Tag Archives: charity

Millionaires on Medicaid Long-Term Care

From the Wall Street Journal:

In many states, an elderly person may own a home valued at $802,000, plus home furnishings, jewelry and an automobile of uncapped value while receiving long-term Medicaid support. In addition, they are allowed to have various life-insurance policies, retirement accounts with unlimited assets, $115,920 in assets for a spouse, income from Social Security, and a defined-benefit pension plan. By most standards, such a household would be considered wealthy.

via Mark Warshawsky: Millionaires on Medicaid – WSJ.com.

via the National Center for Policy Analysis

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Intrusive government turns neighbors into enemies

Aaron Ross Powell of the Cato Institute explains how political meddling in what should be our personal decisions turns those with different preferences into enemies.

See also “Why We Fight: How Public Schools Cause Social Conflict,” by Neal McCluskey:

Indeed, rather than bringing people together, public schooling often forces people of disparate backgrounds and beliefs into political combat. This paper tracks almost 150 such incidents in the 2005–06 school year alone. Whether over the teaching of evolution, the content of library books, religious expression in the schools, or several other common points of contention, conflict was constant in American public education last year.

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Guy w/o health plan: Should “society should just let him die?”

Ari Armstrong comments on Wolf Blitzer’s question to Ron Paul in a recent GOP debate:

Blitzer talks about “society” letting someone die, but whom does he mean? Each individual is part of society, so isn’t the real question, “What are YOU going to do about it?” Treating “society” as some super-entity above and beyond the individuals who compose it causes two problems. First, it gives individuals an excuse to do nothing by their own initiative; second, it encourages many to ignore the actual victims of politicians’ forced wealth transfer schemes.

via Pajamas Media » Health Insurance and Personal Responsibility.

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Health Care and the Separation of Charity and State

Paul Hsieh, M.D. writes:

Throughout the health-care debate of 2010–11, Obama repeatedly referred to government-run health care as “a core ethical and moral obligation,” arguing that, “No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick.” In speeches, he repeatedly cited the story of Natoma Canfield, an Ohio cancer patient without health insurance, as a justification for his health-care legislation. Many of Obama’s supporters on the political left made similar moral claims. Vanderbilt University professor Bruce Barry wrote in the New York Times that, “Health insurance in a civilized society is a collective moral obligation.” T. R. Reid, former foreign correspondent for the Washington Post, called universal health care a “moral imperative.” Ezra Klein, another writer for the Washington Post, agreed that it is an “ethical obligation.”

But all such claims are wrong—morally wrong.

Why?  Read “Health Care and the Separation of Charity and State” at The Objective Standard.

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If low-income Coloradans spend big bucks on booze, candy, & movies, they can afford higher Medicaid copays

Are Colorado Medicaid recipients spending hundreds of dollars on candy, booze, cigarettes, and movies while the state forces taxpayers to fund their medical care?  Yes, suggests the 2009 Consumer Expenditure Survey.

“Colorado faces a deficit of about half a billion for next year,” the Associated Press reports.  Instead of increasing taxes, Colorado legislature should spend taxpayers’ money more wisely. One way is to increase enrollment fees and co-payments for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Plan Plus (CHP+). These programs account for ten percent of the state budget.

Typical Medicaid co-pays are at most $3. CHP+ co-pays are at most $5, and enrolling one child is just $25 annually. The 2009 Expenditure Survey data suggests that some Medicaid recipients and parents with kids in CHP+ can afford more.

On average, the lowest income households, less than $5,000, spend almost $1,900 on sweets, alcohol, tobacco, and entertainment. Oddly, households with incomes between $5,000 and $10,000 spend less on these items – around $1,400. The groups’ non-income demographics are similar: people, wage-earners, children, and retirees per household.

Colorado CHP+ could emulate New Hampshire’s tax-funded “Healthy Kids” program. As in Colorado, parents earning between 185% and 250% of the Federal Poverty Level are eligible, though well above the poverty line. The monthly fee is $32.  Typical co-pays are $10, $100 for ER visits, and between $10 and $30 for prescriptions.

Many parents in this income range buy private insurance for their kids, reports the Congressional Budget Office. Higher fees and co-pays could encourage more parents to follow suit.

The Boulder Daily Camera published this article on March 26, 2011.

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One objection that I’ve seen to higher-copays is that patients or parents of children will forgo treatment, and wait until medical conditions get very serious before seeking treatment. If so, the argument goes, it would cost taxpayers more in the long run.

For sake of argument, let’s say this is true.  Then:

1. This shows one reason that replacing Medicaid with a voucher for  nominally “private” insurance is better. After all, government issues food stamps for food rather than running its own grocery stores.

2. Would you choose to donate to a charity that allows its recipients to spend money on entertainment and leisure while skimping on medical care?   I don’t think so. If Medicaid & CHP+ recipients respond this way to higher co-pays, this reveals a flaw with the programs themselves.  A good private charity would not allow such behavior. Or, if it did, it would quickly lose donations when word got out.

Government shouldn’t force taxpayers to donate to a specific charity, or any charity. But if government “must” force donations, at least it’s better to allow taxpayers to choose the charity. For more, see: Questioning your “compassionate” politics.

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Filed under Colorado health care, Medicaid/Medicare/SCHIP

Charitable Donations vs. Taxes

Here’s a short video illustrating the coercion behind government-mandated charity.

For more, see GeorgeOutToHelp.com.

I discuss related issues in my Huffington Post article, Questioning your “compassionate” politics. For example, if you really care about helping a certain group of people, asking government to do it is the last thing you should want. This is like committing yourself to donate to a charity forever, regardless of its efficiency and effectiveness.

I found this post via a link to Reason.tv in comment on Arnold Kling’s post, “Donations vs. Taxes.”  In response to criticism, Kling writes:

[T]he idea that I need to show my gratitude to others by expressing support for coercion seems perverse. I would think that voluntary donations would be a much more sincere expression of gratitude than joining in the project of collective coercion.

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The ethics of so-called health care “reform”

Jason Sagall at Americans for Free Choice in Medicine has written an excellent health care parable showing that politically-controlled health care turns ” turns each person into, at once, prey and predator, victim and thief.” It begins:

Your wife is stricken with a terrible medical condition. Her insurance benefits just ran out. You need money for her treatment.

You go to your next-door neighbor and tell him about your wife’s misfortune. You demand $5,000.

Your neighbor is stupefied. Still, he expresses sympathy for your situation. He refers you to a registered charity and offers to connect you with someone who could help start a campaign to raise donations for your wife. He gives you a check for $100.

Your frustration mounts. Your emotional state is the equivalent of that which one feels from the recognition of a moral injustice, as if nature has the ability to inflict illness upon your wife by a conscious, concerted intent to rob her of her life.

Read the rest: A Health Care Parable.

(via FIRM)

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