Why Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion Will Reduce Health Care Access

In the Atlantic, Avik Roy writes:

Chapin White of the Center for Studying Health System Change has published an important new paper in Health Services Research, a journal of health economics, which suggests that a critical part of the Affordable Care Act–its expansion of Medicaid coverage to 16 million more Americans–may actually reduce those individuals’ access to health care. …

Believe it or not, physicians even do better caring for the uninsured than they do caring for Medicaid patients. Two MIT economists, Jonathan Gruber and David Rodriguez, have found that three-quarters of physicians receive lower fees for serving Medicaid patients than they do for the uninsured, because many people without health insurance are still able to pay out-of-pocket for routine health expenses.

How?  Medicaid notoriously underpays doctors, so Medicaid patients have trouble accessing them. When Medicaid eligibility expands, many newly eligible people drop “private” health plans to enroll.

Read the whole post: Why Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion Will Reduce Health Care Access – The Atlantic.

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Filed under coverage isn't care, Medicaid/Medicare/SCHIP

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