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(Washington Post)   Arkansas, which is concerned about the rising costs associated with Obamacare, wants to instead use the extra Medicare funding to provide private insurance for qualified residents. Which will cost them even more   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 73
    More: Obvious, Medicare, obamacare, Arkansas, Paul LePage, insurance companies, Maine  
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1336 clicks; posted to Politics » on 18 Mar 2013 at 3:48 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-18 03:16:41 PM  
Three weeks ago, when Arkansas governor Mike Beebe was in Washington for the National Governors Association meeting, he made a trip to Health and Human Services.
Beebe had an unusual Obamacare proposal. The Arkansas legislature did not want to expand Medicaid for those under 133 percent of the federal poverty line, an option under the Affordable Care Act. Instead, it wanted to use billions in Medicaid funding to buy private insurance for that same population.


...

We still don't know the final details of the Arkansas agreement - or whether there is a final agreement. There are questions about whether this option will be more expensive than a traditional Medicaid expansion (the public program tends to cost a few thousand dollars less per enrollee).

Hm. Sounds wasteful.
So ... why?
Top donators by industry:

1: Lawyers & Lobbyists $637,733
2: Health Professionals $330,279

11: Insurance $115,739

Link

/no, i don't care what party he is in
 
2013-03-18 03:21:05 PM  
What we do know, though, is that there are some very strong opponents of the Obamacare law - ones that have pledged never to expand Medicaid - who suddenly find this option palatable.

What a shocker! Governors and/or state legislatures that oppose Obamacare like a dumb alternative to one of its provisions because it was proposed by the governor of a (currently) red state and it doesn't have anything to do with Obama. It seems these folks have suddenly realized that supporting an expansion of Medicaid is something that might win them some voters, just so long as they do it in a way that makes it look like they are continuing to staunchly oppose the president's policies.
 
2013-03-18 03:21:07 PM  
As I mentioned in the TFD thread this morning. Arkansas is the inverse of Kansas (ArcKansas : ArcTangent)

I don't know what that means in terms of this, but I'm throwing my math out there
 
2013-03-18 03:25:23 PM  
So they want to use money designed as a subsidy to help people buy private insurance to create a government program that gives handouts to people to buy private insurance?  And they are creating this government subsidy because they are mad about government subsidies?
 
2013-03-18 03:26:59 PM  

GAT_00: So they want to use money designed as a subsidy to help people buy private insurance to create a government program that gives handouts to people to buy private insurance?  And they are creating this government subsidy because they are mad about government subsidies?


that's sound, rational, logical Republican thought right there. Yessiree
 
2013-03-18 03:33:39 PM  

GAT_00: So they want to use money designed as a subsidy to help people buy private insurance to create a government program that gives handouts to people to buy private insurance?  And they are creating this government subsidy because they are mad about government subsidies?


No, they want to take money designed to provide public insurance (Medicaid) and give it to insurance companies, who take a percentage off the top and stick it in their pocket, and then provide health care to the recipients with what's left over.

I cannot for the life of me understand why some people believe that they will get better care from a private company. The company exists to make a profit, not provide medical care. How in the world can they provide better care when they put less money towards providing the care, since they take their profits out first?
 
2013-03-18 03:36:44 PM  

GiantRex: What a shocker! Governors and/or state legislatures that oppose Obamacare like a dumb alternative to one of its provisions because it was proposed by the governor of a (currently) red state and it doesn't have anything to do with Obama. It seems these folks have suddenly realized that supporting an expansion of Medicaid is something that might win them some voters, just so long as they do it in a way that makes it look like they are continuing to staunchly oppose the president's policies.


Maybe the Obama administration knew what it was doing all along. Arkansas can't do jack sh*t right, so if when they f*ck this up, it'll make anyone else wanting to go for this system look even more like idiots, since you can see the evidence.
 
2013-03-18 03:38:22 PM  
Just figure out what buddy of the Governor runs an insurance company or healthcare system the recipients will have to use
 
2013-03-18 03:51:27 PM  
Ha!  This is sure to stick it to those libs!  Math THIS!
 
2013-03-18 03:52:20 PM  
Yeah this is idiotic!

Medicare works somewhat like a single payer, basically the government gets to control costs but they want to instead funnel the money through private insurance that then will take a portion of that money as profit and not have the same pricing controls to buy the same thing just at a higher price.
 
