Governor Deal’s Price Tag

I was just watching coverage of today’s healthcare ruling on WSB-TV and the Governor’s office has put out their latest numbers about the Medicaid expansion.  They anticipate that roughly 620,000 additional Georgians will gain healthcare access, and that over a ten year period it will cost Georgia taxpayers $4.5 billion.  I’m no math expert (actually I am) but I ran the numbers and what the Governor’s office is basically saying is that 620,000 Georgians that currently don’t have healthcare now will soon have it at an annual cost to state taxpayers of $725/newly insured.  For all taxpayers it’s a tax increase of $50/year.

And it means that (same newscast) a large part of the $200 million of healthcare that Grady Hospital “gives” away each year will now be paid for – by a combination of these patients now having insurance and having a way to pay or having a way to pay for cheaper alternatives like preventative care or urgent care.

Now, I hate giving Republicans advice.  But 620,000 Georgians getting health insurance that don’t currently have it for $725/person.  For $50/year per taxpayer?  Saving Georgia hospitals a billion dollars a year?  Getting a chance to put their own Georgia spin on the program and show how it can cost less than the federal government mandates or other states run by liberals are spending?  I’d figure out a way to run on that.  And based on some of Gov. Deal’s hedging comments, I think he’s already trying to figure that out.

Or, you can listen to the Tea Party and give Democrats the opening they need to get some of those 620,000 uninsured the reason to show up in an odd year election.  The demographics in this state are already getting better every year, and even in the worst Democratic year in most of our lifetimes (2010) we were only short by about 1/3 of that total.  Your choice guys!

23 comments

  1. ryanhawk says:

    So what you are saying is that we are going to save so much money that we don’t need to renew the hospital bed tax after all?

  2. John Konop says:

    Chris,

    In all due respect this bill does not deal with the core problem of healthcare cost rising about 10 times faster than GDP. Both parties are selling BS on the real cuts that need to be made.

    • Oh it’s far from perfect. But it does have a lot of cost containment measure in it. Of course, Republicans got the ball rolling pretty bad on that front by taking the $500m in Medicare savings and campaigning for votes from seniors as being agaisnt “Medicare cuts”.

      So, even though I know you’re seriously worried about this issues personally, to most Republicans I say cry me a river.

      • John Konop says:

        I am far from a GOP cheerleader, but in reality both parties have plenty of blame on this issue. The truth is the Amerian people do not deal with the truth, that what they want is unstastanable. And the politicians are scared to death to tell the truth. But like it or not he day of reckoned is coming soon. And the longer way delay the harder the medicine.

    • Jackster says:

      John, you hit the nail the head for the problem (rising costs), but not the solution (cuts).

      Cuts are nothing more than cost shifting… there’s a mix to pay the entire bill… insurance for a %, contracted rates for another %, personal payment for %, other insurance (like medicare) for another %. If it doesn’t add up to 100%, then you have collections.

      The rising costs, IMHO, are due to the
      —Insurance company structuring – both legal and market,
      — the cost to educate a healthcare provider (nurses are cheaper than doctors),
      — the cost of overhead to comply with billing, regulatory, and quality measures,
      —- The demand – Americans aren’t taking good care of themselves DESPITE good advice.

      So, if you want to cut anything, cut the amount of dependency americans have on health insurance, cut the dependency of americans on doctors for primary care, and increase the fitness and well being of americans.

      • Jackster says:

        Oh, and John – that’s something YOU can do individually if you’re looking for a way to implement it. It’s just your PITA factor will be off the charts, due to your new part time job as Healthcare Coordinator to your family.

      • John Konop says:

        Jack,

        I do agree with you, but we must have a carrot and sticks approach. And right now Medicare, government plans, private plans……..do not have enough carrots and sticks. And the problem is when you put in sticks both sides use it as a political football ie end of life directives, nurses over doctors, denial or extra co-pays for elective procedures or products ie Viagra……….., use of dial a doc………All we hear about from both sides is killing grandma, how we can have it all without the cost………..

        I do think the exchanges that have people self insure will also give people a better understanding of real cost and make them more proactive.

  3. xdog says:

    It’s a tax increase. I know because the gopers have told me that for months and years.

    In the same way I know it’s bad policy because that’s what Romney said today.

    Until someone is willing to hold politicians’ feet to the fire for being constant egregious hypocrites, not to mention flatfooted liars and mutton-mouthed morons, there’s nothing but risk in your idea. I don’t look for any goper with any drag to run with your idea, not in the next several years anyway. They’ll be too busy crafting next term’s Fetal Agony Bill and dodging again their responsibilities to fund transportation and education.

  4. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    “Or, you can listen to the Tea Party and give Democrats the opening they need to get some of those 620,000 uninsured the reason to show up in an odd year election. The demographics in this state are already getting better every year, and even in the worst Democratic year in most of our lifetimes (2010) we were only short by about 1/3 of that total. Your choice guys!”

    And just who are those 620,000 uninsured Georgia voters going to vote for besides Republicans? Are those 620,000 uninsured Georgia voters going to vote for those mostly non-existent Democrat challengers in the races in conservative suburban and exurban Atlanta Region and rural Georgia State Senate and House Districts that dominate Georgia politics?

    If anything, those 620,000 uninsured Georgians are more than likely to vote for Republicans who oppose Obamacare because of objections to the Individual Mandate and a state political environment that has overall unbearably toxic for Democrats to the point of near-extinction for the Democrat Party in state politics.

    I don’t disagree that over the long-term, the changing demographics of this state with the continued growth of Blacks, Latinos and liberal Whites, especially in Metro Atlanta, will mandate that Democrats become more competitive in statewide politics at some point in the future.

