Will the MAGA cult become a religion?

Over the years, America has seen many cults. Their leaders come and go. Some notable cults are:

Charles Manson, the Manson Family
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, the Oregon cult
Jim Jones, the Peoples’s Temple
Marshall Applewhite, Heaven’s Gate cult
David Koresh, the Branch Davidians

Cults have several commonalities, the more important of which are:

Image result for trump
“I am a stable genius.”

1. A psychopathic leader who claims unique abilities, including Godlike perfection in his decisions and exceptional knowledge of inside information.

The twenty characteristics of a psychopath are described here, according to the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised.

Cult followers often believe their leader is omniscient and omnipotent.

Yet the simulatiously believe this all-powerful man is simultaneously besieged by outsiders who either are jealous of his powers or don’t understand his truth.

Article Lead Image
“It looked like a million people.”

2. Conformity: Dissenting opinions are actively, often angrily, discouraged.

Facts that disagree with the leader’s teachings are said to be lies and are thought to be further proof that his lies are truth.

Individuality is rejected in favor of group thought; violent group action is encouraged and often demanded.

What Is QAnon, the Viral Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory? - The New York Times
“I’ve heard these are people (QAnon) who love our country.”

3. Exclusive knowledge gives cult members information available only to them and not to mainstream society.

That this knowledge may be fantastical and impossible only welds it further into the belief systems of followers.

Logic and reason are rejected in favor of the leader.

4. Exploitation: Membership in the cult demands that members support the leader actively, financially, emotionally, and often sexually.

Former US President Donald Trump sells out NFT trading cards - BBC News
Send Trump your money for non-physical collector cards

Sending one’s money or possessions to the leader is given as proof the member is worthy of membership.

5. Control: Cult leaders employ various psychological techniques to gain control over their followers.

This may include manipulating their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors through coercion, isolation from the outside world, mind-altering practices, or indoctrination methods.

6. Isolation: Cult members’ extreme views and the frustration non-members feel with those views tend to break ties with family and friends.

This isolation is self-substantiating, as the only information received byTrump backers supporting 'hateful rhetoric,' woman ejected from South Carolina rally says | The Japan Times members supports the cult’s beliefs.

Members become dependent on the cult for their worldview and their sense of belonging.

7. Resistance to criticism: Cults begin as a rejection of social norms. That is their raison d’etre.

They are built to resist criticism and data, while they accept counterfactual information.

Cults are highly acceptant of conspiracy theories, the more outrageously laughable, the better.

This acceptance of blatant disinformation — sharing the same “secret” strengthens the group’s internal bonds and controls.People Drawn to Conspiracy Theories Share a Cluster of Psychological Features

From Scientific American Magazine: The dangerous consequences of the conspiratorial perspective—the idea that people or groups collude in hidden ways to produce a particular outcome—have become painfully clear.

The belief that the coronavirus pandemic is an elaborate hoax designed to prevent the reelection of Donald Trump has incited some Americans to forgo important public health recommendations, costing lives.

The gunman who shot and killed 11 people and injured six others in a Pittsburgh synagogue in October 2018 justified his attack by claiming that Jewish people were stealthily supporting illegal immigrants.

In 2016 a conspiracy theory positing that high-ranking Democratic Party officials were part of a child sex ring involving several Washington, D.C.–area restaurants incited one believer to fire an assault weapon inside a pizzeria. 

Donald Trump’s MAGA fits every description of a cult, in this case, a dangerous cult. After at least 50 juries and judges (from both parties) ruled there was no evidence of election fraud, Trump continued to claim he “really won.”

The MAGAs dutifully believed. They attacked Congress because Trump told them to.

Counterfacts only reinforced MAGA’s beliefs.

How then, is a cult like MAGA different from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and dozens of other group beliefs that usually fall under the term, “religion”?

