Tag Archives: Medicaid

Fine print with expanded Medicaid jolts many middle-age adults

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Yakima Herald: It wasn’t the moonlight, holiday season euphoria or family pressure that made Sofia Prins and Gary Balhorn, both 62, suddenly decide to get married. It was the fine print.

As fine print is wont to do, it had buried itself in a long form — Balhorn’s application for free health insurance through the expanded state Medicaid program. As the paperwork lay on the dining-room table in Port Townsend, Prins began reading.

She was shocked: If you’re 55 or over, Medicaid can come back after you’re dead and bill your estate for ordinary health care expenses.

The way Prins saw it, that meant health insurance via Medicaid is hardly “free” for Washington residents 55 or older. It’s a loan, one whose payback requirements aren’t well advertised. And it penalizes people who, despite having a low income, have managed to keep a home or some savings they hope to pass to heirs, Prins said.

With an estimated 223,000 adults seeking health insurance headed toward Washington’s expanded Medicaid program over the next three years, the state’s estate-recovery rules, which allow collection of nearly all medical expenses, have come under fire.

Medicaid, in keeping with federal policy, has long tapped into estates. But because most low-income adults without disabilities could not qualify for typical medical coverage through Medicaid, recovery primarily involved expenses for nursing homes and other long-term care.

The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed that. Now many more low-income residents will qualify for Medicaid, called Apple Health in Washington state.

But if they qualify for Medicaid, they’re not eligible for tax credits to subsidize a private health plan under the ACA, which requires all adults to have health insurance by March 31.

Prins, an artist, and Balhorn, a retired fisherman-turned-tango instructor, separately qualified for health insurance through Medicaid based on their sole incomes. But if they were married, they calculated, they could “just squeak by” with enough income to qualify for a subsidized health plan — and avoid any encumbrance on the home they hope to leave to Prins’ two sons.

“We’re happy to be getting married,” Prins said last week. “Unfortunately not everyone has such an elegant solution to the problem.”

For Washington state, the solution has been much more complicated. Over the past month, as lawmakers began hearing from worried and angry constituents, state officials began exploring what it would take to fix this collision of state rules with the ACA.

Late Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee’s office and the state Medicaid office said they plan to draft an emergency rule to limit estate recovery to long-term care and related medical expenses. They hope to be able to change the rules before coverage begins Jan. 1.

Fixing the problem will cost the state about $3 million a year, said Dr. Bob Crittenden, Inslee’s senior health policy adviser, but it’s the right thing to do.

“There was no intent on the part of the ACA to do estate recovery on people going into Medicaid (for health insurance),” Crittenden said. “The idea was to expand coverage.”

People in their 50s and 60s make up about 30 percent of the adults who have signed up for health insurance through Washington’s exchange marketplace, and about 18 percent of adults who have enrolled in health insurance through Apple Health (Medicaid).

Some 55- to 64-year-olds, who may have taken early retirement or who were laid off during the recession, have found themselves plunged into a low-income bracket. Unlike Medicaid recipients in the past — who were required to reduce their assets to qualify — they’re more likely to have a home or other assets.

For health coverage through Medicaid, income is now the only financial requirement.

At first, Prins was pleased at the prospect of free coverage.

But the more she thought about the fine print, the more upset she got. Why was this provision only for people age 55 and older? Why should those insured by Medicaid have to pay back health expenses from their estates when people with just a bit more income who get federal subsidies don’t? Why didn’t she and Balhorn know about this before getting to the application stage?

As Prins began searching for answers, she found that even those trained to help people sign up for insurance under the ACA weren’t aware of this provision, nor were some government officials.

Around the country, the issue has sizzled away in blogs and commentaries from both right and left. The National Women’s Law Center noted the ACA and its regulations prohibit age discrimination in programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the politically conservative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, writing in the The Washington Times, called the recovery provision “a cash cow for states to milk the poor and the middle class.”

“People will think this is wonderful, this is free insurance,” Orient said in an interview. “They don’t realize it’s really a loan, and is secured by any property they have.”

Even states that are now limiting estate recovery, she warned, can change the rules again if budget problems become more intense.

One reason this snafu has become so troublesome is that ACA rules appear to give those who qualify for Medicaid little choice but to accept the coverage.

People cannot receive a tax credit to subsidize their purchase of a private health plan if their income qualifies them for Medicaid, said Bethany Frey, spokeswoman for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

But they could buy a health plan without a tax credit, she added.