    But those to the left side of the political spectrum are getting way too far ahead of themselves if they think that Democrats have even a remote chance of making waves in a statewide political environment that is increasingly conservative and increasingly hostile to anything that is thought to be even the slightest remotely liberal or Democrat at the moment.

    Heck, in the current statewide political environment, Republicans can seemingly get away with governing the state with what can only be described as a robust mix of a spectacular degree of incompetence, mismanagement and corruption and yet still, Democrats are still seemingly the most absolutely-hated, despised and loathed political entity outside of I-285 to the point where one cannot hope to even entertain the thought of having a political career unless one has an (R) behind their name and the word “Democrat” is considered an offensive slur.

    • I think you kind of miss the point. These 620k Georgians are going to be added to the Medicaid rolls. They don’t make enough money to currently afford insurance or face the mandate.

      I hate to oversimplify it for you, but it’s basically like saying free ice cream for you and by the way someone else is paying for it. I love ice cream. Why would I be upset that someone else is buying it for me?

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        “Why would I be upset that someone else is buying it for me?”

        Because that someone else who is paying for it is an exceptionally deeply-indebted individual (to the tune of $16 TRILLION) who just turned to the crimes of armed robbery and extortion out of desperation and who just forcefully robbed a bank (in the form of dramatic tax increases on small businesses and individuals) to come up with the money that they’re using to buy you that ice cream.

      • seekingtounderstand says:

        The poor suffer the most when leaders are irresponsible. Just go ask any third world country poor person.
        And you are going to be crying after you re-elect the free ice cream president only to find out the lies about what you got for free……..DMV style health care where you never see a doctor only an assistant or nurse and there is nothing healthy about it.
        But hey you and your bought the lies………………so vote him in again so he can destroy more and make us all have horrible care, but just not himself or congress or government workers,

  5. KD_fiscal conservative says:

    See Chris, the problem here is that the cost to the STATE is only 725, but the other 90% is paid by the FEDs, which would mean the US GOVT would be paying a whopping $6000+++ …now the problem here is the government doesn’t even have enough money to pay for CURRENT obligations, let alone NEW ones.

  6. seekingtounderstand says:

    One of the most underreported stories this week is the effect of new DMV requirements.
    Today there was a four hour wait in a large hot room with sweaty, stinky ugly mood people.
    No one to ask a question except a down trodden young girl behind a small desk barely able to speak due to stressful encounters no doubt from a very long day.
    Well guess what America, this is OBAMACARE. This is what all you liberals won for us all.
    The DMV experience for healthcare! With stressful government rules designed to make you just want to go home and die instead of waiting for hours with the hordes!.
    I read Rahm Emanuels brothers writings on his design of OBAMACARE, remember he tried to get this thru with Hillary. His name is Doctor Ezekiel Emanuel and most of his writing have been stripped from the internet as I read them several years ago. His design is not anything healing.
    Its horrible and not healthy. But hey congress and the rich will continue to have great care, the rest of us will have to pay double to just get what we are use to having!!!!!!
    so those of you that wanted it, congratulations and welcome to hell.

    • Bush 92! Way to trot out the old argument against Hillarycare that it would turn healthcare into the “Arkansas DMV” whatever that means. Of course, Obamacare’s mandate, previously known as Romneycare, is just the Republican alternate to Hillarycare in 1994.

      So, if Bush said Clinton’s proposal would turn healthcare into the Arkansas DMV, and Republicans offered an alternative that they presumably didn’t think would do that, and 20 years later Obama implements what is basically the Republican alternative to the Arkansas DMV, then you’ll have to excuse me for not taking anything you say seriously.

      I renewed my license in April. 25 minute wait maybe. Wasn’t pleasant but who just LOVES going to the doctor now? I also went to urgent care a few weeks ago with a friend, and have visited people in the hospital. Before Obamacare you’re already describing the typical hospital waiting room – sounds like it will be about the same after Obamacare.

      Try something a little more convincing.

      • seekingtounderstand says:

        GA will not be like other states. They are not that giving to the poor with there policies and long time one party rulers. It will be crappy and you will have to spend your life in court fighting to ge them to raise quality. Oh and many will die while you try.

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        People didn’t like the individual mandate when the Republicans first offered it as an idea back in the early 1990’s, but at least the Republicans were smart enough to back away and run fast from that particularly unpopular proposal.

        On the other hand, the Democrats were stupid enough to ram through the highly-unpopular individual mandate into law and it has cost them dearly politically and rightfully so.

  7. John Konop says:

    The problem with this debate on healthcare is the lack of fiscal reality on both sides. Chris obviously thinks we can sustain the current system without cuts. I heard Erick Cantor on Morning Joe and he thinks we the key is giving Americans what they want. I HAVE NEWS the debate should be about what we can afford. Both sides are nothing more than spoiled kids not wanting to face reality.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      Like I stated earlier, it’s not liberal vs. conservative. It’s big socialists (Democrats) vs. big, but slightly smaller socialists (Republicans).

  8. Bob Loblaw says:

    If GA expands its Medicaid rolls, the U.S., notwithstanding the debt issues detailed above, will become the biggest recipient State in the Union. GA won’t be able to pass up the Federal drawdown to pay for Medicaid. Hopefully, putting so many healthy folks on Medicaid that drive themselves and have a job will drive down the current utilization rates and the program will be able to reimburse doctors and hospitals what they actually spend on care. Heck, they might get to earn a living.

    To those that think expanding Medicaid isn’t the answer, I agree from a “let’s don’t grow government” perspective. But, think of this like a business deal or even a good hand in cards for a second. You have to take the money because if you don’t, you won’t be able to cover the losses or the people.

    We are here now.

  9. Harry says:

    The American consumers are being hit by sticker shock and soon will be hit with lots more, and it’s not going to be nice for politicians who are supporters of Obamacare.

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