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Saturday, September 22, 2018
HomeThe Social‘People are starving’ because of Medicaid expansion

‘People are starving’ because of Medicaid expansion

10 STEPS TO HOW WE GOT TO THIS POINT

Gov. Bill Walker is asking for another 41 employees in the Department of Health and Social Services because the overwhelming number of “Medicaid expansion” applicants has meant those applying for food stamps can’t get the help they need from the department.

“[Monica] Windom says her staff has been overwhelmed by Medicaid cases since the 2015 program expansion. Now, it can’t keep up with the food stamp program either,” KTVA reported.

Hawkins

The KTVA story says Republicans are to blame.

Gov. Walker promised in 2015 that Medicaid expansion was essentially free. So Must Read Alaska reviewed the timeline:

1. In August, 2015, Walker expands Medicaid by executive order. He says it will save the state money. In August of 2015, he wrote:

“If we act now, we can expect to bring in $1 billion in new federal health care dollars over the next six years, and save more than $100 million in state general funds. Medicaid expansion also means up to 4,000 new jobs. In the first year that we expand Medicaid, the state will save $6.6 million. This will provide a much-needed boost to our economy and relief to our budget. We can’t afford not to expand Medicaid,” Walker wrote in the Alaska Dispatch News. “We anticipate $240 million in savings over the next six years as a result of initiatives to improve and streamline the program, and my administration is working with a consultant to identify further opportunities.”

2. Republicans in the Legislature sue to stop him because the Legislature has appropriation power and, besides, they don’t believe this will save the state money.

3. Walker wins the lawsuit and immediately expands Medicaid to adults without children who are earning 138 percent of the federally established poverty level. Superior Court Judge Frank A. Pfiffner said in his ruling that legislators had not proved that expanding the program would cause the state “irreparable harm.”

4. By 2017, over 184,000 people in Alaska are covered by Medicaid.

5. By February, 2018 Alaska’s Medicaid and public assistance applications are backlogged at 20,000. Caseworkers are falling behind.

6. In March, 2018, the Legislature approves $45 million in supplemental spending that the Administration needs to keep Alaska’s Medicaid program from imploding before the end of April.

7. In May of 2018, the Public Assistance Division says it can’t process the paperwork fast enough, and are so busy signing up able-bodied adults without children for Medicaid, that workers cannot process applications for food stamps or electronic benefit transfer cards (EBT cards). And people are now starving, according to news reports.

8. In May of 2018, Walker blames Senate Republicans and wants to hire 41 new state employees to process paperwork for the food stamp program.

9. By 2018, more than 200,00 Alaskans are enrolled in Medicaid due to its massive expansion.

10. Local media outlets blames Republicans for starving people.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • That is 200,000 who, if they vote, are guaranteed to vote Democrat. How many were on Medicaid to start out with?
    This state is ruined.

    • The bright side might be this.

      Remember your Karl Marx: “From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need.”

      When the ability of productive Alaskans can no longer meet the needs of nonproductive Alaskans, expect state government to collapse, along with the welfare-dependent culture it supports.

      Won’t happen overnight, but it will happen…

      People will leave like they did in the mid 80’s, the economy will collapse, then what’s left of productive Alaskans can rebuild a more respectable version of state government.

  • I don’t understand why able bodied adults without children can’t make enough money to support themselves. What are they spending their money on? Drugs? Booze? International travel? Shoes? I can somewhat understand a person with a legit physical disability, parents with young children, and the elderly perhaps not being able to make ends meet. But what excuse do these adults have? You aren’t alllowed to call out high risk lifestyles (obesity, drug/alcohol use, smoking, promiscuity) but we are expected to pay new and increased taxes to pay for the health consequences of these lifestyle choices.

    • Whoa, easy there. None of the things you mentioned have any bearing on eligibility to medicaid-expansion. To be eligible, as a single adult, you must have as gross income(there are no deductions for drugs, even the legal kind, travel, or shoes.) of less then $1683. Minimum wage is 9.84 so 40 hours a week gets you a monthly gross is $1705, not eligible for medicaid. So these folks are working less than full time(assuming they can find full time work) and working multiple jobs is almost impossible as most unskilled employers change their schedules weekly with little flexibility for employees working second jobs.
      Second, federal taxes were just cut and the feds are paying for the majority of the program. As to the actual articles point, public assistance desperately needs that money. We are still in a recession, although maybe a nice war with Iran will tick up the price per barrel. As such there is just more people in need. Current wait times for APA to process any application is 4-9 months. There is not a way to prioritize most types of applications, so even if the 1 in 3 medicaid expansion folk weren’t eligible, the office would still be unable to manage the increase in other types of medicaid apps due to our recession.
      Cited sources:
      http://dhss.alaska.gov/HealthyAlaska/Documents/Initiatives/FY2016_Annual_Medicaid_Reform_Report_11152016.pdf
      http://dhss.alaska.gov/HealthyAlaska/Documents/Initiatives/FY2016_Annual_Medicaid_Reform_Report_11152016.pdf
      http://labor.alaska.gov/lss/whact.htm

      Have a good day and thanks for caring about what happens to people “with a legit physical disability, parents with young children, and the elderly” but one way we can prevent the able bodied from becoming disabled is to provide access to medical care.

  • This is just like Venezuela – where the government has spent so many resources trying to hand out money, benefits and commodities that the economic system collapsed. Once entitlement programs transition from addressing human needs to human wants, the race to ultimate bankruptcy quickens. We have arrived at a point where handouts to the able-bodied that do not want to work through Medicaid expansion now crowd out providing assistance to those that cannot help themselves. Great job, Governor Walker. You must be so proud. Leftist.

  • What happened to the federal money? Oh thats right there was a Sunset Clause. That free stuff is really expensive. Wanna free ferry?

  • Our republic was never meant to be a nanny state, and the more our fellow citizens turn to the government in search of solutions, the worst things will become for all of us.