Tuesday, August 7, 2018

New Doctors back Single-Payer, and Medicaid Expansion lowers cost for Diabetes and treats Opioid Abuse.

Those baby boomer kids learned a life lesson seeing their parents deal with expensive health care issues as they grew up, and are now poised to change things. 

The days of stable long-term jobs and comprehensive affordable employer-provided health care insurance are gone. Thankfully, the next generation of doctors are now on the front line advocating some kind of single-payer system, in direct contradiction to the American Medical Association's 80 opposition:  
Kaiser Health: When the American Medical Association met in Chicago this June, its medical student caucus seized an opportunity for change. Though they had tried for years to drop its decades-long opposition to single-payer health care, this was the first time it got a full hearing. The debate grew heated — older physicians warned their pay would decrease, calling younger advocates na├»ve to single-payer’s consequences. But this time, by the meeting’s end, the AMA’s older members had agreed to at least study the possibility of changing its stance.

“We believe health care is a human right, maybe more so than past generations,” said Dr. Brad Zehr, a 29-year-old pathology resident at Ohio State University, who was part of the debate. “There’s a generational shift happening, where we see universal health care as a requirement.”
Democrats on Board with single-payer, Medicare-for-all or option to buy into the Medicare program: The only thing I can add to this is a plea for someone to come up with what the added tax would look like, and the actual savings Americans will see ditching those skyrocketing monthly insurance premiums:
At least 70 House Democrats have signed on to the new “Medicare-for-all” caucus.
Fact: Medicaid Expansion Saves Money,  Fights Diabetes and Opioid Epidemic, so where's Scott Walker? 
As a career politician, Walker has never had to live in the real world. His pursuit of a purely ideological agenda shoved reality aside in Wisconsin, leaving the deadly opioid epidemic to grow and diabetes treatments to fall costing everyone more money as a result:
California Healthline: Low-income people with diabetes are better able to afford their medications and manage their disease in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and saves public money (a $6,394 reduction in health care costs in 2017 dollars), a new Health Affairs study suggests. More than 114 million adults in the U.S. have diabetes or prediabetes, making the disease one of the country’s most formidable health challenges.

The study found a roughly 40 percent increase in the number of prescriptions filled for diabetes drugs in Medicaid programs (significantly reduced out-of-pocket spending for insulin) of the 30 states that expanded eligibility in 2014 and 2015 … states that didn’t embrace expansion saw no notable increase ... more than 2 million people who live in non-participating states would have qualified for Medicaid.
That’s your argument? Profit, profit, profit? Those poor old monopolistic drug companies that get so much help from the National Institute of Health can’t stop whining, and free market institutes keep proving just how bad capitalist abuses are to the average American:
Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, said Medicaid pays a fraction of a drug’s list price, so pharmaceutical companies may hike prices for everyone if they don’t feel they’re being compensated fairly. That, in turn, could drive up everyone’s premium costs or lead those with private insurance to pay more out-of-pocket. “As prices rise, fewer people will be able to afford diabetic medications.”
More Doctors taking Medicaid Patients Too: Paul Ryan's fear mongering...wrong:
Health Affairs (no link-my email newsletter): New research, led by Hannah T. Neprash, a professor of health policy at the University of Minnesota, concludes that doctors are not taking fewer Medicaid patients at the same time the program is expanding under Obamacare ... chose to expand ... from 10.2 percent in 2013 to 13.6 percent in 2015. In non-expansion states, there was no notable difference either way, according to the study. 
Medicaid Helps reduce and treat Opioid addiction but Work Requirements Block Access: 
The same has been found in other studies of major public health issues, like opioid abuse, which disproportionately affects low-income Americans. A study published last month in the Journal of Health Economics found admission to treatment facilities increased 18 percent in expansion states, largely due to a 113 percent increase in admissions for opioid treatment by Medicaid beneficiaries.

Adding eligibility requirements creates additional barriers to Medicaid coverage for those patients dealing with chronic health issues, whereas expansion of Medicaid helps more people address those conditions before they get worse — and even more costly. Let's not forget that additional medical costs, whatever they may be, may fall on the taxpayer.