2013-03-18 03:52:30 PM  
Damned reality and its liberal bias
 
2013-03-18 03:54:04 PM  

somedude210: GAT_00: So they want to use money designed as a subsidy to help people buy private insurance to create a government program that gives handouts to people to buy private insurance?  And they are creating this government subsidy because they are mad about government subsidies?

that's sound, rational, logical Republican thought right there. Yessiree


It's like relabeling a property tax as a "mandatory snow removal fee".
 
2013-03-18 03:55:46 PM  

ox45tallboy: No, they want to take money designed to provide public insurance (Medicaid) and give it to insurance companies, who take a percentage off the top and stick it in their pocket, and then provide health care to the recipients with what's left over.


Corvus: they want to instead funnel the money through private insurance that then will take a portion of that money as profit and not have the same pricing controls to buy the same thing just at a higher price.


Bingo
 
2013-03-18 03:55:52 PM  
Of course. Profits for insurance companies are more important than making sure the American people have adequate health care access.
 
2013-03-18 03:58:38 PM  
So who's friends with the Gov that works at Humana?
 
2013-03-18 04:00:54 PM  
The modmins weren't able to save the Stupid tag. It was uninsured.
 
2013-03-18 04:01:27 PM  

ox45tallboy: I cannot for the life of me understand why some people believe that they will get better care from a private company. The company exists to make a profit, not provide medical care. How in the world can they provide better care when they put less money towards providing the care, since they take their profits out first?


I love when Republicans use that scary line about not wanting the GOVERNMENT (insert scary voice) to make health care decisions you but instead the decisions should be made by families. What is not then said is that it's not families instead making decisions; it's private insurance companies not accountable to voters making the decisions about your health care. Private insurance companies deny coverage for things all the time. That is very clearly making your decisions for you about your health care. It's OK though, as The Market is perfect, and if it decided you don't get an MRI or some form of treatment your doctor recommends, obviously, The Market (praise be upon it) cannot be wrong.
 
2013-03-18 04:03:12 PM  

GAT_00: So they want to use money designed as a subsidy to help people buy private insurance to create a government program that gives handouts to people to buy private insurance?  And they are creating this government subsidy because they are mad about government subsidies?


It's all about creating a smaller government!
 
2013-03-18 04:04:45 PM  
Literally - LITERALLY - inserting more middlemen between people and their care.

And the redbaggers can't approve of it quickly enough.
 
2013-03-18 04:06:14 PM  

GAT_00: So they want to use money designed as a subsidy to help people buy private insurance to create a government program that gives handouts to people to buy private insurance?  And they are creating this government subsidy because they are mad about government subsidies?


Yo dawg, I heard you dislike subsidies...
 
2013-03-18 04:08:19 PM  
We have reached the pinnacle of a capitalist society. In every facet, our government and leaders support the health of corporations over the health of our citizens.

/healthcare, pollution, economy, etc...
 
2013-03-18 04:08:30 PM  
they don't actually care about costs, they just care about making Obama look bad hth
 
2013-03-18 04:08:39 PM  
Maybe it's some sort of amazing reverse troll, whereby they point out that making people buy private insurance doesn't actually save money.
 
2013-03-18 04:10:44 PM  

jaytkay: ox45tallboy: No, they want to take money designed to provide public insurance (Medicaid) and give it to insurance companies, who take a percentage off the top and stick it in their pocket, and then provide health care to the recipients with what's left over.

Corvus: they want to instead funnel the money through private insurance that then will take a portion of that money as profit and not have the same pricing controls to buy the same thing just at a higher price.

Bingo


Welfare.
 
2013-03-18 04:10:56 PM  

Nadie_AZ: Three weeks ago, when Arkansas governor Mike Beebe was in Washington for the National Governors Association meeting, he made a trip to Health and Human Services.
Beebe had an unusual Obamacare proposal. The Arkansas legislature did not want to expand Medicaid for those under 133 percent of the federal poverty line, an option under the Affordable Care Act. Instead, it wanted to use billions in Medicaid funding to buy private insurance for that same population.

...

We still don't know the final details of the Arkansas agreement - or whether there is a final agreement. There are questions about whether this option will be more expensive than a traditional Medicaid expansion (the public program tends to cost a few thousand dollars less per enrollee).

