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


Report: Shortage of 90,000 Physicians by 2025


In a report prepared for the Association of American Medical Colleges a grim outlook was given concerning physician supply in the United States. Here is what was found:

    Demand for physicians continues to grow faster than supply, leading to a projected shortfall of
    between 46,100 and 90,400 physicians by 2025

The report can be read here. Much of the shortage will be from stronger demand of people getting on Obamacare.

Obamacare & 7 Eleven

7 eleven

Via thehill.com

ObamaCare ads will now appear on 7-Eleven receipts at more than 7,000 stores nationwide as government health officials expand their outreach in the second year of healthcare sign-ups.

Information about ObamaCare sign-ups will appear on the bottom of receipts for anyone using a mobile payment company called PayNearMe, which allows bank-less customers to pay in stores like 7-Eleven and Family Dollar.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced the new partnership with the tech start-up PayNearMe on Thursday at a store in Washington, D.C.

“Putting these reminders at the bottom of PayNearMe receipts will help get health coverage information into the hands of traditionally hard-to-reach consumers,” HHS wrote in a statement.
The partnership will help HHS “reach financially underserved and other cash-preferring consumers,” the statement reads.

Doctors Take on Obamacare

Ran across this piece at Economic Policy Journal. Disturbing how bogged down our doctors will get in the future.

Dr. Mark Sklar writes:

The push to use electronic medical records has had more than financial costs. Although it is convenient to have patient records accessible on the Internet, the data processing involved has been extremely time consuming—a sentiment echoed by most of my colleagues. To save time, I was advised by a consultant to enter data into the electronic record during the office visit. When I tried this I found that typing in the data was disruptive to the patient visit. My eyes were focused on the keyboard and the lack of direct contact kept patients from opening up and discussing their medical and personal problems. I soon returned to my old method of dictating notes and pasting a print-out of the dictation into the electronic record.

Yet to avoid future financial penalties from Medicare, I must demonstrate “meaningful use” of the electronic record. This involves documenting that I covered a checklist of items during the office visit, so I spend 90 minutes each day entering mostly meaningless data. This is time better spent calling patients to answer questions or keeping updated with the medical literature…

To prevent physicians from prescribing more costly medications and tests on patients, insurers are increasingly requiring physicians to obtain pre-authorizations. This involves calling a telephone number, often being rerouted several times and then waiting on hold for a representative. The process is demeaning and can take 30-45 minutes…

To avoid Medicare penalties, I also must participate in the Physician Quality Reporting System program. Initially, this involved choosing three codes during the patient visit to reflect quality of care, such as blood pressure or blood-sugar control, and reporting them to Medicare. In 2015, the requirement will increase to nine codes.

Coming down the pike, but thankfully postponed from the October 2014 deadline, is something called ICD-10. This is a newer system that will contain about 70,000 medical diagnostic codes used for billing insurance. The present ICD-9 system has about 15,000 codes. The Physician Quality Reporting System and ICD-10 requirements are intended to benefit population research, but the effect is to turn physicians into adjuncts of the Census Bureau who spend time searching for codes—and to further decrease the amount of direct contact with patients.

The practice of medicine in the current environment is unsustainable. The multiple bureaucratic distractions in my day consume so much time that I have to give up what little personal time I have in the morning, evening and on weekends if I want to continue to provide excellent care during office hours.

Another Indiana School District Battling Obamacare Regulations



More developments with Indiana school districts dealing with countless rules/regulations related to Obamacare. This story comes out of North Spencer County School Corporation. Superintendent Dan Scherry and the school board recently learned from a trade association that Obamacare would make him legally liable if fines are incurred. 

Scherry said the law states an individual could be held responsible for fines incurred for an employee working full-time that isn’t offered health insurance. To give individual employees relief from that provision of the law, the North Spencer school board on Monday discussed and approved a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Hold Harmless Resolution.


That resolution, which Scherry said was developed by the Indiana School Board Association, basically absolves administrators or other individuals from personal liability for those fines and makes the school corporation responsible.



And how much would have someone in like Mr. Scherry faced if the rule wasn’t found and dealt with? What is the process for something like this in order for a fine to happen?

“For us, it could be a $300,000 or $400,000 fine, so you’re talking about changing lives there,” said Mr. Scherry. If an employee is working more than 30 hours a week and not covered by health insurance, Scherry explained they could make a complaint with the insurance exchange through the government, then the government could impose a fine saying the business or school district didn’t follow the law. Without this resolution, Scherry said the fine could haunt individual people, but after it is passed by school boards the school corporation would be responsible.

With school districts already facing massive budget tightening as is, this new fine process will be the new normal for local taxpayers. Even though the school districts are protecting employees from not getting fined, now the taxpayer is on the hook. Go ahead and expect school corporation budgets to be cutting more from teaching areas so they can stash a “rainy day” fund for Obamacare fines.

Here is a link to the rest of the story.

I think I will just let Mr. Scherry sum up what this bill is doing to various aspects of our economy:

“It’s just a mess,”