Saturday, January 17, 2015

We Can Do Better

There is a push going on in North Carolina politics. The push is to expand Medicaid coverage in the state under the Affordable Care Act. You would not be shocked that the Moral Monday Democrat Party is for this. Would it shock you that there are many Republicans for the measure? 
Governor McCrory recently met with President Obama and spoke about expanding Medicaid coverage in the state. There are many institutions like the NC County Commissioners League that have expressed support for such an expansion. It is very likely that we will see this happen. This legislative session. Even if some say so. 

When NC Policy Watch says it won't happen, that is a sign it may happen. 

The Percentage of our state budget that goes to Medicaid funding is around 17%. Any study, by liberal or conservatives, only show that the growth will continue to rise. Some projections are that by the year 2040 it could be as high as 50% of our budget. 

The expansion will only accelerate the growth. The monies from the Federal Government will pay for the expansion for three years. Then the state will have to start kicking in for a share of the cost. Even at overly optimistic projections of a 90-10 split of the costs, the cost of Medicaid will skyrocket. We already are having trouble with the 17%. The amount of money paid out now does not decrease and the expanded coverage will only bend the cost curve further up not down. 
Expanding Medicaid is pure politics. It allows politicians to claim that they are helping people who can't afford it get coverage. They only see the political upside, not the budgetary and structural downside it will cause our state. 
I know we can do better. Here are a few ways we can help lower health care costs for North Carolinians: 
1. Tort Reform- Texas passed protections for frivolous lawsuits and have seen an exponential increase in medical professionals moving there. We need to do the same here. We will be able to attract good doctors to our state. This will also lower the rate of malpractice insurance and other costs that doctors pass on to consumers/ patients. 
2. HSA- why doesn't the state give folks who can't afford it HSA accounts with $2500 in it. These accounts are tax free and these folks many of whom are younger can bank savings to pay for emergencies and potential catastrophic care. 
These are just a few ideas. There are a great many others that are a better alternative to expanding Medicaid coverage. 
I hope that you will contact your state Rep. and Senator. If you live in Moore County your Rep. is Jamie Boles and Senator is Jerry Tillman. Their contact info is listed below. Please contact them and tell them that we do not want, nor can we afford Obama's Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina. 

Senator Tillman

Rep. Jamie Boles

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