  • Religions have more followers and broader acceptance. Cults are smaller and less accepted by mainstream society. (Though both Judaism and Christianity were considered cults by mainstream society in their early days.)
  • Religions have a long history. (MAGAs aren’t there yet.)
  • Religions often have leaders, such as priests, rabbis, imams, or other clergy members. The charismatic leader is the authority. (In MAGA, the priests come from the Republican Party. They are the Marjorie Taylor Greenes, the Jim Jordans, and the FOX personalities.)
  • Religions have sacred texts and traditions. Cults create new beliefs directly from the mouth and mind of the leader. (After Trump claimed that pleading the 5th Amendment was for guilty people, he argued the 5th Amendment.)
  • Religions might cast out non-supporters of the religion’s fundamental beliefs. Cults cast out non-supporters of the cult’s leader. (The GOP MAGAs cast out Rep. Liz Cheney, a solid right-wing conservative, for not supporting Donald Trump.)
  • Within religions, a wide range of opinions about faith generally exists. Debate often is encouraged. In a cult, debate is discouraged, and there is no fundamental faith. (Those who disagree with Trump are termed “RINOs,” Republicans in name only.)
  • In religions, loyalty to the long-standing tenets of the religion is expected. In cults, loyalty to the leader’s latest whims is expected. (MAGAs believe the Presidential election was “rigged,” but the downstream elections that the Republicans won were legitimate, even in the same state or county.)

To say religions are popular because they are religions is a tautology, explaining nothing.

But that is what it is. MAGA is a “startup religion,” without yet the sacred texts, traditions and morals, though it already has the millions of followers necessary to be considered a religion.

Judaism is characterized by its monotheistic belief in one God and the importance of following a moral and ethical code based on the Torah.

Christianity began with the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ who preached a message of love, compassion, and forgiveness.

Islam began with the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad who preached his message to the people of Mecca, calling for the worship of one God and emphasizing moral and social justice.

Hinduism developed gradually through a blend of cultural, religious, and philosophical elements, with no single religious authority or a centralized structure. Instead, it allows for individual interpretation and a multitude of paths (margas) to spiritual realization, including devotion (bhakti), knowledge (jnana), and disciplined action (karma).

Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as the Buddha who utlined the Four Noble Truths: Suffering (dukkha) is an inherent part of existence; suffering arises from craving and attachment; it can be overcome by extinguishing craving; and there is a path to liberation from suffering, known as the Noble Eightfold Path. The Path includes ethical conduct, mental discipline, and wisdom.

Taoism began with the sage Laozi, who encouraged individuals to emphasize humility, compassion, and going with the flow.

The various religions have one thing in common that MAGA lacks: A moral underpinning of goodness toward others, essentially forms of the Golden Rule.

This religious commonality is missing from most cults, as their focus is on the leader, for whom morality often is viewed as weakness.

Donald Trump is old for a cult leader, and it is unlikely he will have the time, temperament, or desire to instill moral virtues in his flock. His self-absorbtion makes such a transformation unlikely.

Thus, MAGA likely will die with Trump unless the GOP, which currently lacks a moral base, can find a charismatic, amoral or immoral leader to replace him.

Visualize posing this question to a current MAGA member:

“If Jesus and Trump disagreed on some point, whom would you believe and follow?”

This would pose a conundrum for Trump’s religious Christian followers because Trump is, in every way, the “un-Jesus.”

Trump expresses scorn for immigrants, blacks, gays, and the poor. He wants to wall them out of America. He calls them names. He does everything he can to make their lives a hardship.
Jesus emphasized love, forgiveness, and compassion, especially for the less fortunate among us.
“For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.”
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels.”
“The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless.”

Trump promotes his own glory, greatness, superiority, perfection, and service to him. Trump’s Golden Rule is: “Do unto me as I wish.”
Jesus emphasized selflessness, humility, service to others, and the importance of treating others with love and respect. He encouraged the real Golden Rule.

Trump focuses on his own personal success. He has been proven corrupt in his business dealings and a deceitful hypocrite, even criminal, in his personal dealings.
Jesus taught that leaders should be humble, compassionate, and loving and should focus on serving the needs of others. He spoke out against hypocrisy and corruption.

While none of us can achieve the perfection of Jesus, few of us are so diametrically opposed to everything Jesus stood for as is Trump. And none of us is so slavishly worshipped by those who claim to be followers of Jesus.

Christians and others of the right wing may have answered the question, “If Jesus and Trump disagreed on some point, whom would you believe and follow?”

Despite their professed love for Jesus, many do not seem to follow Him or his teachings.

They follow Trump with his hatred, cruelty, and bigotry.

Returning to the title question, “Will the MAGA cult become a religion?” It’s not possible to be sure. One hopes no mainstream religion ever will be based on Trump’s selfish, hedonistic, hate-mongering fascism.

But hopes are not reality. America’s current right-wing attitude toward the “tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of a teeming shore, the homeless, and tempest-tossed” is not encouraging.

Could MAGA become a religion? Not long ago, I would have said that the entire “law and order” Republican party never, never, never would countenance a violent invasion of Congress trying to overturn an election.