For someone age 55 to 64 at the Medicaid income level — below $15,856 a year — it’s quite a jump from free Medicaid health insurance to an unsubsidized individual plan. Premiums in King County for an age 60 non-tobacco user for the most modest plan run from $451 to $859 per month.

It’s not the first time federal and state rules have clashed, and local officials now find themselves on the hook to ensure that the new law doesn’t create hardship.

In Oregon, state officials changed estate-recovery rules last month. Recovery will no longer apply to health benefits for those 55 and over, the Oregon Health Authority said, although the state will collect expenses for long-term care.

On Friday, Washington Medicaid Director MaryAnne Lindeblad promised to draft an emergency rule very soon. The state also must revise the plan filed with federal authorities, but Lindeblad said she doesn’t expect problems or appeals of the rule.

As for Prins and Balhorn, they’re good with their choice.

Instead of paying $577 a month apiece for an unsubsidized private plan or worrying about losing their assets after death, as a married couple they’ll pay $76 a month for a midlevel “silver” plan with a tax credit. “Since we’ve been in an established relationship and love each other, the decision to get married was pretty easy,” Prins said.

Sunday, they made a big fruit salad, dressed in tango clothing and were married in their home. Afterward, they danced to their favorite tango music and toasted each other with orange juice and a dash of cranberry.

“I’d be very happy if the governor actually makes this change possible,” Prins said late last week. “And I’m very happy to be getting married!”

DCG

Scooter Store scammed $108m from U.S. taxpayers

Scooter Store You’ve seen those ubiquitous ads on TV of a seemingly good-hearted store that promised elderly and disabled Americans a motorized scooter FOR FREE! Because, the ad assures its viewers, Medicare will pay for it!!!!

I’ve seen those ads too, and had wondered how the Scooter Store could be so 100% confident that *ANYONE* who wanted a scooter was assured one — FOR FREE!

To quote the eminently sensible Judge Judy: “If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not true.”

When was the last time you’ve seen a Scooter Store commercial? At least many months, if not a year or two.

Here’s why . . . .

Founded in 1991 by Doug and Susanna Harrison, the privately-owned Scooter Store is headquartered in New Braunfels, Texas, and serve 48 states. It is the largest supplier of mobility vehicles in the United States.

In February 2013 the company Store filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and ceased all cash sales to the public, after a raid by more than 150 FBI agents and local cops for Medicare-Medicaid fraud of as much as $108 million.

During its heyday, the Scooter Store had employed more than 2,400 people and was New Braunfels’ largest private employer. On September 13, 2013, the company entered liquidation and terminated its remaining 370 employees. Effective October 26, the Scooter Store lost its federal contract with Medicare eliminating the ability to sell assets in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. So the company’s board of directors made the decision to essentially liquidate the business.

Medicare has accounted for about three-quarters of the Scooter Store’s business, a company representative told a U.S. Senate committee last year. But an independent auditor found The Scooter Store had received between $46.8 million and $87.7 million in Medicare overpayments.

The company is accused by the Justice Department of harassing doctors with constant phone calls and surgery visits in order to wear them down to prescribe scooters to patients who do not need them.

A damning exposé by CBS This Morning in January alleged that the company over-billed Medicare by $108 million between 2009-2012.

Former Scooter Store employee Brian Setzer told CBS that company’s main goal was to use pressure to get doctors to prescribe their vehicles. Setzer described the company’s policy was to “Bulldoze and get them to get the paperwork done.” He said his bosses would order him to annoy doctors into prescribing the scooters: “I’d get a call, ‘Well, can you go in to get him to do this? Could you get him to do this.’ I couldn’t feel right in my heart to do that.”

Here’s the extent of Scooter Store’s scam:

  • The company had a specialized department devoted to getting the scooters for patients who had already been ruled ineligible by Medicare.
  • About 80% of all claims for scooters were found to be medically unnecessary.
  • 61% of claims that were approved should not have been, totaling $95 million.
  • What Medicare paid the Scooter Store was FOUR TIMES the average amount spent by suppliers for standard power wheelchairs.
  • The federal government taxpayers spent $723 million for the scooters in Medicare reimbursements for 2009 alone.

Sources: Wikipedia; San Antonio Express-News; Daily Mail.

