Pelosi passed it, and we just keep finding out what’s in it

Jon Ward at The Daily Caller unearths a great story from the voluminous health care reform bill that Congress just passed.

Tucked away on page 466 of President Obama’s 2,704-page health-care bill is a provision that changes the definition of “medical assistance,” the term describing what states are required to provide to Medicaid recipients. States have in the past been required to provide payment for services to physicians. Now, under the new definition, states will be liable for ensuring provision of “the care and services themselves.”

In other words, states are legally on the hook not only to ensure that Medicaid recipients are paid for, but that they’re seen by a doctor. Medicaid recipients have found it increasingly difficult to be seen by doctors, as states in extreme economic duress have cut payment rates.

The bottom line is that lawsuits against states will proliferate and probably force them to hike Medicaid reimbursements to levels they cannot afford. To be precise, here’s what the U.S. Code on Medicaid said before ObamaCare:

The term “medical assistance” means payment of part or all of the cost of the following care and services (if provided in or after the third month before the month in which the recipient makes application for assistance…

And here’s what it says now:

The term “medical assistance” means payment of part or all of the cost of the following care and services or the care and services themselves, or both (if provided in or after the third month before the month in which the recipient makes application for assistance…

Beltway ConfidentialMedicaidObamacareUS

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