While Michelle Obama grows vegetables in the White House garden, her husband’s administration grows every government program it can. At The Federalist, Sean Davis gives 12 reasons why Medicaid should not be expanded.
Since Medicaid is a health care program, we should see some improvements in American’s health, right? Not so, and this is Davis’ first reason why we should not consider expanding this program.
According to an extensive, randomized study of people who enrolled in Oregon’s 2008 Medicaid lottery, Medicaid doesn’t improve the health outcomes of its patients, even after controlling for major health predictors like income and pre-existing health status. The researchers tracked the health progress of people who were admitted into the program and who people who applied but did not get selected by the lottery. According to the researchers, one of whom helped craft Obamacare, while the program led to people using more health services, those services didn’t actually make them physically healthier…
Those who get Medicaid often have health coverage, but they can’t find doctors to care for them. Davis also points out that (duh!) Medicaid expansion will cost tax-payers: $1 trillion in tax hikes and $700 billion in cuts to Medicare. These expansions are clearly unsustainable, given our current national deficit. It’s also important to consider that the federal government – which oversees Medicaid – can’t get decent health care for existing veterans in a timely manner. What makes anyone think that Medicaid expansion will be managed at a higher level of quality and efficiency?
Davis also says that this type of health-care expansion will force states to cut spending in areas no one really wants to touch: education, transportation and higher education.
Non-partisan experts agree that Medicaid expansion will increase costs to states. Experts warn these increased costs will threaten other important state budget priorities like spending on education, roads and bridges, and state prisons. As the Medicare actuary warned, “Should these trends continue as projected…Medicaid’s share of both Federal and State budgets would continue to expand absent other changes to the program, budget expenditures, or budget revenues.”
States will likely be forced to raise taxes as well. In places like Michigan, where I live, we are trying to figure out how to fix our crumbling roads. It’s looking like the only way to do this is going to be to raise taxes in some sector. Should we do this AND have to raise taxes for Medicaid, we’ll stall our economy just as it’s starting to get going again.
Access to health care is a basic requirement of a just social order. Physician Donald Condit, drawing on an impressive array of empirical research, skillfully applies the principles of Catholic social teaching to this vital area of concern.