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  • Side Effects: State Reluctant to Swim in National High-Risk Pools

    Obamacare aims to insure the uninsured.  To do that, the law bars insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions—but not until 2014.  In the meantime, the law calls for a national high-risk pool to offer coverage to the otherwise “uninsurable.”

    Under the new law, an important deadline looms.  By Friday, states must declare whether they will help implement the new risk-pools for their citizens, or if they’ll just let the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services do it for them.

    Many states have taken one look at the financial outlook for these pools and run the other way—with good reason.  Obamacare gives HHS $5 billion to administer the pools from now until 2014.  However, the chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports:

    “…the creation of a national high-risk insurance pool will result in roughly 375,000 people gaining coverage in 2010, increasing national health spending by $4 billion.  By 2011 and 2012 the initial $5 billion in Federal funding for this program would be exhausted…”

    So federal funding for the pools may run out two years early.  That could leave states stuck with the entire bill a year or two down the line if they help create the pools today.

    Politico reports that HHS promises that won’t happen.  But states aren’t buying it.  Georgia Insurance Commissioner John W. Oxendine says state legislators won’t implement a high-risk pool because it would “ultimately become the financial responsibility of Georgians in the form an unfunded mandate.”  Officials in Kansas, Louisiana and elsewhere have similarly dug in their heels on the issue.

    The risk pools are just one way in which the architects of Obamacare passed costs on to states to maintain a tenuous claim that the legislation was “deficit-neutral.”  The expansion of Medicaid will cost states billions in the long run, since federal matching rates will decrease in future years.

    Similarly, to increase access to care for Medicaid beneficiaries, Obamacare raises federal reimbursement rates for primary care physicians—but only for two years.  After that, doctors will either receive the same low payments they do now, or the states will have to pick up the cost.

    Of course, advocates of Obamacare can argue these really aren’t unfunded mandates on the states.  After all, the states can refuse to pick up the tab when the feds leave the table.  In that case, though, the financial shell game ends, and the whole Obamacare scheme falls apart.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Side Effects: State Reluctant to Swim in National High-Risk Pools

    1. Clearbrook, Colorado says:

      I actually like this one. In those states that are more likely to support Obamacare (those that lean more Socialist) and buy into this VERY short horizon Ponzi Scheme (the whole thing is a Ponzi Scheme, using 10 years to fund 6 years and kick in half of the supposed savings from Medicare Cuts — which will likely eveaporate) are the ones that will get BURNED!!! I like that idea: BANKRUPT the SOCIALIST STATES first!!!

      Start chanting now: NO STATE BAILOUTS! NO STATE BAILOUTS! NO STATE BAILOUTS!

      ;'{P~~~

    2. Pingback: » Financial News Update – 04/30/10 NoisyRoom.net: The Progressive Hunter

    3. Pingback: Health Care Law Bickering Continues – Blog Watch

    4. Kern McDaniel, San Jacinto, Calif says:

      I have heard that threr are religeous exemtpion to the Obama care bill. That members of certain religeous organizations would nt have to purchase the health care insurance. Is this true?

    5. Bob says:

      I have heard that threr are religeous exemtpion to the Obama care bill. That members of certain religeous organizations would nt have to purchase the health care insurance.———————that's probably just for Muslims. They can have their own set of rules, you know. I think it originally was meant for Amish, etc. but I bet that leaves the door open to Islamic extremists, as well. Obama will take care of his own first.

    6. Anna Maria Vennettil says:

      I am waiting for my husbands co to tell him they are droping our insurance. Im telling you I cry every day from worry. we are strugleing to make ends meet, i am worried about loosing my home. my husband was already cut 5% on his pay rate, and the co. stopped contributing to his 401k. I am really scared. really scared. every thing this president touches turns to CRAP. He is distroying our country.

    7. Pingback: Health Care Law Bickering Continues | Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance Help

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