Thursday, April 12, 2012

Free Health Insurance

Free health insurance is great . . . unless you can't use it. Like the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, "water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink" if you have free health insurance you may not find a doctor willing to accept your plan.

Those on Medicaid already know this.

I guess most of those about to go on Medicaid in 2014 if Obamacrap survives, don't know this.

Currently 50 million people are on Medicaid. More than are on Medicare.

If Obamacrap remains as designed, you can add about 20 million new customers on Medicaid rolls.

A year or so ago I was in Boston and I struck up a conversation with a taxi driver, who informed me that she was on MassHealth (Massachusetts Medicaid). “How is it working for you?” I asked. “The biggest problem is finding a doctor,” she said. “I had to go down a list of 20 doctors’ names before I found one who would see me.”

“Were you going through the Yellow Pages?” I asked. “No,” she said, “I was going down a list that MassHealth gave me.”

Remember: this is what Massachussetts calls "universal coverage".

Sounds like the credit card commercial. "But they don't take American Express".

According to a survey by the Massachusetts Medical Society:

  • Only about half of internists (53%) and less than two-thirds of family physicians (62%) accept MassHealth.
  • Only 43% of internists and 56% of family physicians will accept patients enrolled in Commonwealth Care (state-subsidized health plans).
  • Only about one-third of internists (35%) and 44% of family physicians accept Commonwealth Choice (non-subsidized health plans).
  • Only about half (50%) of pediatricians accept Commonwealth Care and only 45% accept Commonwealth Choice.
This is not unique to Massachusetts.

Contrast this foolishness with the Food Stamp program (SNAP), which also has about 50 million participants. Low-income shoppers can enter any supermarket in America and buy almost anything the facility has to offer by adding cash to the “voucher” the government gives them. They can buy anything you and I can buy because they pay the same price you and I pay. But we absolutely forbid them to do the same thing in the medical marketplace.

See where this is going?

Places like Minute Clinics post their prices for all to see. Medicaid reimburses about half of what Minute Clinic charges walk in patients.

Minute Clinic does not accept Medicaid patients.

If Medicaid worked more like food stamps, Medicaid patients could go almost anywhere if they were willing to pony up a few dollars above what Medicaid pays.


Of course this explains why Washington can't solve the "health care crisis".
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