Times change. Morals change. And America’s religious have allowed the least moral man imaginable to put his stamp on this century and on their religion. The “religious” right is led by such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, Fox News, and QAnon.

So yes, MAGA could make that transition back to the Dark Ages. God help us.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


The Sole Purpose of Government Is to Improve and Protect the Lives of the People.



People, this is not rocket science. It is so simple, even Donald Trump understands it.


I. GDP = Gross Domestic Product. It is the most common measure of the U.S. economy. When people say the economy has grown, they mean GDP has grown.

A recession is usually characterized by a fall in GDP for two successive quarters.   A depression may be defined as an extreme recession that lasts three or more years or which leads to a decline in real gross domestic product (GDP) of at least 10% in a given year.

II. Federal Spending is all the spending the federal government does. It includes every dollar the government spends.

III. Nonfederal spending includes all the dollars spent in the economy by every individual, every business, and every state/local government.

IV. Net Imports is the difference between dollars spent on imports vs. dollars received for exports. Usually, we spend more on imports than we receive for exports, so just to break even, either Federal Spending or Non-federal spending must take up the slack.

However, if we break even, the economy will shrink because of inflation. So — and this is very important– for the economy to grow, government spending must grow.

There is no way for the economy to grow when government spending does not grow. That is basic algebra.

Now someone might say, what if federal spending doesn’t grow but nonfederal spending grows enough to overcome both Net Imports and Inflation.

The problem with that hypothetical scenario is that when Federal Spending doesn’t grow, there is no way for the Non-federal sector to obtain the spending dollars that would grow the economy.

In fact, not only do we have recessions and depressions when Federal Spending doesn’t grow, we even have recessions and depressions when Federal Spending grows, but too little to overcome inflation and Net Imports.

U.S. depressions come on the heels of federal surpluses.

1804-1812: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 48%. Depression began 1807.
1817-1821: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 29%. Depression began 1819.
1823-1836: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 99%. Depression began 1837.
1852-1857: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 59%. Depression began 1857.
1867-1873: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 27%. Depression began 1873.
1880-1893: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 57%. Depression began 1893.
1920-1930: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 36%. Depression began 1929.
1997-2001: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 15%. Recession began 2001.

When the money supply decreases, or even increases, but not enough, we have recessions.
Federal Spending increases the money supply. When the money supply increases, GDP increases. When the money supply decreases, we have recessions and depressions. The above graph shows the parallel paths taken by the money supply and GDP.

Again, GDP is the measure of two things. It is the measure of the economy, and it is the measure of spending. This is just simple algebra. You don’t need a degree in economics to understand it.

And yet, Congress, the President, the Republican, Democratic, and especially the Libertarian Parties pretend it’s all a mystery to them because they say they don’t want Federal Spending to grow.

In essence, they don’t want the economy to grow; more accurately, they want us to have recessions and depressions that affect the rich much less than they affect the rest of us.

Congress, the media, and the economists all parrot the same line. They claim federal spending is “unsustainable” and should be reduced. But what makes federal spending “unsustainable”?

The federal government is Monetarily Sovereign, meaning it cannot run short of U.S. dollars. The Federal government can pay any bill of any size if it’s denominated in dollars. Send the government an invoice for a trillion dollars; it could pay it tomorrow by pressing computer keys.

This is not just my opinion. It is a well-known fact:

Former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

Alan Greenspan: “There is nothing to prevent the federal government from creating as much money as it wants and paying it to somebody.”

Alan Greenspan: “The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print the money to do that.”

Former Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

Quote from Ben Bernanke when he was on 60 Minutes:
Scott Pelley: Is that tax money that the Fed is spending?
Ben Bernanke: It’s not tax money… We simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account.

Despite what you’ve read and heard, not only can the government create all the dollars it needs by pressing computer keys, but it never needs to borrow dollars.

Statement from the St. Louis Fed:
“As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e., unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the government is not dependent on credit markets to remain operational.”

The words “not dependent on credit markets” means the federal government does not borrow. Those T-bills, T-notes, and T-bonds that wrongly are called “borrowing” are nothing of the sort.

A borrower borrows because it needs money. The federal government doesn’t. The government merely accepts deposits into T-security accounts. It never touches those dollars. Why would it, given its infinite ability to create dollars?

The purposes of T-securities are not to provide the government with spending dollars, but rather to:

  1. To provide a safe storage place for unused dollars. This helps stabilize the dollar
  2. To help the Fed control interest rates.

