Wisconsin taxpayers pay for 45% of births in state

Kudos to Rep. Michelle Litjens for pointing this out this truth.

The figures show that 71,977 babies were born in Wisconsin in 2008 — and that Medicaid, the state-federal program that pays medical bills for low-income individuals and families, paid for the care provided in 32,792 of the births. That’s 45.6 percent, which confirms Litjens’ first claim.

The 45.6 percent figure — it was 44 percent in ‘07, 43 percent in ‘06 and 42 percent in ‘05 — put Wisconsin on the higher end of Medicaid-financed births nationally in 2008. That’s according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan group that studies health care policy.

The rate ranged from 8 percent in New Jersey to 70 percent in Louisiana, although figures were not available for 15 states.

As for Litjens’ second claim, that taxpayers paid for 60 percent of the births in Milwaukee, she didn’t specify whether she meant Milwaukee County or the City of Milwaukee. But either way, her claim is accurate.

State figures show there were 15,353 births in the county in 2008, and that Medicaid paid for the care of 9,170 of them, or 59.7 percent. In the city, Medicaid paid for 72.5 percent of the 11,311 births.

But Milwaukee didn’t have the highest percentage of births paid by Medicaid.

Over 85 percent of the 130 births in Menominee County were paid for by Medicaid, the highest percentage in Wisconsin.

In Ozaukee County, Medicaid paid for 19 percent of the 822 births, the lowest rate.

In Litjens’ home county, Winnebago, Medicaid paid for nearly 39 percent of the 1,955 births.

Medicaid, by the way, pays for more than just labor and delivery. It also finances prenatal visits and postpartum care.

Could it be that the size of the government safety net known as Medicaid is too big?

An October 2010 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story, which reported that Medicaid paid for 45 percent of all baby deliveries in Wisconsin in 2008, also reported that at that time:

More than 1.1 million people in Wisconsin depended on Medicaid health programs.

Medicaid provided health care for one in five Wisconsin residents.

Medicaid health programs had expanded faster in Wisconsin over the previous nine years than in any state except Arizona.


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Obamacare too costly

Six months after President Barack Obama signed the bill into law, key parts of health care reform are being implemented. Democrats promised this legislation would lower health care costs for consumers, taxpayers and businesses. However, the evidence increasingly indicates that this was just another example of Washington over-promising and under-delivering.

Independent analysts have discovered that health care costs in this country will continue to rise, largely due to compliance costs from the thousands of pages of new regulations and mandates passed by Congress.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services — the president’s own actuaries — estimated that health care costs in America will increase by $310 billion directly due to implementation and compliance with the new health care law.

Premiums are also expected to rise. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that one health insurance company said that half of its 18 percent increase in premiums in Wisconsin is because of the new health care mandates.

With a large portion of the law’s mandates not taking effect until 2014, what do you suppose will happen to health care premiums in another four years?

The new health care law passed by Congressman Kagen and congressional Democrats has failed to lower health care costs and has only made our system larger, more cumbersome and costly.

I’m in favor of health care reform that fixes the problems we’re facing, but this approach was the absolute wrong way to reform the system.

Reducing frivolous lawsuits, increasing competition and reducing bureaucracy are areas where virtually all can agree progress should be made, yet they were left out of the Democrats’ “reform” package. (Source: Post Crescent)

Reid Ribble does an excellent job pointing out the problems with Obamacare, problems that Congressman Steve Kagen don’t want people to remember about the bill he voted for.  As Reid says the bill is a leaky roof with very expensive consequences.

Go to the source to be reminded of the non-health care items that were put into the bill that will be crippling to small business.

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McDonalds about to drop health coverage?

McDonald’s Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.

The move is one of the clearest indications that new rules may disrupt workers’ health plans as the law ripples through the real world.

Trade groups representing restaurants and retailers say low-wage employers might halt their coverage if the government doesn’t loosen a requirement for “mini-med” plans, which offer limited benefits to some 1.4 million Americans.

The requirement concerns the percentage of premiums that must be spent on benefits.

While many restaurants don’t offer health coverage, McDonald’s provides mini-med plans for workers at 10,500 U.S. locations, most of them franchised. A single worker can pay $14 a week for a plan that caps annual benefits at $2,000, or about $32 a week to get coverage up to $10,000 a year.

Last week, a senior McDonald’s official informed the Department of Health and Human Services that the restaurant chain‘s insurer won’t meet a 2011 requirement to spend at least 80% to 85% of its premium revenue on medical care.

McDonald’s and trade groups say the percentage, called a medical loss ratio, is unrealistic for mini-med plans because of high administrative costs owing to frequent worker turnover, combined with relatively low spending on claims. (Source: WSJ)

Another PREDICTED consequence of ObamaCare.  One that was ignored by the Democrats in Washington D.C.

As RedState points out:

McDonald’s is a huge corporation with a lot of clout. But there are many small businesses equally affected by the same regulations who will not have the clout of a McDonald’s. How many of them will ultimately go out of business because of Obamacare?

Congressman Kagen voted for ObamaCare.  With companies going out of business or dropping health coverage because of ObamaCare, voters and the local media should be asking Congressman Kagen how this is beneficial to Wisconsin businesses and workers.

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The Pledge – we’ll take it

The answer is: The pledge is bolder. The Contract with America merely promised to hold votes on popular bills that had been bottled up during decades of Democratic control of the House. The pledge commits Republicans to working toward a broad conservative agenda that, if implemented, would make the federal government significantly smaller, Congress more accountable, and America more prosperous.

The pledge divides its policy commitments into five parts. The first concerns jobs. The Republicans promise to stop tax increases, to require congressional approval of regulations with a large economic impact, and to give small businesses a tax deduction. To our minds, this section of the pledge is the least impressive. The first two policies would merely prevent government from destroying jobs, and the rationale for the third is elusive. (We like small businesses, but other companies generate jobs, too.) Still, these are better economic policies than we are getting from the administration or the current congressional leadership.

The longer-range policies are more compelling. The second section of the pledge promises budget restraint. Domestic discretionary spending would be cut back to “pre-bailout, pre-stimulus” levels, and then its growth would be capped — generating hundreds of billions in savings. The legislative budget, which has grown unjustifiably in recent years, would also be pruned back: Republicans know they cannot cut spending elsewhere if they will not cut spending on themselves. TARP would be ended, as would the federal entanglement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A federal hiring freeze would be instituted. And Congress would make “a full accounting of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.” If that means putting their long-term unfunded liabilities on budget, it would be an important first step toward reform.

Third comes health care, where the Republicans say they “will immediately take action to repeal” Obamacare. They also plan to work toward their own health-care reforms, including medical-malpractice reform, freedom to buy health insurance across state lines, and better-funded high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions. They also promise to enact a law banning federal funding of abortion. That would strengthen the existing Hyde amendment, which applies only to a portion of federal spending and has to be renewed every year. (Here, too, the pledge goes beyond the Contract, which steered clear of all “social issues.”) (Source: NRO)

Go to the source for the rest of the analysis on the plan.

As pointed out it may not be the perfect plan.  However it is a far better alternative than the current situation of “shove it down there throats” that has been endured under a Democrat majority in Congress.

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