NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Medicaid Doesn't Provide Quality Care

May 13, 2011

While targeted public assistance can work, Medicaid has become far too large and unwieldy to serve those who truly need it.  The Medicaid expansion contained in the Affordable Care Act will further weaken the program -- hurting those who really need it, as well as unduly burdening the taxpayers who pay for it, says Brian Blase, a policy analyst in the Center for Health Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation.

Low provider payment rates in many states mean that Medicaid recipients have a hard time finding a doctor, forcing many to rely on expensive and overcrowded hospital emergency rooms for non-emergency care.  Medicaid patients also frequently receive inferior medical treatment.

Blase says Medicaid must be fundamentally reformed because it is failing current enrollees and taxpayers.        

  • Although the states and federal government spent more than $400 billion last year (up from less than $72 billion in 1990) on Medicaid, there is a lack of academic studies showing that the program provides recipients with quality health care.        
  • The observational studies show that even uninsured individuals often have better outcomes than individuals with Medicaid.        
  • In many areas of the country, Medicaid cards do not guarantee access to health care.

Source: Brian Blase, "Medicaid Provides Poor Quality Care," Heritage Foundation, May 5, 2011.

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