There has been much talk from the Administration about Americans’ “substandard” insurance plans, which do not include essential benefits “required” by Obamacare. Yet, when it comes to addressing Medicaid’s subpar care and outcomes, the silence is deafening. This troublesome truth has been swept under the rug. The reality of Medicaid – a key component of Obamacare – only guarantees access to coverage, not actual healthcare.
Today, the next chapter in Kristen’s story, further explains her outspoken attitude against the Affordable Care Act.
“I am already on state-funded healthcare, and it was nearly impossible to get a simple operation,” stated Kristen, who participates in California’s state program, Medi-CAL. “They kept me sick for a whole year. Even when the doctor had proof that there was something wrong with my appendix, they keep me suffering and feeding me pain medication.”
Her repeated cries for medical help were simply overlooked with quick, superficial fixes, which resulted in the inevitable.
“I walked into the clinic about 4 times within a 2 month period, demanding that they please do something other than just medicate my pain. My doctor went on vacation right before the appendix ruptured,” she exclaimed. “Thankfully, my body did not go into shock. It was only a slow leak. I finally convinced an ER that I had not been to before to take a fresh look. When they did, they had to put me though some horrible, painful testing, which no one with appendicitis should have to go through. They had no choice; they had to re-verify what was wrong with me.”
Distraught by the whole situation, Kristen sees government-run healthcare as the problem not the solution, and she is not alone. Numerous studies, highlighted in the Manhattan Institute report (http://www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/ir_8.pdf), have shown patients without insurance fare better than those on Medicaid.
“A landmark study published in the Annals of Surgery examined outcomes for 893,658 individuals undergoing major surgical operations from 2003 to 2007. The authors of the study, who hailed from the department of surgery at the University of Virginia, divided their patient population by the type of insurance they held—private, Medicare, Medicaid, and uninsured— and adjusted the database in order to control for age, gender, income, geographic region, operation, and comorbid conditions…
They then examined three measurements of surgical outcome quality: the rate of in-hospital mortality; average length of stay in the hospital (longer stays in the hospital are a marker of poorer outcomes); and total costs…
Compared with those without health insurance, Medicaid patients were 13% more likely to die, stayed in the hospital for 50% longer, and cost 20% more.”
It is perplexing to understand why policies, which people chose and liked, are classified as “substandard,” yet a failing system, which states are being pressured to expand, is hailed as part of the “compassionate” solution. There is nothing compassionate about poor quality care, yet for Kristen it’s typical.
“My personal doctor was useless, but that is a fact that many people on state healthcare already live with….it is just normal for us,” she explained.
Under Obamacare, Kristen’s situation will become the new norm for many.