Friday, October 3, 2014

More People May Have an Insurance Card, But Are They Getting Care?

  • An inspector general audit of Medicaid found that newly enrolled patients who came into the program through ObamaCare won't necessarily find a doctor willing to treat them. 
    • The IG reports that a person enrolled in a Medicaid plan in one state would have to drive more than 75 miles to see a urologist.
    • Enrollees in another state couldn't make appointments with 45% of the primary care providers listed as participating in one area of the state. (The IG doesn't identify the states. 
  • Thanks to Medicaid's low payment rates and cumbersome regulations, doctor shortages in Medicaid were already a chronic problem before ObamaCare pushed states to expand the program, which 27 have done so far. A 2012 study found that almost a third of doctors refused to take new Medicaid patients.
    • ObamaCare just adds to this problem, handing out millions of freshly minted Medicaid cards for a program that can't handle those already in it. Worse, ObamaCare is now expanding this deceptive Medicaid model to the private insurance market.
    • In California, Anthem Blue Cross has already been sued over its skimpy provider lists. And the Los Angeles Times reported this week that consumers in that state will, if anything, find it harder to see a doctor next year.
Source: The Obamacare Shell Game, Investors Business Daily, October 1, 2014.