Sen. Mark Kirk says his debilitating stroke has sparked a new interest in the experience of people on Medicaid. The IL Republican returned to Capitol Hill Thursday for the first time in a year. In a Chicago Sun-Times interview Kirk said that most IL residents insured through the low-income health program would be eligible for just 11 rehabilitation sessions following a stroke.
"Had I been limited to that I would have had no chance to recover like I did. So unlike before suffering the stroke, I'm much more focused on Medicaid and what my fellow citizens face," Kirk told the Sun Times.
"I will look much more carefully at the Illinois Medicaid program to see how my fellow citizens are being cared for who have no income and if they suffer from a stroke," Kirk said.
Not everyone's impressed with Kirk's change of heart on the social insurance program. Tweeted Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas (@markos): "Sen. Kirk says stroke changed perspective on Medicaid. GOPers shouldn't have to get strokes to learn compassion".
@DerivePL My Reply to the translator for dummies: Read a little on cost benefit analysis for Dummies then answer the following question: Which is cheaper pay for adequate post stroke rehab to enable a person to return to work or not pay and have that person and their dependents face a lifetime of disability and other safety net payments. I'd like to hear the result of your analysis. Duhh??
@jessejaymes Not necessarily Florida Medicaid Income Limits as of 1/1/2012. The Applicant's income limits have increased from $2022/ month to $2094/month. If the applicant for Medicaid has income in excess of $2094, they may use a Qualified Income Trust or Miller Trust to help the applicant qualify for Florida Medicaid Benefits under the Medicaid Asset Test. Florida Medicaid Asset Limits as of 1/1/2012. For an individual who is not married, the Applicant can only have $2000 in countable assets. This number is unchanged from 2011. For an Applicant who is married, their Spouse's Asset limits have increased from $109,560 in 2011 to $113,640 as of 1/1/2012.
@martydotcom So what you are saying is that as a Senior I have to pay deductibles, supplemental, and pay back to Medicare a certain amount every month despite my have paid into SS for 54 years and those who do not make "enough money" get all that I paid for, for free? Out of my SS money. Sounds like a plan. I should have been a bum.
@tomincali You must work in healthcare to see this sort of Medicaid abuse. It happens all the time, every day. I work in a pediatric ER facility where it's certainly not unusual for an ambulance to transport a child suffering from...of all things...constipation. Simply put, that ambulance is a free taxi service. The parents can get a free ride, a free doctor visit and free medication. Why should they pay bus fare and go to the corner drug store and buy Ex-Lax?
The ER is filled to capacity every day with children who have nothing more than a snotty nose. We sometimes think some of these families use a free trip to the hospital as a way to get out of the house.
We hate the abuse, but at the same time where do you draw the line? You can't deny care. Just as soon as you deny that constipated kid a trip to the hospital he'll turn out to be the one with intussusception - a life-threatening condition. It's a catch-22 situation and we have to err on the side of the patient even if that patient (or his parents) are milking the system.
@PayThatCEO @tomincali I think you guys are confusing Medicaid with people w/out insurance. Medicaid is insurance and things like this can be denied by the state that is running the Medicaid program, in which case the 'waste' isn't taking out of taxpayer money, but instead is being passed on to the other consumers like anyone else who goes to see the ER. It's a problem, but not a problem w/ Medicaid.
Medicaid, especially for children, is rarely denied and is at the top of the welfare food chain, right ahead of food stamps. Several times in the last few years our inner city hospital has been frighteningly close to closing its doors due to Medicaid, which pays facilities pennies on the dollar. This is a Level One trauma center, vital to burn victims and those in serious accidents, yet due to Medicaid (much of it abuse) this hospital struggles to stay open.
Yes, non-pay patients are a problem, as well. They are akin to shop-lifters, but they don't see it that way.
Ask yourself why healthcare costs so much. Ask yourself why your insurance premiums are so costly. Someone must pay for the losses caused by those who use and abuse the system, but the problem is so complex you run into obstacles no matter which way you go.
It is a terrible situation we find ourselves in. We have the knowledge and wealth to live happy and fruitful lives but there is no way to equitably share the resources. We need to find a better way that does not force the few to support the many.
The Senator is correct - Medicaid doesn't adequately cover numerous acute medical conditions, but short of inflicting a serious disease or injury on the other 534 members of Congress I don't anticipate his peers will share his concerns anytime soon.
How much compassion does it take to remove healthcare from the list of a profit-making enterprises so that wellness is not too expensive for the lower class and a threat of bankruptcy for the middle class?
