Medicaid recipients are already working, fraud in SNAP is 1%, and Medicare would be cut

It is nice while on sabbatical to avoid the fray of politics, but our president’s recent attack on Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps) and Medicare makes me want to share the following three sets of links.

The bottom line of the Medicaid video (4:52) summary of two studies is that “able bodied” eligibles represent only about 3% of Medicaid recipients – about the same as the unemployment rate.

The bottom line of the September 5, 2017 press release from the US Department of Agriculture study of fraud in the SNAP program is that fraud remains at about one percent of payments, where it has been since 2006-2008. Less than most public OR private activities.

The bottom line on Trump’s own budget report is that he is lying and yes they are asking for major cuts to Medicare.

Here are the links.

Medicaid

Healthcare Triage News: But, But, Medicaid Recipients Are Already Working

Posted: 15 Feb 2018 05:24 AM PST

Recently, the Trump administration put forward plans to force all the able-bodied lazy people with Medicaid coverage to finally get jobs. The problem with this is that pretty much all the Medicaid recipients who can work already have jobs. So, how’s all this going to work?

@aaronecarroll

SNAP program fraud.

 

This is from a Press Release dated September 5, 2017 on the US Department of Agriculture web site.

 

The DOA examines and reports on fraud regularly. The latest report summarizes it as  “approximately one cent on the dollar”. This is very low compared to most public or private activities.

Here is a longer quote.
“The report indicates that the vast majority of trafficking – the illegal sale of SNAP benefits for cash or other ineligible items – occurs in smaller-sized retailers that typically stock fewer healthy foods. Over the last five fiscal years, the number of retailers authorized to participate in SNAP has grown by over 40 percent; small- and medium-sized retailers account for the vast majority of that growth. The rate of trafficking in larger grocery stores and supermarkets—where 82 percent of all benefits were redeemed—remained low at less than 0.5 percent.

While the overall trafficking rate has remained relatively steady at approximately one cent on the dollar, the report attributes the change in the rate to 1.3 percent primarily to the growth in small- and medium-sized retailers authorized to accept SNAP that may not provide sufficient healthful offerings to recipients.

 

Medicare

I looked over the Trump administration’ budget proposal. My own view is that some of it is reasonable, but much of it reflects the usual politically infeasible projects that will never be approved by Congress but will distract voters and news coverage from the more substantive problems with the budget, such as the increased defense spending, the Wall, the lack of infrastructural investment, and the ridiculous tax cuts. It will be viewed as a victory when congress agrees NOT to cut Medicare.  But it will be a hollow victory. There is no way around the fact that it cuts certain Medicare benefits as many others have noted  – take your pick (Reuters, Bloomberg, CNBC, ThinkProgress) and violates his promises in 2016. Or if you prefer fantasy you can just listen to Fox News that reports “Trump would again spare Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare as he promised during the 2016 campaign.”

 

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