Doug HarrisonTom Wilson of The CareGiver Partnerships: wants us to hold the owners of The Scooter Store responsible. He writes:

Doug and Susanna Harrison are the the ‘faces’ behind The Scooter Store.  They founded The Scooter Store and were personally responsible for its operations, policies and procedures – until they jumped ship in 2012. [...]

They spent years greasing the palms of politicians.  Through The Scooter Store, they gave $86,273 to federal politicians and were a top source of funds for 19 members of Congress. Since 2007, they have given $473,000 to politicians.

They also spent nearly $4 million on lobbying since 2004 trying to kill laws to curb waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  [...]

After being charged with fraud, the company said it would only repay $20 million of the $88 million defrauded from Medicare.  They actually had the audacity to file a lawsuit against the government (really all of us as consumers) for not approving their claims.

Doug and Susanna must be held accountable.  They continue to live the life of luxury. People must be held accountable for fraud, not a company which has no soul or conscience… and now, no assets. [...]

Doug Harrison is quoted as saying he’s proud what he and the Scooter Store did.  During March 2012, he jumped ship just before the company began to implode and the majority of its employees suddenly lost their livelihood and creditors lost their money.  He also left the city of New Brunfels high and dry after they gave into pressure from him to relocate the company.  They provided massive tax incentives to stay, which they are now unlikely to ever recoup. 

People, Not Companies Must Be Held Accountable For Stealing From Medicare. ‘We the people’ are out a great deal of money.  In my opinion, the Harrisons must be brought to trial and made an example of if we are to curb fraud of our health care system.  Since no bankers were ever tried, this is sadly, unlikely.

 

H/t FOTM’s CSM

~Eowyn

6 of 10 doctors say many will leave profession because of Obamacare

doctors against obamacareA recent survey by top research firm Deloitte Center for Health Solutions finds that 6 in 10 physicians say in the next 1 to 3 years, many doctors will retire earlier than planned because of the implementation of the Affordable Health Care for America Act, better known as Obamacare. Doctors are abandoning their profession and their patients because Obamacare means they are losing control of their clinics and compensation.

Bob Unruh reports for WND that Dr. Jane Orient, a spokeswoman for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, told WND that doctors already have started leaving the profession through early retirement. Among those who remain, some will seek alternatives to what they see coming in the federal government’s takeover of health care.

“I think it’s a disaster for patients,” she said. “They may lose the doctor they relied on all their lives.”

The survey by Deloitte  found that the “future of the medical profession may be in jeopardy as it loses clinical autonomy and compensation.”

Further, it found the health insurance exchanges required by Obamacare this year probably won’t be reality. Many doctors are starting to limit their participation in Medicaid and Medicare because of low reimbursement rates. Some doctors even close off their practices to such patients.

Dr. Orient confirmed that many doctors are unable to continue a private practice because of increasing government demands and intervention, which “amounts to busy work.” Those physicians will end up working for a corporation hospital where the profits are distributed to shareholders. Such scenarios often end up giving the feeling of an assembly line, where a patient sees a doctor briefly, is given a diagnosis and shown the door.

She said doctors in that system will be punished if they spend too much time on a patient, or possibly if they provide too much treatment. The frustration that comes from such scenarios actually is creating the incentive for a counter-trend in which doctors cut ties to the behemoth insurance companies and simply charge a fee to patients.

The survey found physicians are pessimistic about the future of medicine. “The majority worry about the profession’s erosion of clinical autonomy and income, and its inability to achieve medical liability reform.”

While many doctors are satisfied with practicing medicine, most of their satisfaction is in their interaction with patients. But nearly one in four said that even now they are not allowed to spend enough time with each patient. And one in five was distressed by the developing government regulations.

The Deloitte report paints a bleak picture of how U.S. doctors regard the future of their profession:

  • Nearly three-quarters of physicians (higher among surgical specialists at 81%) think the best and brightest may not consider a career in medicine. That’s an increase of 12% from the 69% of had thought so just two years ago, in 2011.
  • More than half surveyed believe physicians will retire (62%) or scale back practice hours (55%) due to how their profession is changing.
  • 4 in 10 physicians had reductions in their take-home pay from 2011 to 2012. Of those, 4 in 10 believe their reduced pay was a result of Obamacare.
  • Fully half expect their incomes to “fall dramatically in the next one to three years.”
  • Overall, doctors are critical of the U.S. health care system, blaming problems on a defensive mode that influences treatment and results.
  • Only 2 in 10 doctors believe the Obamacare government exchanges will be ready to go.
  • 25% say they’ll limit their work on Medicare patients if the government funding program continues as it is.
  • Most doctors believe unhealthy lifestyles influence the health care system costs. (Duh!)

