Medicaid Math and Naked Numbers

July 11, 2011 10:06 am

by Mike Hassinger · 55 comments

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.)

Now let’s add 600,000 more poor people when Obamacare expands Medicaid eligibility to people under 65 who earn $30,000 per year. (That’s about 133% of the poverty level for a family of four.)

“…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.

 

kyleinatl July 11, 2011 at 10:19 am

To your last sentence (and less so the rest of the post)…one thing that could make all three a reality is looking at the cost curve related to pharmaceutical pricing. Talk about butt-rape…if Consumer Advocates and the Insurance Industry had any sense about them, they’d team up with the Federal Trade Commission to investigate just why medications for chronic disease continue to rise in price…some meds as much as 133% in the past few years, it ain’t all inflation.

David Staples July 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Errm, wouldn’t part of that have to do with it being made by private companies? Who want to turn a profit? Who also have to take into account any possible lawsuits that they have to pay out? The more people sue the pharmaceuticals, the higher they have to raise their prices to make a profit, right?

Ken in Eastman July 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I definitely think it’s a major factor. Between liability insurance premiums, legal fees and jury awards there is a lot of potential costs.

John Konop July 11, 2011 at 10:44 am

This is what you are missing.

…Nationally, 36 percent of Medicaid dollars are spent on in-home care, 64 percent for nursing homes…….

http://www.tenderheartsathomecare.com/home-health-care-in-cincinnati/medicaid-changes-boost-in-home-care-cincinnati-enquirer-cincinnaticom

Max Power July 11, 2011 at 11:57 am

Bingo! The real drivers of medicaid expenditures aren’t young poor people it’s the elderly just like with medicare. Spending down to medicaid is now something that middle and upper middle class people with good financial planners prepare for.

Mike Hassinger July 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm

The article said these folks would be 600,000 low-income folks and that they would be under 65, yet the costs for that cohort are 3.5X as much as we’re paying now. One of us is missing something.

Mike Hassinger July 11, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Konop, your numbers are WAY too low. 36% + 64% = 100%. What about the OTHER 130%, hmm?

John Konop July 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm

This will give you a better idea. At the end this program helps mainly elderly and disabled people. The real problem is the increase in elderly ie baby boom generation.

….While Medicaid was created mostly to provide medical care to low-income moms and their kids, two out of every three Medicaid dollars is spent on the elderly and disabled. Last year, the program spent one-third of its budget — more than $100 billion federal dollars — on long-term care, either in nursing facilities or in the community. States, which share the program’s cost, spent tens of billions more…..

http://schealthcarevoices.org/2011/05/19/opinion-how-medicaid-cuts-would-harm-seniors-disabled/

benevolus July 11, 2011 at 10:47 am

Providing health care to the poor is only one side of the Obamacare equation. The other side involves collecting premiums from everyone who can afford insurance.

Mike Hassinger July 11, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Is that the side of the equation that makes it cheaper, or the side that makes it better?

bgsmallz July 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm

What’s your definition of better?
What’s your definition of cheaper?

I assume those are fair questions.

Mike Hassinger July 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Cheaper means “costing less,” as in spending fewer tax dollars.
Better means “higher quality,” as in even more miracles than modern medicine already provides.

I assume those are sufficient answers.

benevolus July 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Obamacare is only concerned with establishing basic minimum standards that insurance companies must cover. If you want medical miracles you’ll have to go find Bill Frist.

bgsmallz July 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Sort of…

I guess my question is when you complain that Obamacare isn’t bending the cost curve, what cost curve are you talking about? Because the cost curve that is the issue isn’t gov’t dollars spent on health care, it is % of GDP that our country as a whole is going to be spending on health care.