@woodtick57 No. Doctors and nurses are not the cause of the bloating of the cost of medical care. The culprits are primarily pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies and lawyers (like the one who wants to sue the state of Connecticut for $100 million on behalf of a survivor of the Newtown shooting, because the state was negligent in not foreseeing and preventing an unforeseeable act. I imagine that he is anticipating 2/3 of the settlement for himself).
Headline Correction... It should read something like...
"Senator Says Strokes Showed Him Deficiencies of Government Provided Healthcare: but if we're stuck with, try to improve it for those who are dependent on it"
"Going through the health-care roller coaster gave him a different perspective on health care — but not enough that he would have endorsed the Affordable Care Act. He does plan to take a closer look at funding of the Illinois Medicaid program for those with have no income who suffer a stroke, he said. In general, a person on Medicaid in Illinois would be allowed 11 rehab visits, he said."
@woodtick57-- I guess it depends on how you decide which is better. I suggest that the exceptions to the rule that government provided anything will be cheaper, more efficient or more available to the masses than what the free market can provide is evidence that movement towards an ever increasing proportion of Americans being dependent on government provided healthcare is the wrong direction to go.
I guess it depends on how you decide which is better. I suggest that the exceptions prove the rule that government can't provide anything cheaper, more efficient or available to the masses better than the free market can. Therefore, movement towards an ever-increasingproportion of Americans being dependent on government provided healthcare is the wrong direction to go.
@woodtick57-- Then you're in favor of moving away from government provided healthcare and towards free market solutions to our ballooning healthcare/insurance costs instead of placing faith in our government which is the primary cause of our ballooning costs?
"Fairly generous" is a relative term. Remember, administration of Medicaid is largely in the hands of the states (as is the detection and prosecution for fraud). Thus, California has traditionally offered pretty generous coverage while Texas the least.
My interpretation of Senator's comments were that the 11 sessions permitted under Medicaid were totally inadequate for his case. In most cases it requires more than 11 sessions for the patient to be adequately rehabbed, as he was, to the point he could return to work. Better stroke victims be doomed to a life of dependency or better to pay for adequate rehab to enable a return to work. The old adage Pennywise and pound foolish
@martydotcom I'm not debating whether we should cover more therapy. I think we should for Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance. The problem is paying for it. There is only so much money to go around. We are approaching a time where if we want to keep funding these programs everyone is going to have to start paying more. Either we need to stop giving tax refunds to those on Medicaid, food stamps, HUD, etc since they are drawing government services or everyone is going to pay more in taxes.
I've heard nothing but griping from every patient and employee I've come across today about the increase in social security tax that we all have to pay. The working class just took a 2% pay cut.
@DARSB Yes and their debt is what in California? I'm for funding Medicaid better but where is the money going to come from? The government already pays bottom dollar to the person supplying the service so the government can't drop reimbursement to the provider any further or risk losing providers (already happened in a lot of places).
@DrNickels Speaking as one of those providers, Medicaid is problematic. It doesn't cover costs in most cases (particularly in nursing homes) and for the past few years 'Caid funds have been the low hanging fruit for state governments looking to cut budgets.
Obamacare changes the reimbursement metric, though, and boosts the federal portion of the state 'Caid budget to a 90/10 ratio. This may support more providers taking on these often-complicated patients, we'll have to see. There is some encouraging research suggesting the savings from indigent care costs once everyone has coverage will make up for the additional covered lives, but, again, we'll have to see. Various states have been dragging their feet on setting up exchanges or otherwise adopting Obamacare provisions. It's going to be a rocky implementation.
Heck, my family knows all too well the benefits AND pitfalls of Medicaid. When my twin brother and I were born we required a million dollars in medical care. The only option we had was to get on and stay on Medicaid. Dad had to turn down several promotions at several different jobs because the difference in income wouldn't make up for what we would lose. I hurt my knee last March, was all set to be discharged until my Medicaid HMO said they wouldn't cover my rehab, but they WOULD pay for a nurse, a hospital bed, an occupational and rehab therapist, and wound care supplies. Unfortunately, my HMO is also one of the stingiest around (they only pay my doctors about 33 cents on the dollar) so the choices of doctors that will accept it are shrinking rapidly.
So Mark Kirk was helped by the FREE Medical Care WE pay for on a federal level for members of Congress; somehow that helped him see how his home state, run by Democrats, home of the Axelshaft/Jarrett Junta and their puppet, fails to take good care of their citizens with a State run program.
Perhaps Mark thinks WE all had debilitating strokes and lost functional sections of our brains.
Put the helmet back on Mark... you aren't cured just yet.
The only way out of this health care mess is two fold. 1.) Socialized medicine. 2.) Workfare. Everyone medically capable (and the disabled are capable...see the Americans with Disability act...the law says they are capable) contributes. ONLY WAY.