Medicaid Pretends To Be Healthcare But It's Really Healthcare Rationing
It just isn't usually talked about so openly as Mayo Clinic's CEO is doing.
Jeremy Olson writes in the StarTrib:
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.
Mayo will always take patients, regardless of payer source, when it has medical expertise that they can't find elsewhere, said Dr. John Noseworthy, Mayo's CEO. But when two patients are referred with equivalent conditions, he said the health system should "prioritize" those with private insurance.
This is why it's so awful that Obamacare forces people without a lot left after expenses to either take Medicaid or pay the rate paid by people earning, oh, $250K a year, with plenty left over. Just to be clear -- because it's so unbelievable -- a quote from my blog item I linked just above:
If, after expenses, you have less than the $16,500 floor for Obamacare, you can EITHER go on Medicaid OR you can pay full freight -- like what someone earning $250K a year would pay. You are NOT ELIGIBLE for Obamacare subsidies. Not allowed to take them.
In other words, you are not allowed to choose to pay more -- to take less of a subsidy (like by choosing the plan for people with $16,500K left after expenses). And maybe you never wanted other people to pay for you anyway, but Obamacare ruined your coverage -- to the point where you still have healthcare; you just can't afford to use it.
Oh, and P.S. I have not heard or read anything being done to change this in the Republicans' supposed reform package.