Hm. Sounds wasteful.
So ... why?
Top donators by industry:

1: Lawyers & Lobbyists $637,733
2: Health Professionals $330,279

11: Insurance $115,739

Link

/no, i don't care what party he is in


lh4.googleusercontent.com
 
2013-03-18 04:12:28 PM  

GAT_00: So they want to use money designed as a subsidy to help people buy private insurance to create a government program that gives handouts to people to buy private insurance?  And they are creating this government subsidy because they are mad about government subsidies?



4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-03-18 04:13:36 PM  
"Wrong at any cost" appears to be the official GOP motto.
 
2013-03-18 04:20:39 PM  
Keep in mind that Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe is a (conservative) Democrat, and the legislature has been sending him all kinds of retarded stuff like the 12 week abortion cutoff.

"The most interesting deal though may be coming out of a state with a Democratic governor: Arkansas. There, Gov. Mike Beebe must get 75 percent of his legislature to sign off on any funds necessary for the Medicaid expansion - a tough sell when Republicans control both the state House and Senate.

What the legislature could be sold on, they told the governor, was this: Using billions in federal Medicaid dollars to buy private health insurance coverage for the state's lowest income populations.

To the surprise of many - Beebe included - Health and Human Services has given that plan the go-ahead."
 
2013-03-18 04:20:41 PM  
Welcome to Arkansas, so have you always wanted to live in a third world country? Is what I tell new people to Arkansas.

Somedays I feel like I'd rather die than live one more day in fly-over-land but I take these pills and I move along I take these pills and it's better I bob my head as I move along and it's better. You know it really doesn't matter to me. 'Cause it's better!
 
2013-03-18 04:21:18 PM  

ox45tallboy: GAT_00: So they want to use money designed as a subsidy to help people buy private insurance to create a government program that gives handouts to people to buy private insurance?  And they are creating this government subsidy because they are mad about government subsidies?

No, they want to take money designed to provide public insurance (Medicaid) and give it to insurance companies, who take a percentage off the top and stick it in their pocket, and then provide health care to the recipients with what's left over.

I cannot for the life of me understand why some people believe that they will get better care from a private company. The company exists to make a profit, not provide medical care. How in the world can they provide better care when they put less money towards providing the care, since they take their profits out first?


Well said.
 
2013-03-18 04:21:56 PM  
Subsidies = Good, since they go to the rich or political donors
Welfare = Bad, because it goes to the poor and they are to busy trying to survive and won't even spring for a $100/a plate fundraiser meal.
 
2013-03-18 04:30:13 PM  
Arkansas. Math is the work of the Devil.
 
2013-03-18 04:34:55 PM  

neversubmit: Welcome to Arkansas, so have you always wanted to live in a third world country? Is what I tell new people to Arkansas.

Somedays I feel like I'd rather die than live one more day in fly-over-land but I take these pills and I move along I take these pills and it's better I bob my head as I move along and it's better. You know it really doesn't matter to me. 'Cause it's better!


Holy shiat, you aren't kidding.
Visited some of the wife's family living in western Arkansas last summer. There is absolutely Nothing. To. Do.
We wanted to take the kids to see a movie. Had to drive to farking Texas. Wanted to buy some beer. Dry county, so Oklahoma? It's closer than Texas. Nope, only that crappy 2/3 beer or whatever they call it. So, drive to Texas. Lots of folks selling rocks, though. And churches, lots and lots of churches.
 
2013-03-18 04:36:16 PM  
Because for-profit health insurance seems like such a great idea . . . while the rest of the developed world simply provides health care for their citizens.
 
2013-03-18 04:36:56 PM  
Two words: Medicare Advantage. We decided to allow private firms to compete with the US government to provide care for seniors. The result is that we spend 12% more on Medicare Advantage than it would cost to cover the same patients at the same level of care with Medicaid. We have been losing $14 billion a year in this process. With the PPACA we're planning to finally cut the subsides to the point where the government will only pay what our cost will be to cover the same patients, and people are screaming bloody murder that it means we're going to force cancelled policies because private firms refuse to work for that. If that's the case, we can just cover them in-house: either way the cost is the same for us.

But no: I'm sure it will be totally different with poor people than it was with old people, particularly they have a much smaller risk pool to negotiate with than the federal government does.
 
2013-03-18 04:39:55 PM  
Beebe (a democrat) is a really fantastic governor, well liked here in Arkansas, and I think a possible contender in 2016.

