Under ObamaCare, Most of the Newly Insured Will Be in Medicaid

Of the 32 million uninsured Americans expected to gain health coverage under the new law, as many as 20 million will be insured by Medicaid… [Yet] several studies have found that Medicaid beneficiaries fare less well than patients with private insurance — for example, that they tend to get cancer diagnoses at a later stage, and die earlier, than do privately insured patients, and that migraine sufferers insured by Medicaid get substandard treatment compared with the privately insured.

Full article on the transformation of Medicaid.

Comments (9)

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  1. Virginia says:

    I think that the middle- and upper-class in American feels REALLY guilty about Medicaid, but doesn’t want to do anything to change it.

    It’s one thing to say, “My dad built a warship, so he deserves Medicare now that he’s old.” It’s another to say, “That poor guy down on the corner who smells funny and always asks for change when I walk by should get X,Y,Z procedure.”

    The article even mentions that doctors shun Medicaid patients out of frustration: they miss appointments and they don’t comply with treatment plans.

    Not all of this can be attributed as the “fault” of the person on Medicare, but it’s difficult to say exactly where to draw the line. Is it enough to fund Medicare and Medicaid at the same level? Or, since the Medicaid population tends to be poor, should we pay for taxi cabs to take them to their appointments? And pay for the hours in which they had to miss work so that they do not get fired?

    That’s what really fascinates me about the whole ordeal. Unless you want to come across as totally and completely callous by advocating that everything be private pay (even care for seniors), your only other option is to say, “If it will help the poor, why not?”

    Once you accept the fact that wealth will be redistributed, there is no limit to the amount of care this can be justified for Medicaid recipients. On the other hand, it’s mostly middle- and upper-classes who vote, so perhaps the market settles that argument via politicians who would be run out of town on a rail if they increased taxes too much.

  2. Tom H. says:

    This is what the White House calls “Universal Coverage.”

  3. Bruce says:

    Ultimate goal of ObamaCare: We are all going to be in Medicare.

  4. John R. Graham says:

    I am amazed that the article quotes Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, an advocate of single-payer, government-monopoly, medicine, as a critic of Medicaid!

    Folks like Dr. Woolhandler believe that Medicaid provides poor service because it is for the poor, not because it’s run by government. If it were “universal”, voters would demand adequate funding and services.

    It’s sort of like arguing that the way to improve conditions in homeless shelters is for the government to drive everyone out of privately-owned homes and into the shelters.

    It wouldn’t work in housing, and it doesn’t work in health care (as previously discussed in this blog: http://tinyurl.com/27swe76).

    Milton Friedman had it right: ” A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither; a society that puts freedom before equality will get a good deal of both.”

  5. Larry C. says:

    Remember, people in the exchange are going to be in subsidized plans that may well be paying Medicaid rates. (In Massachusetts, they pay 110% of Medicaid.) So in time, the exchange may become indistinguishable from Medicaid.

  6. John C says:

    Saw this yesterday…and if it came from you John, well that’s just funny…anyway, seems appropriate here…

    “We Don’t Call People on Welfare “Employed,” So Why Call People On Medicaid “Insured”?”

  7. Don Levit says:

    The median household income is $55,000 and the average family premium is $13,000.
    For many people, that is like having a second mortgage, if they could even afford having one mortgage.
    The idea of subsidizing people up to $88,000 (and that is not high enough, in my opinion), is to make the insurance more affordable.
    All it will do is simply aid in the increasingly unaffordable premiums.
    But the premiums are a direct result of increasing costs.
    The insurer is merely a wholesaler who passes on the increases to the retalers, the premium payers.
    With health care costs increasing faster, about double, that of wages, when will we say enough is enough?
    Don Levit

  8. Linda Gorman says:

    Keep in mind that wages as reported in federal statistics are not the same as total compensation. Employer provided health insurance is paid out of total compensation. Wages are total compensation minus benefits, of which health insurance is a part.

    The claim that health insurance costs are increasing faster than wages is a red herring designed to scare people into going for global budgeting. It also disguises the fact that employees are paying for their employer health insurance out of their current compensation and that if tax policy were changed to treat all sources of health insurance funding equally people might purchase less health care and health insurance.

  9. Don Levit says:

    While you are correct about health insurance being paid out of total compensation, we still have to consider the percentage of wage earners whose household incomes are the median and lower that have employer provided insurance.
    For those that don’t, total compensation has nothing to do with health insurance.
    For those that do, how many do not have dependents covered?
    For those that do, what are they paying in premiums?
    Regarding tax policy, it has little effect on households making $55,000.
    Regarding health care costs increasing much faster than wages for many years, how is that a red herring?
    Employers are spending more dollars on health insurance than on retirement benefits?
    Is that a red herring?
    Don Levit