Surprise: ObamaCare will extend Medicaid to up to three million middle-class people

posted at 8:40 pm on June 21, 2011 by Allahpundit

Not just any middle-class people, though. It’s middle-class retirees between the ages of 62 and 65, who are eligible for Social Security but not yet eligible for Medicare.

What are the odds that Democrats would have snuck a not-so-little payoff for voters over the age of 60 into a bill whose passage badly hurt them among the highly coveted senior demographic?

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

Up to 3 million more people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly. That’s because, in a major change from today, most of their Social Security benefits would no longer be counted as income for determining eligibility. It might be compared to allowing middle-class people to qualify for food stamps.

Medicare chief actuary Richard Foster says the situation keeps him up at night.

“I don’t generally comment on the pros or cons of policy, but that just doesn’t make sense,” Foster said during a question-and-answer session at a recent professional society meeting.

“This is a situation that got no attention at all,” added Foster. “And even now, as I raise the issue with various policymakers, people are not rushing to say … we need to do something about this.”

Really? No one in the federal government’s rushing to undo a handout to near-seniors right before a major election, with elderly voters already on edge over Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan? Go figure. Foster must be thinking that, because Medicaid is straining state budgets like never before — to the point where governors like Chris Christie and Jan Brewer are requesting permission to tighten Medicaid eligibility rules — the feds would act quickly to relieve the added burden of having to cover three million middle-class people too. Why toss a few more shovelfuls of dirt, the logic goes, onto treasuries that are already buried? And yet, that logic’s never stopped them from passing “doctor fix” every time Medicare’s costs rise beyond projections. When it comes to health-care entitlements for seniors, there’s always enough money somehow.

Administration officials tell the AP that the Medicaid loophole here wasn’t a loophole at all but in fact a deliberately crafted decision. For once, I believe them.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Free.

TANSTAAFL

RealMc on June 21, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Repeal this monstrosity…

OmahaConservative on June 21, 2011 at 8:43 PM

The devil is in the details. This is why it’s important to elect conservative fighters, not wimps like Boehner who allow this to pass.

promachus on June 21, 2011 at 8:43 PM

I’m so sick of this crap. They give things away and it cost me more money.

whbates on June 21, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Administration officials tell the AP that the Medicaid loophole here wasn’t a loophole at all but in fact a deliberately crafted decision. For once, I believe them.

I believe them too!..:(

Dire Straits on June 21, 2011 at 8:46 PM

A small step toward single payer…

d1carter on June 21, 2011 at 8:48 PM

Right now, you have to be considered ‘disabled’ by SS to get medicaid. So, will they just automatically be deemed disabled and get disability pay as well?

HornetSting on June 21, 2011 at 8:48 PM

*sigh* Isn’t big government wonderful?/

predator on June 21, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Gotta pass the bill to see what’s in it…

malclave on June 21, 2011 at 8:50 PM

I can’t wait for the GOP to pass a 3,000+ page bill in the middle of the night without the Democrats or anyone else reading it first …

… Should be a hoot!

Seven Percent Solution on June 21, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Pole-Vaulting Pelosi!
======================

Nancy Pelosi – What she is willing to do to pass Healthcare
***********************************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imUyBlc7NHQ

canopfor on June 21, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Repeal this monstrosity…

OmahaConservative on June 21, 2011 at 8:43 PM

If you mean this entire administration…I completely agree…..

SHARPTOOTH on June 21, 2011 at 8:53 PM

The only reason,that the Liberals pushed this HealthCare
was simply,for a `’Talking Point’,a feather in their caps!

A way to sell this to their Voting Block,they wanted it
passed at any cost,period!!

A Marketing Tool,for Re-election,No More….No Less!!

canopfor on June 21, 2011 at 8:54 PM

I can’t wait for the GOP to pass a 3,000+ page bill in the middle of the night without the Democrats or anyone else reading it first …

… Should be a hoot!

Seven Percent Solution on June 21, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Seven Percent Solution:)

***************Transparency Baby**************************

canopfor on June 21, 2011 at 8:55 PM

This is just freakin’ awesome, what other tidbits are hidden away in a 2000 page bill that no one has read in its entirety? Yay for liberals and their bullshitte utopian bullshiite dreams.

Bishop on June 21, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Smacks of a Stealthy kinda Waiver thingy!

Jus say`n!!

canopfor on June 21, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Goodie, I’ll be getting free healthcare, and I do not even have to look for a waiver. Barry, all is forgiven. Take everything, except the dentures, from those filthy rich to pay for that. You are telling me you still have to borrow another trillion on top of that? Go print some more dollars then.

bayview on June 21, 2011 at 8:58 PM

I’m so sick of this crap. They give things away and it cost me more money.

whbates on June 21, 2011 at 8:43 PM

They’re purchasing votes from morons.

darwin-t on June 21, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Get control of the middle class by geting control of their health care. Then start squeezing them for higher taxes to pay for it.

