By DAN WEBER, PRESIDENT
Association Of Mature American Citizens
The Affordable Care Act has proven itself deficient on many levels since the Democrats in Congress enacted it in 2010, without a single Republican vote to be found. But, Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion component is one of the most egregious examples of its failure.
There’s growing evidence that many Medicaid patients throughout the country are dying as they wait for care as a result of the expansion, which created a new category of patients – able-bodied adults, as young as 19 years of age, with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. This, despite the fact that Medicaid was designed to serve the needs of the most helpless citizens including seniors and the disabled.
A new study by the Foundation for Government Accountability may have exaggerated the numbers. They say that nearly 22,000 patients have died in states that bought into the expansion scheme as a result of what some are calling the Medicaid Expansion Deathtrap. Whether the number is inflated is not the issue. There’s sufficient cause for concern that needy patients are dying as data collected by the Illinois Department of Human Services shows.
The data reveals that 752 Illinoisans on the state’s Medicaid waiting list have died waiting for needed care since expansion was adopted in that state. And, the addition of able-bodied patients appears to have overloaded the system. More than 650,000 of them have already signed up, twice as many as expected. And, the enrollment pace remains steady.
It’s a prime example of what is wrong with taking a ‘government knows best’ attitude toward healthcare.
Currently, 18 states have opted not to participate in the Medicaid Expansion scheme because, as some healthcare experts say, it has been shown to have a detrimental impact on their budgets. And, they say, it can also put a strain on the resources available to them.
There’s little doubt that Medicaid on its own is not a viable means of providing for the most needy of our citizens when it comes to healthcare. It’s time we try an out-of-the-box solution to help those in need. Association of Mature American Citizens has shown that by providing tax breaks to medical professionals who treat the poor for free it would result in millions of the poorest among us having direct access to health services when they need it. We conducted a survey of several hundred doctors and 85 percent said that they are ready and willing to participate in such a plan. If most family physicians took 20 patients, seven million needy people would be covered without the government getting involved in the decision-making process.
The AMAC advocacy organization has been lobbying Congress to pass legislation making such tax breaks for medical professionals the law. And there is optimism that it will happen, possibly with such a Pro Bono healthcare tax bill introduced in Congress this year.
The AMAC, Association of Mature American Citizens, (http://www.amac.us) is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.