( – promoted by Clark)
…the number of Missourians who don’t have health insurance skyrocketed at three times the national rate in 2006. (SLPD 8/29/07)
Mystified experts, that study the Missouri Medicaid Mess, are surprised at the dramatic drop in health insurance coverage over the past year and say that the decline offers evidence that “many people cut from the state’s Medicaid program two years ago have failed to find other medical coverage.” The mystified experts further state that at the time of the cuts there were hopes that that those who lost coverage would find alternative health insurance. Well, not hardly likely, not unless they were Medicaid queens driving Cadillacs.
According to the US Census Bureau figures that were released earlier this week, the number of uninsured in Missouri went up by an estimated 104,000 individuals in 2006, an increase of 16%, compared with the national average of a 5% increase. This jump in Missouri was not unexpected because of the 100.000 individuals cut from the program in 2005. Heckuva job Matty!.
But we can’t lay all of the laurels at Matty’s feet. It was reported out in the NYT in 2005 that Congress had served up a budget cutting funds for Medicaid and food stamps while at the same time extending tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. At that time it was noted that the Missouri Medicaid program was to be completely phased out in 2008. Missouri residents remained largely silent. They know that programs for the poor always turn into poor programs and poor programs for the poor are frequent targets for budget cuts.
Of course the Blunt Administration had an opinion on the mess as well. It went like this … “Increasingly employers are having difficulty in providing health insurance to their employees, and this, more than anything, may be contributing to the problem”. We will try to figure that one out Matthew Blunt, since the mystified experts seemed to think that those being cut from the Medicaid roles were going to pick up some health insurance somewhere else, maybe from an employer. And it might be fun to note that 100,000 (the number cut) is awfully similar to 104,000 (the increase in the uninsured in 2006).
The experts will have no relief from their mystification since the state did not track whether those dropped from the Medicaid program found other coverage. Most Missouri residents will show no interest in those cut from Missouri Medicaid except to possibly feel some secret glee that they are safely insured, at least for the moment. And an additional 100,000 Missouri residents will go without medical care.