Editorial: Nevada should impose work requirement for Medicaid enrollees

Even though Congress could not find a way to repeal the budget-busting, economy-distorting Affordable Care Act, affectionately known as ObamaCare, there are still a few things the states can do to ameliorate its impact.

Chief among these, according to a report prepared for the Nevada Policy Research Institute and the Washington Policy Center by Dr. Roger Stark, is to implement work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid enrollees. The Trump administration announced recently that it is willing to accept waiver requests — known as 1115A waivers — from states that wish to impose a work requirement.

“Applying for a waiver to implement work requirements is a common-sense reform, and it’s one that’s already supported by the administration,” says NPRI policy analyst Daniel Honchariw. “Medicaid should help its able-bodied members who are willing to work, rather than encouraging an unsustainable and demoralizing cycle of dependency.”

Honchariw notes that 60 percent of the Nevadans who gained free Medicaid coverage under ObamaCare’s expansion of the program — approved by Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, by the way — did not earn a penny of income in all of 2015. Expanded Medicaid now covers 600,000 Nevadans at annual cost of about $5,700 each.

“Such costs are unsustainable over the long-run without dramatic tax increases,” Honchariw states.

According to Dr. Stark, ObamaCare has resulted in only 20 million of the 50 million uninsured people before the law was passed — without a single Republican vote, by the way — to gain health insurance coverage. A large portion of those were handed Medicaid. In Washington state, 80 percent of the newly insured were placed on Medicaid.

“Obamacare has raised insurance premiums for virtually everyone in the country outside of the free Medicaid entitlement. Health care spending was 17 percent of the economy when the ACA became law,” Stark writes. “By 2021, with the ACA in place, estimates show that the country will spend 21 percent of the annual economy on health care.”

He said this past year the cost of Medicaid was $545 billion nationally and is projected to grow to $700 billion by 2020.

Studies have found that the health outcomes for people covered by Medicaid are no better than the uninsured.

We encourage Nevada’s lawmakers to take advantage of the work-requirement waiver and other options to curb the cost to taxpayers and break the cycle of dependency such entitlements foster. —TM

 A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

16 comments on “Editorial: Nevada should impose work requirement for Medicaid enrollees

  1. Deleted says:

    Initiate a state tax on mining companies, casinos, and those “earning” more than 2 million per year.

  2. Rincon says:

    “The Washington Policy Center (WPC) is a free market think tank based in the state of Washington.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Policy_Center
    “Free market” = conservative, i.e., propaganda mill.

    The idea of making Medicaid recipients work is a good one, but why engage in an Obama character assassination on the side?

    “By 2021, with the ACA in place, estimates show that the country will spend 21 percent of the annual economy on health care.” “He said this past year the cost of Medicaid was $545 billion nationally and is projected to grow to $700 billion by 2020.”
    Whose estimates and projections? Why, whoever Stark wanted to cite, except that he won’t share that piece of information. I wonder why?

    From the Washington Post: “U.S. health-care spending grew 4.8 percent last year, as the country has emerged from a period of historically low health spending growth, according to new federal estimates.” Sounds a little different from Stark, doesn’t it? As a matter of fact, the increase seems to coincide with the beginning of the Trump administration, but of course, it simply MUST be Obama’s fault.

    “The spending projections are similar to previous estimates, putting health care on track to make up about a fifth (20%) of the economy by 2025.” Stark says 21% by 2021. Quite a difference, but still very high.

    The same article shows that health care costs increased over 7% a year between 1990 and 2007. These increases slowed dramatically during the Obama years, even as 20 million more people gained health insurance. The projections are for increases of less than 6% a year. That’s still too high, but the projection shows use and intensity actually dropping, but increasing PRICES are the dominant driver of the increased costs. Since when does Obamacare influence prices? Sounds to me like the medical care cartel taking advantage of the “improved business climate” to continue jacking up their prices far faster than inflation, as they have since I was a child. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/02/15/u-s-health-care-spending-projected-to-soar-to-5-5-trillion-by-2025/?utm_term=.780bb07fcd00

  3. deleted says:

    How is the idea of making Medicare recipients work a good idea?

    The purpose of Medicare was to ensure that people in this country weren’t dying in the street because of health care issues. Like something you’d expect from an wealthy advanced society like ours. Certainly, it falls short of the guarantees provided by other less wealthy, advanced societies in the world, but at least it’s something.

    So the question is: what will we do as a society when some of those Medicare eligible people refuse to work? Just going to refuse them care? Let them die in the street? Or, more probably since the laws still require some emergency rooms accept people in need of acute care, let them go to the highest cost provider?

    It’s not only unnecessary, and inhumane, it’s an incoherent approach that may make some “conservatives” feel better about themselves for striking yet another blow against the most vulnerable in this world, but otherwise it accomplishes nothing.

