Friday, May 10, 2019

Walker falls for Wall Street Journal opinion spin on Business Tax because of Medicaid Expansion.

Well if you believer everything you read in the opinion section of the Wall Street Journal, like Scott Walker, than you're not just a sucker and easily mislead, but you're more likely to post this ill conceived Tweet:

Can't believe he was governor...

This fits into Walker's one-sided view that businesses, not people, come first.The flaw in Walker's "thinking" is this; money, not people, come first for business. So employees lose both ways, kind a what we're seeing in Wisconsin right now.

It's the free market version of socialism. In other words, Walker is blaming Medicaid expansion for raising taxes on big businesses...who shifted the cost of insuring employees to state taxpayers all the while Republicans make it harder to get Medicaid. This is convoluted enough where your typical low information Republican voter won't bother thinking about it. Here's what happened:     
Provindence Journal: The report estimates the cost to the state of ensuring the Rhode Islanders working for the companies on the list is $44.4 million per year. Many of the biggest corporate names in Rhode Island ... has the most workers on public insurance

Gov. Gina Raimondo’s proposal to charge large companies a 10-percent tax (up to $1,500 per worker) on the wages of each employee receiving Medicaid. Nonprofit organizations and government employers would be exempt from the charge.
Pharmacy chain CVS, big box retailer Walmart, school bus company First Student and supermarket chain Stop & Shop. Rhode Island Hospital has more than 300 workers on Medicaid, as does Burger King, Krispy Kreme and Newport Creamery restaurants, (and) staffing agency Employment 2000.
"Free Market" Businesses Also Reacting to Skyrocketing Cost of Employee Insurance: Walker's narrow purely ideological focus prevents him from seeing the big picture, the real market pressures on business and their struggle paying for employee health plans year after year. Businesses have to increase deductibles just to hold onto employee insurance policies. From the looks of it, employer insurance is also on the verge of collapsing. From NPR:

A quiet revolution that's happened with health coverage for the tens of millions of Americans who have coverage through an employer. These are the people who've seen deductibles rise astronomically — rising four times in the last dozen years from about $350 on average to $1,350 on average. In some cases, people are seeing $4,000, $5,000, even $6,000 deductibles that they have to pay out of their own pocket before their health insurance kicks in.

We talked to a 27-year-old chef in western Virginia trying to start a family with his young wife. His wife had a miscarriage. They got such huge medical bills he had to take two extra jobs and was working from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. some days. These are people with health insurance.

The growth of online charities and crowdfunding sources like GoFundMe is being driven in large part by people seeking to pay medical bills. And one of the amazing things about those people is that many of them have health insurance.
While Walker is backing up Sen. Scott Fitzgerald's and Rep. Robin Vos' refusal to take Medicaid expansion, Republican Rep. John Nygren has now dusted off the racially charged claim that health care is "welfare?"
Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, asked, “Why would we want to grow our welfare rolls? It makes no sense to me.”

But if the headline above doesn't change your mind, maybe the following will. It was no coincidence Republicans had a partisan report released just when Governor Evers took office claiming private insurance would increase. A clever trick since most research didn't include the private sector rates. Well...
A new report by an independent actuarial firm says expanding Medicaid in Wisconsin would lower premiums on the individual health insurance market between 7 percent and 11 percent.
ACA Inusrers give back after Excess Premium Increases: The following is a result of the "badly written" Affordable Care Act:

Individual market insurers are expecting to return to consumers a record total of about $800 million in excess premiums for 2018, a year in which the insurance companies posted their best annual financial performance, finds a new KFF analysis.

The rebates to more than 3 million eligible individual market consumers must be issued by September 30. They are the result of the insurance companies not meeting the ACA’s medical loss ratio threshold, which requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premium revenues on health care claims or quality improvement activities. On average, premiums per enrollee in the individual market grew 26 percent from 2017 to 2018, to $559, while per person claims grew only 7 percent, to $392. 
 A final few notes;
Claims that the costs of Medicaid expansion have far exceeded expectations are overstated, misleading, and substantially inaccurate, based on a review of the credible evidence from either academic or government sources. Initially, states expected more “pent up demand” for delayed care than they actually experienced, and thus they paid Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) substantially more than was necessary. These excess capitation payments produced an initial jump in costs, but the government subsequently recouped almost $9 billion of that excess through contractual provisions with their Medicaid MCOs, and the federal government now estimates that per person costs for newly eligible recipients will decrease almost 20 percent from their 2015 payment levels. Newly expanding states will be able to contract based on this more solid actuarial data, and can learn from the contracting techniques piloted by other states.

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