Obamacare's Great Medicaid Expansion Swindle

I've got a new piece up at The Daily Beast about the planned expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. Here's the start:

In a controversial (and possibly illegal) move, Ohio’s Controlling Board voted to expand Medicaid coverage in the state to adults that were not previously eligible by way of accepting billions in federal funds. That means 25 states, plus the District of Columbia, have now signed on to take part in an aspect of the Affordable Care Act that is both optional and ill-considered. More states are expected to follow suit, even some that, like Ohio, have Republican governors and conservative legislatures.

This is bad news. Medicaid, the nation’s health care program for low-income citizens and those with certain disabilities, is expensive. States are not required to participate in the program, but all do, though eligibility requirements differ from state to state. In 2011, states devoted nearly 24 percent (PDF) of total spending to Medicaid—the single largest state expense—despite the fact that there’s little evidence that it actually improves the health outcomes of its beneficiaries.

You got that? One of the major tenets of Obamacare is to expand an existing program that is both hugely expensive and massively ineffective.

Read the whole thing here.

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  • Tim||

    "You got that? One of the major tenets of Obamacare is to expand an existing program that is both hugely expensive and massively ineffective."

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

  • Free Society||

    Nick, are you telling me that supposedly conservative Republicans are going along with massive expansion of a massively ineffective government program? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!

  • sarcasmic||

    Maybe they'll call it Part O.

  • GILMORE||

    NEEDS MOAR HITLER

    But really, expanding Medicaid = federal teeth deeper into states = moar low level employees and beneficiaries reliant on Federal green = mo'power for the bureaucrats to hand out = DEMOCRATS WIN.

    if there's anything TEAM BLUE has others beat at, its *autogenerating constituents* by simply building the infrastructure of dependence.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Stop already. He said like "Hitler's bunker mentality", not like Hitler. :-)

  • GILMORE||

    You just said Hitler twice.

  • sarcasmic||

    Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    70 percent of all births in New Mexico are paid for by Medicaid.

    70 fuckin' percent.

    I realize NM is one big welfare state, but a stat like that really drives it home.

  • Rasilio||

    Not surprising given that even before Obamacare 70% of all health care spending in the US was paid by some government entity or another.

  • Rasilio||

    How the Obamacare Exchange Roll Out was planned...

    In the beginning was the plan.
    And then came the assumptions.
    And the assumptions were without form.
    And the plan was without substance.
    And darkness was upon the face of the workers.
    And they spoke among themselves saying,
    "It is a crock of shit and it stinketh."
    And the workers went unto their supervisors and said,
    "It is a pale of dung and none may abide the odor thereof."
    And the supervisor went unto their managers and said,
    "It is a container of excrement and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it."
    And the managers went unto their directors, saying,
    "It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength."
    And the directors spoke among themselves, saying to one another,
    "It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong."
    And the directors went unto the vice presidents, saying unto them,
    "It promotes growth and is very powerful."
    And the vice presidents went unto the president, saying unto him,
    "The new plan will promote the growth and vigor of the company, with powerful effects."
    And the president looked upon the plan and saw that it was good.
    And the plan became policy.
    This is how shit happens.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    In a controversial (and possibly illegal) move, Ohio’s Controlling Board voted to expand Medicaid coverage in the state to adults that were not previously eligible by way of accepting billions in federal funds.

    Is this a back door to Single Payer? Three bazillion pages of gibberish, all to camouflage this little easter egg?

  • ||

    there’s little evidence that [Medicaid] actually improves the health outcomes of its beneficiaries.

    Holy shit this is a softball, Gillespie. Medicaid is essential because SOCIAL SAFETY NET!!!!!!

    For you not to know that, you must be as insulated from reality as some really bad guy in a really deep secret hole.

  • Aresen||

    One of the major tenets of Obamacare is to expand an existing program that is both hugely expensive and massively ineffective.

    Am I supposed to be surprised by this?

    Call me when a Pentagon weapons system comes in under budget and exceeds specs.

  • Rasilio||

    It has happened.

    That new experimental Blimp was ontime and under budget and there were a few programs initiated by soldiers in the field during the Gulf Wars which were ontime and under budget (and a few of them were outright cheap for military development projects) but they are never the big ticket items like Navy Ships, new Tanks, or new Aircraft.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Excellent piece, Nick.

    But, it's pretty pointless providing all those icky statistics and references to actual studies. It's completely lost on the readers at DB. Read the comments. 'Medicaid expansion CANNOT be a bad thing ever because HEALTHCARE!!!'

    Keep fighting the good fight, Nick. But, we're doomed.

  • GILMORE||

    PLEASE HELP =

    Someone recently reminded me of the name of the fallacy where a person always tries to undermine your argument by claiming "it isn't really *yours* = you were just paid to say that!" (which actually ignores what is being said or not, or whether its in fact correct or not, but simply claims that "somehow money was involved, money is evil and suspicious, therefore everything is bullshit because money")

    Its like #1 in the Progtard toolbox. anyone recall what its called?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    ad hominem circumstantial.

  • GILMORE||

    That weren't it.

  • ||

    Red herring. Appeal to motive.

  • GILMORE||

    Warmer.

  • GILMORE||

    Speaking of the awesomeness of DB comments on the article =

    Left of Center
    1 hour ago

    Better for people to die when they get sick, right Nick? What the hell do you want to spend the money on? Nation building in the Middle East? Excellent work by the officers at our missile sites? Corporate welfare? Taking care of the 1% by giving them more ways not to pay taxes? Or, are you one of those Tea Partiers who would do anything, including destroying the economy, in a effort to save a buck on taxes?

    bfair
    1 hour ago
    This is yellow journalism....."there’s little evidence that Medicaid coverage improves the health and longevity of beneficiaries" Sounds like "people don't need no dang insurance", hellatious!

    (remarkable how easily a sentence's meaning can be converted with the "sounds like" device)

    I had to stop reading at this point. Do diabetics need their meds? Asthma patients need inhalers? Infections need antibiotics?! Not if they can't get a diagnosis!...[DERP ETC]

    Dr_SwampGas
    3 hours ago

    Once again, we hear from a Repuke who things it's a really good idea to leave millions of people without any medical care at all, although I doubt that a privileged person like him ever had to worry about such things. In any case, the Repukes have no plans of any kind to deal with this problem, and go rabid when anyone does attempt to do something.

    (++DOUBLEPLUS "DO SOMETHINGS" AWARDS)

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What the hell do you want to spend the money on? Nation building in the Middle East? Excellent work by the officers at our missile sites? Corporate welfare? Taking care of the 1% by giving them more ways not to pay taxes? Or, are you one of those Tea Partiers who would do anything, including destroying the economy, in a effort to save a buck on taxes?

    Nice. The idea of just letting people keep their money and do with it as they see fit is obviously not an option.

  • XM||

    Can someone explain why this is possibly illegal?

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