Wethal on June 21, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Wait, there’s more. The clause that mandates employer-based health insurance cover children up to 26 has a misprint. It actually says 62 years old, not 26.

slickwillie2001 on June 21, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Enzi on GAO Report: Waivers a Consequence of ObamaCare Driving Up Costs
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
***********************

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has completed a review of the ObamaCare waiver applications related to annual limits on health benefits that were received, and either denied or accepted, by HHS. This full report can be found here.

GAO’s summary states, in part: “as of April 25, 2011, CCIIO received a total of 1,415 applications for a waiver… and approved most of these applications…. Approximately 3 million people were covered in approved plans and approximately 153,000 people were covered in denied plans…. CCIIO granted waivers on the basis of an application’s projected significant increase in premiums or significant reduction in access to health care benefits. According to CCIIO officials, applications with a projected premium increase of 10 percent or more tended to be approved while applications with a projected premium increase of 6 percent or less tended to be denied.” In other words, Secretary Sibelius has used a rather arbitrary means to grant waivers to various applicants (no surprise since she gave herself waiver power while ignoring the fact that ObamaCare does not give her this authority).

The GAO report prompted Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), the top Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee to state: “Americans were promised health care reform would save families thousands of dollars. As we can see from this new GAO report, the opposite is true. In fact, millions of Americans have had to seek waivers from a part of the new health law because their premium increases were set to rise by double digits. Even more troubling are the thousands of people who were denied waivers and will now be forced to pay higher premiums for health insurance.”

http://healthcare-coalition.org/_blog/Prescription_For_Disaster/tag/Congressional_Oversight/
===================

US Government Accountability Office
************************************

Private Health Insurance: Waivers of Restrictions on Annual Limits on Health Benefits
GAO-11-725R June 14, 2011
****************************

Summary(More)

http://www.gao.gov/Products/GAO-11-725R
=======================

GAO-Full Report
****************

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11725r.pdf

canopfor on June 21, 2011 at 9:12 PM

You have to pass it to find out what’s in it. Can anyone name a worse piece of legislation?

ldbgcoleman on June 21, 2011 at 9:12 PM

They’re purchasing votes from morons.

darwin-t on June 21, 2011 at 8:59 PM

darwin-t:Affirmitive!:)

canopfor on June 21, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Didn’t they recently end the “waivers program?” I wonder what’s behind that. All of Obummer’s cronies are now waivered, so it’s time to end it?

predator on June 21, 2011 at 9:16 PM

So this is what they robbed Medicare for?

Philly on June 21, 2011 at 9:18 PM

So this is what they robbed Medicare for?

Philly on June 21, 2011 at 9:18 PM

Yet another version of “spreading the wealth.”

predator on June 21, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Hot D*mn,right back to the same (PDF)Report!

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11725r.pdf
=========================================

June 15, 2011
GAO Reviews CCIIO Waiver Recipient Selection
************************************************************

A new report from the Government Accountability Office(GAO) looks at the waivers granted by the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) with respect to restrictions on the annual limits imposed by health plans under the health reform law. GAO “reviewed summary data” from CCIIO on the waiver “applications it received and the approval and denial status of each.” The report states that “CCIIO granted waivers on the basis of an application’s projected significant increase in premiums or significant reduction in access to health care benefits.” Specifically, “applications with a projected premium increase of 10 percent or more tended to be approved while applications with a projected premium increase of 6 percent or less tended to be denied.” CCIIO received 1,415 applications for waivers and approved “1,347 of the applications, or over 95 percent.” According to the report, “approximately 3 million people were covered in approved plans and approximately 153,000 were covered in denied plans.”

http://healthreform.kff.org/scan/2011/june/gao-reviews-cciio-waiver-recipient-selection.aspx

canopfor on June 21, 2011 at 9:19 PM

This is just a backdoor to lower the age of “medicare” except because it is medicaid, they are pushing a huge cost onto the states.

karenhasfreedom on June 21, 2011 at 9:20 PM

Shocka.

hillbillyjim on June 21, 2011 at 9:23 PM

canopfor on June 21, 2011 at 9:19 PM

You da man! :)

predator on June 21, 2011 at 9:24 PM

The devil is in the details. This is why it’s important to elect conservative fighters, not wimps like Boehner who allow this to pass.

promachus on June 21, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Boehner voted against it.

The GOP didn’t have the numbers at the time to block this.

In fact, EVERY Republican voted against this, which they are to be commended for.

Good Lt on June 21, 2011 at 9:24 PM

An added bonus is it makes the states look worse vs federal gov’t as they have to figure out a way to pay for it. They cannot call up the Federal Reserve to print up more money.

ny59giants on June 21, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Thank you President Obama.

crr6 on May 1, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 21, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Yay he’s bustin’ out his stash!

