Proposition 2 – Myths and Facts about Medicaid Expansion

There has been much false information disseminated in the public media regarding the Medicaid Expansion initiative (read: “Obamacare Expansion”) on the ballot in November:

MYTH 1: Medicaid expansion will actually save the taxpayer money.

FACT: The Foundation for Government Accountability tells the opposite story. This conservative think tank has evaluated the experience of 17 states who have expanded Medicaid and tell us that 100 % of those states have gone over projected enrollment by an average of 91%. Look at some of our neighbors: Washington State is $2.8 billion over budget and 330,000 over projected enrollment; Oregon is $3 billion over budget and 200,000 over projected enrollment. (National Review, February 21, 2018, Nicholas Horton)

MYTH 2: Money for Idaho is already set aside and will be lost if we don’t use it.

FACT: That’s not how it works. No money is set aside before expansion. It is added to the 21 trillion federal deficit as it is needed.

MYTH 3: The expansion initiative is an Idaho grassroots movement.

FACT: The Washington DC based organization, The Fairness Project, gave $500,000 to Fieldworks, LLC to pay for professional foot soldiers to get the needed signatures in Idaho to get this on the ballot. This is not an Idaho based initiative! (This same organization has been instrumental in getting expansion on the ballot in Utah and Nebraska and Medicaid extension on the ballot in Montana.) 62% of Idahoans oppose Obamacare (of which Medicaid Expansion is a key component).

(Work, Not Obamacare PAC, PO Box 934, Boise, ID 83701)

MYTH 4: Medicaid Expansion won’t affect those already on Medicaid.

FACT: Healthy, low income, single adults (most of whom are not working) are the primary targets of expansion. The truly needy are already on Medicaid. Instead of helping them, Obamacare expansion redirects limited taxpayer resources to able-bodied, working-age adults. Funding for all other state budget entities (education, transportation, etc.) will also be competing for the same dollars. Studies show that most expansion enrollees don’t go out and get jobs once they are on the Medicaid rolls.

MYTH 5: If we don’t expand Medicaid, the “gap” people will have no other alternative.

FACT: This is a false dilemma! Here are some alternatives for the “gap” folks:

  1. Advanced Premium Tax Credits (see YourHealthIdaho.org). Health Ins. Policies are available to anyone earning $1 over the federal poverty level ($12,141 for a single adult, age 33 to 55). The cheapest of these policies has no premium and low co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs.
  2. Health Sharing Ministries. These are religious-based organizations that are exempted from participating in Obamacare. They require participants to be living basic Christian health laws and offer health insurance that is far cheaper than Obamacare products.
  3. Medical Savings Accounts. A single person can contribute up to $10,000 per year ($20,000 for marrieds) with pre-tax dollars to a bank account that can only be used for health related expenses. Talk to your bank about these.
  4. The Healthcare Choices Proposal. A group called Health-policy Consensus Group has put together a proposal that will soon be presented to Congress. Each state would receive a formula grant and gain new flexibility to approve policies that are more affordable than Obamacare.
  5. Other options. Some states have become very creative in lowering Medicaid expansion costs. Kentucky requires Medicaid recipients to work. Minnesota uses an Accountable Care Organization that advocates for patients helps them use the system more economically, thus helping to lower costs. Both states have saved millions.
  6. Charity. This option is usually not on the table and often draws ridicule as being a non-viable option. It truly is symptom of how far we have come in our thinking that government is supposed to take care of all such individual needs. However, history is on our side on this one. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin both believed that charity was the best way to meet the Judeo-Christian mandate to be “our brother’s keeper.” Read the excellent article by Dr John Livingston, It’s Our duty to Care for the Sick and Afflicted, Not the Government’s. (IdahoFreedom.org)

Instead of helping the nearly 600,000 (nationally) truly needy individuals with disabilities, trapped on the Medicaid waiting lists, Obamacare expansion redirects limited taxpayer resources to able-bodied, working-age (but mostly non-working) adults.

Let’s not be deceived!
Dr Jud Miller

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