Monday, February 11, 2013

Pierre provides another "not The Onion, really" moment

As Dave Barry famously puts it, "I'm not making this up":

(Mitchell Republic, Feb 9: Medicaid expert: 'Never been a decision thrust upon the states more consequential'

[Medicaid consultant] Vernon Smith [told the Legislature (did we pay for this?) that]the decision ultimately is “political” whether to accept the federal government’s offer for expansion of Medicaid to cover adults up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level....

Not so political as moral, especially if it's your family that needs the coverage they cannot afford.

Smith said South Dakota’s Medicaid program is extremely well-administered and said the recent audit that found a zero error rate on Medicaid eligibility was “remarkable.”

“I can’t tell you how rare this is. It just doesn’t happen,” he said. “It’s something to celebrate.”

Zero? Sounds to me like it isn't something to celebrate but something to question.

Zero. Really?

Vernon Smith's organization, Health Management Associates, has had some interesting clients besides our one-party state government. These include helping the State of Texas' Texas Medicaid Managed Care procurement, which, as all appreciators of Texas's health care system knows, has resulted in the highest rate of uninsured care in among all the states.

I believe Bob Mercer missed the really interesting story here. Who is this guy? Did we, the taxpayers, pay our hard-earned money for his sage advice that screwing the poor out of the benefits of ACA is purely a political decision?

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