Friday, June 27, 2008

A Little Perspective for Y'all

There has been much ado about the ninety million dollar "shortfall" in Mississippi's Medicaid program. In case you do not know, Medicaid is the government subsidized healthcare program for poor folks. It is an abject failure and currently, 600,000 people in our state are gaming the program for handouts. From the last Census projections in 2005, the estimated total population of our state is 2,910,540. That means currently a smidgen over TWENTY percent of our state gets free medical care. The figure is over FIFTY PERCENT of our state's children that receive Medicaid. Over fifty percent of our state's kids come from households that cannot afford children, but there they are. Let's take care of them because their parents are morons.

Oh, nationally, there were 51.6 MILLION people on Medicaid in 2002, seventeen percent and change of the population. Over 20 million were kids. This matters in the great debate here, because not only do we pay for this program with our state tax dollars, we also pay a portion of it with our federal tax dollars. In Mississippi, every dollar our state spends on Medicaid is "matched" with three dollars and thirty-six cents in federal money.

I'm checking out the state Medicaid website for these next items. I am seriously trying not to lose my cool, too. Here's a list of things that you can possess WITHOUT being denied Medicaid, THE HEALTHCARE FOR POOR PEOPLE. Monthly resources cannot exceed $2000.00 a month for singles and $3000.00 a month for couples, that doesn't include the additional income that you can have depending on exactly how many kids you have. Your home value has absolutely NO DAMN LIMIT whatsoever. You can live in a thirty thousand square foot, ten million dollar home and still receive Medicaid. You can rent any damn place you choose, no one will know that you are paying cash for it. One automobile can be titled in your name with a value of less than $4,500.00, and household affects cannot be valued over $2000.00. Our state government just RAISED these figures four years ago, wonder why the sudden shortfall? Could it be because they just added a shitload of folks to the program? Dammit, they were even ADVERTISING on the damn radio about getting your benefits that you were owed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, the past three years, the shortfall has been covered by Hurricane Katrina money and no one was coughing up their skull then. Now, it's just those dastardly Republicans killing poor people even though the dastardly Republicans told everyone four years ago we couldn't afford that stupidity, but HELL NAW!

Oh, lawful aliens CAN apply for Medicaid. Wonder how many migrant workers get paid in cash?

Let's whip out the old calculator, really quick, and see how much this redistribution program spends on these folks. In Mississippi, Medicaid spends around $6400.00 dollars per year on adults (I spend about 2000.00 per year for me and 3600.00 for the rugrats, so less than half what Medicaid spends per ONE adult.) and a little over $1500.00 a year on the children. For adults, the total is 1.92 BILLION dollars a year and the kids use up 450 million. That is a total of 2.37 BILLION DOLLARS!

If ninety million dollars is cut from our state funding of Medicaid, we also lose the "matching" federal dollars, so the actual "loss" is 302 million dollars on a budget of almost two and half BILLION! That cut amounts to about 12%.

What does mean? Well, you can cut services across the board to make up that difference and actually refuse a percentage of services to all people that might be actually need that help or you can cut 12% of the recipients from the program. I am certainly POSITIVE that we can get rid of 72,000 of those riders. From the last Census numbers, only 18% of Mississippians live below the poverty line. That means 524,000. 600,000 minus 524,000 equals 76,000. See? Problem solved. Where's my check?

Please take the time to comment.


Harrison said...

AHM is currently earnin' the money for our kibble in the Belly of the Beast--she works for a quasi-state organization that provides mental health/substance abuse counselin' for everyone and anyone. The bosses are always remindin' people that it's Medicaid dollars that pay for the rest of the discounted services. There's even a special department just for gettin' people qualified to get at that money.

Now this place does do some good things--like assisted livin', medical and counselin' services for indigent elderly--but mostly they just have really weird ideas about how to "help" people. F'instance, one program helps people get "back into society" by givin' 'em "weekly allowances," as well as paying for their utilites, telephone serivce, and their cable bill! Not only that, but many of those people are handed up to $300 cash to buy "a winter wardrobe." (Same for summer.) Wanna' guess how those people are really spendin' that money? And when they do, they just show up for the free Substance Abuse counselin'.

And just how do they save money in this age of outrageous gas prices? They take out all the water coolers. Really.

Paul Mitchell said...

Yep, you typing dog, you are right about the PBE checks that pay for cable and the like. At least that's what they were called back when I worked for a construction company that also managed government subsidized housing.

It's a money pit for the most part and the government simply MUST grow the program or receive "cuts." I really do not have any problem with my tax dollars going to help support elderly people that have no family and were lied to about the WONDERFUL government retirement program called Social Security, but most of the folks that lived in the housing we managed were perfectly healthy with NO mental problems for the most part. Unless you consider spawning new babies to increase the cash flow as being a mental problem.

That wardrobe money winds up simply being job security for most of the administrative people. It turns my stomach and I can eat like a steel bellied goat.

Eukanuba is the best kibble! Science Diet sucks!