Medicaid is Great or How to Twist a Story

Before I even start on this study and their “conclusions” let me have you take a second and think about Medicaid. Visualize the clinics and their staff.  Visualize the patients, their habits and their compliance.  Visualize the doctors working there and their demeanor.

Take a second to do this.

Now, I tried NOT to put any of my biases in your thoughts. I didn’t even use a Medicaid clinic waiting room as the picture above just for that reason. And this is not an editorial to bash Medicaid patients.  If you are a doctor or nurse you probably have experiences that make up your images. I am willing to bet that we are ALL probably close to having the same pictures in our minds and that they are pretty close to reality.

Now, read this:

Medicaid coverage is not only substantially better than being uninsured, but it is also as good as or better than private insurance in providing access to care, according to a new survey of 6000 people by the Commonwealth Fund, a New York–based think tank.

Really?  Immediately you should know something is wrong.  First, the Commonwealth Fund is a VERY BIASED group that leans extremely left. You can search this site for more on that (see search button on lower right).

Second, they are talking about coverage.  Well, coverage is FREE to Medicaid recipients. They pay nothing. For Obamacare and private care, people are having trouble affording to pay the premiums and the office fees. So they don’t go.

Here is more:

Medicaid enrollees were much more likely than the uninsured to receive preventive care, such as blood pressure checks, cholesterol screenings, and flu shots, the survey shows. They were also more likely to receive cancer screenings, such as mammograms and colonoscopies.

Well, you need to be able to afford to go to the doctor and again, it has been proven Obamacare has created a system where patients are NOT going anymore.  It is ironic how the extreme left created the Obamacare system and now are using it the “bad” standard to compare it to Medicaid. I just wonder if they looked at preventive care prior to Obamacare how well Medicaid would hold up?

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I don’t know what fake news is anymore.  I guess The Onion does fake news and it is funny as hell. This, however, is biased news and it is important to pick it apart just like we physicians should pick apart new studies that come out. It is obvious that the Commonwealth Fund did the survey.  They set it up.  It is already biased.  There could be tons of problems with their methods but I will let that go for now.  Their conclusions are absolutely skewed to their politically viewpoint.  They WANT a single-payer system.  All their “surveys” and “research” are based at convincing others of this goal and they work backwards to prove it.  In other words, they form a conclusion and then find data or create ways to find data to prove that.  This is NOT how the scientific method works. 

Go back to the beginning of this piece.  I had you visualize your experience to the Medicaid system.  Do you really believe that they are now getting better care than insured patients?  Yeah, I thought so. This is not saying that Medicaid patients deserve less quality care.  I am just asking for your experiences as it relates to the Commonwealth Fund’s supposed conclusions.

I am not a fan of the present system of Obamacare.  Obviously.  I also hate the insurance model as it is presently being used.  I believe in the free market and using insurance only for catastrophic reasons.  This blog is based on that and so now you know my biases.

So, to sum this up, is Medicaid great or did they just twist this story?  You can decide for yourself.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  8 comments for “Medicaid is Great or How to Twist a Story

  1. Harold Isenberg
    May 3, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    I was wondering when I read this study who Commonwealth Funds because it sounded extremely biased. Thanks for the information because indeed they are.

  2. Steve
    April 30, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I’m going to take a contrarian opinion here.

    Our practice takes a limited number of Medicaid patients. They seem to get a lot of care. They see doctors way more than the average patient. They do so because it costs them almost nothing and because they are high consumers of healthcare.

    In the process of their many doctor visits, they end up getting their screening and vaccines. They probably get this preventative healthcare far more than the average patient.

    So, the study is technically correct. It just leaves out the more serious issue: Horrible reimbursement to the care providers.

    Yet, it is undeniable: Take away Medicaid and these patients stop going to the doctor. …And they probably die.

    At the same time, when I see a Medicaid patient, I know I just lost money. Thus, we sharply limit new Medicaid patients from coming into the practice.

  3. Steve O'
    April 30, 2017 at 9:56 am

    In the Federal arena, nothing about the healthcare discussion is really about healthcare. If it were, you would hear questions like “What resources can we add to the American healthcare system to improve infant mortality.” Heard that one?

    Our British friends discovered that healthcare itself is the #3 killer! [LINK] Obviously something must be done to overturn the system, yes? Why, Harvard chatters on in agreement! Our colleagues write “A Sea of Broken Hearts: Patient Rights in a Dangerous, Profit-Driven Health Care System.” Somebody must start to care!

    Here’s why the caring industry cares so much. “The poor are a gold mine,” said an anonymous author. FIVE BILLION DOLLARS A DAY pulses through the healthcare purses, and our country is so unable to compete in other private sector industries that we never really recovered from the Great Recession. How many days of cash flow would it take to have a bigger military? A balanced budget? And unlike a subscription to a newspaper, when it’s an emergency, nobody will relinquish their wish for access to healthcare. It’s a great way to control humans, if you hate humans.

    On an uglier note, America is no longer productive or prosperous enough to rebuild a healthcare system that would be needed for improvement. I personally see American healthcare rivaling Turkey’s within several years. We now rank at #37 behind Costa Rica and Morocco. I see us as coming in behind Egypt and Hungary, but likely better than Belarus and Sri Lanka. No, I’m not kidding. The question is, how do we deliver top-of-the-line Third World Healthcare without strikes and revolts?

    We “need” that money for tax cuts and government expansion! Close your eyes – you can nearly hear the pulse of five billion dollars! We can bleed it down – but all bleeding eventually stops.

  4. April 30, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Idea for a new study. I see people talk about how more govt programs are needed for the poor or otherwise unfortunate. Here is an exercise. Find a large group of people in your city who are poor or economically unfortunate, then do an analysis to see how many of their problems can be attributed to the government. I think you’ll find that a very high percentage of people living in the US, citizens and non-citizens alike, are in dire straits due to a government program or policy. It is amazing how the govt has created a entire sub-population of poor, ill-educated people with its policies all while claiming to do the opposite.

    • Steve O'
      April 30, 2017 at 9:38 am

      Read Theodore Dalrymple MD, a psychiatrist in Britain who worked in prisons, and wrote extensively about the helping industry.
      He offered his thoughts about Communism, but his thoughts fit also into the Government Helpfulness industry:
      “In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

      • Pat
        April 30, 2017 at 3:44 pm

        Which is why I have come to believe that medicine – as now controlled by health care – is a thoroughly dishonest profession.

      • Tommy McElroy
        April 30, 2017 at 3:45 pm

        Thanks I used to read him when I still read National Review. Brings to mind the Orwell principles of control through deception, coercion, and later compulsory celebration.

  5. Pat
    April 30, 2017 at 8:50 am

    1. Obamacare was created with the end goal of moving the entire populace into single payer, i.e. “Medicaid for all.” Only the most dug in partisans cannot admit this.
    2. The federal government has absolutely NO appropriate role in the provision of daily medical care. It was not foundationally equipped to provide goods & services, and as such is a failure in delivering health care via Medicaid, Medicare, and the VA. If the individual states want to establish medical safety nets, that is a different matter, but it will always fail at the federal level.
    3. Commonwealth, Families USA, and their like all know that all care for all people all the time is unaffordable, but they want to push the illusion of it. It is all a lie.
    4. States should be able to restrict, or even throw non-complaints off of Medicaid. It is an enabling system that spends dwindling taxpayer dollars on clients who are unaccountable to those providing the care.

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