Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece on Medicaid, making the case why so many states, including Florida, are right to reject Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. The article starts by pointing out the program has already expanded far beyond what it was originally intended to be:
Medicaid, the joint state-federal safety net intended for the poor, already covers more than one of five Americans and pays for two of five U.S. births. And that’s before ObamaCare dumps up to 20 million new dependents onto its rolls. Liberals are still somehow evoking Little Nell and the blacking factory because 26 Governors or legislatures or both are so far declining to expand. Their hysterics would benefit from a fact or two.
But the author continues with a litany of facts and figures about the current Medicaid program that make it clear — Medicaid is the worst insurance policy in America and we should not be trying to find ways to relegate more people into it.
In reality, Medicaid is now mostly a middle-class entitlement for nursing homes. Almost two-thirds of Medicaid spending flows to the elderly, and 60% of people in long-term care institutions are on the program.
Some 20% of the people under 65 who are eligible for the program today also haven’t signed up. One reason might be the scandalously poor quality of care as states squeeze down provider reimbursements. Only this May an important randomized, controlled trial in Oregon concluded that the program generates no discernible improvement in health compared to being uninsured.
If you are still on the fence about the failures of Medicaid expansion continue reading…