The Sandusky Register ran a story dated Sunday, October 21, 2007 about the difficulty Medicaid recipients are having finding both doctors and dentists. This is a quote from the article:
Health care providers say what the government is willing to pay falls far short of the actual cost.
In 2006, government payments to Firelands Regional Medical Center for Medicare and Medicaid patients fell $15.5 million short of actual costs, according to a hospital brochure.
Earlier this week we ran an entry from a column in the Houston Chronicle by Froma Harrop which contained the following quote:
Note how Bush does this big "compassionate conservative" thing about very much wanting SCHIP for poor people. Programs for the poor are fine, because you can always cut the living daylights out of them. Politicians who mess with middle class benefits find their heads in the return mail.
This article by the Sandusky Register is a reflection of that attitude. Note that it is Medicaid recipients and not Medicare recipients that are having problems finding medical providers. Why? Because Medicare is better funded because the people who receive Medicare vote and politicians know that they vote.
The real genius of the social welfare programs enacted during the New Deal were that they benefited everyone because they weren't means tested. The result is a constituency that puts pressure on politicians to keep such programs going. If you want to help the poor, include the middle class in the program. That's the lesson from the New Deal and Democrats and progressives need to remember it.