March 2, 2005


Governors and Officials Step Up Talks on Medicaid (ROBERT PEAR, 3/02/05, NY Times)

After conversations with most governors, Mr. Leavitt said he saw agreement emerging on these points:

¶Medicaid is "overpaying for prescription drugs."

¶Parents should not be able to obtain Medicaid coverage for nursing home care by voluntarily impoverishing themselves and transferring assets to their children.

¶Governors should be able to charge co-payments to Medicaid recipients, based on their income, and should be able to manage care and costs by using the tools available to private insurers.

¶State officials should have more freedom to decide which benefits will be provided.

¶Medicaid should recognize home and community-based care as "a preferred alternative" to nursing homes.

However, interviews with numerous governors suggest that the consensus described by Mr. Leavitt does not exist.

Gov. James E. Doyle of Wisconsin, a Democrat, said the Bush administration appeared to believe that millionaires were exploiting Medicaid to gain coverage of nursing home care.

"To suggest that there is widespread abuse and that we can get big savings - I really question that," Mr. Doyle said. "In most cases, these are hard-working people who have put aside a small amount and desperately want to leave it to their children."

Government payments for nursing homes are just one of the ways the statists broke down traditional families. For a fraction of the cost you could even give folks full-time nurses or home-helpers to assist in caring for an elderly family member.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 2, 2005 6:18 AM
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