from The New York Times.com
Full Wallets, but Using Health Program for Poor
By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS
Published: December 10, 2010
AFTER immigrating to New York City from China in the 1970s, Z. Y. Tung and his wife worked hard — he as a bank manager, she as a public school secretary — lived frugally and saved every penny they could for the next generation.
Until five years ago, when his wife, Wen Mei Hu, racked by bone-marrow cancer, had to be put in a nursing home, where the bills ran past $100,000 a year, threatening to quickly drain the couple’s life savings of $500,000. The nursing home told him not to worry: If he signed a document essentially refusing to support his wife of several decades, Medicaid, the federal insurance program for the indigent, would pick up the bill.
“What about me, because I am responsible?” Mr. Tung inquired. He was told that only millionaires had to pay such high costs, and reluctantly, seeing no other choice, he agreed.
Last year, more than 1,200 people in New York City officially turned their backs on their husbands and wives to qualify for Medicaid, triple the number of people five years ago. The practice, known as “spousal refusal,” is becoming more common as the population ages and the cost of nursing care rises — and it is coming under increasing attack by government officials looking to curb ballooning Medicaid expenses.
In a recent report, Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch warned that spousal refusal could be abused as “an entitlement for the less needy” and urged state officials to rethink it, noting that long-term care accounts for nearly half the state’s Medicaid spending.
I've been saying this for awhile now. Everytime you hear a Republican open their mouths about Medicaid, think about this.
They use Poor Black and Brown children to bash Medicaid, because, of course, poor people don't deserve healthcare, and of course Black and Brown people don't deserve healthcare paid for by those 'hardworking real Americans - WHITE Americans'. The soulless parasites known as the Republicans have used the raw meat of the 'undeserving' getting healthcare for many a year.
You even had Governor ' Good Hair' Perry in Texas talk about 'opting out' of Medicaid about a couple of weeks ago. Yet, he dropped it like a hot potato - why?
The revelation of how many middle class folks were pimping the system to pay for Mom and Dad's nursing home bill. When they can't decouple it - i.e., throw the poor children to the wolves, but keep the middle class White pimpage of Medicaid, they drop it.
But, when they can clearly attack the poor, like Arizona's DEATH PANELS denying Medicaid patients transplants, they have no problem in doing so, calling life saving transplants ' Cadillac Medicine'.
And what was Brewer's response? She, of ' the evil overreach of the Federal Government', tells people to GET MONEY FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. She got money from the FEDS - it was called STIMULUS MONEY. She had 50 MILLION for Prisons -with whom she has been doing side deals, and is part of the underbelly of her 'WHAT ABOUT IF YOU AIN'T WHITE' profiling law is all about - filling jail with Brown people. But, she can't find the money to help save people's lives.
THIS is who they are. This is their Lord of the Flies Mentality on full display.
Then, in Florida, Jeb Bush turned over Medicaid to PRIVATE INSURERS, who, in turn, did their OWN DEATH PANELS. If Jeb ever runs for President, the DEATHS at the hands of the insurance companies need to be placed right at his feet, in political ad after ad.
The main way that the GOP can attack Healthcare Reform at the state level IS through Medicaid. But, the problems are....there are a whole lotta middle-class White folks that wrapped up in Medicaid and are pimping the system.
Keep your eyes on Medicaid in your state. See what tricks the GOP comes up with, because it's nothing good.