By Norma J. Goodwin, MD, Founder and President, Health Power
Nearly one-half of all US states are causing their states the loss of lives, money and many additional benefits by refusing to expand their Medicaid Programs in accord with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare.
When consideration is given to the benefits lost to the holdout states as a result, it is clear that holdout decisions are political, and to a significant extent linked to dislike/disrespect of President Obama.
Historical Note about the Term, “Obamacare”: Health Power has followed much of the controversy, untruths, inadequate and deliberately distorted communication, and fog associated with the Affordable Care Act, also now known as Obamacare, including:
- The development and passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare;
- The subsequent Supreme Court ruling allowing states to opt out in establishing marketplace exchanges and expanding their Medicaid Programs;
- The botched HealthCare.gov website rollout;
- The subsequent enrollment of 9 million persons before the deadline, in spite of the initial 2-month delay to achieve website effectiveness.
- The term “Obamacare” being adopted in a mocking fashion by opponents of the health care reform effort being led by President Obama, with no expectation that, over time, the term would become widely used in recognition of the President’s leadership as ACA became national law. In other words, to those who are currently opposed to the use of the term “Obamacare”, it’s important to know that the term was not chosen by him, nor political supporters or friends of his, but by his opponents. Many of them now use the term to spread confusion and opposition regarding the Affordable Care Act.
10 Key Reasons Denial of Expanded Medicaid Programs in the Holdout States Must Stop:
1. The associated increased cost of Medicaid expansion is fully paid for by the federal government for the first 3 years, and then 90% of the cost until 2022. In other words, 90-100% of Medicaid expansion cost is paid for nearly all of the first decade. In fact, some states with expanded Medicaid programs indicate that it has increased their budgets.
2. The holdout states are withholding access to important preventive health education and preventive care services for their neediest residents, such as childhood immunizations, newborn HIV prevention, mammograms for early detection of breast cancer, and colonoscopy for early detection and removal of polyps, and thus prevention of colon cancer.
3. The holdout states are causing:
– delayed detection of serious and costly chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, and thus also their delayed treatment; and increased incidence of serious and often costlier complications.
– associated significant financial, social, workplace related and human costs. Further, the longer chronic conditions are uncontrolled, the greater the resulting costs.
4. If the holdout states are successful, more than 5 million needy residents in their states will have to wait years for better health and longer lives, as compared to residents in states that have expanded their Medicaid programs.
5. The holdout states are making it necessary for most of their uninsured residents to use emergency rooms (ER’s) for non-emergency care, which is more costly and of lower quality in ER settings because:
– The basic setting, by design, is inappropriate, and those seeking non-emergency care unknowingly compete for the attention that ER personnel should be giving to those with true emergencies; and
– There is a lack of appropriate follow-up, and continuity of care for non-emergency ER visitors.
6. Although residents in the holdout states pay taxes in support of Medicaid, their states do not receive Medicaid related funds, and other benefits, for residents who would be eligible for them under ACA’s expanded Medicaid Program.
7. The viability of some hospitals in the holdout states, especially in rural and densely populated urban areas, is threatened because they are not receiving expanded Medicaid Program funding for their heavy, and for some increasing, requests for care.
8. The holdout states are blocking ACA related opportunities for increased health related staff, training and employment, as health system capacity increases.
9. The holdout states are bypassing health related community development opportunities, and access to community based health care, resulting from increased community health center and other community based health services.
10. Within the context of the above and other losses in the 23 holdout states, Health Power considers their withholding of health care services from their neediest residents unethical.
SPECIAL NOTES AND REQUESTS:
1. Health Power is very concerned about the wide-scale silence of “mainstream America” to this unethical situation. Therefore, we have prepared “10 Reasons States Must Stop Denying Affordable Care Act/Obamacare Services”
(a) “Spread the Word” to others who may not be aware of the immorality of the actions of the withholding states; and
(b) Help Stop the Silence regarding this unethical national situation.
2. Note: Other simply stated Health Power articles on the Affordable Care Act/ObamaCare can be found by clicking on our website Home Page related feature at www.healthpowerforminorities.com
3. Leave your comments related to the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, including our coverage, to share your views with others in our blog community, and thereby help stop the silence.
Remember: Knowledge + Action = Power! ®
Norma J. Goodwin, MD, Founder and President, Health Power