Wednesday, January 26, 2011

LePage Wants To Make it More Difficult to Get Medicaid

The thing about attacking social programs is that it is can, in some cases, be easy to get away with: the poorest tend not to vote in as great a proportion as the middle class and wealthy. Tweaks in social programs can net impressive sounding savings, and the human cost is all too easy to ignore.

So when Governor LePage proposes something like extending the waiting period for qualifying for state medicaid from 45 days to 90 days, it is, perhaps, easy to consider that the savings of such an extension ($3 million in the next fiscal year...whoopee) are worth a mere month and half of waiting for the poor or disabled.

However, one should consider that crucial, uncovered medical expenses for a disabled person for just an extra 45 days could potentially run into the thousands or tens of thousands. More likely, those forced to wait longer for medicaid will simply go longer without medical care, endangering their lives and well being.

Why does it take the state 90 days to make a determination about medicaid eligibility? The truth is, it doesn't. The state laws stipulate that it must not. This is simply a way to squeeze a few more bucks out of our state's poorest, while the Governor goes on making promising every concession he can to the wealthiest.

It's interesting--don't you think--that Governor "Cut the Red Tape" LePage wants to hasten the decision making for industrial permits and the approval process for complex and potentially environmentally damaging projects (in the name of efficiency!) while doubling the amount of time needed to provide healthcare for the poor and disabled.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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