Rethinking Paradigms

America Already Has Socialized Medicine – A Trillion for Medicare & Medicaid and Another Trillion for Obamacare Subsidies

from Judy Morris

thAmerica already has socialized medicine and Medicare and Medicaid now cover the heathcare costs of nearly 60% of Americans to the tune of a trillion bucks a year.  Under Obamacare, direct insurance company subsidies are estimated to cost another trillion.  By the time Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies kick in, it’s doubtful that there will be many left in America who won’t have heavily subsidized or totally cost free healthcare.

Medicare and Medicaid Entitlements

USA Today reported that Medicare and Medicaid costs were $992 billion in 2010 and expected to grow by $90 billion in 2011, here.

Medicare and Medicaid spending rose 10% in the second quarter from a year earlier to a combined annual rate of almost $992 billion, according to new data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The two programs are on track to rise $90 billion in 2011 and crack the $1 trillion milestone for the first time.

The jump in health care spending is the biggest since the Medicare prescription drug benefit was added five years ago and ends a brief lull in the spending increases that occurred during the economic downturn…..

Medicare and Medicaid paid a record 57.5% of patient bills for hospital, doctors, drugs and other care in the last quarter, up from 49.3% in 2005.

Both Medicare and Medicaid are expected to grow significantly.  Forbes reports that there are already 50 million folks enrolled in Medicaid. They pay nothing and get free medical care.  The Kaiser Family foundation reports that there are currently over 49 million folks enrolled in Medicare, here.   Obamacare is expected to increase Medicaid enrollees by 20 million, here.

Expanding Medicaid, which is funded jointly by states and the federal government, is a key part of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act. And though the U.S. Supreme Court last year largely upheld the law, it did allow state governors to opt out of expanding Medicaid coverage to more Americans.

Still, the Medicaid expansion should bring 5 million Americans into the expanded Medicaid coverage next year and eventually up to 10 million more newly insured Americans by 2017, Avalere’s Stento said. Before the Supreme Court ruling, Avalere projected there would be 11 million new Medicaid enrollees in 2014 “with that phasing up to 20 million by 2017 and 21 million by 2019,” Avalere said.

Already, there are about 50 million Americans enrolled in Medicaid health insurance for the poor or affiliated health coverage programs like the State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP).

Although Medicaid was originally sold to the states as a federally funded entitlement and revenue generator for the states, eventually the cost of the program was approximately split between the states and federal government at about 50:50.  Medicaid is a huge tax burden on the states.  Similarly, Obamacare has also been sold to the states as revenue generators because the states “agreeing to go along with the Medicaid expansion are taking advantage of a cash infusion of more than $900 billion in federal dollars from 2014 to 2022 under the health law.” according to the above referenced Forbes article.

Medicaid and Medicare costs do not include the cost of subsidized Obamacare plans, although the expansion of Medicaid is part of Obamacare.  Who is eligible for Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies? According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, eligibility depends on family income and dependents.

Beginning in October 2013, middle-income people under age 65, who are not eligible for coverage through their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare, can apply for tax credit subsidies available through state-based exchanges.

Additionally, states have the option to expand their Medicaid programs to cover all people making up to 138% of the federal poverty level (which is about $33,000 for a family of four). In states that opt out of expanding Medicaid, some people making below this amount will still be eligible for Medicaid, some will be eligible for subsidized coverage through Marketplaces, and others will not be eligible for subsidies.

Like any federal program, subsidies and eligibility are complicated formulas.  How much will Obamacare subsidies cost?

Obamacare Subsidies

CNN explained the Obamacare subsidies fairly simply and in a manner that promotes Obamacare as very beneficial to the middle class.

Millions eligible for Obamacare subsidies, but most don’t know it

Nearly 26 million Americans could be eligible for health insurance subsidies next year, but most don’t know it.

That’s because relatively few people are familiar with provisions in the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” that will provide tax credits to low- and middle-income consumers to help them purchase health coverage through state-run insurance exchanges.

Most of those who will be able to claim the subsidies are in working families with annual earnings between $47,100 and $94,200, according to a recent analysis by Families USA, a consumer advocacy group. More than a third of those eligible will be young adults between ages 18 and 34….

Here’s how the subsidies will work:

Starting in October, those looking to buy individual health insurance can enroll in plans offered through state-based exchanges, with coverage beginning in January. Consumers buying individual plans will be able to choose between four levels of coverage: platinum, gold, silver and bronze. The plans will differ in their premiums and out-of-pocket expense burdens.
People who are not in a government health insurance program, such as Medicaid or Medicare, and do not have access to an affordable plan at work may be eligible for help paying their premiums.

