Friday, March 15, 2013

More free healthcare?

Florida Senator Bill Nelson penned an op-ed today that was in the Tampa Tribune, weighing in on the debate between Governor Scott and the legislature regarding further expansion of Medicaid in Florida.
On Feb. 20, Gov. Rick Scott announced he was going to take the federal government up on its offer to cover the cost of Medicaid expansion in Florida. His decision would give health coverage to as many as 1.2 million additional low-income Floridians.
Here's how it would work. Starting in 2014, people who make less than 138 percent of poverty, or about $15,000 a year, will have the ability to receive health insurance through Medicaid — coverage that they currently do not have access to in our state.
For the first three years, the federal government will cover the cost of care for these new enrollees.
Gov. Scott has come out for the expansion, the legislature against it.

More Nelson:
It's clear the Legislature has left the door open for an alternative that would privatize Medicaid. But by some estimates that would be way more expensive than simply expanding Medicaid. More specifically, the independent Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost of private insurance as 50 percent more than Medicaid.
Um, OK.  I guess that might be right.  That seems to beg the question about the real cost of healthcare, and therefore how much to really pay.

He never mentions anything about costs, or how to pay for it.  Free healthcare!  Free money!

He goes on about the imbalances of the current healthcare system, which is a mess, largely due to government interference (but we have some issues with insurance too), and if we don't chase the "free" Medicaid money from the Feds, other states will get it.
The Legislature should not miss this opportunity to take advantage of a health-care investment that will reap benefits for all Floridians.
Investment?  How so?  Can we see that ROI?  Only for so long.  3 years.  Then what?  Looked at the federal fisc lately?  At some point, that money will run out.  Then what?

NONE of the news about the government involvement in healthcare lately, especially from Obamacare, has been good.  Well, perhaps the spending growth is slowing down.  Happy Days!

We get 20,000 pages of new medical regulations.

Obamacare on the right, new regulations on the left.
I can't wait for the sequel.

Employers are bracing for a little-noticed fee in the federal health-care law that will charge them $63 for each person they insure next year, one of the clearest cost increases companies face when the law takes full effect.

Companies and other plan providers will together pay $25 billion over three years to create a fund for insurance companies to offset the cost of covering people with high medical bills.

The fees will hit most large U.S. employers, and several have been lobbying to change the program, contending the levy is unfair because it subsidizes individually purchased plans that won't cover their workers. Boeing Co. and a union health plan covering retirees of General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler, among other groups, have asked federal regulators to exclude or shield their insurance recipients from the fee.
Closer to home The Eye's daughter works in management at a higher end retail establishment.  They've just been told they need to reduce the hours of their sales associates to 25 hours a week.  Why is that?  So they don't have to pay for healthcare of the sales associates.  Now they cannot work full time if they want.  They need two part time jobs instead.  Is this a good idea?  Side effects of "you'll have to pass it to find out what's in it".

More investment?  Not looking so good.

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