ObamaCare will allow middle class retirees to go on Medicaid
Good thing we passed this ObamaCare monstrosity so we could finally find out what is in it. More and more surprises, as the Daily Caller points out:
President Barack Obama’s health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed.
The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of about $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services department.
Brilliant. The states, which pay over 40% of Medicare costs, are, of course, not thrilled by this revelation.
Governors have been clamoring for relief from Medicaid costs, complaining that federal rules drive up spending and limit state options. The program is now one of the top issues in budget negotiations between the White House and Congress. Republicans want to roll back federal requirements that block states from limiting eligibility.
Medicaid is a safety net program that serves more than 50 million vulnerable Americans, from low-income children and pregnant women to Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes. It’s designed as a federal-state partnership, with Washington paying close to 60 percent of the total cost.
Early retirees would be a new group for Medicaid. While retirees can now start collecting Social Security at age 62, they must wait another three years to get Medicare, unless they’re disabled.
Some early retirees who worked all their lives may not want to join a program for the poor, but others might see it as a relatively painless way to satisfy the new law’s requirement that most Americans carry health insurance starting in 2014. It would help tide them over until they qualify for Medicare.
Remember, they have a mandated requirement to carry insurance. They’re not eligible for Medicare and they’re retired. COBRA is very expensive. But the new rules in ObamaCare make those who are drawing up to $64,000 a year in retirement eligible for a program that is supposed to serve only the very poorest among us:
The Medicare actuary’s office roughed out some examples to illustrate how the provision would work. A married couple retiring at 62 in 2014 and receiving the maximum Social Security benefit of $23,500 apiece could get $17,000 from other sources and still qualify for Medicaid with a total income of $64,000.
That $64,000 would put them at about four times the federal poverty level, which for a two-person household is $14,710 this year. The Medicaid expansion in the health care law was supposed to benefit childless adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level. A fudge factor built into the law bumps that up to 138 percent.
The actuary’s office acknowledged its $64,000 example would represent an unusual case, but nonetheless the hypothetical couple would still qualify for Medicaid.
Now you’re saying, “wait a minute, they’re at 4 times the poverty level with their income and it clearly states that only those who are at 138% can get Medicaid – that’s exactly what $17,000 represents.
Oh, didn’t I tell you? ObamaCare’s new law doesn’t count Social Security as income. So in essence, our mythical couple only claims $17,000 a year income and qualifies.
So, they look at the options – let’s say COBRA would run $1,000 a month for the two of them for sake of argument (it could be much higher) and simple math. They’re looking at an outlay of $12,000 a year. Medicaid, however, is probably less than a $100 a month and copays. A thousand a month or a hundred a month – you make the call.
Here’s the bottom line truth:
Former Utah governor Mike Leavitt said bringing early retirees in will “just add fuel to the fire,” bolstering the argument from Republican governors that some of Washington’s rules don’t make sense.
“The fact that this is being discovered now tells you, what else is baked into this law?” said Leavitt, who served as Health and Human Services secretary under President George H.W. Bush. “It clearly begins to reveal that the nature of the law was to put more and more people under eligibility for government insurance.”
It is hard not to interpret it that way, isn’t it? Everyone claims they didn’t know this was “in there”. Really? And it literally has been discovered recently. Not only does it make you wonder what else is “baked into this law”, but it makes you realize how really “half baked” this law is.
This is a law that has to be repealed in full. It is terrible law. It continues to see little surprises like this pop to the surface. And, as governor Leavitt points out, these sorts of revelations do indeed point to the real nature of the law – that is to make more and more people dependent on government.
Any presidential candidate who is wishy-washy on this issue doesn’t deserve the time of day, much less your vote.
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