Health Care Policy and reform will now take an abrupt shift into the political lane. The stage is the same and the players are about to change as they audition and pose for their own ‘stake’ in the game. Some are already withdrawing from their auditions, Trump, Huckabee, and others. Others such as Gingrich are attempting to revive their political careers, and return to the ‘Broadway’, inside the beltway. The issues now are not ‘should we have health reform”, but should we deconstruct it before it is built. The specifics of the Obama Bill are coming at us along a planned timeline. It is complex with mandates dependent upon financial plans, exchanges, individual mandates, threatened penalties/incentives, insurability and ‘willingness’ of the electorate to accept what seems inevitable. Also key features of the legislation have been struck down by courts. However, in the United States nothing is truly inevitable (in a country that can print money whenever it wishes.
Michael Millenson paints a elaborate picture of Newt Gingrich as a manipulative persona, continuing his relentless and articulate march from politics into health care, and then back into politics, enriching himself with a ‘bogus’ Center for Health Transformation. He writes in The Health Care Blog today.
If what Mr. Millenson writes is true, it demonstrates how politicians, and the public are misled by big names with big ideas, and how reality is turned by unscrupulous people. Five years ago Gingrich did form the Center for Health Transformation with all the ideas as explained by Millenson. Mr. Gingrich is a chameleon and seems to favor introducing chaos into the already chaotic world of politics. The current ‘transformation’ a word not used by Obama has created chaos and is forcing the health industry to change with threats of financial intimidation and a small carrot of incentives, which are truly miniscule when compared with subsidies to big agriculture, oil, the automobile industry,, the mortgage industry, and the financial markets.
Medicare is a disaster, formed over 40 years ago after a long lost battle with medicine opposed to it’s being financed and the benefit structure which health advocates predicted would lead to possible demise of the financial integrity of the federal government. Medicaid, a poorly operated system is not proposed to be a vehicle for expanding health care coverage. Never mind the fact that many physicians will not accept patients with Medicaid since it introduces impossibilities for reimbursement and/or adjudication of disputed claims. The eligibility process is critically flawed with unrealistic criteria and ridiculous share of cost based on a monthly share of income. The main criteria such as the poverty level is obsolete. Anyone capable of addition can see how flawed the eligibility process is. The adjustments to income are incomprehensible and imaginary (to say the least) It is designed to disqualify eligibility. Recipients are penalized severely with threats of being overpaid. Rather than having an annual deductible it expects recipients to be on a month to month dole which has no reality for those with fluctuating income. Based on observation it is hard to believe 47 million Americans are eligible for the SNAP program (formerly the food stamp program).It does not fly in the fact that 47 million Americans live in poverty and yet the average income for people in the U.S is near $40,000 dollars. The threshold for the SNAP is $1100/month (roughly $ 25,000/annum) for a husband and spouse living together. The food stamp program really is no longer a ‘voucher’ or funny money chit but a modern system of EBT cards, identical to a ‘debit card’ and used in an identical manner.