The headline of my local paper, Newsday, caught my attention this morning. A very disabled looking little girl is caught up in Medicaid red tape. It seems that the battery needed for her automatic bath chair has been repeatedly denied by Medicaid. A doctor said, "many more requests for specialized equipment have been delayed or denied, leaving thousands of disabled people in the area without equipment that means independence for many." (Story) But isn't this what Medicaid is for? It could happen to any of us or to people we care about. What's the story?
You may remember from a post I submitted earlier this week that Medicaid pays for Viagra... even for sex offenders. For the life of me, I can't understand why Medicaid should pay for erectile dysfunction drugs for anyone. If you're on Medicaid, a limp one is the least of your problems. But President Bushie made it clear that he doesn't mind if Medicaid pays for Viagra just as long as it isn't for sex offenders. I mind. From this article: "The Bush administration is warning states they face federal sanctions if they don't end Medicaid coverage of Viagra for convicted sex offenders, according to a directive obtained Tuesday." The article also states that $38million a year is spent on erectile dysfunction drugs by Medicaid. That money could be used to help immobilized people to become productive.
$38 million is a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. Medicaid is ripped off repeatedly by well to do seniors who use it as an inheritance protection program... so that they can get free nursing care. We're all paying for it. Where's the outrage? Most of us won't reap any benefits. Are they deliberately screwing up so that tax payers will revolt and call for an end to social services?
Medicaid and Social Security are needed safeguards for our citizens but it's got to be overhauled. You've got drug addicts collecting SS and men with limp dicks getting viagra for free... as far as I am concerned Bushies's exhortation didn't go far enough. SS could be saved if wasteful spending was eliminated. Medicaid funds could be better used helping handicapped and poor people. Period.
How many times have people bragged to you that they hid all their assets so they could collect? Think about it.