Health Center News, Uncategorized

Medicaid Under the Spotlight

By Amy Simmons Farber

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Medicaid is under the spotlight these days as states scramble to figure out whether take the federal government’s deal under the Affordable Care Act to expand the public insurance program to more low-income people.  In a couple of states, health center leaders are joining coalitions of providers, hospital associations and health care organizations in support of such a move.

In Iowa, for instance, the Peoples Community Health Clinic and the Iowa Primary Care Association are urging Gov. Terry Branstad and state lawmakers to go for it.  (check out the story here).   In addition to the health care savings that go along with widened access to primary care, supporters say an expansion will save states over the long term and even create jobs.  An editorial just published in the Missouri News Leader notes a study by the University of Missouri which shows that cost of enrolling more people in Medicaid would be offset by cuts in unemployment and give the economy a boost.   Joe Pierle, head of the Missouri Primary Care Association told the newspaper,  ‘This is not a political issue for us … this is the real world.”

Health centers play a big role in the cost-savings of Medicaid patients.  In fact, they currently care for 15% of the Medicaid population at 2% of the cost.   Check out NACHC’s new fact sheet for the details.