America, meet your new primary care physician!

Meet your new primary physician

~Eowyn

Wal-Mart vs. The Morons

Wal-Mart vs. The Morons

1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at WalMart Every
hour of every day.

2. This works out to $20,928 profit every
minute!

3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St.Patrick’s Day
(March 17th) than Target sells all year.

4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home
Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.

5. Wal-Mart
employs 1.6 million people, is the world’s largest private employer, and most
speak English.

6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the
world.

7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and keep in
mind they did this in only fifteen years.

8. During this same period, 31
big supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.

9. Wal-Mart now sells more food
than any other store in the world.

10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores
in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five
years ago.

11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences
will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth’s population is approximately 6.5
Billion.)

12. 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a
Wal-Mart.

You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the
ground work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart
to fix the economy.

This should be read and understood by all Americans
Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!!

To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature
It is
now official that the majority of you are corrupt morons:

a.. The U.S.
Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right
and it is broke.

b.. Social Security was established in 1935. You have
had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.

c.. Fannie Mae was
established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is
broke.

d.. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get
it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to
“the poor” and they only want more.

e.. Medicare and Medicaid were
established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are
broke.

f.. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to
get it right and it is broke.

g.. The Department of Energy was created in
1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to
16,000
employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil
than everbefore. You had 32 years to get it right
and it is an abysmal
failure.

You have FAILED in every “government service” you have shoved
down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.

AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM??
I know what’s wrong. We have lost our minds to “Political Correctness” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Someone please tell me what’swrong with all the people that run this country!!!!!! We’re “broke” & can’t help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless etc.,??????? In the last months we have provided aid to Haiti , Chile , and Turkey …And now Pakistan ……..previous home of bin Laden. Literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS to say nothing about the handouts to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS!!!
Our retired seniors living on a ‘fixed income receive no aid nor do they get any breaks
AMERICA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, elderly going without ‘needed’ meds, and mentally ill without treatment -etc,etc.
Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT* gave ‘US’ the same support they give to other countries. Sad isn’t it?
What happened to the old rule, “Charity begins at home”? Another value we have discarded thanks to our elected officials… both parties!

99% of people won’t have the guts to forward this.
I’m one of the 1% — I Just Did

“United Saves America”
H/T  Igor
 ~Steve~

 

 

We’re Hosed As A Country!

Supreme Court Dumps on the Majority of the United States!

Supreme Court Upholds Individual Mandate

The Supreme Court on Thursday delivered its decision on the controversial “individual mandate” embedded in President Obama’s landmark healthcare bill, ruling that it is constitutional.

The court’s ruling comes as a major defeat for those who have been fighting the healthcare overhaul well before President Obama signed it into law in 2010. The bill was not dismantled entirely and its expansion of Medicaid, although now limited, still stands. This means roughly 30 millions of uninsured low-income Americans are still eligible for coverage through the bill’s expansion of the state-run entitlement program.

“The bottom line: the entire ACA [Affordable Care Act] is upheld, with the exception that the federal government‘s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read,” SCOTUS Blog reports.

After hearing oral arguments on the constitutionality of the bill in March, the Supreme Court Justices focused on these four points:

  1. Whether the “individual” mandate is constitutional
  2. Whether SCOTUS has the authority to rule on a tax law even though it hasn’t come into effect
  3. If the individual mandate is overturned, will it be cut from the rest of the law as a separate entity or will other provisions fall with it?
  4. Whether the law’s Medicaid expansion is constitutional

Of the four points discussed, the Supreme Court ruled that, as a tax, the individual mandate is constitutional.

Several analysts predicted that if the court ruled against the mandate, it would have negative long-term consequences on the president’s legacy and would weigh heavily on his reelection bid.

It doesn’t seem that way now.

Chief Justice Roberts, whose vote saved “Obamacare,” announced the court’s decision at 10:07 EST.

Obama’s economic collapse is now complete.

Tom in NC

New York City’s Abortion Rate is a Shocking 41%

New York City’s abortion rate in 2009 is almost twice the national average. More than half of the city’s abortions were repeat abortions. Medicaid (that is, taxpayers) paid for more than a third of the city’s abortions.

