Tag Archives: Medicaid
Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, said the “recess appointment” was needed to carry out the new health care law. The law calls for huge changes in the two programs, which together insure nearly one-third of all Americans.
Mr. Pfeiffer said the president would appoint Dr. Berwick on Wednesday. Mr. Obama decided to act because “many Republicans in Congress have made it clear in recent weeks that they were going to stall the nomination as long as they could, solely to score political points.”
In April, Mr. Obama nominated Dr. Berwick to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The agency has been without a permanent administrator since October 2006. Republicans have used the nomination to revive their arguments against the new health care law, which they see as a potent issue in this fall’s elections.
A year later, the economy is working again. But millions of Americans are not.
Private economists largely agree the stimulus has helped to cushion the recession’s blow. But the general public is not convinced. A poll by the Pew Research Center found more people think Obama’s policies have worsened the economy than made it better. And Republican lawmakers, who almost unanimously opposed the stimulus, happily encourage those doubts. In fact, those Republican lawmakers are fine with encouraging the lie that the stimulus bailed out banks and insurance companies.
Here’s what the stimulus bill included:
- Largest item — $116 billion — tax cuts for workers
- Aid to states — $87.1 billion — Medicaid and Education
- Cover alternative-minimum taxes — $69.8 billion — benefited middle-income Americans
- Extend unemployment benefits — $35.8 billion
- Bridge and road construction — $27.5 billion
- Extend COBRA to unemployed and their families –$25.1 billion
- Food assistance to low-income Americans — $20.9 billion
- Expanded child tax credit — $14.4 billion
- Aid to seniors and disabled veterans — $14.4 billion
The above items account for 60% of the stimulus spending! Most of the remaining stimulus spending was for business tax cuts, Pell grants for college students, public transportation systems, upgrades to the electric grid.
States are having difficulties balancing their budgets, but imagine the difficulties they would have faced without the stimulus spending. Teachers kept their jobs. America didn’t sink into a depression. Seldom is credit given for what didn’t happen, but think long and hard about how much has been prevented and how much has been improved in the space of just one year! When President Obama took office the recession was already more than a year old! Before he took office the only bailouts that had been given were to insurance companies and banks.
There is a common misconception that government-subsidized health care means that recipients will not have quality, efficient and timely medical care. I have been in the nursing profession since the 1980s and have yet to see a patient who had to wait for months to receive needed medical treatment because he had Medicare, Medicaid or veterans’ benefits.
The biggest problem is the cost of health care and health insurance, which has risen so dramatically that both are now unaffordable to the average American.
Many who do not qualify for government-subsidized health plans also are considered uninsurable by private companies. Private insurers often deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions or illnesses. For those unlucky individuals, there are no options available for coverage. In addition, having private insurance does not always guarantee that a person receives affordable, adequate or timely care. Private insurers are profit-driven, and patients are sometimes forced to fight a bureaucratic nightmare to get coverage.
Many employers can no longer afford to subsidize health insurance benefits for their employees. It’s unrealistic to think that local charities and community clinics can bear the burden of caring for the increasing number of citizens who no longer have health care benefits.
The notion that America’s health care system is going to be socialized based on Canada’s model is a myth promoted by those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. However, having a national health insurance plan with affordable premiums for uninsured and uninsurable Americans is necessary to meet the needs of those who have no other choice available to them.
It is critical that Americans work to solve the very real health care crisis in our country, and quit buying into the fear tactics and propaganda promoted by those profiting from the current system.
The above letter to the editor appeared in today’s Wichita Eagle, and was written by a blogging friend of many who blog here. I thought everyone should read it!