Oregon Medicaid system – slow motion crash

Oregon feels the strain after health care overhaul floods the system with Medicaid enrollees | OregonLive.com.

Low-income Oregon residents were supposed to be big winners after the state expanded Medicaid under the federal health care overhaul and created a new system to improve the care they received.

However, an Associated Press review shows that an unexpected rush of enrollees has strained the capacity of the revamped network that was endorsed as a potential national model, locking out some patients, forcing others to wait months for medical appointments and prompting a spike in emergency room visits, which state officials had been actively seeking to avoid.

And how many new enrollees did it take to “crash the system”?

Under the federal overhaul, the state this year added nearly 360,000 people to the Oregon Health Plan, its version of Medicaid. It was more than twice the number projected and swelled the state Medicaid rolls to nearly 1 million people, about a quarter of the state’s population.

A quarter of the state’s population. That’s a big problem and a lot of people expecting the government to provide them with free health care.

 

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