The recent political debate over health insurance coverage does not take into account actually getting medical care. You can have every single person insured America, that still doesn’t mean they will get medical care.
Furthermore there is a big difference between private insurance and putting people on government healthcare such as medicaid. Medical facilities have a right to take the patients that they want when seeing them on scheduled appointments for treatment.
Take for example the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They see both medicaid and private insured patients. They are now seeing financial issues with medicaid patients being expanded under Obamacare because they are not being fully reimbursed as reported in February:
Hospitals say they lose money treating patients covered by Medicaid, which is the state-federal health insurance program for people with incomes near or below the poverty line.
But Mayo Clinic saw its estimated unreimbursed cost of serving Medicaid patients grow by about $70 million to $546 million in 2016. Back in 2012, the clinic’s comparable Medicaid costs were $321.7 million.
“What we saw was an increase in Medicaid, which is kind of new for us,” Adkins said in an interview. He attributed the increase to more patients in Minnesota qualifying for Medicaid coverage with the expansion of benefits under the federal health law.
Now the Mayo Clinic has shifted towards a new policy to counter more losses financial. Here’s a statement by their Chief Executive Officer from yesterday:
Mayo Clinic’s chief executive made a startling announcement in a recent speech to employees: The Rochester-based health system will give preference to patients with private insurance over those with lower-paying Medicaid or Medicare coverage, if they seek care at the same time and have comparable conditions.
The number of patients affected would probably be small, but the selective strategy reveals the financial pressures that Mayo is facing in part due to federal health reforms. For while the Affordable Care Act has reduced the number of uninsured patients, it has increased the share covered by Medicaid, which pays around 50 to 85 cents on the dollar of the actual cost of medical care.
It takes a lot of money to run a major healthcare facility. Government programs will never be able to keep quality of care top rated or fully funded.