Yes, Virginia, Medicaid Expansion Will Harm the Poor

Last week, Virginia’s general assembly voted to expand Medicaid under the auspices of Obamacare. The commonwealth’s legislators had wisely resisted doing so for years, but four GOP state senators broke ranks to vote for this bill in exchange for a provision stipulating an anemic work requirement. The “news” media have, of course, touted this betrayal as a victory for the poor. It is however, precisely the reverse. Expansion will consign thousands of truly poor and disabled Virginians to purgatorial Medicaid waiting lists while advancing able-bodied adults with incomes above the federal poverty level (FPL) to the front of the line.

Why would Virginia pursue such an obviously unjust policy? Like all Democratic programs, it’s about power and money. Obamacare incentivizes expansion states to shift Medicaid’s focus to able-bodied adults by paying over 90 percent of their coverage costs, while the federal share of costs for traditional Medicaid patients remains below 60 percent. This does not mean, however, that doctors and hospitals will receive more money. Providers will continue to be paid less by Medicaid than the cost of treatment whether the patients are expansion or traditional enrollees. The extra money will go to political slush funds and insurance companies.

Medicaid expansion doesn’t work like the original program, which was administered by the states as a safety net for poor children, pregnant women, the disabled, and the elderly. Management of Obamacare’s corrupted version of the program is farmed out to insurance companies. A typical example is Wellcare, which accrued over $10.6 billion in 2017 from its coverage of able-bodied adults. The company plans to reinvest $2.5 billion of that revenue in the acquisition of Meridian Health Plans of Illinois and Michigan, which will increase its Medicaid portfolio by 37 percent. Meanwhile, truly poor patients die on waiting lists.

This is not conjecture. A recent study, conducted by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), revealed that at least 21,904 Americans have withered away and died on Medicaid waiting lists in the states that expanded the program under Obamacare. Even worse, the 21,904 figure reported in the study almost certainly understates the true death toll. A number of expansion states were somehow “unable” to provide FGA with death totals, while others implausibly claimed that there were none to report. It is nonetheless clear that Medicaid waiting lists in expansion states constitute a kind of death row for the genuinely poor.

The worst carnage has occurred just north of the Beltway. Maryland is easily the deadliest state for traditional Medicaid applicants, chalking up no fewer than 8,495 deaths among individuals languishing on its waiting list. During the same time period, even as these patients were left to die, the bureaucrats of the Old Line State enrolled very nearly 300,000 able-bodied adults under the aegis of Obamacare. Louisiana took second place in killing its traditional Medicaid patients. The Pelican State reported 5,534 deaths among the unfortunates who wound up on its waiting list, while 451,000 able-bodied adults were enrolled under Obamacare’s expansion.

Additional states whose Medicaid waiting lists have killed a thousand or more people include New Mexico, where 2,031 poor and disabled patients died while the state signed up 259,537 enrollees under Obamacare’s expansion scheme. Michigan left 1,970 of its residents to die while enrolling 665,057 in its new and improved Medicaid program. West Virginia allowed 1,093 patients to die on its waiting list while signing up 181,105 able-bodied enrollees. The remaining expansion states are mere also-rans with death tolls ranging from Iowa’s paltry 989 down to Minnesota, which managed to leave only 15 of its poor and disabled citizens for dead.

This is the august company Virginia’s General Assembly chose to join last week. The Old Dominion will become the 33rd state to take Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion bait, demonstrating that the commonwealth’s politicians have learned little or nothing from the deadly experiences of the previous states that were gaffed by their own greed. Those Medicaid expansion states still have nearly 250,000 poor, disabled, and elderly individuals wasting away on waiting lists. Yet Obamacare advocates in Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska — blissfully unaware of the death tolls quoted above — are working to pass expansion in November via referenda.

Maine activists have already tricked the voters of the Pine Tree State into passing a referendum approving expansion, but the program hasn’t been implemented because Governor Paul Lepage has refused to go forward: “My administration will not implement Medicaid expansion until it has been fully funded by the Legislature at the levels DHHS has calculated, and I will not support increasing taxes on Maine families.” This speaks to one of expansion’s most profound ironies. Even if Washington continues footing most of the bill, herding the able-bodied into Medicaid is a budget buster for the states. It nearly broke Maine the last time they tried it.

Medicaid expansion under Obamacare privileges able-bodied adults with incomes above FPL, states can’t pay for it in the long haul, and it causes the genuinely poor to be dumped onto waiting lists where they quietly die in their thousands. Yet the Old Dominion’s newly-minted Governor, Ralph Northam, will gleefully sign an expansion bill into law this week as the leaders of his party and the media beam benevolently from on high. His name may even be uttered by the Great Mentioner as potential presidential material. For any Democrat, that’s certainly well worth a little inequity, the occasional budget deficit, and a few thousand human sacrifices.

The post Yes, Virginia, Medicaid Expansion Will Harm the Poor appeared first on The American Spectator.

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Young Boy Goes Missing On Hike. When They Find Him, He Tells The Truth About His Father.

A young boy who was lost in the Utah wilderness remarkably survived. And he did it with some basic survival skills his father had taught him. Had Malachi Bradley not been armed with this knowledge, he likely wouldn’t have made it out of the frightening ordeal alive. 10-year-old Malachi was hiking with his family in Utah when he wandered off to find some wild mushrooms to cook with the fish he had caught.

