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Medicaid an Anchor Around The Necks of States

Medicaid and Medicare were held up as the government-run successes that prove that we can afford universal health care and that it works.  In North Carolina and Oklahoma, severe Medicaid budget overruns are being reported and the blame is partly that enrolllees are using more medical services.  Of course they are, because it’s free.  That is precisely the problem with a medical system that costs the direct consumer nothing.  They will abuse it.

Now we start to hear that patient access is facing severe challenges.  Less than 50% of doctors take Medicaid patients.  As the provider-pay issue rises, where providers are severely under-compensated, doctors drop out of the Medicaid program.  amedNews.com had this to say:

Now that we have an 18-month reprieve, giving us time to work on a replacement of the flawed sustainable growth rate formula for Medicare payment, let’s take a look at Medicaid. As bad as the Medicare problem is, it pales in comparison with the enormous inequities for patients and physicians that come from the patchwork of Medicaid programs.

Fewer doctors for more patients leads to a medical access nightmare.  One the Democrats have failed to foresee or are simply ignoring in order to get their radical plans passed.

A heritage.org article states that Medicaid also fails to be effective as a health plan:

In a recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, for example, researchers found that women on Medicaid were three times more likely to die of breast cancer than were women not on Medicaid. Women on Medicaid tended to have late-stage diagnoses and receive less radiation treatment. Medicaid is unable to offer its enrollees the same level of quality care that the private sector offers.

Government-run health care modeled on expanding Medicaid is neither more efficient nor effective than our current health care system, but at least if it’s run by individual states, it’s Constitutional.  If that’s any comfort at all.

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