…this won’t ultimately end with doctors being ordered to take Medicaid patients, or else find another profession?:
Just as millions of people are gaining insurance through Medicaid, the program is poised to make deep cuts in payments to many doctors, prompting some physicians and consumer advocates to warn that the reductions could make it more difficult for Medicaid patients to obtain care.
The Affordable Care Act provided a big increase in Medicaid payments for primary care in 2013 and 2014. But the increase expires on Thursday — just weeks after the Obama administration told the Supreme Court that doctors and other providers had no legal right to challenge the adequacy of payments they received from Medicaid.
The impact will vary by state, but a study by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research organization, estimates that doctors who have been receiving the enhanced payments will see their fees for primary care cut by 43 percent, on average.
Stephen Zuckerman, a health economist at the Urban Institute and co-author of the report, said Medicaid payments for primary care services could drop by 50 percent or more in California, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania, among other states.
I wrote “ultimately end” with doctors being required to take Medicaid patients or leave medicine. But that probably won’t be the ultimate end; government-run health care will.
I wrote about much the same issue a little over a year ago. In that post, I also discussed what had happened to the practice of medicine in the Soviet Union, and its legacy in the Russia of today. It makes very sobering reading.