So, when you say, it is cheaper because the government is spending less…(all you are really saying is that the private individual is spending more..but that really doesn’t make it cheaper, does it? ) In fact, if the government just flat out eliminated Medicare and Medicaid, do you think health care costs for the non-medicare/medicaid user would go up or down? (among other issues…medical bankruptcies would increase, fewer people would be receiving preventative care and thus would only seek treatment once the symptoms were acute and much more expensive to treat, hospitals would still be required by law to treat patients regardless of ability to pay… who is going to pay for those costs? As inefficient as the government is, it is actually quite efficient at sucking up large losses to industries and redistributing that loss amongst the taxpayers (groan, I know…but its true))

I just don’t think you’re definition of cheaper enters into a real discussion about the culture of health care and the costs associated with them in this country. It’s a nice political talking point and certainly we need to put limits on spending, but it’s not anywhere near an idea that enters the arena of trying to ‘bend the cost curve’ as you so pointed out.

Also, what is the measure of miracles? Is it birth rate? Life expectancy? It’s really a silly answer rather than sufficient.

If it is really that we want the best medical care that money can buy for those that have the money to buy it, then let’s be honest about it and say that. We don’t care about access, we don’t care about the population as a whole…all we care about is that at each level of income, there is a commiserate level of health care available….the super poor don’t get anything while the super-rich have all the options that they can afford.

Mike Hassinger July 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm

“Because the cost curve that is the issue isn’t gov’t dollars spent on health care, it is % of GDP that our country as a whole is going to be spending on health care.”

Well, no. That’s EXACTLY the point. What % of GDP does our country (people, not government) spend on entertainment? Or energy? Or transportation? Or food?
My point was that when Obama said his plan would “bend the cost curve,” it was BS. It’s not going to do that -it’s going to increase costs.

I measure miracles by things like artificial hearts, hips, knees and cures for things like polio. Things that were unimaginable 100 years ago, and routine today. I’d like to see cancer cured, or Alzheimer’s, or birth defects, or sickle cell -you name it.

“…the super poor don’t get anything while the super-rich have all the options that they can afford.”
This has always been true and will always be true.

bgsmallz July 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm

So you think health care and entertainment are analogous?

Whatever.

The point is that if we were spending X% of our GDP on food or energy or transportation, we could cripple our economy’s ability to compete in a global market…especially if by enacting some sort of reforms or removing faulty incentives we could spend decidedly less. (Just as a side note…the status quo pre-obamacare was no where near a free market.) If we spend X% of our GDP on health care costs, we hamper our ability to compete on a global scale.

And bending the cost curve isn’t something Obama said about his plan. It is a phrase used to describe combating the total cost of health care in the country as it exponentially explodes due to a myriad of factors. The Commonwealth group first coined the phrase in Dec. of 2007 (http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/Files/News/News%20Releases/2007/Dec/Bending%20the%20Curve%20%20Options%20for%20Achieving%20Savings%20and%20Improving%20Value%20in%20U%20S%20%20Health%20Spending/EMBARGOED_FULL_REPORT_Bending_the_Curve_optimized%20pdf.pdf)

Anyway, assuming you are just ignorant of the history of the terminology, let’s also assume that the super poor not getting anything and the super rich having all the options is true and will always be true…let’s at least assume that health care access used to be something that conservatives cared about and understood the economic impact of …or we could actually just do some research and find out that while your broad based hyperbole is not true, that statement is…see Heritage Foundation in 1990…http://s3.amazonaws.com/thf_media/1990/pdf/bg777.pdf

or in 1994 in arguing against Hillarycare…http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/1993/11/A-Guide-to-the-Clinton-Health-Plan#pgfId-929687
OR http://healthcarereform.procon.org/sourcefiles/1992_heritage_consumer_choice_health_plan.pdf

I used to love to call myself a conservative because at the very least, I knew I wasn’t using emotional mumbo jumbo or burying my head in the sand….alas….

benevolus July 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm

It’s the side that pays for it.

SOGTP July 11, 2011 at 11:01 am

@Mike. Obamacare will drive even more people on to Medicaid. This information is from the largest health intermediary in the nation. Welcome to the collapse of the welfare state.

http://stateofgeorgiateaparty.com/?page_id=1798

Three Jack July 11, 2011 at 11:01 am

the only financially responsible solution is to end medicaid as soon as feasibly possible. it was a bad idea in the 60s proven out over the past 50 years. we cannot afford to cover healthcare for a bunch of no responsibility having freeloaders who over generations have come to expect the redistributed handout. time for some tough love!

bgsmallz July 11, 2011 at 11:46 am

So just so I’m clear on this…medical providers should be able to secure up front payment from you or anyone else prior to treating you even in an emergency situation, right? I mean, that’s the only way to prevent no responsibility having freeloaders from getting medical care that they can’t pay for…I just want to make sure that is what you’re saying.