We know this, all thanks to the pro-life Chiaroscuro Foundation, a NYC not-for-profit organization that supports alternatives to abortion.

NYV41percent.com reports, September 7, 2011, that the data for 2009 was provided by the New York City Department of Health at the Chiaroscuro Foundation’s request.

The zip code, 10018, with the highest abortion ratio in the city, 67%, is in Manhattan’s Chelsea-Clinton neighborhood, followed by rates of 60% in two Jamaica, Queens zip codes and in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, 10012, and Central Harlem-Morningside Heights neighborhoods.

The five zip codes with the lowest abortion ratios are on the Upper East Side, in Lower Manhattan, on the Upper West Side, and in Borough Park, Brooklyn. The lowest ratio, 6.12%, is in 10162.

The fifteen highest and lowest zip codes, with selected demographic information, are available here: http://www.nyc41percent.com/Docs/NYC_Highest_and_Lowest_Abortion_Zip_Codes.pdf.

In 2009 48,627 of the 87,273 abortions in New York City, or 56%, were repeat abortions. 33,401, 38%, were paid for by Medicaid.

64% of New Yorkers believe the abortion rate is too high in New York City – including 57% of pro-choice women – according to a poll conducted by the polling firm McLaughlin & Associates for the Chiaroscuro Foundation earlier this year.  74% believe that the overall 60% abortion rate in the African American community is too high.  (The poll’s margin of error was +/- 3.4%)

Greg Pfundstein, Executive Director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, said: “given the city’s extremely high abortion rate, we renew our call for Mayor Bloomberg to instruct the Department to release the data in an even more current fashion: preliminarily month by month throughout the year. Remember, we are still talking about 2009 data. By being able to measure where the highest rates of abortion are occurring in the city, we can determine over time what methods of outreach work best to lower those rates.”

New York City’s abortion rate abortion rate is nearly double the national average of 23%, a fact to which the Chiaroscuro Foundation has been drawing attention since the 2009 data were released in January.

There’s an interactive map of New York City where you can find out the abortion rates of the city’s constituent districts and boroughs. Click HERE.

~Eowyn

If I Were In Charge of Welfare

On November 18, 2010, the Waco Tribune-Herald (WTH) published a letter to the editor by Alfred W. Evans of Gatesville. Since its publication, the letter has gone viral.

But blogs that republished Mr. Evans’ letter do not give the URL or a link. To ensure the letter’s authenticity, I went searching on the newspaper’s website. I can confirm that the letter is authentic. See this search page, showing “Put me in charge of welfare” as among the letters to the editor on November 18, 2010. See also this search page, showing guest columnist David Price snarkily rebutting Evans’ letter. (To assess the letter on WTH’s website, you must be a paid subscriber or, minimally, pay $1.99 for a one-day pass.)

Waco Tribune-Herald, Nov. 18, 2010
Put me in charge

Put me in charge of food stamps. I’d get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for Ding Dongs or Ho Ho’s, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.

Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I’d do is to get women Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations. Then, we’ll test recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine and document all tattoos and piercings. If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, smoke or get tats and piercings, then get a job.

Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in a military barracks? You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. Your “home” will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your own place.

In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or you will report to a “government” job. It may be cleaning the roadways of trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you. We will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo and speakers and put that money toward the “common good.”

Before you write that I’ve violated someone’s rights, realize that all of the above is voluntary. If you want our money, accept our rules.. Before you say that this would be “demeaning” and ruin their “self esteem,” consider that it wasn’t that long ago that taking someone else’s money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.

If we are expected to pay for other people’s mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.

AND while you are on Gov’t subsistence, you no longer can VOTE! Yes that is correct. For you to vote would be a conflict of interest. You will voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Gov’t welfare check. If you want to vote, then get a job.

Alfred W. Evans

Gatesville, TX

For more on welfare abuse, see my posts “Average ‘Poor’ American Has Cable TV, AC, and Car,” “California’s Welfare Vacations,” and “Food Stamps Used to Buy Lobsters and Steaks.”

H/t my dear friend Bill O.

~Eowyn

Taxpayers Fund 1/3 of Planned Parenthood’s Budget

To the 53% of Americans who still pay federal income tax:

Do you know that your tax dollars fund as much as one-third of the budget of the abortion mill with the Orwellian name of “Planned Parenthood”? (What sort of “parent” kills her/his own child?)

