The enthusiasm for expanding Medicaid coverage to the previously uninsured seems misplaced. Improved “access” to the health care system via Medicaid programs surely cannot result in lasting coverage. In-network physicians will continue to dwindle as their office overhead exceeds meager reimbursement levels.
In reality, treating Medicaid patients is charity work. The fact that any physicians accept Medicaid is a testament to their generosity of spirit and missionary mindset. Expanding their pro bono workloads is nothing to cheer about. (emphasis added) The Affordable Care Act’s “signature accomplishment” is tragically flawed – because offering health insurance to people that physicians cannot afford to accept is not better than being uninsured.
After all, improved access to nothing … offers nothing. Inviting physicians to work for less than minimum wage so that politicians can crow about millions of uninsured Americans now having access to health care, is ridiculous. Medicaid expansion is widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots. The saddest part is that the have-nots just don’t realize it yet.
To the consumer, Medicaid seems like a gift. It will work for awhile until it breaks. Also, the consumer is very trusting that their past medical health is a good predictor of their future health. If for some reason, that turns out not to be the case, do you believe you or your spouse or children are getting the best treatment from the Medicaid system?
What we’ve learned is that the Obamacare gains in coverage were largely a result of the Medicaid expansion and that most of the gain in private coverage through the government exchanges was offset by a decline in employer-based coverage. In other words, it is likely that most of the people who got coverage through the exchanges were already insured.
With low reimbursement rates, can Medicaid insured’s expect the same level of coverage as those who have coverage that is paying providers substantially more?
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.
Obamacare is designed to steer children of lower income families (< 250% of the Federal Poverty Level, $59,000 for a family of 4) onto Medicaid. Before you blindly allow the government to make that choice for you please read the above article.
Yes, it’s so very tempting. You can either put your children on Medicaid at basically zero cost, or you can put them on your plan and receive no subsidy for their portion of the total family premium.