How Good is Medicaid?

Although half the newly insured under the Affordable Care Act will be enrolled in Medicaid and although substance use disorder (SUD) is more common among the poor,

[f]orty percent of counties in the U.S. [the goldenrod counties in the figure below] do not have an SUD treatment facility that provides outpatient care and accepts Medicaid. Counties in rural areas are much more likely to lack access to outpatient SUD facilities that accept Medicaid, particularly those in Southern and Midwestern states. Our findings also indicate that gaps in the SUD treatment infrastructure are further compounded for areas with a higher proportion of racial and ethnic minorities.

Comments (16)

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  1. Perry says:

    Another fallacy of the ACA. If you’re going to have a large increase of people in a government funded
    medical care program, you should make sure the program can support all of the added patients in terms of manpower and outpatient facilities.

  2. Buster says:

    Medicaid looks like a generous health plan on paper. However, I doubt if anyone would argue it’s actually better than private coverage.

  3. Tom says:

    As they’re newly insured, is this just suggesting that their health status with regard to drug addiction is likely to remain the same as before they were insured?

  4. Trevor L. says:

    We should go along the path of latin america and try legalizing everything and instead treat habits

  5. Linda Gorman says:

    To begin with, it would be nice to have strong evidence that the treatments for substance use disorder on offer actually have an effect on substance abuse.

    • Mike B. says:


      People quit when they’re ready to quit. We can invite them to do so and point the way, and offer them tools to assist them on their journey, but ultimately it’s up to the autonomous individual to make the decision to quit using and act upon it.

      In the meantime, we as a society sure blow a lot of money on “drug rehabilitation counseling.”