Kenosha Kid on June 21, 2011 at 9:32 PM

Just what else is in there. Did the CBO score this too and what part of the savings does this fall under.

tjexcite on June 21, 2011 at 9:37 PM

What are the odds that Democrats would have snuck a not-so-little payoff for voters over the age of 60 into a bill whose passage badly hurt them among the highly coveted senior demographic?

100%

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Yay he’s bustin’ out his stash!

Kenosha Kid on June 21, 2011 at 9:32 PM

You mean Obama money? That stash?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19v5Kjmc8FI

predator on June 21, 2011 at 9:40 PM

You mean Obama money? That stash?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19v5Kjmc8FI

predator on June 21, 2011 at 9:40 PM

predator:Well played!:)

canopfor on June 21, 2011 at 9:47 PM

canopfor on June 21, 2011 at 9:19 PM

You da man! :)

predator on June 21, 2011 at 9:24 PM

predator:Its NeverEverEnding Hopey Scams!!:)

canopfor on June 21, 2011 at 9:48 PM

predator:Its NeverEverEnding Hopey Scams!!:)

canopfor on June 21, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Neverending is right. There was a time long ago when these folks that went to D.C. were there part time. There were fewer of them that were lawyers too. They were the butcher, the baker, the candle stick maker. They legislated part of the year then went back home and butched, baked, and candle stick maked–and lived under the very laws they passed. How nice would it be to go back to that?!

*I know, I know, I’m dreaming.*

predator on June 21, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Wait, SS payments will not be counted as income, even though (thanks to Bill Clinton) it is taxed as income?

WTF is that about?

iurockhead on June 21, 2011 at 9:57 PM

iurockhead on June 21, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Teh Won desperately wants to get the “old vote” back in his corner.

predator on June 21, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Teh Won desperately wants to get the “old vote” back in his corner.

predator on June 21, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Why bother with the old vote when Dead Souls are so much cheaper?

Kenosha Kid on June 21, 2011 at 10:06 PM

That’s why the beltway wants no part of SP with a possible house and senate majority

it’s the only way I think this powergrab gets reversed

Sonosam on June 21, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Republicans didnt read the damn bill either.

paulsur on June 21, 2011 at 10:43 PM

This is just more pie in the sky of the far left.

Reality — Being on Medicaid doesn’t mean you can find a doctor or clinic to provide you care.

Reality — this is just a ruse by politicians to buy votes from the ignorant who actually think all these folks will be able to find doctors to provide them care…

Reality — More and more doctors are not taking any more Medicaid patients because they get paid so little for providing Medicaid care — frequently less than the cost of providing the care. In other words, it costs doctors to provide Medicaid…

drfredc on June 21, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Reality — Being on Medicaid doesn’t mean you can find a doctor or clinic to provide you care.

Reality — More and more doctors are not taking any more Medicaid patients

drfredc on June 21, 2011 at 11:38 PM

They have that figured out as well. Just wait and see the new rules for getting financial aid for medical students. This is why Obamacare included taking over student loans. Want $100K loans to pay for medical school? No problem. Just sign this piece of paper that says you will never deny a patient with Medicaid, Medicare or any other govt run program.

angryed on June 22, 2011 at 12:14 AM

It’s okay. We had to pass the bill before we could read what’s in it anyway.

…Or so Nancy Pelosi told me.

Paid for by the Committee to Erect Anthony Weiner on June 22, 2011 at 1:20 AM

It’s okay. We had to pass the bill before we could read what’s in it anyway.

…Or so Nancy Pelosi told me.

Beat me to it…

patch on June 22, 2011 at 6:12 AM

Why do I always feel like Princess Leia when these threads come out? Help me SCOTUS-kenobi you’re my only hope.

txmomof6 on June 22, 2011 at 7:44 AM

I’m sure this will piss off the Chinese. They’ll see it as just another indicator of the increasing likelihood we’ll default on our debt.

olesparkie on June 22, 2011 at 7:48 AM

So where is John Galt? The looters and moochers are winning.

search4truth on June 22, 2011 at 8:39 AM

What I would like to know is: who screwed up and didn’t report this before the midterm elections?

Vashta.Nerada on June 22, 2011 at 10:28 AM

This was signed into law over a year ago. Why are they just now finding this? Is it so terrible that it still has not been completely read? Or are there “committees” still working out details?

humdinger on June 22, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Dang, and I’ll only be 61. There goes Obama’s last chance to get me to support Obamacare.

Well, aside from the added support requirement that a porcine entity would have to first levitate out of my sphincter region…

karl9000 on June 22, 2011 at 3:42 PM