By Donna Westfall – January 12, 2018 – On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law legislation that established the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
What’s the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage if you are 65 or older or have a severe disability, no matter your income.
Medicaid, or in California Medi-Cal, is a state and federal program that provides health coverage if you have a very low income.
For today’s purposes, we’ll concentrate on Medi-Cal as it pertains to able bodied individuals. But first, let’s look at the historical data: 1966 there were 4 million people on Medicaid in the United States. Today there are 70 million on Medicaid, and that equates to 1 out of 5. Understandably, there are people who work that do not have health insurance and have applied for and been given Medicaid. People are currently not legally required to hold a job while on Medicaid, and according to a study from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, 60% work full or part time. In California, under former President Obama’s administration the numbers ballooned and 1 out of 3 are now on Medi-Cal.
But, for the 40% of those that do not work, why not?
Why should generation after generation continue with that mind set?
Lastly, although we hear about millions of illegals (undocumented workers and undocumented immigrants = illegals), when you ask the local Health and Human Services Department to provide information about how many are receiving benefits, they will not.
Medicaid/Medi-Cal is paid for with Federal and State tax dollars.
How long do you think California can keep afloat providing these health services to low income people?
Does it bother you to have illegals provided with health benefits?
Do you think able bodied men and women receiving Medi-Cal should be required to work even if it’s doing community service?
6 thoughts on “Should Medicaid/Medi-Cal Recipients Have to Work?”
Cuba pulls off single payer and does so costing less than 10% per person of what we spend and yet have better outcomes including far better infant mortality rates. They have done this despite being blacklisted by the strongest nation on earth. All the while, Cuba has created groundbreaking treatments for diabetes and lung cancer. And single payer does so little for this country because we do not have such a system. You would have to look at almost any other developed nation for the example. Under our system, when I worked at Shop Smart, I just did not go to the doctor, I remember about being in tears because I needed antibiotics and could not afford for the doctor to meet with me and agree. Some things we all need to be in together on, and they are .. law enforcement, fire suppression, and health care. Otherwise industry in a capitalism will find incentive to jail your neighbor, burn your house, and keep you sick.
I guess that’s why Castro went else where to get medical treatment when he was in need in the later stages of his life, Cuban medical services were so great. Just saying. And he was the leader of that great socialist country. Kind of makes you wonder what single payer was really like if it was so great? Who are you trying to kid, Jack. Cuba is a train wreck, single payer included….
Sam, I was just using factual statistics, better health care, less than 10% of the price. I did not think to use anecdotal information, such as what one privileged person did with a health care crisis, does not seem like it is an apple/apple thing. Same in the states, people with more resources have more resources. I think what is interesting is what they did for the average person needing health care in Cuba. It is right in the names of the systems.. capitalism means if you have capital you can play and win, communism means they structure their limited resources for the “communi”ties interest, vs the wealth holders interest. Of course their economy suffers due to our economic blacklisting, however, folks with the biggest cancer killer (lung) that have the privilege money brings are flocking to Cuba for health care needs. The knowledge that our healthcare system is inferior to almost all developed nations and a handful of third world nations is quite common.
Jack, you have been “Overton Windowed” by the popular press. No one goes to Cuba for medical care. Those that live there are at the mercy of health care rationing. That means for some, that there is no health care. Only those in positions of power, ie those in the government get some health care, but it is not great. Michael Moore’s movie about Cuba’s wonderful health care system is a fraud. As for Capitalism, in our system everyone has opportunity to make the best of their life. If you don’t take the opportunity that’s on you. In a Communist system the government is the arbiter of everyone’s fate. There is no choice and there is no allowance for human individualism. It most certainly is not grand. There isn’t enough money in the world to make it work. This is why it is not possible for Cuba to have a world class medical system. Cuba is a poor Country. Before you start swallowing “facts” from sources this day and age you need to get the source of those “facts”. Use to be, things seemed to be more reliable, today not so much. I have experienced single payer before, and it sucks….
J, where is the money going to come from to pay for single payer for three hundred and twenty million people? The Affordable Care Act was a move in that direction and it could not even pay for a portion of the population in a single payer style system. It, single payer, sounds all warm and fuzzy until you try to address the sheer cost, then it crashes and burns. Of all the countries that currently practice “single payer” there has yet to be one that is even close to being able to pay for a truly comprehensive and complete system of medical care for its entire population. The bigger the system the more difficult it becomes. The sheer cost makes “single payer” become a medical rationing system where the privileged few are the only ones that get the comprehensive care. Of course if you look at all progressive “ideas” there seems to be that common theme. Sorry j single payer doesn’t do much for the bulk of the people in this country unless you are okay with every one getting health care in “Washington Street” style clinics every where in the Country?
We do not need a Medicaid/Medi-Cal system if Medicare is made available for everyone from birth. The California Senate Bill 562, the Healthy California Act, will work to make health care available to all, but unfortunately it has been stalled in committee. (Contact Jim Wood to get this bill out of committee and onto the Assembly floor.)
There is an interesting article on this subject in the current North Coast Journal (free at Wild Rivers Market or online at http://www.northcoastjournal.com) entitled “Physicians For Single Payer” by Corinne Frugoni and Wendy Ring. One take-away from this article is that the average medical practice spends $72,000 per doctor per year just dealing with insurers. The authors also note that Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law in 1965 and it was fully implemented a year later.