When Lyndon Baines Johnson set up the program as part of the Great Society, a social action process called the War on Poverty, no one expected that by 2016 it would have resulted in expenditures of nearly twenty-three trillion dollars with little to show for it in terms of societal improvement. Medicaid initially back in 1964 had four million citizens enrolled.
Twenty years later during the Reagan Administration, despite his efforts to curb it, the number had grown drastically to nineteen million and now it is almost seventy-four million. This monumental growth far exceeds the increase in population of the country. Why? Because Congress has consistently raised the financial stake by adding people with higher income, people who shouldn't even be eligible, and huge increases in fraudulent payments to buy votes. These factors have been reported over and over by investigators and auditors yet nothing to change the program ever is proposed. The only thing Congress knows how to do is to throw more money at a problem that won't be solved by money.
On the other side of the coin, despite the huge outlays, allowances for payment for services is so slow and so low that most medical practitioners have no interest in accepting the program. Think about it carefully for a moment. Medicare, the program from which Medicaid has received funding in the amount of seven hundred and fifty million dollars in transfer in recent years, has depleted many of the dollars for Medicare, a program which workers are required to pay into. And while even Medicare payments to doctors are very low, the Medicaid payment rate ins approximately forty percent of the Medicare rate. No wonder the doctors don't want to accept it. They didn't spend long hours and many years in training to learn skills that would earn them little in their execution.
So, the Medicare eligible retiree, not wanting to end up the poorhouse, has to by a good and expensive supplement to cover his out of payment costs which grow and Medicaid assumes more and more of the dollars that were stolen fro Medicare. Only a body like Congress could dream up such a program and, of course, they exempt themselves from most of the consequences.
Why do I write about this? I do so because of the fact that it is Medicaid that Obamacare uses to provide what they call quality healthcare for those in need. The program is a sham, it is not healthcare insurance, it does not provide quality care and millions who think they have coverage will only find out when they have a problem and seek to use it.
Politicians and bureaucrats don't have the knowledge and skills to create a medical program that will be both cost effective and workable. The only think they know how to do is grow government and increase their power. And since power generally results in more money, as long as man is prone to worshiping the Almighty Dollar this will continue.
There are so many ways to develop good and affordable systems if we let those who have the skills to do so take a leading role. Affordable concierge services for routine care on a flat rate basis, tailored plans to fit the need of the citizen customer, and good catastrophic coverage insurance plans don't need to be one size fits all. And then, those who truly can't afford the coverage, fully meeting citizenship requirement and showing solid effort to find and retain work when they are physically able, can be covered under a "need basis" categorized separately from those who want to pay a reasonable price for healthcare. Such programs are already in place in some states and the states are the place to test marketplaces.
Yes, there needs to be some regulation to avoid fraud, but to bury America in a system that sucks our resources dry and requires paperwork of monumental proportions that no one understands, will continue to result in just more of the Obamacare syndrome, a failing system. And if instead of a completely different direction with an initiative designed to put the emphasis on the doctor-patient relationship, we end up with a single payer system operated by the same old bureaucratic malfeasance, American healthcare will be doomed.
Wake up and stand up, America. Demand that Congress gets out of the way and allows real reform using the ingenuity that is America. The same old, same old will never work for America.