October 20, 2013

Eyes on Ohio: Myths of Medicaid Expansion

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:29 pm

In advance of tomorrow’s State of Ohio Controlling Board meeting, when its members decide whether they will allow Ohio Governor John Kasich to bully them into allowing an expansion of Medicaid (pending certain court challenges) despite the Ohio Legislature’s firm rejection of the idea, I am relaying portions of “Medicaid Expansion Myths” sent to me by State Representative Ron Young’s office:

In an effort to win public support, a number of myths have been perpetrated regarding Medicaid expansion. By contrasting some of these myths with reality I believe a clearer portrait of the effects of Medicaid expansion can be seen.

MYTH #1: “Medicaid offers good health care and expanding Medicaid will save countless lives.”

REALITY: The health outcomes for those our government places on Medicaid are poor and the best research supports this statement.

MYTH #2: “If we don’t expand Medicaid Ohio will lose federal tax dollars that are earmarked for us. It would be foolish of Ohio to turn down all these free federal dollars.”

REALITY: There are no federal Medicaid dollars earmarked for Ohio and it is not free money. There is no pot of gold with Ohio’s name on it in Washington waiting to be dispersed the day we expand Medicaid. Most of the money we would receive from the federal government by expanding Medicaid would simply increase the national debt.

MYTH #3: “The federal government has made some great promises to Ohio in the form of special dollar matches if we expand our Medicaid program. The federal government funds about 62% of Ohio’s current Medicaid program. For the expanded program they have promised to pay 100% of the cost of the
program for 3 years and 90% of the cost thereafter. A promise from our federal government is rock solid. They have to live up to their promises; we should trust them and take the deal.”

REALITY: There are no iron clad guarantees in any of the promises offered by the federal government. The federal government can change the Medicaid match amount at any time. To accept Medicaid expansion means Ohio is trusting its financial future to a government that is deeply in debt and addicted to over spending.

MYTH 4: “If the expansion program doesn’t work then we’ll just shut it down and walk away.”

REALITY: We could probably argue all day about how Health and Human Services, the courts, a future Governor, a future President, a future Secretary of Health and Human Services, etc., might interpret the law. Most of the “experts” seem to agree that once a state accepts the federal offer and expands Medicaid there is no easy withdraw from the expansion portions of the program. However, I believe the legal argument is a moot point. The reality is that Ohio would simply not drop hundreds of thousands of voting citizens from a Medicaid program. We do not have the political will to do such a thing.

MYTH 5: “We will use the expansion of Medicaid as an opportunity to reform the program.”

REALITY: It defies logic to expand a government program that needs to be reformed. If we can meaningfully reform Medicaid we should start with the existing program. After the reforms are in place and operating effectively then, and only then, should we consider expansion.

CONCLUSION: Regardless of the sweeping rhetoric and marketing techniques used by those that support Medicaid expansion the science to support claims of significant improvements in public health are not supported by the facts. How many lives and families could be saved by leaving these billions of dollars in the private sector to create jobs and expand our economy, as opposed to burdening the nation with more debt and bigger government in order to expand a very questionable, if not failed, government program?

Ron Young
State Representative | District 61

Reminder …

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:37 pm

… of The Big Lie (HT Twitchy):

It’s The Big “Media-Enabled” Lie

It was an empty promise, made repeatedly.

That was the Associated Press on September 30, when it no longer mattered.

Abandoning All Pretense: Axelrod’s Tweet Appears to Foreshadow What MSNBC’s Move to ‘What Progressives Have Been Waiting For’ Will Be Like

Former Barack Obama campaign manager and current MSNBC senior political analyst David Axelrod today immaturely taunted those who disagree with him on Obamacare by tweeting the following question: “Isn’t it ironic that the most ardent opponents of the Affordable Care Act are now complaining that people can’t sign up fast enough?”

At first blush, it would appear that Axelrod’s tweet might be out of bounds even at MSNBC. Based on the splash which greets those who enter “msnbc.com” in their browser’s address bar, you would be wrong:
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Lisa Mascaro at the LA Times: Nation’s Budget Problems Are ‘Substantially Improved From the Recent Recession’

A recurring theme at the Los Angeles Times during the past several days has been that the nation’s economic and fiscal circumstances really aren’t all that bad, and they’re getting better under Dear Leader Obama. (Oh, and throw in a healthy dose of “It’s Bush’s fault” for good measure.)

Lisa Mascaro, with the help of Brian Bennett, David Lauter and Michael A. Memoli, added to that effort late Saturday afternoon. In an item primarily about the politics of the Washington’s next scheduled fiscal standoff in mid-December, she did the usual spin on this year’s budget deficit (writing that it has “declined rapidly,” while conveniently forgetting that this year’s shortfall will be higher than any non-Obama deficit in U.S. history). She also gave undue credence based on poor historical accuracy to Congressional Budget Office projections which claim that “the national debt … is projected to be stable or even declining as a share of the economy well into the next decade.” But she ventured beyond the careful but misleading realm of the previous two statements into flat-out falsehood when she wrote: “The country is on a budget trajectory that, while substantially improved from the recent recession …”

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AP Claims California’s $68 Billion High-Speed Rail Got ‘Overwhelming’ Voter Approval (of 52.7%), Would ‘Span the State’

In a Sunday morning report which tries to put the best possible face on a project which appears to be on track to make the $22 billion “Big Dig” in Massachusetts look like a petty cash disbursement, Juliet Williams at the Associated Press claimed that the $68 billion involved thus far “would span the state.” No it wouldn’t, unless all of the formerly Golden State north of the San Francisco Bay Area — roughly one-fourth of the state’s land mass — were to secede.

Williams also wrote: “Voters in 2008 approved $10 billion in bonds to start construction on an 800-mile rail line to ferry passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2 hours and 40 minutes.” Nope. It’s an 800-mile rail “network” (quoting from the state’s ballot measure guide) which was supposed to include San Diego to the south (see the top left at Page 6 at the link), and apparently now does not. In other text seen below, she cited that 2008 proposition, which carried by a margin of 52.7% to 47.3%, as evidence that voters “overhelmingly approved” the project.

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Positivity: Human rights promotion fights totalitarianism, activist says

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:04 am

From Washington:

Oct 19, 2013 / 08:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng has asked the international community to support and protect basic human rights and values in order to fight against totalitarian regimes and oppression.

“In today’s world, the greatest threat to human civilization is still the barbaric totalitarian system. Though such systems are few in number, they do great harm,” Chen said at an Oct. 16 lecture at Princeton University which was sponsored by the school’s Witherspoon Institute.

“Therefore, to make the good flourish in this world, the defense of universal human rights and values needs to be the priority. To eliminate the bad in the world, the removal of totalitarian governments needs to be the priority.”

Chen became a self-taught human rights lawyer while living in China, working against the country’s one-child policy and the forced abortions and sterilizations occurring under it.

Chen’s work gained the attention of the Chinese government, and he spent four years in prison for his advocacy. After his release from prison in September 2010, Chen was placed under house arrest without formal charges, and has stated that during this time, he and his family were treated harshly, beaten, and denied proper medical care.

Chen escaped from house arrest in April 2012, finding refuge in the U.S. embassy in Beijing. The following month he was granted a fellowship at New York University’s law school, and he was allowed to leave the China. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (102013)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.