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March 3rd 2019 Newsletter
Medicaid Expansion Through the Back Door
SB 605 passed committee last week in a back door attempt to sneak Medicaid expansion past the conservatives and the Governor's veto. The bill expands Insure Oklahoma, a state run private insurance subsidy program to citizens at three times the existing income level. The annual cost is said to be $141 million per year, pulling in $1.2 billion from the feds, at least for now till the feds change the funding formula.
The state already has over one million people on Medicaid, mostly disabled and low income families, and it is one of the larger budget items on the state budget and it is expected that around $321 million dollars per year in state funds will be needed. Oklahoma is one of a dozen or so states that has refused to expand Medicaid, Texas, Kansas, and Missouri are also in that list. Nationwide around 74 million Americans are getting free healthcare through Medicaid.
Tax dollars are confiscated dollars and ought to be only for what an individual cannot do for themselves. The welfare recipient has no skin in the game so isn't going to attempt to limit medical spending, the hospitals, doctors, and clinics see the welfare money as low level business that can be used to create demand and raise prices on services sold through insurance and private payers. It expands their customer base, generating small income from the poor who wouldn't use their services if they had to pay. All of this strips cash from working families and the wealthy alike and breeds new generations of welfare mothers who refuse to marry and thus support their own offspring.
Yes, medical care costs too much but what causes that is the insurance model and people not having skin in the game. Once people have to pay a significant part of medical care they choose more wisely and the service providers bring prices down to affordable levels. Expanding Medicaid is like giving a drunk the keys to the distillery.
Urge your senator and state rep to vote no on SB 605.