The Worst Health Care Plan in the Nation? Medicaid

"Medicaid is arguably the worst health care program in the country," says Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner. "Recipients are promised a long list of benefits, but doctors who participate in the program are paid so little, and the paperwork is so onerous, that many can afford to see only a few Medicaid patients. As a result, patients flood to hospital emergency rooms where — if they wait long enough — they eventually will be seen. Many have only routine health complaints that easily could have been handled in a doctor's office. A study by the National Center for Health Statistics found that Medicaid recipients were more likely to have multiple emergency room visits in a year than those with private insurance and the uninsured. Other studies have shown that Medicaid recipients are less likely to receive adequate care, and they are more likely to have worse outcomes than those with private insurance. They have also been shown to experience higher rates of hospital mortality than even the uninsured."

The recently passed federal health care reform law would massively expand Medicaid eligibility, making all of these problems much worse.

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