According to a new report from The Foundation for Government Accountability, the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, embraced by many states in the years since the law’s passing, has led indirectly to vulnerable patients being confined to waiting lists…and eventually succumbing to their untreated illnesses.
The think tank confirmed the worst predictions about how Obamacare would affect those already dependent on Medicaid; by expanding the free healthcare to able-bodied adults in what can only be termed state-sponsored welfare, the program was no longer able to sufficiently care for the severely-handicapped and ill individuals who really needed the service.
The report said that as states expanded Medicaid, more than 650,000 existing patients were left to linger on waiting lists for home and community-based services meant for people with serious conditions like spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain damage. Worse, the report found that nearly 22,000 people in 13 expansion states died before receiving the specialized services they needed to survive. All of this was happening, of course, as healthy, able-bodied adults were getting into the program and sucking it dry of badly-needed resources.
“They’re working-age, able-bodied adults,” said the report’s author. “Every dollar spent on that population is a dollar that can’t be spent on people on waiting lists.”
“You need to take care of the truly needy first,” he went on to say. “That’s why the safety net exists.”
Unfortunately, states jumped at the opportunity to bleed the federal government dry and leapt into the expansion feet-first without considering the implications of what they were doing to an overburdened and underfunded healthcare system.
This isn’t just a problem with Obamacare or even the expanding states, though. This is a systemic problem when it comes to allocating safety net resources. We see the same phenomenon playing out in more traditional forms of welfare like the SNAP program or even government-sponsored unemployment benefits. We need to make sure those who are suffering and in need of assistance get the help they need – absolutely. But when we open up the rolls to anyone who is just too lazy to go out and get a damn job, the very people who are hurt are the people who need these services the most.
Democrats like to position themselves as the “party that cares,” but their welfare-state mentality is causing many more problems than it is solving.