Estes: The Medicaid Mousetrap

Op-Ed from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

sensealFor Immediate Release

March 11, 2013

Contact: Liz White

512-463-0130

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The Medicaid Mousetrap

My granddad often told me, “there’s always free cheese in a mousetrap.” Those words have never rung more true than with Medicaid expansion. I can’t help but think Texas is being lured by “free” federal dollars into expanding Medicaid. Mousetraps don’t work out well for mice, and Medicaid expansion won’t work out well for Texans.

First, Texas can’t afford Medicaid expansion.

Since 2000, the cost of Medicaid has tripled and now costs the state of Texas $11 billion per year, or approximately one out of every four dollars state government spends today. Even without expansion, Medicaid is expected to continue its rapid growth. By 2023, Medicaid will consume 37 percent of the state budget, costing more than $30 billion annually. That’s more than Texas spent on state courts, public safety, natural resources, general government, business and economic development, and higher education combined during the 2012 fiscal year. If Medicaid growth is left unrestrained it will literally squeeze judges, police and professors out of the Texas budget. The cost of Medicaid is already out-of-control. It makes no sense to expand it.

Second, federal matching funds may be a “good deal” to government bureaucrats, but they aren’t a good deal to Texas taxpayers. It’s like “free” money to them, but to hard-working Texans those dollars are anything but free since Texas taxpayers fund the federal government. Most Texans realize these funds, federal or state, come out of their own pockets.

Third, the massive fraud that permeates Medicaid would only be made worse by expansion. In the last 10 years, the Texas Attorney General has identified more than $770 million in suspected Medicaid fraud. During the 2012 fiscal year alone, the attorney general’s office opened 418 Medicaid fraud and abuse cases. Medicaid is not working. Fraud and spiraling costs are not hallmarks of a successful government program.

Medicaid is a fiscally unsustainable, fraud-ridden, broken, inefficient, and ineffective one-size-fits-all approach to health care. Instead of focusing on expanding a failed program of the past, the path to a brighter future lies with creating good-paying jobs in Texas. Job creation, not Medicaid expansion, is the most meaningful path to affordable health care. Rarely is growing government the solution to Texas’ problems-health care is no different. Medicaid expansion is a bad deal for Texas and it should be rejected. Free cheese, I don’t think so!

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One response

  1. Senator_Blutarsky | Reply

    Thats all fine and dandy………………..now tell us just how you plan to accomplish this – ” brighter future lies with creating good-paying jobs in Texas. ”

    Your party has been a prime tool in destruction of our manufacturing base. Take Detroit for example. The globalists defeated Detroit through the various free trade agreements. Through NAFTA, GATT, and CAFTA, American auto manufacturing were free to ship their factories overseas in search of near slave labor markets. The passage of these free trade agreements made it possible to hire foreign slave laborers and without the now prohibited tariffs on imports, the globalist controlled corporations could ship slave labor manufactured products back into the United States. Our government failed to protect manufacturers and the net effect is that we are beginning to see third world conditions inside of the United States in cities such as Detroit and it is spreading like wildfire. Since the 1970′s, America has lost 86% of its manufacturing jobs. Actually the Globalists have been trying to get rid of American tariffs for 100 years in the name of free trade. Look up the Payne-Aldrich Tariff, it is part of our history. A year later, we got the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and then real fun began in earnest.

    Tariffs used to pay our national debt. No longer, we replaced tariffs with the Income Tax Amendment. Tell me how you plan to create $15-20 an hour jobs that can compete with slave labor wages in the 2nd and 3rd world, without a reinstitution of fair tariffs?

    Remember folks – Detroit’s situation is our future unless we can change the direction we are headed. I would urge you to become familiar with the phrase, all politics is local. We have indeed lost the presidency and we have lost the Congress. However, we can effect some change at the local governmental levels by helping to keep Agenda 21 away from most of our cities. Roll up your sleeves, go to city council meetings and listen for phrases like NGO’s, Smart Growth, Planning Areas, Public Private Partnerships in relation to your local utilities. Be vocal, call out your public officials for forsaking their oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

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