Monday, January 31, 2011

Will Gov. Walker give up another $500 million savings to tear down liberal Medicaid program?

Of course he will. Even his new Health Services Sec. Dennis Smith said the savings is likely, but added ideologically, that taxpayers don’t want to pay for it either through state or federal taxes. Well that makes sense in some down-the-rabbit-hole parallel universe, and it would certainly give Walker a little cover with his base, but it still wouldn't be true. Forget that reform is paid for and will not increase our deficit by over a trillion dollars (a lie our not-to-swift Sen. Ron Johnson claimed-it’ll do just the opposite).
Jsonline: Wisconsin could save more than $500 million from 2014 to 2019 from health care reform as the federal government picks up a larger share of the cost of insuring people with limited incomes.
That projection is based on an analysis of the testimony of Dennis Smith, the new secretary of the state Department of Health Services, before a congressional committee last week.
Oops!! Gov. Walker is going to have to tap dance around that taxpayer savings when he kills it. As I’ve pointed out so many times before…
Wisconsin would save money because its BadgerCare Plus program has relatively broad eligibility. Under health care reform, the federal government would pay a larger share of the costs of that coverage.
Smith did not cite the potential savings to the state directly in his testimony. Rather, he told the committee, led by Rep. Paul Ryan, that the health care reform law would cost the state $433 million. But he then pointed out that other provisions of the law could lead to nearly $1 billion in additional federal payments to the state, which would offset the state's costs. In general, states with a large number of uninsured residents will bear an additional cost. States with fewer uninsured residents, such as Wisconsin, will save money.
Offset the costs? Who cares though, when we all know "Obamacare" will destroy our great country. 
The potential savings would not begin until after the next two-year state budget cycle, ending June 30, 2013, and would not help with the current budget shortfall. Smith noted in his testimony that it makes little difference to taxpayers whether they pay for the expanded coverage through federal or other taxes.
Len Nichols, a professor of health policy at George Mason University, said "There is a lot of ideology involved in the way you present things. I think it's fair to say, on balance, (it is) highly likely that Wisconsin will be better off. But it's hard to get people to be balanced at the moment."
Not just hard, but impossible. No matter how much it will save Americans money, lives and out of pocket expenses, my conservative friend will respond by simply saying, “Government doesn’t have any right to get involved. Period.”

No comments:

Post a Comment