He ended up lost in the High Uintas Wilderness of Utah, an area that can be challenging even for those with wilderness survival experience.

His parents were understandably worried about their son, but 30 hours after his disappearance, Malachi was found safe.

The boy’s ability to survive the harrowing experience is impressive, with his aunt further explaining that a week before he went on the trip, the boy and his friends played a game called “What would we do if we got lost?” That exercise in worst case scenarios no doubt was critical in saving Malachi’s life.

He told reporters: “It was weird not having anybody with me, but I just kept going. I knew I had to make it back, or my family would be really sad,” explaining that he “went way too far” when he wandered off.

Malachi attempted to find a road so that he could flag someone down, but was unsuccessful. He drank water from the river using a technique his dad had taught him to filter it, and attempted to spear a fish, with no success.

Malachi further explained how he survived the cold overnight temperatures, saying: “There’s just a ton of giant rocks, so I hid between four of them so the wind wouldn’t hit me too much.” He found that the rocks provided warmth for his body after they had been exposed to the sun during the day.

Malachi’s mother shared her worry about her missing son, saying: “I felt like the forest was so huge. They were showing pictures on a map of how many people they had on the ground, and it felt like it was a tiny amount compared to the vast place that was the forest.”

His dad added: “I was just hoping he was able to stay warm enough.”

Malachi heard the search and rescue helicopters the next day and managed to get to a clearing so he could be found. He was soon discovered, five miles southeast from where he went missing.

His mother said after his rescue: “He’s healthy and he’s coming up and this is going to be all over and it’s not a tragedy.” The medical staff at the scene said the boy was healthy, albeit cold and hungry.

With only a few scrapes and bruises, Malachi returned home and arrived to a celebratory welcome at his school, where kids cheered for him and chanted his name. Malachi’s mom said of his survival story: “I was not going to have to bury my baby. I was so happy to have my baby back. That was a good day.”

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Would You Drink Your Own Pee To Survive

A New Zealand woman in Joshua Tree National Park survived four days in the desert by drinking her own urine after injuring herself.

While humans can go three weeks without food, you can only last about three or four days without water to drink. And for a short time, drinking your own pee can be the think that keeps you alive long enough for a rescue.

Claire Nelson was found last week in the park by Rangers who found the 36-year-old woman with a shattered pelvis from a fall.

“Nobody could hear me scream. I would have died by the weekend. I cannot believe I am alive,” she wrote on social media while in the hospital.

Nelson was in the park to hike when she climbed a boulder to get to another trail when she slipped and fell almost 23 feet.

Nelson was in agony, waiting four days to be found in heat up to 104F.

She used a tshirt over her face and head to help shield the sun, and she drank her own urine after seeing the trick in movies.

“It tasted like really bad flat beer – it is not pleasant but it is not the worst thing.”

She was able to fashion a flag to wave down a rescue copter. Her mother back in New Zealand had not seen any updates from her daughter when she decided on Thursday to contact American authorities.

Nelson was visiting Joshua Tree National Park as part of a one-year trip across Canada. All that time in the icey north must’ve left her a bit unprepared for the sun as she detoured south to visit the park.

But, thanks to her mother, she was saved.

“I thought nobody will find me at this point … to hear the helicopter and hear them call my name. I thought, oh my God, I am actually going to survive.”

Here’s an Instagram post she made a week before her injury:

Symptoms of Dehyrdation

From a medical standpoint, dehydration means that a person has lost so much water that they are unable to function normally. Apart from the symptom of thirst, other signs including:

  • Very dry, cool skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Sunken eyes
  • Fainting
  • Confusion

[SEE ALSO: How To Survive A Mudslide]

But Is It Safe To Drink Urine?

According to Primal Survivor, urine is about 95% water, but the remaining 5% is what can be problematic to drink, including sodium, urea, chloride, potassium and creatinine. But at least urine doesn’t carry bacteria (unless you have a urinary tract infection).

But, the more dehydrated a person is, the less water in the urine and the more of the other stuff.

“Your kidneys filter waste products into urine. When you drink urine, you are putting all of this waste back into your body – much of which will end up back in your kidneys.

This puts a serious strain on your kidneys [which is why] drinking urine can cause symptoms similar to kidney failure.”

Accounting for the factors, you can drink your own urine about 1-3 times before the extra compounds become too concentrated and undrinkable. But, by drinking urine, you can add an extra day or two of survival.

If it’s longer than that, you have to choose between death by dehydration or kidney failure.

[SEE MORE: Five Items Your Survival Kit Is Probably Missing]

Death By Dehydration

Also know as terminal dehydration. Famously, Terry Schiavo died of dehydration after her feeding tube was removed after an internationally published legal battle in 2005.

Aron Ralston’s 127 Hours

In 2003, mechanical engineer Aron Ralston survived an accident in a Utah canyon where he drank his own urine to survive and most impressively amputated his own right forearm off with a pocketknife to free himself from being trapped by a boulder.

Sources: WebMD, Primal Survivor, New Zealand Stuff

The post Would You Drink Your Own Pee To Survive appeared first on Joe For America.

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