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First Social Security, Now Medicaid
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Article in the New York Times says the following (emphases mine):

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 - The Bush administration approved a sweeping Medicaid plan for Florida on Wednesday that limits spending for many of the 2.2 million beneficiaries there and gives private health plans new freedom to limit benefits.

The Florida program, likely to be a model for many other states, shifts from the traditional Medicaid "defined benefit" plan to a "defined contribution" plan, under which the state sets a ceiling on spending for each recipient. [and where is the doctor's recommendation in all this?]

Children under the age of 21 and pregnant women will be exempt from the limits. [apple pies are sacred, too]

The Florida plan says, "The state will set aside a specific amount of money for each person enrolled in Medicaid," based on the person's medical condition and historic use of health care. [So if I've beeh healthy for 60 years and used medical care sparingly, I'll be restricted in Medicaid coverage when I need it for a major illness?]

Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of health and human services, approved the proposal 16 days after it was formally submitted to him, with strong support from Gov. Jeb Bush. [Only 16 days? Plenty of time to read and research the subject thoroughly, and of course no one in the Bush camp would support something so radical without reviewing it thoroughly beforehand, calling in experts and holding public meetings. Would they?]


Joan C. Alker, a senior researcher at the Health Policy Institute of Georgetown University, said: "Florida's proposal is one of the most far-reaching and radical proposals we've seen to restructure Medicaid. The federal government and the states now decide which benefits people get. Under the Florida plan, many of those decisions will be made by private health plans, out of public view."

Of course, we trust the private health plans {In Blue Shield we trust}, who have as their primary mission our best health interests. Hah.

First, the attack was on Social Security, prompting a major outcry. This is more of a stealth attack, starting in a Bush cartel-run state, thence to spread itself nationwide, probably in conservative states first. This has been the neocons' grassroots tactical approach for decades, and so far it has been successful in other areas.

I hope they don't get away with turning our medical insurance over to private "bottom line" corporations.

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