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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Obama Administration Tries to Cut its Way to Universal Health Care - by Getting Medicaid Providers to Lose Money

When President Obama has a national audience, he proclaims his appreciation for hard work and constantly lectures us that we "can't cut our way to prosperity", but at lower levels that receive less media attention, his Administration is putting out the opposite message.  In recent litigation over reimbursement rates under Medicaid, when "patients, doctors, dentists, hospitals, pharmacists and other health care providers in California" complained that a proposed round of 10% cuts would leave many Medicaid reimbursements below cost, the Federal government's response was, "Yeah? Is that a problem?"  As reason.com, reports, quoting a brief the Administration filed in the 9th Circuit, the Administration advised the court:
  
"There is no general mandate under Medicaid to reimburse providers for all or substantially all of their costs."

Apparently, we can't cut our way to prosperity, but somehow we can cut our way to expanding access to health care, by making it uneconomical to provide it.  

I wish more people would wake up to the chasm between the bromides the President spouts of his teleprompter and the utter mathematical, economic and fiscal incoherence of the policies that underlie the rhetoric.