  4. Steve says:

    Medicaid ≠ Medicare

    that’s a clue, shammy

  5. Republican Scumbag SCOTT BAIO - Charles In Charge of Child Molestation says:

    Fonzi used to make me work. He used to make me work Opie Cunningham’s cock with my tight little asscheeks!

  6. Rincon says:

    I’m not sure what the difference is between Medicare and the rest of the health care system. People who elect not to pay for insurance get treated either way. Yes, there’s bankruptcy, but by definition, people on Medicaid can’t be readily sued for a hospital bill. Blood from a turnip.

    In principle, I agree that everyone should have a right to food, shelter, reasonable medical care and an education, but no one should receive anything without working for it, like the rest of us with jobs do. As for what to do with those who refuse to work for Medicare, I suspect they just go without insurance like so many others and when they become ill or injured, their treatment will be paid for by the other patients, just as it has been for a hundred years or more.

  7. Steve says:

    Medicare is for people of retirement age and once age 65, you are required to accept (as a minimum) Part A. Part B is required (under penalty of fines or higher premiums) if you do not have other, credited, insurance.

    Medicaid is for those who are of working age but unable to work due to injury or handicap. This was changed under ACA to allow those who are not earning a percentage based on the poverty level.

    What shammy was doing is typical, trying to change the basis of discussion through subterfuge and redirection. Just like the attempt made to make a positive “Shall” into a negative “Shall”.

    OH Shammy, what a tangled pieces of illogic you weave!

  8. deleted says:

    Rincon:

    “No one should receive anything without working for it?”

    How does this impact your belief about inheritance? How about dividends? Public Education? Clean water and air? Freedom? The rights guaranteed in the Constitution?

    “We” all receive many things in life without “working for them” some things a country such as ours, ought to provide because we can afford it, and making it available to all is what civilized societies of evolved individuals do.

    This newly imagined work requirement is, as I said, merely a way for the far right to grind the most vulnerable citizens in this country a little more. It’s nonsense, destructive, and ultimately more costly than the way we function today.

  9. Steve says:

    OH, c’mon shammy. (or Patrick or “deleted” or whatever you decide to call yourself next)
    Able bodied people on public assistance are not to be asked to “give” a little back?

    How about they clean up public parks? How about they feed the other homeless? Why not enlist the aid of those on assistance, who are able, to assist those in more need?

    Giving them more than assistance, giving them purpose and a desire to do more?

    What a devil you are, sir!

  10. Rincon says:

    “How does this impact your belief about inheritance? How about dividends? Public Education? Clean water and air? Freedom? The rights guaranteed in the Constitution?”

    I’ve just got to become more detail oriented. First, I meant Medicaid when I automatically typed in Medicare. Sorry about that. When I said no one should get anything without working for it, I was overgeneralizing.

    Little in life comes without human effort or work. This means either you work for what you get or someone else works for it. In the case of freedom or Constitutional rights, others worked mightily for them and we need to work sufficiently to protect them. When feasible, one should work for what one receives unless unable to do so. As you know, I am all about allowing people to receive a reasonable return for their labor, so if someone is too poor to pay for their medical care, there are two reasonable answers: Either find ways to allow them a more reasonable return on their labor or subsidize their medical care, but no one should get medical care or food, shelter, education, etc., without putting in some time and effort.

  11. Steve says:

    “First, I meant Medicaid when I automatically typed in Medicare. Sorry about that.”

    Rincon, you never “typed in Medicare”. Press “Ctrl f” and search if you don’t believe me.
    You just apologized for something you didn’t do. But I am certain “deleted” is happy to keep you in the dark as long as possible, it’s what they do.

    I will take an honest asshole over a “nice” liar any day.

  12. Rincon says:

    Thanks for the fig leaf, but I actually meant to say Medicaid three times on my 1/28 post and instead, said Medicare twice.

    Am I an honest asshole? Why Steve, you say the nicest things!

  13. Steve says:

    That was after “deleted” or Patrick or whatever it wants to be next called you out over “medicare” instead of what you correctly stated was and is Medicaid.

    Are you saying Patrick actually pre accused you? Mind reading is real?

    Ahh!

  14. Steve says:

    Just looking at the way things read.

    Requiring something in return for assistance provided is not a bad thing.

  15. Anonymous says:

    PolitiFact did a fact check on claims made by The Koch Brothers disguising themselves as the “Heartland” institution, that imposing work requirements “helps” impoverished families move from “dependency” to work.

    As expected with things related to the brothers evil, they were determined to be “Mostly False”.

    As would any claim be that forcing the most vulnerable to work for their healthcare is a good idea.

    http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2018/jan/26/heartland-institute/do-work-requirements-lead-self-sufficiency/

  16. Steve says:

    “Medicaid should help its able-bodied members who are willing to work, rather than encouraging an unsustainable and demoralizing cycle of dependency.”

    “most vulnerable” ≠ “able-bodied”

    That is a clue, “Anonymous” or “deleted” or “Patrick” or whatever you decide to call yourself next.

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