Monday, May 11, 2015

Huh!-economics: Unraveling Wisconsin GOP's Budget Disaster part 1 - Medicaid Expansion!

My advice to Wisconsin republicans voters during this remarkably tight budgeting process; listen very closely to your politicians.

The budget process is a gift and a wake-up call to taxpayers. Not only are republicans proving "fiscal conservatism" is a myth, they're also running out of people to blame and excuses give.

On WPR this morning, Republican State Rep. Dale Kooyenga failed miserably to explain why refusing Medicaid money made sense. Kooyenga complained the $1 billion increased cost in Medicaid was a major reason for the budget shortfall. That prompted a caller to asked him why it made any sense not to take the federal expansion money then.

Here's Kooyenga's "Huh!-economics" lesson in a nutshell:
1. Protecting Commercial Insurance Company Profits: "If we were going to except that money, those folks would go from being on commercial insurance, which is through the exchange with subsidized commercial insurance, and then they would go to Medicaid."

2. People Prefer Commercial Insurance? Really, our insurance middle man, the one who raises rates and drops sick people? "I think most people prefer commercialized insurance, as opposed to being on Medicaid...we wanna make sure they have a choice in health care..." instead of the broad coverage and choices in BadgerCare already.

3. Keep Prices Low, by Keeping Prices High? This is the most convoluted nonsense ever: "Commercial insurance just pays more for our hospitals. And so if you want to keep health care costs in check, it's nice to have what they call a payer mix..." He just said if commercial insurers paying more, that'll keep costs in check. That's upside down, since insurers pay more because people don't have Medicaid, which hurts hospitals, forcing them to increase rates, raising insurance premiums. 
The real answer is universal health care, where everyone gets to keep their doctor forever, costs are real low, and no one has to shop for insurance. Trying to keep profits high in the health insurance industry is idiotic. They already have the exclusive on home, life, and car insurance. Get em out of health insurance. 

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