Friday, May 27, 2011

10 Myths About Medicaid

I have been posting as much as I could about how the GOP wants to kill Medicare and Medicaid. While the Medicare intent has been obvious, and there has been focus on the reaction to the attempt to kill Medicare, MEDICAID has not gotten the attention that it should.

I believe this is because, in so much of the simple-minded MSM, they still believe the GOP utter LIE that the typical Medicaid user is an illegal immigrant with her 3 Anchor Babies, or a poor Black woman with her 3 children by 3 different Baby Daddies.

I have been trying to point out that although, percentage wise of patients on Medicaid, ARE poor mothers and children..

In terms PERCENTAGE of MEDICAID DOLLARS, there is not one, but TWO groups that outstrips poor mothers and children:

Group 1 - Senior Citizens in Nursing Homes.

I keep on saying this over and over, but the Democrats need to hire folks to hang out on the weekends in front of nursing homes, and inform ' family' members, that if, the GOP has their way, THEY will have to come up with the cost of the nursing home. Ask them the simple question - DO YOU HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THIS?

If not, then you have no business voting GOP.

Group 2 - The Disabled

I think it's a good thing that we, as a country, decided that the disabled in our society deserve healthcare and other services that Medicaid provide.

I tell the story of a family friend who had a disabled family member. She just died a couple of years ago, in her 80's. She lived with family her entire life, and Medicaid helped with certain services for her. I think that's the way it should be, and that just because people are disabled does not mean that they aren't deserving of medical care and services. I think the disabled community is more on top of it, and understand what the GOP is threatening, and are mobilizing.

If you know someone who has a family member in a nursing home, or is disabled, more than likely, they use MEDICAID.

We need to PROTECT MEDICAID, from the Lord of the Flies mentality that permeates the GOP.


The Kaiser Family Foundation has just published - The 10 Myths About Medicaid.

Myth 1—Medicaid is an antiquated program and needs to be modernized.

❏ FACT: Medicaid has demonstrated throughout its history that it is an innovative program and evolves with the changing American health care system.

Ever since the original passage of Medicaid, the waiver process has allowed states to experiment with new concepts of benefit design, eligibility, and delivery systems.

After evaluating these demonstrations, innovations can be adopted as standard options that don’t require a waiver from the federal government.

Managed care is an example of an innovation that became a standard option-about 60 percent of beneficiaries are in managed care. A current innovation that several states are experimenting with is moving long-term care services towards a home and community based setting.

Additionally, Medicaid’s structure has allowed it to expand and readily adapt to emerging issues in the American health system like the HIV/AIDS crisis.

■ Myth 2—Medicaid is a rigid, one size fits all program.

❏ FACT: States have taken advantage of Medicaid’s flexibility to customize their program-about two-thirds of Medicaid spending is for “optional” services or populations.

Medicaid is designed with minimum federal standards, which require states to cover certain populations and provide certain benefits to key populations. In many ways it is a system that operates as 50 separate state coverage programs, with states having the choice to cover populations and services beyond minimum standards.

Myth 3—Medicaid spending is out of control.

❏ FACT: The per enrollee cost growth in Medicaid (6.1 percent) is lower than the per enrollee cost growth in comparable coverage under Medicare (6.9), private health insurance (10.6), and monthly premiums for employer-sponsored insurance (12.6). Medicaid is a program that is most in demand when the country is experiencing economic difficulties.

Over the past few years Medicaid spending growth increased due to a sharp rise in enrollment of children and parents in low-income families during tough economic times.

However, the spending growth has moderated as the economy has improved.

Although Medicaid costs continue to increase, so do health care costs throughout the American health system, indicating there is a more systemic issue of rising costs.

■ Myth 4—Medicaid provides “Cadillac” insurance coverage that is more than a
person needs.

❏ FACT: The Medicaid program serves several populations that require services
not readily available in standard health insurance plans.

While Medicaid functions as an acute care plan for low-income families, it is also the only option available for many individuals with disabilities and low-income elderly, who require more intensive services like long-term care.

Additionally, Medicaid has limited cost-sharing for its beneficiaries in recognition that there are financial issues associated with health access for poor people. Medicaid’s broad benefits package and financial protection reflect the program’s unique role as a catchall for the weaknesses in our health system.


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