And then there is the false “inflation” claim. The mantra is that we will have inflation if the federal government prints money.

Historically, that simply is not true:

If federal spending caused inflation the red spending line and the green inflation line would essentially be parallel. They are not. They move randomly with respect to one another.

The thing that always causes prices to rise is scarcity. You know this from experience.

When weather causes a shortage of oranges or apples, the price of oranges and apples goes up.

When COVID creates shortages of oil, steel, lumber, computer chips, labor, etc., the price of everything goes up. We have inflation.

The single most common scarcity that has caused inflation for the past few decades is the scarcity of oil:

Oil scarcity causes oil prices to rise, and because the price of oil affects the prices of almost every other product, oil scarcity causes inflation.

While federal spending does not parallel inflation, the scarcity of oil does parallel inflation.

Again, none of this is rocket science, and none of it is secret. Politicians, the media, and economists all have these data.

So why do they conduct these mock battles about a useless, meaningless, misleading debt ceiling? Why all the lies?

Because the politicians, media, and economists have been bribed by the rich, who run America.

The politicians are bribed by campaign contributions and promises of lucrative employment at think tanks.

The media are bribed by advertising dollars and by straight-out ownership of the media.

The economists are bribed by contributions to their universities and promises of employment in think tanks and controlled corporations.

And why do the rich want the politicians, media, and economists to pretend that federal spending should be reduced? It’s because of something called “Gap Psychology.”

The word “rich” is comparative, not absolute. Someone with a million dollars is poor if everyone else has ten million. Someone who has a hundred dollars is rich if everyone has one dollar. Getting richer requires acquiring more compared to everyone else.

You can do this in either or both of two ways:

  1. Acquiring more for yourself and/or
  2. Making sure everyone else has less.

Gap Psychology is the human desire to distance oneself from those below you and/or to come closer to those above you on any scale of income, wealth, or power.

Most people wish to become richer. This is especially true of the rich, who are driven by their insatiable desire to become even richer, i.e., distancing themselves from those below and coming closer to those above.

They hate your receiving government-funded healthcare insurance. They hate food stamps, unemployment benefits, government-funded college — anything that even slightly narrows the Gap between them and those below.

To distance themselves from the middle and lower quadrants, the rich do all they can to make you believe the federal government cannot afford to give you benefits. They draw false comparisons between your personal financing and federal government financing.

They talk about federal “borrowing” though the government, unlike you, does not borrow dollars.

They talk about the federal “credit card,” though the government uses nothing that resembles a credit card.

They talk about “out-of-control” spending, though unlike you, the federal government has the infinite ability to spend.

They claim federal deficit spending is “unsustainable” though the government has “sustained” deficit spending for more than 80 years — deficit spending that grew the economy from several billion dollars to thirty trillion.

Here is another graph that shows the essentially parallel paths of federal spending and GDP.

Naturally, the lines essentially are parallel. Federal Spending is an integral part of GDP. It would be like a graph comparing total touchdowns with total points. The lines essentially would be parallel.

To say that federal spending is too high, unsustainable, or out-of-control — i.e., to say that federal spending should be reduced — is to say that economic growth is too high, unsustainable, out of control, and should be cut.

No one believes that, not even the rich. They just want to cut the benefits you receive, not the benefits they receive.

They bribe Congress to give them tax loopholes so that they, like Donald Trump, pay at a far lower rate than the average salaried person.

And they spread the myth that giving the Internal Revenue Service more money will send investigators after you when the money was meant to investigate the rich.

Everywhere you turn, the rich have bribed your sources of information to indoctrinate you with the belief that federal spending should be cut and taxes increased, especially the spending and taxes related to benefits for you who are not rich.

The purpose of federal taxes is different from the purpose of state/local government taxes. Federal taxes do not provide spending money to the federal government, which already has infinite spending money. Federal taxes have two financial purposes plus a third purpose that should anger you:

  1. To control the economy by taxing what the government wishes to discourage and by giving tax breaks to what the government wishes to encourage
  2. To assure demand for the U.S. dollar by requiring taxes to be paid in dollars. And here is the one you’ll really hate:
  3. To help widen the income/wealth/power Gap by giving tax loopholes to the rich.

And now we have the phony “debt-limit” struggle. The Republicans (the party of the rich) demand cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, etc., and the Democrats (pretending to be the party of the poor) fight weakly against too many cuts (just a few).

And neither of them tells you the truth. The entire charade is a professional wrestling exhibition held in the halls of Congress.

