Medicaid, the federal program that provides health care to people
on welfare, is one of the biggest problems that the 105th Congress will
have to tackle if it is serious about balancing the budget in the
foreseeable future. Medicaid costs more than $100 billion a year and
is rising far more rapidly than inflation, demographics, or poverty can
The smoking gun, which proves why this dramatic increase is taking
place, has just surfaced in an amazing letter sent by the Illinois
State Board of Education to school district superintendents. Signed by
the Board's "Medicaid Consultant," this letter describes in detail
how public schools can exploit Medicaid in order to funnel a fresh flow
of taxpayers' money into public schools that bypasses all traditional
funding sources and accountability.
The letter's enthusiasm for spending this new money on virtually
anything the bureaucracy desires is matched only by its arrogance in
explaining the deviousness of acquiring it. Stating that "the
potential for the dollars is limitless," the letter boasts that
"Medicaid dollars have been used for purchases ranging from
audiometers to mini-buses, from a closed captioned TV for a classroom
to an entire computer system, from contracting with substitutes to
employment of new special education staff, from expanding existing
special education programs to implementing totally new programs."
Most Americans think that Medicaid is just fulfilling its original
purpose of providing health care to people on welfare. They should
think again, because this letter reveals how politicians and
bureaucrats, after taxing us for "entitlements" for needy people,
then conspire to increase the cost by loading on any projects that
their avaricious hearts desire.
This Illinois State Board of Education letter "encourages" local
public schools to use the experienced State School Board staff in order
to "maximize federal reimbursement" of Medicaid dollars and use the
"opportunity" to bill Medicaid for money already spent in 1994, '95
and '96. The letter describes two ways that public schools "have
found Medicaid to be a viable funding source."
The first initiative provides Medicaid funding through school-based health services. Schools may bill Medicaid not just for
therapies, but also for "social work and psychological services,
nursing and audiological services, hearing/vision screenings, and
The second initiative allows all schools to claim Medicaid dollars
for Early and Periodic Screenings, Diagnosis, and Treatment. The
letter states that such services include "public awareness [i.e.,
government propaganda], identification and referral [i.e., putting
private medical information on a government computer], initial health
review and evaluation [i.e., such as the shocking, unauthorized genital
exams given without parental consent to 59 sixth-grade girls in East
Stroudsburg, PA], health provider networking [with Planned
Parenthood?], and family planning referral [to abortion clinics without
In fiscal year 1996, $31,700,000 in federal funds were paid to
Illinois schools for the first initiative and $40,800,000 for the
Medicaid was set up to cover only people on some form of welfare:
either Aid to Families with Dependent Children or Supplemental Security
Income. Medicaid is a federal-state matching
program, at a ratio of about 60-40.
In 1986, Congress inserted into the law permission for the states
to expand Medicaid to cover children in families whose incomes were
below the poverty line, whether their parents took welfare or not.
That expansion slipped by without the taxpayers discovering it, so in
1990 Congress required states to provide Medicaid coverage to all poor
children by the year 2002, and allowed states to extend Medicaid even
further to the non-poor.
This is one reason why Medicaid costs are going through the roof.
In 1986, Medicaid cost about $27 million. This year, Medicaid will
cost about $105 billion. By 2002, when the mandate is in full swing,
Medicaid will cost at least $133 billion.
Many people were puzzled when Bill Clinton bragged during last
fall's campaign that "he" had provided health care for an additional
million children. Medicaid is how he did it.
No way have Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ted Kennedy and Ira Magaziner
abandoned their goal of forcing America to adopt federal health care;
they are just bringing it in through the schoolhouse door. When health
care is provided by and in the public schools, there is no separating
welfare kids from the others. They are all eligible.
The Illinois State Board of Education letter, signed by Jean Rowe,
Medicaid Consultant, was dated October 8, 1996, but was not made public
and has just been discovered. The copy that came into my hands was
addressed to the Barrington, Illinois District, which is one of the
wealthiest districts in the United States and proves that Medicaid is
no longer a program for the "poor," but is the vehicle to saddle us
with the federal medical system that the American people have rejected.