They Lied: Indiana’s New Gas Tax Not Strictly Just For Roads

Guess what the tax revenue will be used for? Continue reading →

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2015 Medicaid Spending Up 21%

The numbers are staggering in how fast medicaid is growing and spending. This isn’t a sexy topic to talk about but that is the psychosis of America’s political landscape today. Here is some recent news pertaining to this federal government social program.

Via Wall Street Journal

    Medicaid enrollment has surged 19% nationally since ObamaCare’s expansion—50% in New Mexico, 65% in Oregon, 81% in Kentucky. The Congressional Budget Office reports that Medicaid spending rose 21% in the first five months of fiscal year 2015, “largely because of” ObamaCare.

Another source, The Heritage Foundation added more data to the topic of medicaid growth –

    This jump does not even include the Obamacare insurance exchange subsidies that are now in place—a $7 billion increase so far this year. Medicaid and the Obamacare subsidies account for $28 billion of the $88 billion in mandatory spending increases this year. The extent to which growth of Obamacare and other entitlements is responsible for this increase is even more pronounced than at first glance. Leaving GSEs out of the equation, increases in Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies accounted for half of the mandatory spending increase so far this year. Meanwhile, defense spending is down nearly 5 percent.

One more item from Heritage is the overall growth of entitlement spending.

    Chart 12 shows the growth of more than 80 welfare programs since 2007—including food stamps, unemployment insurance, housing aid, Medicaid, and disability payments. Some of these increases were results of the recession, while others were due to Obama policies that expanded eligibility and cancelled work requirements. Since 2008, spending has soared 37.2 percent in these programs. Since 2007, spending has mushroomed nearly 55 percent

entitlement spending

Inflation Graph: Massive Price Increases Last 14 Years

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As the Federal Reserve started printing money here is a listing showing how prices took off.

H/T: Economic Policy Journal

Premium Costs Before and After Obamacare

In analysis published this week, the website HealthPocket.com compared the average premiums people paid in 2013, before Obamacare plans went on sale, to 2014 plan prices. HealthPocket looked at premiums paid by non-smoking men and women, ages 23, 30 and 63, in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

“HealthPocket found that the average health insurance premium increased by double digits for each group examined, though some groups saw a much steeper increase than others,” the report said.

For 23-year-old non-smoking men, the average premium for all plans jumped 78 percent in 2014, the report said. Women of the same age saw a 45-percent hike.

For 30-year-olds, the increases were 73 percent for men and 35 percent for women. Only the 63-year-old age group saw bigger price hikes for women, with females paying 37.5 percent more for insurance on average in 2014, and men paying an average of nearly 23 percent more.

Read the rest at CNBC

Walmart Competing Against Doctor Offices

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Walmart is now opening clinics to compete in the ever changing healthcare landscape. This from Marketwatch:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pushed down prices for some generic prescription drugs to just $4 eight years ago, setting a new industry standard. Now it is trying to do the same for seeing a doctor.

On Friday, a Walmart Care Clinic opened in Dalton, Ga., six months after Walmart U.S., the retailer’s biggest unit, entered the business of providing primary health care. It now operates a dozen clinics in rural Texas, South Carolina and Georgia and has increased its target for openings this year to 17.

Here is a list of pricing for services offered:

An office visit costs $40, which Walmart U.S. says is about half the industry standard, and just $4 for Walmart U.S. employees and family members with the company’s insurance. A pregnancy test costs just $3, and a cholesterol test $8. A typical retail clinic offers acute care only. But a Walmart Care Clinic also treats chronic conditions such as diabetes. (Walmart U.S. also leases space in its stores to 94 clinics owned by others that set their own pricing.)