A new report has revealed that ever since the implementation of former President Barack Obama’s highly controversial Affordable Care Act, tens of thousands of people have died while they were on Medicaid waiting lists.
The report, published by the Foundation for Government Accountability, looked into Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, and found that “38 states currently have Medicaid waiting lists.”
And while legitimately disabled people are waiting to receive benefits they desperately need, many of those people have died while able-bodied people got coverage.
“Now, there are two and a half times as many able-bodied adults in Medicaid as there are individuals with disabilities,” according to a news release that accompanied the report.
As noted by TheBlaze, the research specifically focused on people who were ruled eligible to receive home and community-based, also known as HBCS, waivers. These are “individuals with severe
intellectual disabilities, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, severe developmental disabilities, and more,” the report stated.
But there are only a limited number of HBCS waivers that states can grant, meaning that people who have legitimate disabilities are often wait-listed.
Nationwide, there are more than 650,000 people on Medicaid waiting lists. What’s more, at least 21,904 individuals on these waiting lists have died in Obamacare expansion states.
According to FGA research director Nicholas Horton, lack of sufficient funding is a big issue.
“The caps are essentially the result of insufficient funding,” Horton told TheBlaze. “So instead of spending resources to help these truly needy individuals, states are spending money on Medicaid for able-bodied adults. That’s a decision they’re making to spend money on people without disabilities instead of helping people on the waiting list.”
Overall, the report said more than 28 million people able-bodied adults are currently enrolled in Medicaid, compared to just 7 million in 2000.
The problem, according to the report, is a simple one.
“Medicaid has lost its focus as a safety net for the truly vulnerable and able-bodied adults are now consuming more and more resources,” the report said.
The waiting list issue was not directly caused by Obamacare, but the health care legislation has made it more likely that people with real disabilities don’t get treated.
“You’ve got states spending money on individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid,” Horton said.
“Recently in my home state of Arkansas, we removed 80,000 individuals from Medicaid who didn’t qualify. 25,000 of them were getting Medicaid benefits in more than one state. So they were taking resources that could’ve gone to the truly needy in more than one state,” he added.
Horton’s proposed solution has three steps.
First, he said. there needs to be a freeze on Medicaid enrollment. Second, there must be work requirements for Medicaid recipients who are able to work.
Finally, welfare fraud must be dealt with by making sure that states have more chances to check Medicaid eligibility, according to TheBlaze.
“In order to restore Medicaid, policymakers must reprioritize and refocus the program on the truly needy. They can do this by stopping ObamaCare’s failed Medicaid expansion, empowering individuals through work requirements, and cracking down on welfare fraud,” the report stated.
“It is time to fix Medicaid.”
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