Three Jack July 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm

bg, simply answered, yes.

why shouldn’t medical providers be able to verify that a patient is capable of paying for services rendered? you pick a very unique example of a medical emergency which may have extenuating circumstances, but all other medical visits should be covered like any other financial transaction in a free market economy.

i’m not sure what business you are in, but i would bet that you don’t provide products and/or services without some assurance that you will be paid.

cheapseats July 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I don’t provide any goods or services without some assurance that I will be paid – that’s for sure!

The other thing that is for sure is that children don’t die for lack of my products.

Three Jack July 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm

cheap, how will ‘children die’ if they are not able to go to the emergency room every time they get the sniffles? did it ever cross your mind that maybe if we stop paying for the irresponsible actions of parents who can’t afford children, they might stop having babies?

under our current revenue redistribution system, the opposite is true. irresponsible women are rewarded for having kids they can’t afford. tax breaks, s.n.a.p, schip, welfare…on and on, have more babies, get more money from those evil rich taxpayers. we simply cannot afford to continue this failed experiment in medical socialism (same for education which is headed for a funding crisis in the very near future).

bgsmallz July 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm

is it three jack or jack(redacted)?

Children will die if they can’t get antibiotics and instead of a small infection end up with phase 3 pneumonia OR they end up at the ER. Guess which one costs less for you and me- the cost of subsidizing a poor child’s visit to a doctor’s office and antibiotics prescription Or the cost of care after the child is admitted with phase 3 pneumonia through the ER?

So…again, you either let them die or not let them die…and if you don’t have the stones to let them die in an emergency situation, then why not just pay less on the front end rather than paying a crap load on the back end?

Oh…I guess that would just be giving in to those irresponsible parents.

And how should we go about getting those assurances? Credit checks from the ambulance? Should we all have life alert bracelets that have our credit card/bank account info on them?

Three Jack July 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm

hahahaha…you crack me up bg, jackass!!! that’s a good one….what a db!

“Guess which one costs less for you and me” — neither, they both cost more than not having the kid when you can’t afford it. using your scenario (total bs as it is), if a mother brings a sick child into an emergency room without the ability to pay for care, then take the damn baby from her and put it up for adoption. and i would be willing to bet in the majority of cases, the same useless woman is fat, drives a fairly new car, lives in a government paid for house/apt and pays for her food with a snap card.

we can’t afford to fund irresponsibility bg. if you want to do so, then start yourself a 501c3, raise some funds and go stand outside the hospital of your choice looking for poor, under privileged women who through no act of their own ended up with a bunch of kids all with different last names. have fun!

cheapseats July 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm

And that, my friends, is why moderates don’t want anything to do with what passes for hardcore conservatives these days.

“if their mommas are fat and lazy and drive a Caddy then, let those babies just die on the floor in the hospital!”

You lost me, big time! Whatever you are for, I’m automatically against because you’ve shown me that you have no soul. I’m no bleedin’ heart liberal – I’d put that fat momma’s ass in jail in a NY second but those kids didn’t have a choice…please don’t tell me you think you’re any kind of Christian. With that attitude, Jesus wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire!

Three Jack July 11, 2011 at 7:14 pm

cheap, where did i say, ‘let them die on the floor’? i didn’t. i did write, if she can’t afford healthcare, then “take the damn baby from her and put it up for adoption.” so jump down off your sanctimonious soapbox and pay attention before responding.

ironically i just came across a perfect example of my earlier description:

fat woman with some kind of spike ring sticking out of her nose checking out of publix in the express line…has 6 pre mix daiquiri drinks (maybe bacardi, not sure)…she pays cash. then in a separate transaction, the lady buys chicken using a pennsylvania ‘access’ card — http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/foradults/healthcaremedicalassistance/medicalassistanceusingtheacesscardtoobtainmedicalservices/index.htm

the lady apparently comes to this publix often because she and the cashier were talking about her 9 month old baby. momma gonna go home, get drunk and take care of her baby. this is the way it should be according to bg and cheapseats.

