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NYT Celebrates Medicaid Sign-Ups In Kentucky

From the New York Times:

For Uninsured, Clearing a Way to Enrollment

By ABBY GOODNOUGH | November 4, 2013

LA GRANGE, Ky. — … President Obama and proponents of the health care law have held up Kentucky in recent weeks as a model for the national enrollment effort. The state is far ahead of most of the nation in signing up people: As of Nov. 1, more than 27,854 Kentuckians had enrolled in Medicaid under the law’s expansion of that program, and 4,631 had signed up for private plans through the state-run exchange, known as Kynect. The state says it is enrolling 1,000 people a day…

So only 16% of them have enrolled in Obama-Care. The other 84% signed up for Medicaid. And yet this is being hailed as a success for Obama-Care.

While most states lack enough navigators to reach all who need help, Kentucky is spending $11 million in federal money to promote its exchange, and it shows: Ads for Kynect blanket television and radio, city buses and highway billboards in Louisville…

Officials in Louisville, a city of 600,000, have set a goal of enrolling about 29,000 people in Medicaid and 27,000 more in private plans by mid-2014. So far, a total of 5,200 have signed up in Jefferson County, which includes Louisville, far more than in any other county in the state…

So their ‘goal’ is to get more people into Medicaid than Obama-Care? And the taxpayer is paying for this?

Though people can sign up on their own, navigators can help those confused by the sea of insurance options. The navigators listen to people voice their hopes and fears about the law, and their hard stories about being uninsured. Often hugs are exchanged. Sometimes tears flow.

After Samantha Davis helped Deborah and Joseph Willis enroll in Medicaid one morning at a Family Health Centers clinic, Mrs. Willis, 49, told her how she felt some doctors and nurses had treated her unkindly because she lacked insurance. “Maybe they’ll look at me a lot different now,” she said…

Yep, there is nothing like the pride of being on Medicaid. Besides, doctors just love Medicaid patients.

The job is high pressure: The contract calls for eight kynectors to enroll 699 people per month in Medicaid or private plans through the exchange. They are required to hold educational events around the region, and the agency’s phones have been ringing nonstop with requests for enrollment help at health fairs, cultural festivals and other events that the uninsured might attend…

So they have quotas to sign people up for Medicaid. Just imagine what sticklers these ex-ACORN employees will be when it comes to verifying incomes.

At a sign-up sponsored by AARP last month, a well-dressed woman approached Ms. Cauley with a problem: She had learned that she would be eligible for Medicaid under the new law, but she was unwilling to enroll because of what she saw as a stigma attached to the program…

“I don’t want to be a freeloader,” said the woman, who asked to be identified only by her middle name, Kay, because she said she was embarrassed about qualifying for Medicaid. “I believe in paying our way in life.” …

What a throwback.

She found that Kay’s cheapest option through the exchange would be a plan with a $356 monthly premium and a $6,300 deductible. “Holy cow,” Kay said, shaking her head at the cost. Ms. Cauley thought for a moment and offered an alternative: Kay could sign up for Medicaid, but only use it in catastrophic events. For checkups and other routine care, Kay could pay her own way, perhaps negotiating a discount with her doctors.

“You’re giving me an alternative I can live with,” Kay said.

Yippee! She has become a freeloader!

Ms. Cauley gave her a card and told her to call when she was ready to sign up. “At least it’s there in case you need it,” she told her. “Isn’t that what insurance is for?”

Huh? We thought insurance was for free birth control and breast pumps?

Some fellow Republicans called her a traitor when she took the job, she said, but she has been happy to dispel myths about the health care law. Laughing, she called herself “a Republican with a socialist agenda, or a social agenda anyway.” …

You can see why The Times loves Ms. Cauley. She is a double success story for them.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, November 5th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “NYT Celebrates Medicaid Sign-Ups In Kentucky”

  1. Astravogel says:

    Looks like the States, as expected, do a better job than the Federals.

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