Sunday, February 17, 2013

Walker's Health Care Plan: "Everyone's A Loser Here"

To paraphrase the old adage: "To err is human, to really foul things up, you need Scott Walker."

Last week, Walker announced his decision regarding receiving a deal with the federal government that would have boosted the number of people receiving health care with a nominal cost to the state.  It was such a smart thing to do that even fellow teahadist governors like Jan Brewer in Arizona and John Kasich of Ohio have taken the expansion deals.

But our great uneducated governor thought he was smarter than all those wonks with their book-learnin'.

So he rejected the deal and offered one of his own.  He claimed it would save money and drop the number of uninsured people by 225,000.

Only one problem.  He was wrong.  Very, very wrong:
Instead, Walker proposed lowering the state’s Medicaid income-eligibility rate from 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 100 percent. That would make the Medicaid income cutoff for a single person $11,490 a year instead of $22,980. He would also remove a cap on a program for childless adults.

The net effect — between new people coming into the previously capped program and those leaving Medicaid because they earn too much — would be a 5,000-person decrease. But Walker also said because of people purchasing insurance through the exchange, the number of uninsured in the state would drop by 224,580.

Laszewski, along with other health care advocates and supporters of taking the Medicaid expansion, said that number was inflated.

“I haven’t seen anything to back that up,” added Democratic state Rep. Jon Richards of Milwaukee. “As far as I know, he pulled that out of thin air.”

The poorest people kicked out of Medicaid — earning between $11,491 and $15,282 a year — will have a hard time affording even modest premiums for federally subsidized private coverage through the exchange, said Bobby Peterson, head of the public interest law firm ABC for Health in Madison.

Because of that, people losing Medicaid under Walker’s plan would simply go without insurance, foisting more costs onto hospitals that will still have to treat them, Laszewski said.

“Everybody’s a loser here,” he said.
But wait, there's more. There's always more.

As we all know, the hospitals will pass that cost onto the rest of us who are fortunate enough to have health care coverage. So our insurance will go up as well.

But those hikes will seem like small change when compared to the hit taxpayers are going to take due to Walker's pandering to the teahadists:
If the federal government keeps its current commitments, Gov. Scott Walker's plan for avoiding a full expansion of the BadgerCare program under the federal health care law would cost Wisconsin taxpayers roughly $250 million more through 2020, under preliminary estimates by the Legislature's nonpartisan budget office.

In addition to lower state costs, the full expansion of the Medicaid health program would also cover tens of thousands more people than the Republican governor's proposal.
This is classic Walker. He wants to showboat but ends up bungling it up in epic proportions and then raise our taxes to pay for his folly. That's some real fiscal conservatism there, yessirree Bob!

The finishing touch - the cherry on top of this screw up sundae, if you will - is this bit of logic from Walker, which is also classic Walker (emphasis mine):
Walker refused to have Wisconsin establish its own exchange, the online marketplace for consumers to buy insurance, and has instead joined other Republican governors in deferring to the federal government to set it up. Yet the success of Walker’s plan hinges on people accessing health insurance through the exchange.

“There is a certain irony in his embracing it now and us saying ‘wait, we have reservations,’” Peacock said.

Laszewski said Walker’s plan is convoluted, because the governor tried to appease conservative Republicans who dislike the federal health care law while also making sure more people get insurance coverage.

“It appears he has tried to find a way out of it to placate everybody,” Laszewski said. “On the surface, he seems to accomplish that but when you get into the pieces it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.
The really sad part of this is that Walker knows full well that government health care works. He successfully ran the GAMP program in Milwaukee County for seven years.


  1. We know people doing pretty good with their kids, they are getting ready to buy a small house, in part due to being able to save a little bit over the last couple years with that Medicare.

    That purchase goes right back into the community, adds another property owner(s) to the community, more local taxes to the community. Hopefully for a lifetime, a stable lifetime where they will live, shop, and contribute to the community.

    Not to mention Hendricks and Menards will probably get some "home improvement" sales if they can get the house.

    They probably make just a little too much, though. They'll probably get kicked off. I know they will not buy a house, they're savers, they want to back themselves up.

    Oh well, more renters until the kids are old enough to get the kids OUT of Fitzwalkerstan.

    It's too bad many so-called liberals have vanished since the thrill of the Presidential show.

    Kudos to Ohio and Arizona governors on their decisions.

  2. It makes plenty of sense. To Him and his handlers.

    Immediately, after he 'took' office, he appointed Dennis Smith as dept head. Smith is a heritage foundation puke who will 'not to help implement the program {medicaid} , but to dismantle it' .

    Since I am in this select 'affected group' this issue is of great concern.
    A trip to the 'er isn't going to get someone the care they may need, diagnosis of cancer..etc, or treatment of a chronic disease (diabetes etc..). All they are required to do is 'stabilize' you, than you have to see your physician. If you are low income, good luck with that.

    You will still get a bill, not getting one is the exception. They are within their legal rights to send and collect the debt, and they do.
    Thats where my pension went.

    Too many people have the impression that medical care given through the ER is, somehow, 'free'. Sadly, if they think this is an option, they will get an unpleasant surprise.

    Just wondering if he considers the people who find it necessary to leave the state b/c of his 'administrative policies' a feature, not a bug.