Medicaid was established in the 1960s for impoverished American citizens including the disabled, blind and mentally ill — our most vulnerable citizens (people in the country illegally were not included!) With its original purpose in mind, taxpayers need to consider the bills being pushed by Democrats and the Democrat wing of the Republican party to appeal to nearly 100,000 voters including an estimated 54 percent (about 47,000) largely able-bodied adults. These people are the Democrat voting base and should not be lumped into truly needy people Medicaid was designed to assist.
This proposed expansion of Medicaid increases the taxes by $1.5 billion and is being aggressively pushed by the hospital bureaucracy who stands to directly receive an additional $300 million plus benefiting from the $1.5 billion. In reviewing examples of Montana hospital executive pay, benefits to the patients become questionable as we consider the executive compensation packages. Examples of these lucrative hospital executive packages are: Great Falls Benefis, $693,000 (2015); Billings St. Vincent, $1.8 million (2015); Bozeman Deaconess, $1.9 million (2016); Billings Clinic, $2.1 million (2016); Butte St James, $2.2 million (2015); Helena St. Peter, $3.3 million (2015); Kalispell Regional, $4.4 million (2016); and the grand champion appears to be Missoula St. Patrick, $17.7 million (2016) for its administrators. In general, is there that much difference in the quality of health care being provided to the patients?
In general, the medical staff providing direct care of patients and saving lives only receive a fraction of the income enjoyed by the hospital administrators, but the entire system tends to over-charge and are incredibly financially inefficient. The hospital bureaucracy is a monopoly without incentives to be cost efficient and because of ridiculous malpractice/insurance costs have forced doctors to become employees rather than innovative competitive health-care providers.
Democrats and the Democrat wing of the Republican party are buying votes by growing Medicaid benefits by nearly 50 percent with increased costs of 63 percent through enrollment of able-bodied people who chose not to work. In contrast, they are hurting the truly needy citizens Medicaid was originally designated for public welfare. The Republican legislators have attempted to address this abuse of public financed health care by adding a work requirement for able-bodied single men. However, the Montana liberal judges will immediately accept Democrat lawsuits and rule against any work requirements for this medical welfare system. The truly needy (disabled citizens and mentally ill citizens) witnessed their benefits reduced by the Gov. Bullock administration to pay these ongoing Medicaid expansion costs — there is a limit to the amount of tax dollars available for these massive socialist programs.
Former Sen. Ed Butcher is a Central Montana rancher and businessman, and a former college history professor who served for 10 years in the Montana Legislature.