Lost in all of last weeks headlines on how the Senate Finance Committee (SFC) finally delivered a health care product that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was willing to say would reduce the deficit, was how exactly they achieved it, says the Heritage Foundation.

For example:

  • At a price tag of $829 billion, the SFC “framework” will reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 29 million, moving the overall percentage of nonelderly Americans with health insurance from 83 percent in 2010 to 94 percent in 2019.
  • But of those 29 million with new insurance coverage, almost half (14 million), will get their coverage through the welfare programs Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP); that is equivalent to adding every resident of Ohio and Nevada to the welfare rolls.

In other words, for half of those Americans who are being promised health reform, they are going to be stunned to find themselves in a welfare office applying for Medicaid, says Heritage:

  • Under the current baselines for Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), there will be 76 million individuals served by these programs for at least some part of the year in 2019.
  • If the SFC proposal becomes law, the number on Medicaid/SCHIP will top 90 million.

So why do ObamaCare supporters want to put 90 million Americans on the welfare rolls?  It is cheaper than providing them with real quality health care, explains Heritage.

Even those who are not pushed into welfare will feel the strain on the health care system, says Heritage.   The majority of individuals moved into Medicaid will be young and healthy.  Keeping them on welfare rolls will shift even more costs to individuals and families buying private health insurance, as doctors and hospitals recoup their losses from Medicare/SCHIP by charging more to the privately insured.  In effect, the congressional policy seems to be to expand dependency by discriminating against individuals based on their income.

In June, President Obama told Senate Democrats, “As we move forward on health care reform, it is not sufficient for us simply to add more people to Medicare or Medicaid.”  Unfortunately, that is precisely what Congress is going to do with the Baucus proposal, says Heritage.

Source: Conn Carroll, “ObamaCare Puts You on Welfare,” Heritage Foundation, October 16, 2009.

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