i think this is indicative of why we should end medicaid, snap etc. asap. this ‘mother’ first made sure she got her daiquiris before using taxpayer money to get her dinner. bg and cheap believe it is compassionate to take money from taxpayers to fund the raising of children in irresponsible, single parent homes. i would argue that is the least compassionate thing to do because all that is accomplished is creating another generation of freeloaders when we can’t pay for the current one. it would be more compassionate and cheaper to take the child from totally useless ‘mothers’ like this one and put them in foster care.

i guess it comes down to how one defines compassion.

(and cheap, what does christianity have to do with compassion? there are plenty of ‘christians’ doing time for heinous crimes against children…google ‘catholic priests little boys’…wonder if jesus will piss on them).

bgsmallz July 12, 2011 at 9:26 am

“And that, my friends, is why moderates don’t want anything to do with what passes for hardcore conservatives these days.”

I refuse to call anyone who checks reason, knowledge, and truth at the door conservative.

Three Jack July 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm

a needed dose of objectivism — http://blogs.forbes.com/objectivist/2011/07/12/whats-missing-from-the-budget-debate/

“I refuse to accept as guilt the fact of my own existence and the fact that I must work in order to support it. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact that I am able to do it and do it well. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact that I am able to do it better than most people. . . . I do not seek the good of others as a sanction for my right to exist, nor do I recognize the good of others as a justification for their seizure of my property or their destruction of my life.”

benevolus July 12, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I thought I felt something sticky on the floor of this thread.

Lawton Sack July 11, 2011 at 11:31 am

Based upon prior growth numbers, 2.3 million people should equal roughly 20% of Georgia’s population in 2014. That means 1 out of every 5 Georgians will be enrolled.

What happens to the enrollment figures when people making over $30,000 discover that they can get a divorce or legal separation so that their spouse and children can enroll and they can get a cheaper individual policy? I have come across too many people that have done this so that their spouse and children can get food stamps.

The issue, as I see it, is that we have a multi-faceted problem (cultural, political, social, medical, financial, etc.) that they are trying to fix with one piece of legislation.

bgsmallz July 11, 2011 at 11:41 am

OK…help me connect the quote you use above with the other quote below…

#1- Under the expansion — which will extend eligibility to people under age 65 with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level — the federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs from 2014 to 2016. Federal funding will then ramp down to 90 percent by 2020, where it will remain.

Does that mean the state’s 10% share will equal $2.1B (which would put the total cost of the program at $20B…which seems incorrect) or that the total additional cost could be $2.1B with the state having to cover 10% of that or roughly $210M?

#2-If we are faced with a $180M shortfall and a looming gap of an additional $210M starting in 2017, is the sky really falling or is there an opportunity to use this gap to try to get rid of fraud and increase the efficiency of the program? Hmmm….I wonder if there are any states in our region that are seemingly light years ahead of us in attracting businesses, high tech jobs, transportation infrastructure, etc. etc. that would have already been working on such a plan?

#3-In North Carolina, a public-private partnership that has created regional networks of providers to coordinate care saved nearly $1.5 billion from 2007 to 2009, according to the health care analytics firm Treo Solutions.

Chris Huttman July 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm

The problem with health care is that the tea party right has fetishized “doing nothing” as the solution. Part of Obamacare lays out a goal for universal coverage but allows the states (or groups of states) to opt out of the law if they can show a different way to get there.

Take the idea of an exchange for the individual and small group market – conservatives and right-leaning Democrats have wanted to do this for 20 years. But now all of a sudden because it’s one part of Obamacare, it’s politically poisonous for Republicans to even talk about setting up an exchange here, even though Utah (to pick just one example) is moving forward on an exchange that they consider a more conservative alternative to the one the feds would have set up.

Read the David Brooks column, the same thing is going on here. The only thing conservatives seem interesting in fighting to conserve is an unsustainable status quo. They’re willing to drive the USA to default on the debt limit, and here in Georgia millions of people to federal run medicaid instead of come up with a compromise solution.