The bottom line is: You have been brainwashed into ignorance. Federal deficit spending is not unsustainable, nor does it cause inflation.

The federal government easily could fund no-deductible, comprehensive, generous Medicare and Social Security benefits for every man, woman, and child in America, a college education for everyone who wanted it, food so that no child in America ever would need to go hungry, and decent housing for even the poorest among us.

The federal government could do all that while funding the military, medical research and development, the physical sciences, renewable energy, and all the other things that would improve your life and the lives of those you love.

It can be done, and it will be done, but first, you must understand the lies you are being fed and then demand, en masse, that the government does what it was formed to do.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


The Sole Purpose of Government Is to Improve and Protect the Lives of the People.


How to get less than what you paid for

Assume you buy a brand new, 4-door sedan, but when you take delivery of the car, you find that one of the doors doesn’t have hinges or handles, so it is useless. What will you do?

The white object in the lower right is the unreachable part of the package.

Return it to the dealer and demand your money back?

Complain to the government?

File a class-action lawsuit when you discover that all the 4-door sedans of this brand have the same problem?

Assume you buy a dozen packages of microwavable popcorn, and when you nuke the bags you find that all of them leave about 20% of the kernels unpopped?

Same solutions?

Or you buy a 1 ounce antiperspirant, later to realize that the last quarter ounce is unusable because it is buried in a plastic dish dispenser.

That’s what I discovered, as you can see in the photo.

That cup-like object in the lower right is a substitute for a flat plate to support the cake of deodorant, but it has another function.

It forces you to buy another package, when there is still plenty of cake left.

So technically, I guess I probably did receive a 1 ounce cake, as described, but less than one ounce was usable.

Now, it is possible that there is some way to use that last quarter ounce.

Or the folks from Thriving Brands LLC,  the manufacturer of Right Guard, might have put more than enough extra deodorant bar into the package, so you can use what you paid for.

But I’m guessing not.

The point is, we as consumers repeatedly get cheated, not necessarily because manufacturers don’t provide what we pay for, but because we can’t use it all, so we are forced to buy more, or more often, than we should.

It’s a subtle form of cheating. The manufacturer can claim he supplied what the contents say, even though you aren’t able to use it all.

The spray can that doesn’t quite empty, the instant glue that hardens before you can use it all, the squeeze bottle that doesn’t release all the catsup — the list is endless.

All these things require us to purchase more because we don’t get all we paid for.

If you decide to file a class-action suit, I’ll give you the name and address of my favorite charity you can include as a claimant.

You’d be doing good by doing good.


Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


The Sole Purpose of Government Is to Improve and Protect the Lives of the People.


We did it for COVID. We did it for the Great Recession.” Why can’t we do it all the time?

We did it with the “Economic Stimulus Act 2008. The federal government simply sent people money.

Generally, low and middle-income taxpayers received up to $300 per person or $600 per couple.

The purpose was to stimulate economic growth and to cure the recession.

It worked:

As federal deficits (blue) declined, we fell into a deep recession, cured only by a robust increase in federal deficit spending (red).

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a common measure of the economy. The above graph should come as no surprise. The formula for economic growth is:

GDP = Federal Spending+ Nonfederal Spending + Net Exports

Mathematically, as federal deficit spending decreases, economic growth falls, and as federal deficit spending increases, economic growth increases.

If you want economic growth, you want federal deficit spending to increase.

I’ve written about this many times. It’s simple algebra. I’m not sure why this is a mystery to the politicians who think a debt limit is prudent finance. It’s exceedingly ignorant finance.

I mention this again because of an article I just read on MEDPAGETODAY:

Uninsured Rate Hits Record Low of 8.3%
— But that number will slowly rise as pandemic health insurance protections unwind, experts say
by Joyce Frieden, Washington Editor, MedPage Today May 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — The uninsured rate in the U.S. has fallen to a record-low 8.3%, but that percentage is expected to gradually increase as insurance protections from the COVID-19 pandemic wind down, according to officials from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Why will insurance protections “wind down.” For the same reason we currently have a debt=limit battle in Congress. Sheer ignorance.

The federal government has repeatedly proved that it has the infinite ability to pay for anything. Why is it “winding down” payments for healthcare insurance?

The temporary policies enacted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic “have contributed to a record low uninsurance rate in 2023 of 8.3% and record-high enrollment in both Medicaid and ACA [Affordable Care Act] marketplace coverage,”said Caroline Hanson, Ph.D., principal analyst at the CBO, during a briefing sponsored by Health Affairs.