The assistance is available to those with incomes of up to four times the federal poverty level — this year, that’s $45,960 for an individual or $94,200 for a family of four — and will be scaled to ensure that folks don’t pay more than a designated percentage (the exact target varies by income level) of their earnings toward the premium. The subsidy will be paid directly to the insurance company.

It all sounds so spectacularly wonderful – another government gift that rains like manna from the heavens upon the people beneath!  The poor will get free healthcare and middle class families earning nearly $100,000 a year will get subsidized affordable healthcare.  Of course, Obamacare’s official name, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was a critically important propaganda talking point in the selling the world’s most expensive healthcare system in human history.

The Obamacare subsidies are now projected to far exceed initial estimates.  American Thinker reports:

According to the new White House budget, from the time the exchanges open in 2014 to 2021, the administration expects to spend about $606 billion on subsidies, a massive commitment of federal resources. That’s about 27 percent more than the $478 billion projected in the president’s budget last year, and 65 percent more than the $367 billion for the same period in the 2012 budget…. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will cost about $9,000 in subsidies for a person who would have qualified for Medicaid under the expansion — compared to $6,000 for Medicaid coverage…..

…the CBO jacked up its estimate again:

The CBO significantly hiked the amount of money needed to fund the subsidies available through Obamacare’s exchanges, hiking them by $233 billion. IBD explains: “The CBO’s new baseline estimate shows that ObamaCare subsidies offered through the insurance exchanges — which are supposed to be up and running by next January — will total more than $1 trillion through 2022, up from $814 billion over those same years in its budget forecast made a year ago. That’s an increase of nearly 29%. The CBO upped the 10-year subsidy cost by $32 billion since just last August.” Part of that is expecting more people in the exchanges thanks to employer dumping and more limited Medicaid expansion, but “The rest is largely the result of the CBO’s sharp increase in what it expects the average subsidy will be. Last year, the CBO said the average exchange subsidy for those getting federal help when ObamaCare goes into effect next year would be $4,780. Its latest estimate raised that to $5,510 — a 15% increase. All these numbers are up even more from the CBO’s original forecast made in 2010, which had the first-year subsidy average at $3,970.

Going once, going twice, SOLD.  On top of the trillion dollars currently being spent on Medicare and Medicaid, Obamacare subsidies are now projected to cost another trillion.  Medicaid is expected by grow by at least 20 million  new enrollments and Medicare will undoubted grow substantially as the Baby Boomers retire and expect Medicare.

There’s only one problem.  America can’t afford Medicare and Medicaid and hardly anybody in the working stiff social strata can afford Obamacare without a subsidy because the US economy is increasingly becoming a minimum wage economy, here.  Businesses are especially hard hit by the sticker shock of Obamacare and are firing full time workers or reducing their hours to part-time status because businesses can’t afford the cost of the entitlement of the century. Of course, the economic carnage of Obamacare will drive more folks into Medicaid because bad economies create more poor folks.   Obamacare will impose such huge costs on businesses that it will ravage our already ravaged and ailing economy.

Poll: 41% Of Small Businesses Froze Hiring Due To Obamacare, 19% Have Laid Off Employees Mediaite

In fact, Obamacare is such a freaking nightmare that the bureaucracy established by the government to implement Obamacare and create call centers to explain it to folks isn’t even hiring full time employees and has resorted to part-time job offers.

Obamacare Call Center Will Not Offer Healthcare Benefits to Employees National Review

There are also the labor unions that were wildly supportive of Obamacare because they sensed a freebie or at least lower cost healthcare.  Labor unions are running from Obamacare.

Labor unions turn on ObamaCare, fear losing coverage Fox News

Obamacare is so horrifying that even the Congress Critters who passed it and their supporting staff want to be exempt from it.

Now Congress Wants to Exempt Itself from Obamacare Heritage Foundation

To add insult to injury,  IRS employees who are tasked with enforcing the collection of the myriad of new Obamacare taxes is bitching and moaning that they shouldn’t be subjected to Obamacare.

IRS employees union: Please don’t make us enroll in Obamacare The Daily Caller

About all that free or low cost healthcare that sent CNN into a whopper of statist orgasm?  I can’t wait for CNN’s next spin on the glories of government healthcare, especially when we really do go “Greek” literally and figuratively and it dawns on some policy wonks and media idiots that there really is no money……

One thing is certain.  Whenever the government steps in to solve any real or imagined problem, the problem then grows exponentially and grows so horridly insufferable that the only possible solution is the death of government because government can never fix a gosh darn thing and shouldn’t even try.

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