Civitas Review

One More Time: Medicaid Coverage Does Not Equal Access to Care


The Asheville Citizen-Times reports on a study from the RAND Corporation showing that emergency room visits are on the rise:

Visits to hospital emergency rooms are on the rise in the Carolinas and around the country, with experts pointing to the physician shortage and Obamacare as possible reasons.  

One in five Americans goes to the ER at least once a year, according to RAND Corp., an independent, nonprofit think tank.

Nationwide, three quarters of ER doctors said that patient volumes increased in the past year, according to a new survey from the American College of Emergency Physicians.


It's often hard for patients on Medicaid-managed care plans to get appointments with primary care providers, with median waits of two weeks, though more than a quarter waited a month or more, leaving them with few options besides the ER, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians. The group also pointed to the nationwide physician shortage.

"America has severe primary care physician shortages, and many physicians will not accept Medicaid patients because Medicaid pays so inadequately," said its president, Dr. Michael Gerardi. "Just because people have health insurance does not mean they have access to timely medical care." (emphasis added)

I have often pointed out that coverage does not mean access to care. Progressive liberals advocating for Medicaid expansion never want to address this fact. Medicaid in NC is already overcrowded, with far too many patients chasing too few doctors.

North Carolina's Medicaid program has added more than 600,000 people in the last dozen years. At the same time, the number of NC physicians treating Medicaid patients has fallen. Expansion, by some estimates, would add another 400,000 to 500,000 to the Medicaid rolls. That would mean a million new Medicaid enrollees since 2001 – competing for access to a shrinking number of doctors.

If the radical Left gets its way and as many as half a million more people are stuffed onto NC's Medicaid rolls: who will these people see to get care? Medicaid enrollees already struggle to access care in a timely manner, just imagine how bad the problem will be with 500,000 more people in the program.

Progressive liberals want to wish this problem away, and never answer the question.

One Comment on this post

  • steve henderson says:
    May 28 at 07:12

    NCNAACP also demand an expanded medicaid program But they also support all the illegal aliens & all of the "incentives & sanctuary polices" the legislature refuses to do anything about. What many individual legislators for get that in 2013,2014 the state of NC spent 2 BILLION dollars on "incentives" ( from A-Z) for illegal aliens. Couldn't that 4 Billion been used to help pay for medicaid expansion & not raise taxes ? and does anyone know what medical care the newest 1429 "refugees" are getting ?? you guess it…

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