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View Diary: New Arkansas Medicaid waiver tests limits of Obamacare goals (58 comments)

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  •  I think it's a pretty good development (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, splashy

    compared to no coverage at all, which is the direction Arkansas probably would have gone.

    The cost issue can be misleading.  Yes, Medicaid costs much less than private insurers, but it also pays hospitals and doctors significantly less than what it costs them to provide care care.  The hospitals and doctors need to cover their costs, so they raise prices for private insurance.

    If we think we're moving to a scenario where everyone has coverage, then the cost of caring for everyone needs to be borne somewhere.  "Saving" money by putting people in Medicaid doesn't address the issue of costs being shifted to other payment sources.

    •  Yeah, better than nothing. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashy, Crimson Slip, GayHillbilly

      We just keep working at it and maybe eventually we'll have a civilized health care system worthy of our economic might.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 10:33:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. It costs significantly less than they charge (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero

      for care.

      The two are not the same.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 02:09:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm referring to actual costs, not charges (0+ / 0-)

        What a healthcare provider charges is generally incredibly inflated and irrelevant to what the provider actually receives.  Except, perversely, under the current system where uninsured people often are charged these ridiculous rates.

        I'm talking about actual costs:  actual money the healthcare provider must pay to hire staff, buy supplies, etc. to provide care.  Generally speaking Medicaid covers some, but not all, of these costs.  So, the provider needs to either (1) make up the difference elsewhere in order to break even; or (2) reduce its costs.  Cost reduction has been going on in the health care industry for the last 5 years or so, and there's more room to reduce costs, but it's not unlimited.

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