped. I know in my state of Minnesota, the growth of our health and human services budget always go ups nearly 20 to 30 percent per year. That is simply unsustainable to continue in the future. Any type of Medicaid expansion will bankrupt our state eventually. We will not have enough money for our schools or roads. To me, Medicaid reform and slowly the growth down seems to be a very logical thing to do.
Unfortunately we have many politicians and this does include members from both parties who are crying over these so-called cuts to Medicaid. Why these lawmakers cannot see that Medicaid reform is highly needed is beyond me! Do these people think that the states and the Federal government have some endless reservoir of cash for this program?
People need to understand that the alleged cuts to Medicaid are actually to slow down the rate of growth. Medicaid expansion will still occur. We just need to slow down the rate of growth to a sustainable level. Also, it would be great if states actually did audits on the recipients of Medicaid to see if people who were receiving benefits actually needed them. I read a story that 8000 dead people in Illinois were still receiving benefits, that is insane!
Besides getting rid of some of the needless mandates and working towards increasing competition, Medicaid reform is a crucial part of any health care reform bill. No, people are not going to die if this bill passes, perhaps people will die if we continue on the same unsustainable path that is part of the current system.