Do I want people to have affordable coverage? Yes.
Do I want the poor and the truly needy to have access to health care? Yes.
Do I want quality outcomes for those on state run health care? Of course.
Do I want people to be trapped in poverty with little chance of increasing their quality of life? No
The first three questions I asked were the original goals of ObamaCare, correct? Affordable coverage, access to care and quality outcomes for the poor and truly needy. We were told time and time again that ObamaCare would solve the problems in our ailing health care system. But instead of addressing the root causes of the problems, ObamaCare exacerbates them.
As ObamaCare continues to fail many of the people it was intended to help, the apologists of big government in general, and ObamaCare specifically, are pivoting to Medicaid expansion as the panacea for all that ails the President’s signature health care reform.
In addition to the cost of Medicaid and the poor treatment of patients and providers in the system, a new study suggests that ObamaCare will keep many beneficiaries below the poverty line due to the significant disincentives to find employment.
Researchers Laura Dague, Thomas DeLeire, and Lindsay Leininger argue in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper that Medicaid enrollment will lead to significant and lasting reductions in employment among childless adults. The paper is noteworthy primarily because it focuses its analysis on low-income adults without children — — a group that previously was largely ineligible for Medicaid but will get access because of Obamacare’s expansion of the program.
Dague and her colleagues conclude that if the Medicaid expansion enrolls about 21 million additional adults, anywhere from 511,000 to 2.2 million fewer people will be employed. Furthermore, they argue that the Medicaid expansion will knock almost a full point off of today’s labor force participation rate — or share of the civilian population that is working — a measure of economic health that is already at its lowest point since 1977
Think about that for a moment. The incentives for people on Medicaid may encourage an additional 2.2 million adults from looking for gainful employment. Is that the America we want? Is that what those people deserve? Do they deserve to be thrown into a system that creates valleys of opportunity and deprives them of a rope in order to climb out? As conservatives, we should want more for our fellow Americans than this broken and vapid system devoid of hope; it isn’t compassionate.
Remember the fourth question I asked? Do I want people to be trapped in poverty with little chance of increasing their quality of life? No, I don’t, and either should anyone else. There is nothing compassionate about robbing someone of their ability and desire to make a better way for themselves or their family.
Conservatives should abhor a system which traps people in poverty, but just yesterday, another self-proclaimed “small government” Republican Governor gave into the false promises of Medicaid expansion.
I can’t tell if Governor Pence is really convinced this is the compassionate alternative, or if he believes he’s the smartest man in the room and therefor can manage Medicaid expansion better than anyone before him ever has. Lessons of history be damned! He’s going to do it better this time.
Perhaps Gov. Pence should read the Dague study and ask himself if he is trading away good, long-term jobs for Hoosiers in order to receive short-term positive headlines from the mainstream media. Governor Pence should look at positive alternatives to the old Medicaid system and choose to be a real reformer instead of a Reformer In Name Only.