Medicaid Changes Don’t Bode Well for Healthcare System

The New York Times has been reporting extensively on the crisis in Medicaid.  On Wednesday, Robert Pear reported on the growing storm.  Money quote:

To hold down costs, states are cutting Medicaid payments to doctors and hospitals, limiting benefits for Medicaid recipients, reducing the scope of covered services, requiring beneficiaries to pay larger co-payments and expanding the use of managed care.

With the economic crisis, more individuals have been driven to use Medicaid – by some reports it is as much as 20% of the population in any given year – while at the same time cost controls are pushing the states to restrict Medicaid roles.  Medicare may be the larger program, but it has a much stronger lobby (AARP, etc) and poor people tend to vote in much lower levels than older people, so it is not surprising that Medicaid is in a state of crisis.  But where Medicaid goes, so will go the rest of the healthcare system eventually unless a consensus can be reached on what can be done.

cross posted at Texas Nursing Lawyer.

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