Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is a disaster for those who need help the most

Originally posted here.

 

The Foundation for Government Accountability, perhaps the only think tank 100 percent dedicated to health care policy and welfare, has just released an extensive research on the Affordable Care Act’s most disastrous unintended consequence: its incapacity to provide care for those who need the most.

On paper, Obamacare was meant to help consumers who often found themselves cornered over their lack of health care options due to the fact they just could not afford insurance and did not qualify for Medicaid.

With the excuse of making sure the neediest amongst us were taken care of, the Obama Administration drafted an expansion of Medicaid that would cover a whole new group of people. What the expansion through Obamacare accomplished, however, turned out to be everything but positive to those who relied on the Medicaid system.

By overcrowding the system with patients who would have otherwise attempted to purchase insurance, were it available at a lower cost, those who truly need Medicaid to cover for their health care are experiencing a number of negative effects. States that opted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act have left low-income single mothers, children, the elderly, and the disabled without essential care while covering able-bodied, working-age adults who do not have families to support.

What the expansion under Obamacare created was a whole new class of absolutely able-bodied Americans who are now receiving benefits from the program designed to help the truly needy who would not be able to cover for their own health care expenses on their own. The overcrowded system ends up sucking funds from taxpayers who are now in charge of carrying the financial burden of covering the health care coverage of people who do not necessarily need government assistance.

The group now covered by Obamacare’s expanded Medicaid consists of childless, working-age adults who are overall healthy. Their presence is saturating the troubled system. What was always meant to help low-incomers in need, is now helping those who did not need direct help.

What states and consumers are slowly figuring out is that in order to keep the program solvent, states that choose to expand Medicaid end up having to look for what they are able to cut so the new group of Medicaid consumers are covered.

To achieve this, states need to cut programs within Medicaid, slashing the number of services available to the poorest, neediest Medicaid patients. Single mothers and poor children are seeing a considerable decrease in the number of services available to them, which is the direct result of states attempting to balance the program, making sure they cut from one end to have enough to cover for the next.

How in the world is this fair?

During a recent Q&A with the FGA’s Christie Herrera and Jonathan Ingram after a webinar on the consequences of the Medicaid expansion under ACA, I felt the need to ask them an important question most of us are always asking ourselves, without arriving at any fulfilling answers: in light of the evidence indicating just how disastrous the expansion of Medicaid is, how come politicians and elected officials continue to defend it?

Jonathan Ingram’s answer was simple: “they do not know the policies are bad”. And why is that? “Because they are not being held accountable by the media.”

The more we talk about the unintended, negative consequences of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion under ACA, the greater the pressure. Let us not allow lawmakers to continue in the dark, if that’s what the matter is. Policies that hurt the poor and put an unnecessary burden on the shoulders of taxpayers should never be enacted. It’s time the media plays its part by holding lawmakers accountable, which will only happen once the public gets louder.

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