Friday, October 30, 2015

Frankfort's $100 million bailout proves failure

Late last night, Congress caved in to President Obama on spending caps and the debt ceiling and tucked a $100 million ObamaCare Medicaid bailout to Kentucky into the bill.

The bailout -- total immediate cost about $7.5 billion for all states combined -- highlights yet another ObamaCare mess Congress and Obama only make worse by papering it over with borrowed funds. What happened is this: quickly increasing healthcare costs under ObamaCare have jacked up Medicare spending, resulting in a requested $55 a month in Medicare premiums for some beneficiaries, including those on both Medicare and Medicaid. Such "dual eligibles" get their premiums paid by state governments.

There are around 200,000 dual eligibles in Kentucky. At a $55 increase, Kentucky's Medicaid funds would have faced an additional $132 million cost in 2016 just for this. The unaffordable ObamaCare Medicaid expansion's pre-existing strains on state coffers would have been rocked hard by this hit, which should have been anticipated by Frankfort Obamacrats, but wasn't.

The budget agreement reduced this year's $55 Medicare premium hike to $15. This means the big hit is put off to next year, which changes nothing for Kentucky's biennial (two year) budget. And the unaffordable $132 million 2016 Medicaid increase for Kentucky taxpayers is now an unaffordable $36 million increase in 2016.

None of these facts prevented Al Cross' ObamaCare sycophants at the University of Kentucky from reporting falsely that the deal "eliminates" the increase. Typical.