“As those temporary policies expire under current law, the distribution of coverage will change and the share of people who lack insurance is expected to increase by 2033.”

CBO is projecting an uninsured rate of 10.1% by 2033, and “while that’s obviously higher than the 8.3% that we’re estimating for 2023, it is nevertheless lower than the uninsured rate in the last year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” which was about 12%, she said.

Think about it. America has about 330 million people. A ten percent uninsured rate means 33 MILLION (!) people in America will have to do without health care insurance. I hope you’re not among them.

Whether or not you have insurance, here are some data that should concern you:

“A widely cited study published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2009 analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey and found that uninsured individuals had a 40% higher risk of death compared to their insured counterparts. This study estimated that lack of health insurance contributed to approximately 45,000 deaths annually in the United States.

“Another study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2017 conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of previous research. The analysis concluded that uninsured individuals faced a 25% higher risk of mortality compared to those with insurance.”

When you don’t have healthcare insurance, you die younger. 

“Throughout the 2023-33 period, employment-based coverage will remain the largest source of health insurance, with average monthly enrollment between 155 million and 159 million,” Hanson and co-authors wrote in an article published in Health Affairs.

Employer-based health care insurance has two features seldom discussed.

  1. It ties employees to their employer, making job negotiation and movement much more difficult
  2. It is paid for by the employee because the employer figures the cost as part of the employment. Salaries could be higher without this “perk.”

If the federal government funded a comprehensive Medicare for All plan, employees would earn more without costing employers more.

However, they added, “in addition to policy changes over the course of the next decade, demographic and macroeconomic changes affect trends in coverage in the CBO’s projections.”

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 gave states a 6.2-percentage-point boost in their Medicaid matching rates as long as the states didn’t disenroll anyone in Medicaid or CHIP for the duration of the COVID public health emergency.

Hanson noted that this law “allowed people to remain enrolled regardless of their changes in eligibility. So, for example, even if they had an income increase that would have made them ineligible but for the policy,” they were still able to stay on Medicaid.

The COVID public health emergency has been canceled now. Disenrollments can begin.

As a result of the law, Medicaid enrollment has grown substantially since 2019 — by 16.1 million enrollees, she said. But that has been superseded by another act of Congress, which allowed states to begin “unwinding” the continuous eligibility rules and start disenrolling people from Medicaid and CHIP beginning on April 1.

In total, “15.5 million people will be transitioning out of Medicaid after eligibility redetermination,” said Hanson. “Among that 15.5 million people, CBO is estimating that 6.2 million of them will go uninsured and the remainder will be enrolled in another source of coverage,” such as individual coverage or employment-based coverage.

Of those who are leaving Medicaid, how many are leaving voluntarily and how many are “falling through the cracks” because they didn’t receive their disenrollment notification or failed to fill out the required paperwork to reapply?

“We recognize that before these continuous eligibility requirements were put into place, people were losing Medicaid coverage, both because they were becoming no longer eligible for Medicaid, and … because they did not complete the application process despite remaining eligible,” said CBO analyst Claire Hou, PhD. However, she added, “we’re currently not aware of any data that would allow us to quantify the size of those two different groups.”

All of the above would be unnecessary if our Monetarily Sovereign federal government (which has unlimited funds) simply would fund a comprehensive, no-deductibles Medicare for All program.

Hanson delivered some bad news for those footing the bill for private health insurance. “We are projecting relatively high short-term premium growth rates in private health insurance, and this is for a few reasons,” she said.

“One is the economy-wide inflation that we’re experiencing in 2023 and that we have been experiencing, and that has not fully reflected itself in premiums yet.

And another contributor is the continued bouncing back of medical spending after the suppressed utilization that we saw earlier in the pandemic.”

The study authors project average premium increases of 6.5% in 2023, 5.9% during 2024-2025, and 5.7% in 2026-2027.

The current and projected-to-increase hardship on the American people is totally unnecessary. The federal government efficiently could ameliorate this hardship by: 

  1. Funding comprehensive, no-deductible Medicare for every man, woman, and child in America
  2. Funding Social Security benefits for every man, woman, and child in America.

Both would add dollars to Gross Domestic Product, thus growing the economy.

Instead, Congress battles over the unbelievably stupid debt ceiling. How do those people manage to dress themselves in the morning, much less be elected to America’s Congress? It boggles the mind.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


The Sole Purpose of Government Is to Improve and Protect the Lives of the People.