Friday, September 2, 2011

Is Your State Stealthily Privatizing Medicaid and Putting Patients at Risk?

Emily Manuel

Louisiana's Bobby Jindal and other Republican governors are handing over taxpayer dollars to private companies to provide health care--and make profits. There have long been moves to privatize the management of Medicaid, but with shock-doctrine austerity hawks making as much mileage from their budget crises as possible, this year has seen an especially strong push to privatize the heath care of low-income and disabled Medicaid users at a state level. All across the country in states like Texas, New York, Louisiana, Florida, Illinois, South Carolina and Kentucky, state governments are stealthily privatizing Medicaid by handing over the money they get from the federal government to private contractors -- sometimes with minimal savings to the states themselves. It’s all part of a broader trend called “managed care” or “co-ordinated care” -- deceptively bureaucratic terms for a turn with sometimes deadly consequences for Medicaid patients.

The 2008 crash proved that many large corporations cannot even run themselves as successful businesses without needing the wide-scale support of public government. We are all still, collectively, paying the price for that failure, as well as the collective dodging of corporate responsibility in paying taxes that create such a drain on the public purse. It is hard not to wonder, almost three years after the market crash, why corporations would be any better at addressing the needs of the general public, in a field in which people’s lives are at stake.


  1. The "P" word!!! Profit! Which is better to your mind; a government run health care (medicaid) which makes no profit but loses billions in poor management, i.e. has an overhead of 20% and fraud waste and abuse of about 30% OR a "for profit" insurance with an overhead of less then 10% and an incentive to eliminate fraud waste and abuse so strong it generally does not occur????

    I guess it depends on if you like paying high taxes and more and more every year for health care.

  2. Liberals don't trust people to take care of themselves, they don't trust private business, but they trust government for everything. Let's have more and more government, and the more we have the better everything will be. Got news for you, Hon, government is the most corrupt entity out there.

  3. 11:51--private health insurance companies do not have an overhead of less than 10%. Their overhead is about 30%--you probably pulled your numbers from some conservative talk show host's ass.

    Medicare has an overhead of much less than 10%. I don't know the real number for Medicaid, but you can bet your room-temperature I.Q. that the Republicans don't do anything unless they can make a profit.

    Finally, the government is not a business. It does not exist to make a profit. It exists for the benefit of its citizens.

  4. I have seen figures that placed the federal governments overhead for Medicaid at about 10% but it does not include the cost of the government employees or their facilities. There is the problem; you cannot trust the government when they give you data.

    It is true, the government doesn't exist to make a profit they exist to take what you have and waste it on useless programs and special interest groups. I wish they did exist to make a profit then they wouldn't cost us so much.

    The best private insurance companies do indeed have a 10% overhead.

  5. yes the US
    privatised healthcare insurance system is very efficient at making profits.
    unlike those other rich first world countries like japan or australia etc with their "socialist"universal health care systems.
    Its a good thing that Obmacare will guaranteeprofits for the insurance companies the medical and pharmacare rip-offs in the traditional american way.

    the great American "free enterprise" business healthcare model allows people to pay at double the insurance rate of these other "socialist" countries ,meaning millions of americans have no real, decent, affordable health insurance .
    now thats waste avoiding effciency!
    Nobody has to stand in lines and wait either as they have freedom of doctor choices and services
    as long as they have cash.


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