Can someone help a liberal arts major out? My math skills are not the best. I can’t count to 21 unless I’m naked, so please, feel free to check these numbers. You can even use decimal points if you’d like. The AJC reports this morning that “In fiscal year 2011, [Georgia] paid roughly $1.7 billion for Medicaid and PeachCare…” and in the same article, “Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids currently provide health care to roughly 1.7 million low-income Georgians.”
So, $1.7 billion divided 1.7 million people is what, $1,000 per low-income person, right? And the feds kick in about $5 billion more, which is, umm, $2,900 or so for each low-income person, right? Let’s call it $4,000 per poor person. (When counting naked, you should always round up.)
“…officials say the 600,000-plus people expected to join [Medicaid] under the federal health care overhaul starting in 2014 could cost the state an additional $2.1 billion by the end of this decade.”
So these 600,000 soon-to-be-eligible low-income people will cost Georgia taxpayers 3.5 times as much as the currently eligible 1.7 million low-income people are costing Georgia taxpayers now? Let me put my shoes back on.
Medicaid is currently $180 million short, and as State Sen. Renee Unterman notes: “We can’t afford who we have on Medicaid right now.”
Even a non-math major can see that the cost curve is being bent in the wrong direction. I thought the intent of Obamacare was to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible for everyone. That noble goal brings to mind the sign in auto repair shop that read: “Our service- Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick any two.” That’s the reality with healthcare. You can give it to everyone, or make it the best in the world, or make it cheaper. Pick one.