Is Obamacare ‘Medicaid for All’?

Published October 29, 2014

I’ve occassionally made the point that one sign of just how poor the access to care is for people on Medicaid is the fact that while you often hear fans of government-run health care advocate ‘Medicare for All,’ you never hear anyone advocate ‘Medicaid for All.’

With that in mind, here’s the first few paragraphs from a story in yesterday’s USA Today:

Some doctors wary of taking insurance exchange patients

Now that many people finally have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchanges, some are running into a new problem: They can’t find a doctor who will take them as patients.

Because these exchange plans often have lower reimbursement rates, some doctors are limiting how many new patients they take with these policies, physician groups and other experts say.

“The exchanges have become very much like Medicaid,” says Andrew Kleinman, a plastic surgeon and president of the Medical Society of the State of New York. “Physicians who are in solo practices have to be careful to not take too many patients reimbursed at lower rates or they’re not going to be in business very long.”

I’ve also made the statement in the past that Obamacare may wind up as little more than a big Medicaid expansion plus a modest boost to the individual market through the exchanges. It’s starting to look like a good portion of that exchange-based enrollment is basically Medicaid as well.