Mike Hassinger July 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm

What’s the goal, universal coverage, better medicine or lower healthcare costs? Because every time conservatives say “Wait a minute, how are you going to do all three?” we’re “fetishists of the status quo.”

How much of that debt limit would we be up against if Obamacare hadn’t passed? Seriously, I’m asking.

benevolus July 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I believe the goal is lower health INSURANCE costs.
I’m pretty sure Obamacare does not interfere with what actual medical costs are or are negotiated between providers and insurance companies.
The PATH to lower costs is universal insurance coverage. Everybody already gets health care and if we are going to continue to do that then everyone needs to also have insurance, because the costs can be catastrophic for a lot of people. It is the nature of insurance to spread the risk/cost around to make it as palatable as possible for a group and/or over time.

DTK July 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm

“I’m pretty sure Obamacare does not interfere with what actual medical costs are or are negotiated between providers and insurance companies.”

Google “Independant Payment Advisory Board.”

“It is the nature of insurance to spread the risk/cost around to make it as palatable as possible for a group and/or over time.”

The pooling of risk is only one reason for insurance. The main purpose for insurance, however, is for individuals to hedge the risk of a bad financial outcome that may or may not occur.

It is NOT the purpose of insurance to simply pre-pay the expenses of events that are certain to occur. That’s why “health insurance” as we currently know it, is not insurance, but rather a system of pre-paid medical care. In a rational world, individuals would pay routine medical costs out of pocket, and save third-party insurance claims for unexpected health costs, such as surgery. Alas, that’s not the system we have, and any attempts to reforming it are the economic equivalents of rearranging the chairs on the Titantic.

bgsmallz July 11, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I’m still not sure you ever reconciled the numbers. Is it an additional $210M or an additional $2.1B that the state will be on the hook for?

benevolus July 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Ok, you got me on the one. I should have said “private insurance companies”. The IPAB is for Medicare.

Also, I think we are now very close to the system you describe. The only way many people can afford any insurance at all is with a high deductible plan, which essentially becomes a plan that pays catastrophic claims only. I guess that’s OK if costs are reasonable and stable, but they are not.

SOGTP July 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm

@Chris. Seriously the exchanges will never work. Smoke and mirrors. Here is more information from the largest intermediary in the nation. If you want to financially ruin Georgia, set up the exchanges.

This is a different link than the one above.

http://stateofgeorgiateaparty.com/?page_id=1779

benevolus July 11, 2011 at 2:00 pm

“It is the information provided to me by a Senior Vice President at this intermediary that regularly briefs Governors, CEO’s, Congressional committees, and state legislatures. This man is my brother-in-law and he knows this business having worked in the field for 38 years.”

An anonymous author citing an unnamed company and whose source is his brother in law?
Doesn’t get much more credible than that!

SOGTP July 12, 2011 at 8:46 am

@Bene. Really that is misleading. The man earns his living at this operation and he shared this information with me in confidence.

griftdrift July 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I know there were at least a couple of RINOs on here that supported exchanges.

Charlie July 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm

RINO!

elfiii July 12, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Ummm, no Chris, us tea partiers haven’t fetishized “doing nothing”. The “something” we want is to get the government out of the healthcare and retirment businesses altogether among others. We want this because they have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to every reasonable thinking person they are the consummate failure at these businesses and they have had decades if not more than a half century to get it right. They are like the bull in the china shop-whatever they didn’t break they crapped on.

Your comment about conservatives driving the USA to default on its’ debt is more circus clown material. What you liberals are in high dudgeon about is the fact you are drunk on debt, its’ closing time, and the bartender just gave the proverbial “Last call for alcohol”.

Don’t worry. The hangover won’t last more than a day or so and you’ll be right as rain again. There might be some day old vomit to clean up but such are the wages of sin.

David Brooks isn’t a conservative. He works for the NYT. How much more evidence do you need?

Ken in Eastman July 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm

The only places David Brooks could be called a “conservative” other than the NYT would be MSNBC and the works of Lewis Carroll (no relation).

