Tag Archives: Medicaid access

Improving Medicaid with block grants & consumer-directed health care

Linda Gorman, director of the Independence Institute’s Health Policy Center has written an issue brief on the benefits of replacing federal matching funds with Medicaid block grants. An excerpt:

If Medicaid were turned into a block grant program in which the federal government gave each state a set amount of money, it could improve patient care, restrain the growth in costs, reduce complexity and improve outcomes. Furthermore, block grants could be used to implement consumer-directed reforms that allow Medicaid enrollees to control some of the spending on their care and give them incentives to avoid unnecessary care.

Read the whole brief: Medicaid Block Grants and Consumer-Directed Health Care, National Center for Policy Analysis.

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Medicaid as a ghetto: poor access to medical care

Benjamin Domenech of the Heartland Institute writes:

“The Great Society,” as Ronald Reagan once said, “is great only in power, in size and in cost.”

[A] study conducted by Joanna Bisgaier and Karin V. Rhodes published in the New England Journal of Medicine, [shows] something that is already known by most in the field – and denied only by those ignorant of the truth or with a political motive to deny it: the level of access granted by Medicaid and CHIP is completely insufficient to meet the demands of the population it purports to serve.

As Kathryn Nix writes at The Foundry, drilling down to the essence of the study: “While specialists turned away 11 percent of privately insured children, 66 percent of children with Medicaid were unable to get an appointment. For those who did, the waiting time was 22 days longer than for other patients.”

Read more: The Great Society’s Lie.

See also Domenech’s “More Medicaid Delusion,” where the following graph came from:

Lastly, see: Expanding the Medicaid Ghetto for how “reform” puts more people on Medicaid.

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Stuck with Medicaid “coverage” but no health care? Can’t sue that state

David Catron writes:

One of the ways ObamaCare will “cover” the uninsured is by herding about 18 million people onto Medicaid. But the health care “reform” law doesn’t provide enough money to the states to pay for all these new enrollees. So, the states will increasingly have to cut provider payment rates.

This means that most of the “newly covered” patients won’t be able to find doctors and other providers willing to treat them. And there’s another catch. Those “newly covered” people will also have to abandon some of their legal rights.

That is, they won’t be able to sue states for damages. Read more:

Health Care BS – Health Care Bs – Obama DOJ Tells SCOTUS That Medicaid Patients Lack Legal Right To Sue Govt..

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

“Cuts Leave Patients With Medicaid Cards, but No Specialist to See” – NYTimes

The New York Times reports:

“Having a Medicaid card in no way assures access to care,” said Dr. James B. Aiken, an emergency physician in New Orleans. …

“My Medicaid card is useless for me right now,” Ms. Dardeau said over lunch. “It’s a useless piece of plastic. I can’t find an orthopedic surgeon or a pain management doctor who will accept Medicaid.” …

With the expansion of Medicaid to cover nearly all people under 65 with incomes up to 133 percent of the official poverty level (up to $29,330 a year for a family of four), Medicaid will soon be the nation’s largest insurer. It accounts for almost half of the increase in coverage expected under Mr. Obama’s health law, but has received less attention than other parts of the law regulating private insurance. …

To hold down costs [spending], it has cut Medicaid payments to doctors, dentists, hospitals and other health care providers several times in the last two years. …

Dr. Kim A. Hardey, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Lafayette, said he received about $1,000 from the Louisiana Medicaid program for providing prenatal care and delivery for a full-term pregnancy, compared with $2,400 from private insurance.

With the expansion of Medicaid eligibility, he said, more of his patients will be on Medicaid, and fewer will have private insurance, which helps offset the financial losses doctors sustain on their Medicaid business.

Already, Dr. Hardey said, many of his patients have jobs with private insurance but switch to Medicaid when they become pregnant, avoiding premiums, deductibles and co-payments.

More: Cuts Leave Patients With Medicaid Cards, but No Specialist to See – NYTimes.com.

If government continues to immorally force taxpayers to fund Medicaid at least its co-payments, premiums, and deductibles should be higher.

(Via FIRM)

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

Government health plans does not mean getting care, CU hospitals show

This Denver Post article illustrates a key point about government-run health plans: having coverage does not mean you get medical care:

Two clinics at University of Colorado Hospital — considered the state’s safety net for the needy — are turning away patients on government insurance plans because they can’t afford to treat them.

Colorado recently has added about 100,000 people to its Medicaid rolls, which is why the problem of shrinking access for Medicaid patients seems more acute.

The issue isn’t unique to University Hospital. Many physicians across Colorado and the country have stopped taking Medicaid and Medicare patients in recent years because they say they are not reimbursed enough by those government plans. Doctors’ offices typically can break even on Medicare patients and are reimbursed about 70 cents on the dollar for the costs of caring for Medicaid patients.
Health care experts say the problem is likely to get worse as millions of uninsured Americans are added to the Medicaid program. Just because those people have insurance, some argue, it doesn’t mean they will find doctors to treat them.
For suggestions on  how to reform Medicaid, read the chapter on Medicaid in the Cato Institute’s Handbook on Policy.

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