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Medicaid Is Where the ObamaCare Action Is

Posted on December 16, 2013

HHS reported Wednesday that 1.2 million Americans have enrolled in ObamaCare since the exchanges opened on October 1st. The media is trumpeting this as a sign the website is improving and ObamaCare is making steady progress towards its goals. A deeper look at the numbers, however, reveals a more troubling trend. Of the total enrollees, over 800,000 have signed up for Medicaid. Just over 360,000 have enrolled in private insurance plans, just 30% of the total.

Medicaid was supposed to be a small part of ObamaCare’s drive to universal coverage. Expanding an already struggling and unsustainable entitlement program may end up being the law’s only “legacy.”

Earlier this year, HHS had estimated that 3.3 million people would enroll in private insurance by the end of this year. It also predicted that 7 million would sign-up by the end of the enrollment period in March 2014. It seems unlikely it will meet those goals. A further complication is the fact that up to 25% of the current enrollments have errors in their applications. Some number of the people being touted by the Administration as success stories will greet the new year without insurance coverage.

Considering the fact that over 5 million people are losing their insurance, if this enrollment trend continues, fewer people will have insurance next year than before ObamaCare took effect.

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6 thoughts on “Medicaid Is Where the ObamaCare Action Is

  1. Cliffystones says:

    And all this comes as a suprise to……………………………………………anyone?????

  2. Shane. It comes as a surprise to Shane.

  3. One thing you may be aware of is the very large number of people being put into medicaid when they attempt to apply for Obamacare. There are three issues with this that are below everyone's radar.

    1. If you are below a certain point in income, it automatically puts you into medicaid. See:

    "Just so you’re clear on this: the ACA stipulates that the system will ensure that if any individual applying to an Exchange is found to be eligible for Medicaid or a state children’s health insurance program (CHIP), the individual will be enrolled in such a plan.
    Furthermore, to increase enrollment in health coverage without requiring people to complete an application on their own, states are advised to automate enrollment whenever possible by using existing databases for social services programs such as SNAP (food stamps) to enroll people who appear eligible for Medicaid but are not currently enrolled. Therefore, you could find yourself auto-enrolled in Medicaid against your will if your state acts on this advice."
    This and other quotes from http://paulcraigroberts.org/2013/02/03/obamacare-
    The income point at which this automatically happens is 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which, for a family of 4 is over $30,000.

    2. Asset test. They will tell you that the asset test was dropped for medicaid, but that is not actually true. From the above web site, "the asset test was dropped except for certain groups such as the elderly and people on Social Security Disability "

    What this means is that for those in these categories, you are required to spend down all your liquid assets. It varies by state, but the most common requirement is that you get to keep your primary residence and one car, but all other assets must be liquidated down to the level of $2,000. They essentially confiscate all your retirement assets.

    3. Estate recovery. This is the most insidious. It allows the government to come in and confiscate from your estate any medicaid benefits that you have used. See

    "Estate Recovery! You won’t find the following info in the ACA. It’s in the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA 1993) – a federal statute which applies to Medicaid, and, if you are enrolled in Medicaid, it will apply to you depending on your age.
    a) OBRA 1993 requires all states that receive Medicaid funding to seek recovery from the estates of deceased individuals who used Medicaid benefits at age 55 or older. It allows recovery for any items or services under the state Medicaid plan going beyond nursing homes and other long-term care institutions. In fact, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) site says that states have the option of recovering payments for all Medicaid services provided. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) site says at state option, recovery can be pursued for any items covered by the Medicaid state plan."
    These are issues that practically no one knows. I would ask that you do an article on these so they can be more widely known. Thanks for a great blog.

  4. WhiteFalcon says:

    One thing you can count on is that whatever this administration tells us is a flat out lie, so you at least know that whatever they tell you isn't true and your guess as to what is true will be closer to the actual truth.

  5. Richo,
    Do I have this right from your post? (I am presently on Medicare, have a retirement income, and will begin drawing SS next year).

    1. When my income falls to a certain level, I may be enrolled in Medicaid "automatically."
    2. When I am enrolled, the government can (will) force me to liquidate my $x00,000 retirement corpus. (Is this confiscation, or can I "liquidate it" to my children?)
    3. When I die, my children will have to reimburse the government for any money they paid me through Medicare.

    Is this the governmental slavery of my future? What are the escape options of this nightmare?

  6. There will be a 3-5 year look back on your assets, remember the rules when you put someone in nursing home they have to spend down to qualify for medicaid. Any assets will be confiscated, savings, IRA's, you can put your assets in a irrevocable trust to avoid that. But then you better trust your kids. If your over 60 see an elder law attorney he can advise you and knows how to protect your assets.