Monday, October 15, 2012

ObamaCare May Lower Overall US Health Outcomes

From The National Center For Policy Analysis, John Goodman's Health Policy Blog, "Health Reform is a Matter of Life and Death" by John Goodman:
Source: John Goodman 
We are about to spend $1.8 trillion over the next ten years insuring about 32 million people. About half of the newly insured will go into Medicaid and half will get private insurance. If the above chart is to be believed, which half you’re in makes a real difference.

That tiny little sliver of difference between the green line and the red line is the differential survival between those who are uninsured and those who are in Medicaid. Even after five years, the differential survival is a little more than 1%.

So why are we spending all that money if the impact on health is so small? It gets worse. The actual additions to the Medicaid population will be much greater than the newly insured. Given the opportunity, many people who currently have private coverage will drop their insurance to take advantage of free insurance from Medicaid. In fact, estimates are that 50% or more of people who become newly eligible for Medicaid will drop their private insurance to take advantage of free government coverage.
The upshot is that the Affordable Care Act may actually lower overall health outcomes for the country as a whole!

You have to wonder why ObamaCare is so rigid. Why can’t people who qualify for Medicaid have the opportunity to opt into private coverage instead. For example, the average amount that Medicaid spends on an adult is about $3,000. The average amount spent on a child is $2,000. So why can’t we give the adults a $3,000 voucher and the children a $2,000 voucher and let them apply these amounts to private insurance premiums instead?

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