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Data Shows Medicaid "Caste System" Delivers Poor Quality to Beneficiaries
Latinos Deserve Real Health Care Reform
(Washington, D.C.) – The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, includes several programs intended to broaden insurance coverage. Many Americans are encouraged to purchase plans off the exchanges, while millions with lower incomes are being pushed towards Medicaid. In expanding Medicaid, an important consideration by proponents of the law is that it would be far cheaper for the government than the subsidies provided for purchasing insurance on the exchanges.
But while Medicaid is cheaper than private insurance, the quality of care is inferior. In 2009, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a leader on health care, called it "a caste system" that was "unfair to poor people." As Obamacare is implemented, many Latinos are disillusioned with lack of good options – including those who are forced into Medicaid. The program offers "poorer coverage, poorer care, and poorer health than private insurance," failing the very group the ACA was intended to help. Because of Medicaid's low reimbursement rates, few doctors accept new patients – and people will have to wait for care. And those who receive care through Medicaid experience health outcomes that are no better than being uninsured – and in some cases, worse. Many Latinos covered by Medicaid may find themselves agreeing with Senator Wyden.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"The American people are discovering that the new health care law was built on a foundation of false promises. One of those false promises will impact the Latino community badly in the months ahead, and turn even more of them against this law.
This Affordable Care Act is not real reform. It is raising costs, canceling policies, narrowing choices, and pushing Latinos into a second class system. It is also hurting economic opportunity – and it will cost Americans $2 trillion over the next ten years. The fact is that more mandates and regulations can't fix the damage that's been done. It's time to review all aspects of the system, and enact reforms that encourage market competition and put patient needs first, rather than expanding a flawed system. With bipartisan cooperation, Congress can improve health care for the vast majority of Americans."