Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
State constitutions require states to have a balanced budget. Most states have accumulated large budget deficits.
When President Obama promises to redistribute wealth he means it. His plans are to take federal money and bail out states. He has already bailed out Massachusetts. He gave the state $8 billion dollars for its healthcare plan.
California is on the verge of bankruptcy. California has not shown an intention to become fiscally responsible. I assume California is certain President Obama will bail it out. However, President Obama has a little problem. The U.S. has a large budget deficit. The new congress will be in no mood to fund the state deficits. The U.S. is going to have difficulty attracting creditors unless it becomes fiscally responsible.
Medicaid expenses are a big burden on the states. In some states’ Medicaid consumes 40% of their budget. States cannot become fiscally responsible while carrying their Medicaid burden.
President Obama plans to put 60% of the uninsured citizens into state Medicaid programs. At the same time, he is decreasing state allocated funds for Medicaid. The math makes no sense.
Last week Arizona’s Medicaid stopped paying for transplants. Some states have cut Medicaid payments to doctors, paid bills late and trimmed benefits such as insulin pumps, obesity surgery and hospice care. In California, dentists pull teeth that could be saved because Medicaid doesn’t pay for root canals.
President Obama’s healthcare reform plan is causing a rationing of medical care even before it goes into effect.
“Some states face multibillion-dollar deficits. Federal stimulus money for Medicaid is soon to evaporate. And Medicaid enrollment has never been higher because of job losses.”
Medicaid has become a monster and is eating up the budget in many states.
“In Illinois, Medicaid sucks up more money than elementary, secondary and higher education combined”.
President Obama’s economic stimulus package increased the federal share of Medicaid money temporarily. The economic stimulus money runs out at the end of June 2011. The federal government will go back to paying half the costs of Medical instead of the 60 to 70 percent it pays with the economic stimulus money.
At the same time President Obama’s healthcare reform law requires states not to change the rules on who’s eligible to receive Medicaid. States can no longer act independently to determine Medicaid’s eligibility requirements.
President Obama’s healthcare reform act has created rules such as these. These rules are part of the reason states are suing the federal government. The states claim President Obama’s healthcare reform act is an infringement on states’ rights. This infringement on states’ rights has broader implications of the power of the federal government over the states. This was not the intent of the constitution.
This week President Obama’s healthcare reform act had experienced a judicial setback. A Virginia judge declared the healthcare reform act unconstitutional.
Hopefully the new congress will be as aggressive as the States have been in order to protect individual freedoms and the rights of states as intended by the constitution.