Charles Blahous Channels Wilbur Mills: Warns states to not expand MediCaid!

Charles Blahous, Medicaid Trustee warns state to NOT expand MedicAid

Charles Blahous, Medicaid Trustee warns state to NOT expand Medicaid (image by Charles Blahous)

In an excellent article, Charles Blahous, one of Medicare’s Trustees, warns states of the dangers of the expansion of Medicaid.  He makes many of the same arguments that I have been making for quite a while, his warning, as a Medicare Trustee, may finally cut through the background noise and get some people to actually pay attention.  You can read the full Report by Mr. Blahous here: http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/Blahous_MedicaidExpansion_v1.pdf

Mr. Blahous reminds me of Wilbur Mills who was the recognized congressional expert on Social Security during the administration of President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.  Mills initially strongly opposed the expansion of Social Security proposed by Johnson and warned that the cost estimates were not wildly optimistic and in the long run such programs would bankrupt Social Security, a program he also felt was not sustainable.

Mills soon bowed to political pressure. As the Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee Mills eventually delivered the bills expanding Social Security to include Medicare and Medicaid to Johnson.  In a recorded call to President Johnson, Mills, House Speaker – Carl Albert, and Wilbur Cohen – architect of much of Social Security and Medicare legislation, said,

“…I think we’ve got you something that we won’t only run on in ’66, but we’ll run on from hereafter.”

Mill’s continued to warn about the risks to the economy of the program but in the end he rationalized as it was good for the Democratic Party. He argued that social security itself was not sustainable and that the expansions would bankrupt the country.  Mills was correct in his analysis although his time frame was optimistic.  He projected that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid would cost only $12 billion by 1979.  By 1979 the total federal cost of the Social Security Acts (including Medicare and Medicaid) topped $1 trillion (in 2010 dollars). And it is important to note that Medicaid is both a federal and state program and federal costs represent only about one-half of the actual spend.

The rest as they say is history!

(If you want to hear the Johnson tapes, they are available online at, http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/archives.hom/dictabelt.hom/content.asp You can easily search the archives.  They are a fascinating glimpse into the backroom deals, pressure tactics and outright intimidation that can be wielded by any presidential administration.)

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About Thomas W. Loker

Meet the Author - Thomas Loker is a Startup Consultant and Advisor at SYDK.ORG, Angel Investor, Mentor and Advisor at Keiretsu Forum & Venture-Med and an established operations guy with serial successes with startups, transitional companies and turnaround situations. He has had a long career serving in the fields of science, technology and healthcare related industries. He is an active board member in both for-profit and not-for-profit companies. Tom has written numerous articles in the areas of healthcare, technology, politics and the economy. He is currently the principal author of Health Reform 2.0: Beyond partisan divide lies pragmatic solutions – a whitepaper focused on moving beyond the partisan rhetoric of the ACA (Obamacare) to a simple, efficient, effective, accessible and affordable healthcare system. He maintains a passion for serving the underserved and has founded, supported and worked in various companies to serve the most fragile among us. Because of his expertise on the business of healthcare, he was invited to conduct multiple congressional briefings on healthcare reform in Congress, meeting with more than 100 congressional representatives. He has been a guest on HuffPost Live to talk about health care issues, and is a frequent keynote speaker on the topic for many groups and events. Prior to his latest book, The History and Evolution of Healthcare in America: The untold backstory of where we've been, where we are, and why healthcare needs more reform, Tom published “Delusional Ravings of a Lunatic Mind”—a collection of essays on healthcare, politics and their interaction with the economy, available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and other bookstores. Tom's passion for Music is currently expressed by his role as VP Operations and General Manager of David Victor Presents. See www,davidvictorpresents.com to find out more. You can find Tom online at: Website: http://www.loker.com Blog: https://tloker.wordpress.com LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/thomaswloker Photography: http://www.loker.net

One thought on “Charles Blahous Channels Wilbur Mills: Warns states to not expand MediCaid!

  1. Pingback: Dan Brown’s Inferno: A Coming Global Crisis? | Health Care: Crisis in America

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