The Democrats are obsessed with forcing one-size fits all health care on to the country – no matter who it hurts.
Despite overwhelming evidence that Medicaid is a poorly performing program for people already on it and expansion would blow up state budgets, Democrats are intent on making states bow to their demand to put millions more people on the program.
Their new idea is particularly cruel:
To encourage existing Medicaid expansion states to maintain their coverage levels, the bill would raise the 90% federal matching rate for the expansion population to 93% from 2023 through 2025.
To help pay for that coverage and incentivize holdout states to expand Medicaid, starting in 2023 the plan would permanently cut billions in special federal Medicaid funding to the non-expansion states that helps hospitals with disproportionately high rates of uninsured or Medicaid patients.
In other words, as they make millions of new people eligible for Medicaid, they plan to pay for it by slashing funding for hospitals that already serve Medicaid recipients.
Part of the reason states have refused to expand Medicaid – which is intended mostly for low-income elderly people, the disabled, and women with children – is because it already serves current recipients poorly. Long wait lists, reduced access to doctors, lack of prescription coverage, and a scarcity of treatment options have plagued Medicaid for decades. Adding millions of able-bodied, single childless adults to a dysfunctional program only makes those problems worse.
Now, because some states are continuing to resist expansion, the Democrats want to cut funding to the hospitals many current Medicaid recipients in those states use. It is reprehensible.
Worse, it comes on the heels of states like Texas who have made recent reforms to increase low-cost options for the uninsured without breaking state budgets. The Democrats obsession with government-controlled health care ignores these innovations.
In their quest to punish non-expansion states, they end up punishing low-income patients instead.