Sunday, February 5, 2017

Lottery Winners, Your Medicaid Days Are Numbered (So Says Fred Upton)

>Snapshot Of Satisfaction (2014-Style)<

Lottery winners, your Medicaid days are numbered. That's the gist of a news release from U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St.Joseph) that slid over the email transom this week, and -- like nearly all of the current Republic majority's communiques, is a masterful snapshot of satire. That is, unintentional satire. However, I'm being much too modest. Fred's style speaks well enough for itself, Orwellian grey front and all:

"U..S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, introduced legislation, H.R. 829, the 
Prioritizing the Most Vulnerable Over Lottery Winners Act of 2017, in the U.S. House of Representatives that would strengthen Medicaid for those who need it most.

“Medicaid is meant to help the most vulnerable amongst us – not high-dollar Lottery winners,” said Upton. “Our common-sense solution would alter how Medicaid eligibility is determined for those lucky enough to hit it big playing the Lottery, while continuing to prioritize the low-income population the program is meant to assist. I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis to strengthen critical programs like Medicaid to ensure they best serve our communities.”
"Under Medicaid regulations, income received as a lump sum, such as lottery winnings, is counted as income only in the month received. As a result, states are effectively not allowed to dis-enroll lottery winners from Medicaid. This forces taxpayers to bear the burden of paying the health care benefits for individuals who no longer require assistance. H.R. 829 will close this loophole by requiring states to count monetary winnings from lotteries of $80,000 or more as if they were obtained over multiple months, even if obtained in a single month.
In 2015, Upton created a Medicaid Task Force to strengthen and sustain the critical program and has a long record of working hard to ensure programs like Medicare and Medicaid are there for those that need them now and solvent for future generations. "

Got that, then?

Mind you, I don't personally know any Lottery winners living it up on Medicaid, but in UptonWorld, that's who we apparently need protection from -- as exemplified by what he catchily calls his proposed bill (Prioritizing the Most Vulnerable Over Lottery Winners Act). This, of course, is a time-honored Republican trick: slapping some fuzzily-sounding Orwellian euphemism to mask the real purpose, however vague or ill-defined, (Undoubtedly, when Trump and his finks push their bills to put Medicaid and Medicare on the chopping block, they'll be named: The Preserving Medicaid & Medicare For Future Generations Acts, or something along those lines.)

The other issue is, what constitutes a big enough payday: As former Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg once noted, there are times when no amount feels like it's enough: 
“I’ve never really worried about money. I’ve had enough to get by. I was a millionaire for one whole day and then came the manager, the taxman and I bought a house. This was around the ’14 Songs’ album. I signed a deal with Warner Chappell. The money was gone in an afternoon, literally.” (Classic Rock, November 2004)

Some states, like Michigan, have pushed aggressively to protect the Great Unwashed from those lottery-wnning freeloaders, as the clipping below makes plain. In most cases, though, the winners turn out to be elderly, the poor, or people with disabilities, whose lifetime needs are way bigger than any one-time payout. (And, don't forget, those amounts shrink drastically, once the state and federal taxmen take their cut.)

Of course, this is the far right Republican mentality laid bare. (And we can put those phrases in the same sentence, because, many liberal GOP'ers are walking the landscape these days?) When you try to take a buck from them or their overstuffed buddies in business, they howl with outrage: "That's class warfare, man! You can't do that!" But when it's time to take that figurative candy away from a baby, especially one from a poor area, they don't even blink. Out come their greedy, greasy, grimy, grubby little fingers to snatch it away. 

However, if the barrage of boycotts, lawsuits and protests that are already greeting Trump, Upton and the finks who walk, talk -- and smell -- just like them are any indication, this baby is beginning to show distinct signs of keeping a kung fu grip on its lollipop. --The Reckoner

Links To Go (Hurry, Before The GOP
Bumps You From Public Assistance):
800-Plus Michigan Lottery Winners Kicked Off Public Assistance

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