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New York’s Medicaid Help Isn’t Helping

by on October 6, 2009

There’s a gigantic difference between charity and cushiness. It’s admirable to reach out and help those in dire straits who have money for nothing. At the same time, it’s easy for recipients to get addicted to public support. That’s especially so if they can get better health coverage from the state than they’d receive from a job or at their own expense.

Problematically, New York State almost seems to enjoy being the entity that helps them get by. When it comes to medical attention, the disenfranchised are getting far more than free clinic-style help. It’s costing an already-profligate state an extra fortune, as highlighted in a recent Buffalo News article:

New York, which has continued to expand Medicaid while other fiscally pressed states trimmed benefits, now faces a potential double whammy of federal-level changes that could cost the state health care program for the poor nearly $6 billion in 2011 alone.

The state’s response to inhabiting a hole is to dig more:

Meanwhile, New York has continued on a path it began three years ago to simplify the Medicaid enrollment process while expanding coverage for 19- and 20-year-olds and for children under S-CHIP, the state/federal children’s health care program.

And that cost us:

Those changes have cost New York an additional $18.5 million in the year ending in September, as 33,900 children in the state were added to the health care rolls, the state Health Department said.

Beggars are choosers in this state. There’s little incentive for the impoverished to work toward self-sufficiency and in turn buy plans when they’re already handed so much:

New York traditionally has the nation’s most generous Medicaid package, choosing to offer a variety of benefits that are not required under federal law.

And yet we can’t ascertain why this deep blue state is floating in a sea of red. Medicaid itself is the problem. Paired with Medicare, the programs are rife with corruption. Factor New York’s aforementioned lavish programs, and it’s easy to see how the insurance options end up running taxpayers 937 jillion dollars per year.

There’s of course a big distinction between opposing Obamacare and the Medis: forcing everyone to get covered is entirely different than offering support to the elderly and disadvantaged. Still, the ideal situation is to let people take care of other people, namely by lessening the state’s role and instead involving private aid organizations.

True compassion is voluntary. Limiting New York’s assistance will help the economy, which will in turn reduce the need for same assistance. Even more importantly, those in favor of governmental everything may be surprised to discover that people are willing to help those in legitimate need.

We don’t have to pretend life is like a John Lennon song. But we can still maintain faith that many blessed people will always be disposed to offer a couple bucks worth of contributions to those who aren’t doing as well. Aid groups and hospitals would undoubtedly appreciate the direct help, not to mention that they’d provide more efficiency and empathy than Albany ever could.

Besides, the alternative approach to helping the needy is failing. It’s the one that’s currently being employed in New York, where so much is free and so many are broke.


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