“But researchers at Harvard University are now warning that policymakers should be prepared for substantial uncertainty about the true enrollment effects of the Medicaid expansion. In a paper published in the journal Health Affairs earlier this week, a team of health economists estimated that, under the law, new Medicaid enrollment could be as low as 8.5 million people, but also as high as 22.4 million people—with additional costs to match.”
“Even with ObamaCare set to inflate the Medicaid rolls, reimbursement rates are falling further. When the NBER investigated Oregon’s program, the state paid doctors 90% of Medicare rates — more than most other states. But since then, Oregon, as well as nearly half its peers, has cut payments. More doctors will doubtless leave the program as a result. This supply problem is one reason the NBER study specifically cautioned against extrapolating its results to model ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid. Under ObamaCare, one in four Americans will be covered by Medicaid at a total cost of nearly a trillion dollars. They may receive subpar care — or may not even be able to get an appointment with a doctor. But as the NBER report shows, at least they’ll have a ‘general sense of improved well-being.'”
“Another unintended consequence of President Barack Obama’s health care law has emerged: Older adults of the same age and income with similar medical histories could pay widely different amounts for private health insurance due to a quirk of the complex legislation. Those differences could be substantial. A 62-year-old could end up paying $1,200 a year more than his neighbor, in one example. And experts say the disparities among married couples would be much larger.”
“[D]ue to a glitch in Obamacare, married couples of early retirees making around $64,000 a year will become eligible for Medicaid. That’s more than four times the federal poverty level of $14,710… If we do a back-of-the-envelope calculation, in which the average annual Medicaid expenditure per early retiree is $15,000 per year, the ten-year cost of this glitch could be as high as $450 billion. Even if only half of those eligible opt to take advantage of the loophole, we’re talking at least $250-300 billion, as the sickest patients are the ones most likely to enroll.”
“Children with Medicaid are far more likely than those with private insurance to be turned away by medical specialists or be made to wait more than a month for an appointment, even for serious medical problems, a new study finds. Lower payments by Medicaid, delays in paying and red tape are largely to blame, researchers say.
The study, with findings that match anecdotal reports from other parts of the country, is one of only a few efforts to measure access to health care among people with Medicaid. Nationwide, those patients are caught between states’ threats to cut Medicaid payments and the Obama administration’s plans to use the program to cover more and more people as part of its health care law.”
“‘Sixty-six percent of those who mentioned Medicaid-CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) were denied appointments, compared with 11 percent who said they had private insurance.’ Half of ObamaCare‘s projected coverage gains (16 million out of 32 million U.S. residents) comes from expanding the Medicaid program.”
“The constitutional battle over ObamaCare has largely focused on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Namely, does forcing individuals to buy health insurance violate the commerce clause? But as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals prepares to hear Florida v. United States, a second issue is of equal importance: Was District Court Judge Roger Vinson correct to rule that the federal government can force states to expand their Medicaid programs as a precondition for continuing to receive matching federal funds for the program?”
“Monday’s New York Times had another classic entry in the annals of Obamacare. It seems that nursing homes are asking HHS for waivers from Obamacare’s requirement that employers provide health coverage to their workers. Nursing homes, even though they are in the health-care business, often don’t provide insurance to their employees. They can’t afford to.”
“Does that mean that the average uninsured patient is getting $1,000 of free medical care paid for by you and me? A lot of supporters of ObamaCare would like you to think so. That’s why we need a mandate, they argue, forcing people to buy health insurance whether they want it or not.
Ah…..but not so fast.”
“ObamaCare will add at least 18 million people to the Medicaid rolls. But according to a 2008 GAO report, increasing the amount of Medicaid dental care has had zero effect on the prevalence of dental disease in children.”