Even as the Left celebrates Obamacare’s expansion of health coverage, a Reuters story highlighted what kind of “insurance” people will receive under the law.
First, the article noted that many large, national insurers have decided not to participate in Obamacare’s exchanges:
The nation’s biggest insurers have decided against joining the exchanges on a large scale, professing uncertainty about the roll-out and how much the uninsured would participate. Most are sticking to states where they already sell insurance directly to individuals, leaving at least half a dozen states with only one or two health plans to choose from.
The article then quoted a chief executive from one of the insurers participating in exchanges on the type of coverage they will offer:
Since we don’t offer commercial products, we aren’t paying the providers at commercial rates…. The products look a lot like the Medicaid plans that we are currently administering.” (emphasis added)
In other words, people in the exchanges may not have a large choice of plans, and the available plans may end up closely resembling Medicaid coverage.
The problems with Medicaid coverage are well-documented. Low physician payments mean that many doctors do not accept Medicaid. As a result, health outcomes for patients on Medicaid remain poor, in some cases even worse than uninsured individuals. Perhaps one Michigan resident and Medicaid beneficiary said it best:
You feel so helpless thinking, something’s wrong with this child and I can’t even get her into a doctor…. When we had real insurance, we would call and come in at the drop of a hat.
Sadly, as the Reuters story notes, millions of Americans—not just those covered under Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, but also those placed in the exchanges—could soon discover what it means not to have real insurance under the new health care law.