Right now, he's dealing with a brand new, bright red, gerrymandered tea party legislature, which is where this idea undoubtedly came from. We're kinda farked in the Natural State, unfortunately.
 
2013-03-18 04:42:00 PM  

Grungehamster: Two words: Medicare Advantage...

We have been losing $14 billion a year in this process.

But my dad got a free shingles shot at Walgreens so it's totally worth it.
 
2013-03-18 04:43:00 PM  
I can see this working out for the govt's bottom line if the subsidy is caped or is set to inflated slower than medicaid.
 
2013-03-18 04:43:21 PM  

beerrun: neversubmit: Welcome to Arkansas, so have you always wanted to live in a third world country? Is what I tell new people to Arkansas.

Somedays I feel like I'd rather die than live one more day in fly-over-land but I take these pills and I move along I take these pills and it's better I bob my head as I move along and it's better. You know it really doesn't matter to me. 'Cause it's better!

Holy shiat, you aren't kidding.
Visited some of the wife's family living in western Arkansas last summer. There is absolutely Nothing. To. Do.
We wanted to take the kids to see a movie. Had to drive to farking Texas. Wanted to buy some beer. Dry county, so Oklahoma? It's closer than Texas. Nope, only that crappy 2/3 beer or whatever they call it. So, drive to Texas. Lots of folks selling rocks, though. And churches, lots and lots of churches.


Wow...

That...sucks.  You wanna know how boring a christofascist state would be, welp now you know I guess...
 
2013-03-18 04:45:09 PM  

GiantRex: What we do know, though, is that there are some very strong opponents of the Obamacare law - ones that have pledged never to expand Medicaid - who suddenly find this option palatable.

What a shocker! Governors and/or state legislatures that oppose Obamacare like a dumb alternative to one of its provisions because it was proposed by the governor of a (currently) red state and it doesn't have anything to do with Obama. It seems these folks have suddenly realized that supporting an expansion of Medicaid is something that might win them some voters, just so long as they do it in a way that makes it look like they are continuing to staunchly oppose the president's policies.


It also gives them the additional benefit of costing MORE, which allows them to biatch about how expensive Obamacare is. Which gives them an excuse to argue for more tax cuts, so that there's more money coming in. Or something.
 
2013-03-18 04:47:08 PM  

WorldCitizen: ox45tallboy: I cannot for the life of me understand why some people believe that they will get better care from a private company. The company exists to make a profit, not provide medical care. How in the world can they provide better care when they put less money towards providing the care, since they take their profits out first?

I love when Republicans use that scary line about not wanting the GOVERNMENT (insert scary voice) to make health care decisions you but instead the decisions should be made by families. What is not then said is that it's not families instead making decisions; it's private insurance companies not accountable to voters making the decisions about your health care. Private insurance companies deny coverage for things all the time. That is very clearly making your decisions for you about your health care. It's OK though, as The Market is perfect, and if it decided you don't get an MRI or some form of treatment your doctor recommends, obviously, The Market (praise be upon it) cannot be wrong.


"But you aren't forced to buy private insurance at the point of a gun (until ObaMao)! If your insurer screws you over once you get sick, you can stop paying for coverage without any ramifications, find another isurer who will offer you a great rate, and use his insurance company who will take responsibility for any future health issue discovered after the policy date as well as continued care for the issues that your former insurer sent you looking for an alternative over!" Said no one who has actually tried to shop for insurance ever.
 
2013-03-18 04:48:05 PM  
Because they are worried that the existing program will give money to the "wrong" people
 
2013-03-18 04:48:57 PM  

MyKingdomForYourHorse: So who's friends with the Gov that works at Humana?


Aetna. I bet the company is Aetna
 
2013-03-18 04:49:12 PM  

Grungehamster: Two words: Medicare Advantage. We decided to allow private firms to compete with the US government to provide care for seniors. The result is that we spend 12% more on Medicare Advantage than it would cost to cover the same patients at the same level of care with Medicaid. We have been losing $14 billion a year in this process. With the PPACA we're planning to finally cut the subsides to the point where the government will only pay what our cost will be to cover the same patients, and people are screaming bloody murder that it means we're going to force cancelled policies because private firms refuse to work for that. If that's the case, we can just cover them in-house: either way the cost is the same for us.

