Medicaid Providers, Where Are They?

Medicaid.  A highly publicized and scrutinized social insurance program established for those with low income has seen a wavering sense of support recently, especially with the decision of the Affordable Care Act.  Sarah Kliff, a writer for the Washington Post, has written about Medicaid and the gleaming show of support by its enrollees in California, stating that more beneficiaries than expected actually like their health coverage offered by the program.

Here’s the thing….  Medicaid has been known to offer low reimbursement rates to physicians across the country, causing many providers to not accept new Medicaid patients.  Not only is this a major concern for the social insurance program, but accessibility to care as well.  Here is where this article, Actually, Medicaid enrollees really like their coveragecan be a little misleading to the uninformed.  It is true that out of the 1,083 Medicaid enrollees that were surveyed, 9 in 10 said that Medi-Cal (Dual eligible individuals who have Medicare and Medicaid) services were “very good” or “pretty good.”  Not to sound callus, but any type of ‘free’ insurance should be considered “very or pretty good.”  I mean, lets be honest here.  If an individual cannot afford to pay for insurance to manage their’s or the  well-being of their loved ones, can they really be critical of they type of care they receive?   I, for one, believe that regardless of an individual’s economic or social standing, the care provided to them from a professional should be of the upmost quality (within means of course).  If the nation’s hard earned tax-payer dollars are going to do something, then it might as well be to get these individuals healthy and back working again.  Unfortunately, not every Medicaid beneficiary is experiencing this quality of care.

This was kind of what I was eluding to earlier when I made mention of the uninformed.  You see, a large population of Medicaid beneficiaries reside in the geographical areas of the the Southern United States, where rural, not urban, culture holds reign.  It is here where more Medicaid beneficiaries struggle to receive the type of care that would get them back on their feet.  Access to quality care in these states suffers because there are few doctors in these areas to provide care for the millions of enrollees in the social insurance program.  This unfortunately creates discontent for the program for many individuals.  They do not have accessible means to receive the care they need; that they are entitled to as Americans.  Hence spawning the viral, infectious perspective that this country does not care for or has forgotten about them.  Did I forget to mention that a lot of these individuals are seniors, they’ve fought for this country and helped America become the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?”

Ooops, my bad.  (Yes, I admit I did that on purpose, …but for a reason).  Not all is what it seems.  The point I am trying to make here is that Medicaid and its struggles are affecting more individuals than we think.    It could be your mother or father, your grand parents or aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters.  And it expands across generation gaps and racial divides.  These tribulations are felt by beneficiaries across the nation.  Quality and accessibility in California, for instance, can and must improve.  However, due to population density, accessibility isn’t much of an issue there, where as in more rural areas of the south, accessibility is of major concern.  How can you grade the quality of care provided when patients have no means of access?  The ACA is looking to change this but in order to do so the federal government needs help from individual states.

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