Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Republicans Want to Ration Health Care, like in Arizona and others.

If the paragraph below isn’t Republican rationing, I don’t know what is:
WSJ: The state should curb the cost of the most expensive people on Medicaid by paying flat fees for more elderly and disabled patients and those with diabetes and mental illness, the head of the health department said.
When that flat fee runs out…good friggin’ luck.

That’s the plan put forth by Republican health care opponent Dennis Smith, who’s oddly in charge of health care at the Department of Health Services.  Or should we say Department of Limited Health Services? But heck…we can save money. Not lives, but taxpayer money.
To trim $500 million from the state's health care services for the poor over the next two years, Wisconsin should also require more people on Medicaid to pay co-payments and premiums and increase the fees for those who already do, said Dennis Smith, secretary of the Department of Health Services. "You have a responsibility to pay….," Smith said.
Part of the continued political campaign waged by Republicans for office, policy that guarantees a base vote cannot be ignored.

Smith suggested he might reconsider at least one controversial aspect of Gov. Scott Walker's budget: requiring people on SeniorCare, a state drug plan, to sign up next year for the federal Medicare Part D.
Blunt and calculating, Smith didn’t even bother to hide the reason why he’s doing it:
"There could be other ways," he said … "SeniorCare obviously is very politically popular." But "I don't think those things are as good as what we've proposed," he said.
It’s time to make a noise at the upcoming town hall meetings.
As Smith prepared to hold the first of several "town hall meetings" around the state on the Medicaid budget, Wednesday in Green Bay, he said Wisconsin's version of the state-federal health program for the poor must be reined in to remain sustainable.
"It was never designed for the middle class," Smith said.
Wrong. But Smith doesn’t believe in the program. A few other troubling “small points” to kill the program (The federal government would have to approve the changes) … SeniorCare would be dropped for Medicare Part D, which takes a yearly $30 a year premium to an average of $44 a month.

Smith will also check income frequently, log jamming coverage for many, a paper work nightmare with waiting periods that will wear families out.

And finally, throw everyone into the free market with catastrophic plans that have huge upfront costs that most people won’t be able to afford. To Smith, the fed’s “requirement that health plans (that) cover ‘essential benefits’ could impede the marketplace. But that would require a federal waiver. I want to give people many choices, for them to pick what's best for them," he said.

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