“President Obama’s plan for budget reform is to freeze these entitlement programs in their current arrangements and tinker at the margins — through, for instance, giving more power to Medicare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board or applying price controls to drugs sold through Medicare.
Along with higher taxes for high earners (families making $250,000 and up) and defense cuts, Obama’s deficit-reduction plan offers little innovation.
If Obama’s plan prevails, and these programs aren’t fundamentally reformed, poor and elderly Americans who depend on these programs will likely face much larger cuts in the future.”
“The problem is common here and across the country, especially as states, scrambling to balance their budgets, look for cuts in Medicaid, which is one of their biggest expenditures. And it presents the Obama administration with a major challenge, since the new federal health care law relies heavily on Medicaid to cover many people who now lack health insurance.”
“Contrary to federal government promises, ObamaCare will move Louisiana residents off their private insurance and further inflate Medicaid costs, as a new study shows.”
“A new article in Health Affairs brings attention to the problem of ‘churning’ in the eligibility requirements for subsidized ObamaCare. The study by Benjamin Sommers and Sara Rosenbaum looks at how often people will fall in and out of eligibility for, on one hand, Medicaid for people up to 133% of the poverty level, and on the other hand, subsidized coverage for those up to 400% of poverty in the Exchange.”
“Bottom line: after we get through 10 years of spending our $1 trillion under ObamaCare, there is no convincing reason to believe that the bottom half of the income distribution will have more care, better care, or better access to care than they have today.”
“Already facing a challenging budget picture, Texas received more bad budgetary news with the release of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s study Final Notice: Medicaid Crisis, A Forecast of Texas’ Medicaid Expenditures Growth.
The study by Jagadeesh Gokhale, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, warns President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will vastly increase the amount of money states have to spend on their Medicaid budgets.”
“States in the South and Mountain West, which traditionally have the lowest rates of primary care physicians, could struggle to provide medical services to the surge of new patients expected to enroll in Medicaid under the health overhaul and federal incentives may not provide much help, according to a report issued today by a Washington health research group.”
“My critics say that I’m ‘cynical’ because I say that Medicaid’s reimbursement rates are too low, and yet oppose spending more money that we don’t have. This is a false dichotomy. There are a lot of things we can do to make Medicaid more cost-efficient: starting with converting the program into block grants for the states, and letting states focus on fully funding care for the truly needy.”
“Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Medicaid enrollment is expected to grow by 16 million people by 2019, an increase of more than 25 percent. Given the unwillingness of many primary care physicians (PCPs) to treat new Medicaid patients, policy makers and others are concerned about adequate primary care capacity to meet the increased demand. States with the smallest number of PCPs per capita overall—generally in the South and Mountain West—potentially will see the largest percentage increases in Medicaid enrollment, according to a new national study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). In contrast, states with the largest number of PCPs per capita—primarily in the Northeast—will see more modest increases in Medicaid enrollment. Moreover, geographic differences in PCP acceptance of new Medicaid patients reflect differences in overall PCP supply, not geographic differences in PCPs’ willingness to treat Medicaid patients.”
“So why do Medicaid patients fare so badly? Payment to providers has been reduced to literally pennies on each dollar of customary charges because of sequential rounds of indiscriminate rate cuts, like those now being pursued in states like New York and Illinois. As a result, doctors often cap how many Medicaid patients they’ll see in their practices. Meanwhile, patients can’t get timely access to routine and specialized medical care… President Barack Obama’s health plan follows this logic. Half of those gaining health insurance under ObamaCare will get it through Medicaid.”