Tag Archives: Health care

Plunkett: DSH payments will never be cut. Dems should vote to reauthorize Medicaid now. | Mississippi PEP

 

Plunkett: DSH payments will never be cut. Dems should vote to reauthorize Medicaid now. | Mississippi PEP

Republicans keep projecting their wishes on the future, forecasting that the things for which they long are “inevitable.” They say things like “With one single decision President Barack Obama pulled the rug out from under any moves by Mississippi Democrats to expand Medicaid in Mississippi.” And that undoing his “signature achievement as President” was “inevitable.” Now this bit of prognostication was a conservative Mississippian’s response to the Obama administration’s decision several months ago to delay “cuts to DSH payments” (“Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments are given to hospitals by the federal government to states through Medicaid for caring for the uninsured”).

Conservatives say this because they see a delay in implementing a shift in payment for indigent care (which they have been successful in labeling a penalty for the states) as a fatal flaw, even getting liberals to adopt the “Luntz” framing. And, although many of the people they, the Crpto-Fascists, count as supporters would die without expansion, they, in clear Atwater fashion, seem perfectly content with repealing:

Coverage which

And the pseudo-anti-judicial activists rejoiced in hearing an activist court legislate with under cover of a flimsy explanation like:

“What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding”

effectively revitalizing the old states-rights ideology almost a century and a half after the Civil War settled the issue and challenging Congress’ authority to determine how indigent care will be compensated. In one of the most striking examples of the effect of poor history education in America, the American public voted for people who are actually states-rights proponents as if they, “the people,” have no idea that this was the position of staunch white supremacists who sought to rend the Union asunder. How is Medicaid a new program? How does the Court tell Congress how to aid the indigent?

It is, indeed, amazing that somehow shifting the funding to compensate providers for indigent care from disproportionate care payments to Medicaid payments can be viewed as a penalty when:

“Congress had amended Medicaid more than 50 times since its enactment, with a trend of enlarging the population and services covered by the program”

And none of these expansions were considered penalties? As I said, the Supreme Court conservatives, who acted as neo-confederates, used a flimsy excuse to indulge in some conservative-orchestrated judicial activism.

Conservatives say that the

Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states had the legal authority to reject expansion and the federal government could do nothing to penalize states for it.” Of course this was the courts response to “all or nothing.”

But there is nothing to stop congress from reducing the payments over time regardless of whether a state expands Medicaid or not Mr. State’s Rights, as in “ignoring states’ decisions to expand Medicaid when calculating the DSH reductions, meaning states won’t face a financial penalty for refusing the Medicaid expansion as the reductions could be made without any regard to whether a state expands Medicaid or not. Wishing that the law will go away and funneling your attacks to a hypocrite-judicial-activist, states-rights Chief Justice (whose states-rights ideology lines up with even Mississippi neo-confederates) doesn’t mean that the American people will get rid of a law which addresses

Costs

And

Care

But back to that wishful thinking about the delay being the unraveling of the Affordable Care Act. The conservative’s argument goes:

“DSH payments were never going to be cut. One only need to look at the SGR and the annual “Doc Fix” under Medicare to see a perfect example of why,”

comparing Medicare advocacy to Medicaid advocacy. This is delusional, as the Medicare constituents are not the same as a substantial number of the Medicaid constituents. In their delusions about ObamaCare and their fixation with repealing it, conservative pundits have conflated the two. Medicaid constituents, by and large, are not appearing at Tea Party rallies, trying, asininely, to wreck the people’s government. Wish as the neo-confederates will, the people targeted in “their home districts for voting against providing health care to the most needy” won’t be the people who are vigorously advocating Medicaid expansion. It won’t be the people who know the 7 things Republicans don’t want their working class constituents to know who will be confused about who’s responsible for service reductions to the needy. The non-Republican Medicaid recipients already know who is trying to cut SNAP and WIC benefits, in short assistance to the most vulnerable. They know that wishing that Republicans would actually favor social programs won’t make it happen; they know that wishing won’t make it so.

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‘Scared as Hell’

The Story is titled “Business Owner ‘Scared as Hell’ of ObamaCare.

The quote goes: “I’m scared as hell.” However the business owner in the Fox Noise story wasn’t speaking about ObamaCare when he said: “I’m really afraid that they’re going to price us out of our ability to absorb the cost.” The “they” isn’t “ObamaCare.” If you read the piece the “they” is a reference to the insurance company which increased the policy costs for the owner of Chameleon Salons in New Haven, Conn by 20% last year, not ObamCare. The business, the real money, for Fox News is in exploiting the ignorance of the American public. Because of this profound ignorance, Fox can continually point to ObamaCare as the problem that is scaring the “Hell” out of America when the culprit is actually the industry that Fox is protecting through misdirection, the health insurance industry and charge good carnival-barking money for ads as a result. The story says that “the salon [Chameleon Salons in New Haven, Conn] spends nearly $60,000 per year on health insurance.” The real story should have been how the German’s have competing, private sickness funds which must pay the medical bills as opposed to our $60,000 bills charged by companies which tell the customer what they (Sarah Palin, can you say, like a death panel) will and will not pay, and Germans have health insurance even when they are unemployed, no COBRA bull sugar-honey-ice-tea for them. The nourished ignorance of the American public actually redounds to the benefit of those who prefer the concentration of capital, when you compare those who benefit from insurance company stock dividends to those who have increasing limited access to health care because of our for-profit health insurance scheme. With constantly rising premiums even before ObamaCare and increasing deductibles and co-pays, even those with insurance didn’t have the health care access that is needed to bend the health care cost curve. And the Republican plan is to repeal the Affordable Care Act and for those Americans who don’t have a congressional health plan, or Tri-Care, or Medicare or the millions of American’s not covered by any plan, the Republican plan is to quote one Representative, don’t get sick.”

 

 

The saddest element in this composition, the Scared as Hell story, is the way the business owner, Stan Bialecki, views health insurance as part of a competitive advantage. “I think it’s the right thing for us to do as a company, and it gives us a huge competitive edge over other businesses,” he says. It is this line of thinking that leaves him vulnerable to the hikes by an industry whose profits are based on finding ways not to pay providers or to pay them as little as possible so that other companies, insurance companies, can make more money. News flash Fox Nation! The health insurance industry is not your friend. However a cancellation notion may be, if it forces you to wake from your Fox assisted slumber.

The health care system in American has been a neo-feudal structural support device, tying employees to employers because of the health insurance they supplied. This health insurance system favors big employers over small employers and entrepreneurship. There is no accounting for the amount of innovation foregone due to competition suffocation. There is no accounting for the capital absorption (siphoned off by insurance companies) owing to America’s slavish devotion to this health care system. The concentration of capital supported by a system which incentivizes the feudalistic corporate attachment embodied in employer-provided health care undermines democracy.

When something as basic as health care is connected to employment then voices which could have been heard could be silenced by the threat of jobs being lost, jobs which employees may be keeping principally due to the attachment of health care access.