The Catholic News Agency reports on July 17, 2011, that a new in-depth report on Planned Parenthood (PP) by the pro-life group, Americans United for Life, finds that $363 million – one-third of PP’s annual budget  – comes from the American taxpayer.

Americans United for Life’s report, “The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood,” is the result of their legal team researching more than 20 years of PP records, law enforcement reports, and other materials. The $363 million figure is by Planned Parenthood’s own accounting.

At a July 14 press conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), President of Americans United for Life Dr. Charmaine Yoest said, “While Congress is discussing going deeper in debt and raising the debt ceiling … our government is quietly subsidizing the world’s largest abortion provider with $1 million a day.

Here are some of the study’s findings:

  • Government taxpayers’ funding of Planned Parenthood has doubled since 1998 – as well as the number of abortions performed.
  • PP has committed numerous financial malpractices and human rights abuses over the last two decades, including failure to report criminal child sexual abuse, failure to comply with parental involvement laws, and willingness to refer to substandard clinics.
  • Planned Parenthood has been documented as assisting people engaged in prostitution and/or sex trafficking, and has “dangerously” misused the abortion drug RU-486.
  • PP has provided inaccurate and misleading information to women regarding fetal development, abortion’s health risks, and to patients on emergency contraception, including the pill “ella”.
  • PP committed Medicaid fraud — in California, New York, New Jersey and Washington state – where PP affiliates have been exposed for fraudulent overbilling practices.

Yoest calls for an investigation and Congressional hearings into Planned Parenthood and its systematic abuse of federal funding: “American taxpayers are being forced to directly support this abortion-saturated organization which is fraught with fraud and misuse of government monies.”

Click here, to read the full report on Planned Parenthood.

~Eowyn

The Other Bankruptcy Showdown: State Medicaid Programs

While all eyes are on the Treasury and its challenge to handle the federal government’s debt, we cannot afford to lose sight of equally disastrous bankruptcies looming on the state level.

Here are three reasons why you should care about state budgets:

1)      Many states are already worse off than the federal government, delaying payments, jacking up taxes, etc. News outlets leaked in January that Congress is quietly coming to terms with state bankruptcies. Pundits might say otherwise, and they will drag it out into a slow-motion ending, but at this point it is really “when” instead of “if.”

2)      Even without a federal default, state defaults will spell disaster on the economy. Health care, construction, education and farming are all married to state governments to some extent.

3)      Part of the federal government’s deficit spending has been pumping money into states. Wonder why the economic stimulus bill in 2009 did not actually create those shovel-ready jobs? Because a lot of that money was given to states specifically to catch up Medicaid bills.

Those stimulus funds run out in July, and states are preparing to simply force providers to do without the money. State programs are already notorious for paying doctors, pharmacies and nursing homes at rates that are nothing but a smidge over cost.

In Massachusetts, for example, more than half of primary physicians refuse to add new patients who rely on state funding. Many have stopped seeing state-dependent patients altogether.

Across the country in Washington, pharmacy chain Walgreens accused the state of paying less than cost for prescriptions – meaning pharmacists actually lose money on every transaction. Walgreens was forced to start refusing new orders from Medicaid patients.

And that was in the good old days when stimulus money was there to help.

States like Illinois and California stall for several months before making payments. While on the waiting list, doctors are presumably expected to pay their bills with pixie dust. Shockingly, doctors don’t seem to enjoy this, and with each passing month more and more of them start turning away future patients.

South Carolina’s solution was to authorize deficit spending for its Medicaid program. No word on where the state will find a handy $100 million laying around to take care of that.

In New Jersey, Republican Governor Chris Christie is looking to save some $300 million by using “managed care” tricks on Medicaid patients.

Managed care is a fancy term for rationing. It means state auditors will impose stricter standards for what counts as “necessary” treatment, encourage doctors to prescribe “cheaper” drugs, shorten the number of days you can stay in a hospital, and slap more copays on top.

Folks, we are watching the slow-motion decline of our government on all levels. Desperate state governments cannot afford to keep doctors and pharmacies in business. And this is but one place where states are failing. We haven’t even started talking about pensions, public schools, highway maintenance, or cities that can’t afford their police departments.

If you have not begun making contingency plans for your family’s future, I recommend now as a good time to start.

-Candance