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Monday, July 16, 2012

Medicaid in the Real World

I am supposed to be on vacation this week. I am going to try to keep up, links will still appear daily for example, but realistically posting will likely slow from its normal rate. For now, let me send you to an "annoyed" Aaron Carroll:

Let’s try to stick to the real world when we talk about Medicaid, by Aaron Carroll: Tyler Cowen had a piece in the NYT this weekend on Medicaid. He doesn’t seem too thrilled with its use in the ACA’s coverage expansion. ... I have to admit that his article set me off a bit. It could be that he didn’t have space in the NYT for more nuance. Perhaps he’ll provide it on his blog. In particular, I’d love him to address some of the points below…
I get a bit  annoyed when people claim that we can’t “afford” more government intervention or, god-forbid, single-payer. That kind of statement willfully ignores the fact that every country that has MORE government intervention spends LESS.
I get a bit annoyed by the claim that an expansion of government insurance leads to lines and waiting when lots of countries have universal access and less of a wait-time problem than we do. Moreover, almost no one makes this argument when we expand private insurance, only government.
I get a bit annoyed by blanket claims that doctors won’t accept Medicaid. Such statements often ignore the fact that the majority of Medicaid beneficiaries are children and pregnant women. We don’t need all types of doctors to accept Medicaid patients in equal numbers. ...
I get a bit annoyed when people just claim government programs are “unpopular”. Like Medicare? I don’t think so..., polling shows the opposite of what Tyler (and lots of others) suggest.
I get a bit annoyed at the blanket acceptance of the awesomeness of the free market in health care, when there is no phenomenal evidence of its success. And again, those countries with less free market are cheaper, universal, and often just as good. ...
Look, I get that people may not like the political implications of those systems. They may not like the governments that produce them. They may not like the lack of choice inherent in such systems. They may not like the potential  limitations within them for making money, and therefore for innovation. But we need to stop making stuff up about them.

    Posted by on Monday, July 16, 2012 at 08:37 AM in Economics, Health Care | Permalink  Comments (76)


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