Medicaid, the entitlement program meant to help states fund care for the indigent, now threatens to bankrupt states and force them to divert money from higher priorities like education and law enforcement. States face the Hobson’s choice of complying with costly federal mandates, or losing all of the federal contribution to Medicaid.
If the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”) survives constitutional challenge, it will impose additional crushing burdens on cash-strapped states.
“Sending taxpayers’ money on a trip to Washington, and getting it back with a load of costly mandates, minus shipping and handling, was not such a good deal, though it looked attractive in 1965,” states Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Writing in support of the State Health Flexibility Act, H.R. 4160, AAPS President Alieta Eck, M.D., notes that this proposal to block grant Medicaid is “a way to bring decision-making regarding medical care for the poor back to the states.”
Block grants have previously been successful in reducing wasteful spending on bloated welfare rolls, writes Charles Sauer of the Market Institute.
Under intense public pressure, President Clinton signed the welfare reform act after vetoing it twice. Sauer warns of a repetition of the Congressional hyperbole that accompanied the welfare reform act.
AAPS is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties (www.aapsonline.org), which was founded in 1943 to defend the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship. AAPS supports free-market reforms and opposes third-party and government intrusions into the practice of medicine.