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Medicaid? Medicare? What's the difference, anyway? Answer at the end.

Six months ago the administration blamed a "scrivener's error" for a regulation that would have dropped 8 million of the most vulnerable Americans from Medicaid eligibility and said it would fix the problem.

According to several state Medicaid directors, however, that promise has not been kept and there is a surge of children and elderly Americans losing coverage because they could not produce proper identification – papers hard to come by if you are an undocumented alien, homeless, a foster child or institutionalized.

Some analysts blame the loss of coverage on the fact that undocumented immigrants chose not to apply for Medicaid for fear of deportation. But the state health officials say the sudden dropoff, and cost saving, comes from eligible people who simply do not have the right papers.

Things are not quite so tough for the poorest of the Medicare recipients confronted with the confusion of the Part D prescription drug program. The administration, citing inadequate information, has just decided not to make about 500,000 of them pay penalty fees for signing up late.

There may be some coincidental reason children are being lopped off the Medicaid rolls while seniors are being added to Medicare, programs run by the same agency, but it is useful to remember which group has the right to vote.

Originally posted to Ira R Allen on Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 01:20 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon, Zemma

    Both programs are viewed differently. Social Security is viewed in a very positive life, while its counterpart SSI is viewed as welfare. Medicare is viewed in a positive, while medicaid is viewed as welfare. People tend to view Social Security and Medicare positively, while deriding those on Medicaid and SSI. For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

    by jiacinto on Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 01:40:28 PM PST

  •  It's the newest Republican weaselry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... Missouri led the charge in dropping uninsured children off the Medicaid rolls 2 years ago. Most of them are still uninsured.  But today, a state legislator who is positioning himself for a run at bigger things when he's term-limited in '08 -- is proposing that Mo. not tax seniors on their social security earnings.
    Help my voters!
    As you said, by their pandering it's easy to see who votes for the Republicans.

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