Bob's Words of Wisdom News

Medicaid Expansion is not the Answer

On the subject of Medicaid expansion: I would just like to reiterate that you will not solve our medical problems by throwing more money at them. It has already been tried in many states and in every one it has failed, however; it has significantly expanded their debt to the point where many of those states are on the verge of bankruptcy.

Talk to some of the doctors in Idaho and you will find that most of them do not want to even provide service to Medicaid patients because they don’t make enough to provide the services. In fact, if you check you will find out that we have over 400 MD’s who have retired for 2 reasons. The cost of medical malpractice Insurance and the continual cuts in payments from the patients they service on Medicaid.

Another problem is: in a recent survey those who do have Medicaid 36% of patient’s average age 46, 72% who were women don’t show up for their appointments even when offered a free ride. Guess what we pay for those missed appointments even though there is no code to account for those payments which are a total waste of public funds. We need to find a better way to deliver these medical services to Medicaid patients and eliminate much of the bureaucracy involved along with waste and fraud.

The other problem is that Medicaid patients don’t have any skin in the game which is why they don’t care about missing appointments. This is a broken system and expanding something that is already broken is just plain stupid. Medicaid makes up over 27% of our state budget Today 2.8 billion goes to Medicaid and 2.1 billion to our schools. Idaho spends close to $600 million of our taxpayer dollars on Medicaid what do you think will happen when we expand it and the government finally says that they have to cut back reimbursements to 70% or even 50%. In essence, we will be well on our way to bankruptcy and higher taxes.

Don’t try to solve the problem just throw money at it: Why is it that the answer to all of our problems is always to throw more money at the problems instead of solving them? Most of our crony politician’s will tell you that there is no answer and will continue to throw your money down the toilet in a system that is not only antiquated but ill-prepared to attack the real problems that exist in our Medicaid population.

By next year we will have almost 18% of our population in Idaho on Medicaid and it will continue to grow until someone has the common sense to say stop. We have written about this problem many times before and have proposed the simple solutions but no one seems to want to listen because we don’t contribute to political campaigns but the big hospitals and insurance companies due and therefore we continue to be stuck in swamp our politicians have allowed to develop because it benefits them.

Here is an idea whose time has come: and can be implemented very simply by activating the complementary and alternative practitioners along with chiropractors and naturopaths who are used to dealing with the problems that affect most Medicaid patients like obesity, high blood pressure and autoimmune diseases like MS, Lupus, Parkinson and so many more. We have a medical community that has a stranglehold on this state and the country and they refuse to let go and give Integrative medicine an opportunity to prove that it can be extremely effective if implemented properly.

What we need to do is to change the lifestyles of these people who are sick and help them turn their lives around with incentives which allow them to make good choices in food, exercise and stress management. Give them opportunities to quit smoking, drinking and in many cases using drugs.

When November comes around: you will be given a choice to vote for or against Medicaid Expansion. You need to answer with a resounding “No Medicaid Expansion”. Instead, ask your legislator to seek out ways to bring integrative medicine to Idaho’s needy to give them a hand up instead of a handout.