It’s naïve to believe Medicaid expansion promises

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations.

iStock_000002098320MediumI have long felt that Medicaid expansion is a central component of Obamacare. If President Obama can get more and more people on Medicaid, he is well on his progressive way to a single-payer health care system.

Obamacare is like a three-legged stool supported by the Obamacare mandates, the insurance exchanges, and Medicaid expansion. If we’re being honest with ourselves, voting to expand Medicaid is voting to expand Obamacare and, as we’re finding out more and more each day, Obamacare was sold based on half-truths, deceptions and outright lies.

We’re familiar with President Obama’s promise that if you like your health plan and your doctor you can keep them both, “period.” But in place of that promise we were delivered stories like Debra Fishericks’. A working grandmother in Virginia, Debra has fought kidney cancer for ten years and relied on her employer-sponsored insurance in that battle. She recently learned her insurance was being canceled because it doesn’t meet Obamacare’s standards. After a fruitless search for affordable options on healthcare.gov, she is left asking “Will I have my same specialist? Will I have to search for other specialists? I have so many unanswered questions.”

Debra’s story is symbolic of millions of people across America who have been harmed by Obamacare’s broken promises.

Obamacare also promised lower health care costs and savings of $2,500 for a typical family. Instead, we were delivered stories like Todd Blome, an accountant in Lincoln, Nebraska. His insurance company recently informed him that his health plan is being cancelled due to Obamacare, and moving Todd to a qualified Obamacare plan will increase his premiums by 65 percent, or nearly $4,000 per year.

Furthermore, we’re now being promised that the feds will pay 100 percent of the costs of the Medicaid expansion in the first three years, and 90 percent of those costs into perpetuity. After being lied to repeatedly, it seems both naïve and foolish to believe this promise.

Beyond that, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants reports that as of 2011 the federal government’s debt, Social Security, and Medicare obligations were already several trillion dollars more than the household net worth of all U.S. citizens combined.

Think about that.

The federal government could close shop and tax every American every last dollar they already don’t owe to creditors and it would still fall short of its current financial obligations – without factoring in a dime of Medicaid coverage. And on that basis the federal government is asking Utahns to believe that it will cover nine out of every 10 dollars of Medicaid expansion costs.

When the math finally catches up to Washington, D.C., we at least ought to be honest, face its fiscal realities and come up with a plan for whose health care coverage we’re going to cut – or whose taxes we’re going to raise to prevent those cuts. And we ought to warn Utahns about a central harm of Obamacare: By expanding Medicaid coverage, there’s a decent chance they will lose their job when taxpayers and businesses are forced to pay even higher taxes simply to maintain this Medicaid expansion ruse.

Or, we can prudently and responsibly protect the lives and livelihoods of Utahns by focusing instead on keeping the promise of affordable and quality healthcare for those in need through serious and sustainable solutions such as Sutherland Institute’s authentic charity care proposal.

For Sutherland Institute, I’m Paul Mero. Thanks for listening.

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