Op-ed in Foster's Daily Democrat: The ‘Silent Majority’ tired of giveaways
By Brian Griset
When is enough? We are a caring and compassionate society. We’ve establish the Medicaid program to provide medical insurance for those deemed poor. We pay for it through Federal taxes and borrowing and New Hampshire state taxes. New Hampshire spends almost half of its budget each year on providing medical services. And each year they raise the income level defining “poor”. But that’s not enough.
Now the Democrats say we need to give 54,000 more people (which 32,000 already have and pay for their own private insurance) free medical insurance. Why do they want us to pay for these people? When is enough? Is it to buy votes?
How will this really be paid for? By you and me, our children and grandchildren. By our hospitals and doctors and nurses. The Federal government promises to pay 100% to start then NH has to chip in. At the federal level it’s just more borrowed money, more debt, deficit and inflation. At the state level, its real tax dollars, no borrowing allowed. Maybe we need an income tax to pay for it? But there other costs for you and me that have private insurance. Higher premiums! It’s the hidden tax you don’t see on your hospital and doctor bills.
Medicaid in New Hampshire reimburses only 54% of each dollar compared to what private insurance pays. No negotiations! The state sets the rates. So losses are transferred to the private insurance “costs.” Result, higher premiums for us. Ask your doctor. Now Democrats want us to pay for 54,000 more people! Is that fair?
Are there other negative impacts? Yes! With the ever shrinking number of payers verses takers, the Government has to cut their costs where we won’t see it, when they pay the doctor/hospital bill. Now it’s going to cost you. Let’s use Exeter Hospital for example using their financial statements. Great hospital. Good to the community — provided $233 Million in charity care and donations to local charities since 2001. But they can’t keep doing this.
In 2012 alone they had a loss of $14.2 Million from Medicaid. We picked up $5 Million of that loss in our premiums. Despite cost and job cuts, due to state/federal reductions in rate payments and additional taxes, Exeter Hospital had operating losses of $4.1 Million in 2011 and $9.3 Million in 2012. Can they continue to operate this way? What doctors, what services are we going to lose? Is Exeter Hospital going to survive? According to a Medicaid study, the result of Medicaid Expansion statewide on hospitals will be a loss $476 Million from 2014-2020. Will any hospitals survive this lunacy? Yes, the Democrats want to expand Medicaid losses!
Am I paranoid? No. Behind the scenes maneuvering impacts all of us. Most, including health care professionals, are unaware the Federal government made a change in Medicare that went into effect April 1, 2013. You won’t see it on your explanation of benefits. You’re not supposed to know. Medicare made across the board cuts of 2% to what they pay ALL of your medical providers. Your doctors and hospitals are getting paid even less than last year. Your doctors are quitting. Private insurance plans are cutting costs by restricting your hospital and doctor choices. Is this fair to you and me? The Democrats are willing to make it worse for us so they can give away more “free” stuff to buy votes. Enough is enough.
Call, email Sen. Stiles and the Senate Republicans and tell them Medicaid Expansion isn’t fair and isn’t right for New Hampshire. The silent majority is tired of the giveaways!