But no: I'm sure it will be totally different with poor people than it was with old people, particularly they have a much smaller risk pool to negotiate with than the federal government does.


Private insurers can negotiate on drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Medicare is forbidden by law from paying other than full price.

Private insures can also negotiate prices on wheelchairs, crutches, canes, etc. again while Medicare must pay full price.
 
2013-03-18 04:56:46 PM  

mcreadyblue: Grungehamster: Two words: Medicare Advantage. We decided to allow private firms to compete with the US government to provide care for seniors. The result is that we spend 12% more on Medicare Advantage than it would cost to cover the same patients at the same level of care with Medicaid. We have been losing $14 billion a year in this process. With the PPACA we're planning to finally cut the subsides to the point where the government will only pay what our cost will be to cover the same patients, and people are screaming bloody murder that it means we're going to force cancelled policies because private firms refuse to work for that. If that's the case, we can just cover them in-house: either way the cost is the same for us.

But no: I'm sure it will be totally different with poor people than it was with old people, particularly they have a much smaller risk pool to negotiate with than the federal government does.

Private insurers can negotiate on drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Medicare is forbidden by law from paying other than full price.

Private insures can also negotiate prices on wheelchairs, crutches, canes, etc. again while Medicare must pay full price.


Both those statements, and the headline, are irrelevant as the actual article is about MedicAid, not MediCare.

Medicaid does 'negotiate' on drugs in that companies are statutorily obligated to provide Medicaid the best price they give to ANY private customer/insurer.
 
2013-03-18 04:58:34 PM  
"What we do know, though, is that there are some very strong opponents of the Obamacare law - ones that have pledged never to expand Medicaid - who suddenly find this option palatable "

i264.photobucket.com
 
2013-03-18 05:00:16 PM  
Hahahahhahahahha.

It is a bizarre, inscrutable, unbelievable circumstance that our government (of the people, by the people, for the people) can't negotiate rates on drugs under Medicare Part D.  One of the most singular failures of government that I've witnessed.  This will be fixed, it is a bizarre non-equilibrium situation achieved by lobbyists and somehow snuck by the American people.

Other than that, it should be obvious that is to the advantage of Americans to have a single advocate for our medicine and health care.  Why anyone would argue otherwise is bewildering to me.
 
2013-03-18 05:00:47 PM  

I can't figure this one out.  HHS approved this plan and now you have a bunch of states jumping on it. I mean, does this make sense to anyone?



According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, it will cost about $9,000 to buy a person private insurance on the health insurance exchanges created by the law, compared with about $6,000 to add the person to Medicaid.

You're doing it wrong, Sebilius.
 
2013-03-18 05:05:07 PM  
Any plan that will expand coverage to the neediest Americans is a great idea.   You're doing a heck of a job there Sebi!
 
2013-03-18 05:06:40 PM  

mcreadyblue: Grungehamster: Two words: Medicare Advantage. We decided to allow private firms to compete with the US government to provide care for seniors. The result is that we spend 12% more on Medicare Advantage than it would cost to cover the same patients at the same level of care with Medicaid. We have been losing $14 billion a year in this process. With the PPACA we're planning to finally cut the subsides to the point where the government will only pay what our cost will be to cover the same patients, and people are screaming bloody murder that it means we're going to force cancelled policies because private firms refuse to work for that. If that's the case, we can just cover them in-house: either way the cost is the same for us.

But no: I'm sure it will be totally different with poor people than it was with old people, particularly they have a much smaller risk pool to negotiate with than the federal government does.

Private insurers can negotiate on drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Medicare is forbidden by law from paying other than full price.

Private insures can also negotiate prices on wheelchairs, crutches, canes, etc. again while Medicare must pay full price.


I know, and even with that limitation the cost to Health and Human Services of paying a private firm to cover a patient is STILL 12% higher than an in-house Medicaid patient controlling for age and condition of health.

Also of note: Medicaid does get to negotiate perscription costs, and it ends up costing them 30% less on the same medicine that Medicare pays for. The defense of this by pharmacutical companies (I'm not joking) is that they would have to raise prices if Medicare started trying to get the same rates, because despite being one of the most inelastic markets on the planet and banking some of the biggest profits on earth the money the government overpays them is the only think keeping prices as low as they are (which are still much higher than the price they charge in foreign countries.)
 
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