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As Democratic senators debate the expansion of the Medicaid loan program to cover a larger number of those pushed below the poverty line with their unpaid hospital bills, (after their families bankruptcies) bankruptcy experts are questioning the wisdom of covering theose without insurance by expanding the Medicaid loan program. Medicaid, a loan that carries a 9% interest rate, is for the poorest hospitalized or disabled people. They historically have been completely disabled, but expanding the program wont help as much as one would think, because the poor, who will face huge bills, probably wont make enough to be able to EVER repay many loans. It will be a similar situation as it is for students graduating with huge student loans, with the important difference that the borrowers indebted from Medicaid will be sick and uneducated.

The goal for many Dems is to NOT make Obama's public option "too attractive." Healthcare companies are huge donors to politicians, and the poor rarely make political donations. People facing large medical bills almost NEVER make donations to political campaigns. So, why help THEM? Its cruel, but logical. Supporters of Obama's compromise with the health insurance industry say that should the Democrats adopt an affordable universal healthcare program that was more attractive to America's 300,000,000 people, something that hasn't been even proposed yet in Obama's fast track, buy or die healthcare "reform" effort, such as a true national healthcare plan, modeled on national healthcare plans in civilized nations, the 300,000 employees of the insurance firms would have to start looking for other jobs, increasing the already millions of unemployed. Senator Max Baucus has long been a fan of the Medicaid loan program, which aggressively seeks repayment of medical loans from a patient's family. But, many people who have been forced to seek Medicaid when they could no longer pay their hospital bills, complain that they were not told clearly that the repayment program was a loan, only that it would allow them to stay in the hospital when facing discharge before they had gotten better. (Medicaid focuses on paying for in-patient medical needs, it traditionally has not covered outpatient services extensively at all) There is another issue, the issue of extreme life threatening stress, and its long term effects on the brain. We all have met veterans who have returned from wars unable to function as a result of "shell shock" or extreme arousal because of fear for one's life or limb, for extended periods of time. Granted, nothing is ever free in America, unless you are a bank, but one would have to question the wisdom of burdening a nation of working people who desperately need to pursue job training for the future workplace, with a burden of stress that will initiate medical disabilities that make it very difficult for them to learn. It has the smell of sadism to it. Well, there is an alternative. Physicians for a National Health Program are offering a healthcare alternative that not only would make healthcare free for all, it also would eliminate the need for the Democrats expanded Medicaid loans by making healthcare free for all Americans, like it is in our neighbor Canada.

Originally posted to Andiamo on Sun May 17, 2009 at 08:11 AM PDT.


I am a Democrat. The most sexually exciting aspect of Expanding Medicaid Loans for those unfortunate enough to fall into my punitive web, is:

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Comment Preferences

  •  What? (0+ / 0-)

    Do I have this right? Your country forces poor people to tale a loan to pay for their health care? What is it with your country, why do you have to punish people for not having money? You would NEVER get away with this in Canada. Why would anyone want to live in the US again?

    •  many Americans voted for Hillary Clinton (0+ / 0-)
      I only voted for him in the general election because they kept telling me that it was him or McCain's healthcare plan, which would have made it impossible to ever change anything because of WTO regulations - Doha round  "lock in".

      The public sector competing with multinationals is illegal, as its discrimination against multinational corporations who invest in bringing healthcare to a country. The US fought long and hard for those regulations.

      Single payer bypasses them, but once you have multinationals investing, you have to buy them out.

      Its illegal competition, the government has too big of an advantage when they compete directly with private companies.

      They have to pay them for the lost business.

      Read the treaty. It supersedes local laws.

      The only way to get decent health care for ALL of us NOW, is to have that health care be the SAME and GOOD and FREE for EVERYBODY, rich AND poor. Then we will

      by Andiamo on Sun May 17, 2009 at 10:28:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, ok on the info on the treaty but... (0+ / 0-)

        It still doesn't address the issue of why a nation would decide to basically tax poor people by making them take back a loan they are expected to pay back. Let me see, they get sick, so, ok we'll help you, but you are going to pay it back even if it takes you the rest of your life. I am sorry, but from where I sit, that makes absolutely no sense at all.

        By the way, I didn't support NAFTA either. It is a bad deal that hasn't really delivered much in the way of anything that appreciably improves peoples lives. Especially if you are a Mexican worker, I think you would be hard pressed to find any worker there who would extoll NAFTA's virtues.

        I will say it again, my country has lots of issues, but at least I don't have to pay for health care beyond my abilility to do so thorugh other that taxes. The way things are done in your country MAKE NO SENSE!

        •  Look, I also think its evil.. (0+ / 0-)
          But, there's a perverse logic because

          1.) Its not too attractive, thats a theme for the Dems talking about the public option. They dont want to siphon away too many profitable customers from the health insurers who say that would make their business unprofitable. medicaid is only available once you have been sucked dry by the bills.. so it kicks in just at the point where you are no longer able to pay bills at all, have no assets..

          Studies have shown that mostly, its people with assets who buy insurance, the people with no assets often dont, for some reason (Its too expensive!)

          The people who have bills but dont have insurance are derisively called "free riders" and up till now, indeed they have gotten a free ride because nobody can take anything they dont have..
          Expanding Medicaid will insure that they repay their debt because the government will go after them for it.

          I thought this was interesting:

          Wealth, Income, And The Affordability Of Health Insurance
          Didem M. Bernard, Jessica S. Banthin and William E. Encinosa

          There have been debates over how many uninsured people can afford insurance but refuse to purchase it. Examining the difference in asset holdings between the privately insured and the uninsured, we found that the difference in purchasing power is not fully revealed by income comparisons. Median income among the privately insured is 2.9 times that of the uninsured, but median wealth among those with private insurance is 23.2 times that of the uninsured. Our results suggest that assets are an important determinant of effective affordability, undermining the notion that many people are uninsured by choice.

          If healthcare is still tied to jobs in the AI future, almost nobody will have it.

          by Andiamo on Mon May 18, 2009 at 02:25:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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