Ken in Eastman July 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm

At least a part of the answer, dictated by demographics, is that the age for receiving entitlements must be raised. It can be raised gradually and nearly painlessly, but it needs to be done soon.

Charlie July 11, 2011 at 2:21 pm

This is an obvious problem caused by global warming. Before medicaid, the only long term care option was for the elderly to be taken care of by their family. Once the family decided they didn’t like the opportunity cost of keeping great aunt Gertrude around, they would put her on an iceflow, and watch her float away. Then quickly get back to their unimpeded lives.

Now, with global warming, there aren’t as many quality iceflows to be found. Medicaid funded nursing homes are the only answer.

saltycracker July 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm

We all start with good intentions to protect the aged, children & disabled. Then it spins out of control of demands & fraud.

The government can’t operate a post office or mortgage business without trying to be all things for all people while others defraud them for every dime they can. It is a cottage industry to get folks on medicaid. What Gov’t can do is require, regulate and enforce, but they do that poorly. They can’t run the business. Obamacare is sorting out winners & loosers with exemptions while taxing the plans & savings of producers.

Helathcare like retirement is a lifelong planning & saving process. It cannot materialize where nothing was done. Unless you can print money…..hmmmmm……..

SS is not an entitlement, it was the individual’s & their employer’s money. Must be ok as they cut one portion for 2011. We’d have been better off to let Fidelity or Vanguard handle it.

benevolus July 11, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Bad example. The post office is an incredible bargain. Send a box across the country for $6? Really? Amazing. Sure, they are having to deal with the advent of email, but any private company would be going through a retraction right now too.
Send a letter anywhere for 44 cents? Enjoy it while you can!

saltycracker July 12, 2011 at 9:53 am

one man’s bargain is another man’s burden….
It’s a bargain for the sender of a lot of subsidized or inefficiently sent boxes……

Did think they should replan door to door delivery, frequency or mailbox locations……
until I joined Netflex…….then I put that into the incredible bargain slot !

Jackster July 11, 2011 at 9:25 pm

I’d like to see a physician competency component that forces them to know how much the test they order / Plan of Care costs, if it’s covered under medicare and medicaid / private insurance, and some alternatives to care plans if they are not.

The key here is that medical insurers (public & private) have been dictating what is Medically Necessary for a long while here; the patient doesn’t challenge the physician with costs, so how is either party to know where the chips will fall?

saltycracker July 11, 2011 at 10:00 pm

June 22 Forbes:
“According to PricewaterhouseCoopers healthcare prices are likely to rise 8% in 2011 and 8.5% next year. So much for Obamacare bending the cost curve. Cost cutting will likely be left to employers, as they attempt to offer insurance to workers without going broke.”

So the Medicaid shift to the states will get a bit more costly…….factor that in……

benevolus July 12, 2011 at 8:25 am

Wow. That’s better than the double digit increases of the past few years.

Jackster July 12, 2011 at 9:55 am

I feel the need to extend saltycracker’s Forbse quote:
“…Cost cutting will likely be left to employers, as they attempt to offer insurance to workers without going broke.”

This is exactly what will make the employer benefits become so worthless that other market alternatives (including exchanges) will start to look more appealing… and take us right into no more healthcare benefits.

It’s like that was the plan all along. I hate it when I realize I’m being screwed.

Lorie July 15, 2011 at 12:02 am

Medicaid cuts have me concerned. I’m a single mother with two children. The family health insurance I pay (way too much) doesn’t cover one child’s autism. In fact, it’s specifically excluded. Under a special waiver for Medicaid (I am above income), he qualifies and gets speech and occupational therapy once a week plus his bi-yearly visits to the Marcus Institute. When he is sick, I take him to his pediatrician and pay the copay even though I could have it picked up by Medicaid. Without access to the services he needs which I can’t afford (around $500+ per month) plus the nanny I have to hire to take care of him while I work, this would be extremely hard for me to continue to set him on a path to be a productive citizen when he reaches maturity. He’s smart enough to pass the CRCT but also needs the therapy to keep him on the right track. Medicaid was also created to help the children who need access to services.

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