Medicaid-CHIP Fail to Provide Access & Quality for Children

Recent studies and journal publications have confirmed what many enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have been saying for years: that they receive worse care than individuals and families with other kinds of health insurance. This is a devastating revelation for the parents of the current 37 million children on Medicaid-CHIP and the millions more about to be added thanks to health reform.

Children who have Medicaid-CHIP coverage are turned away from medical specialties more often than children with private insurance. There are many culprits for this disparity including educational and income barriers faced by those on public insurance, but also physicians and health care facilities that refuse to accept any (or most) individuals with public insurance due to low physician reimbursement rates and excessive paperwork.

Moreover, as these public programs are expanded under ObamaCare and the country (and states) face financial hardships most agencies assigned to improve the system are looking to further decrease provider reimbursement rates to achieve cost savings. This creates all kinds of additional problems as we’ve learned the hard way from Medicare. Most importantly, we’ve learned that decreasing provider payments directly leads to less access and quality for all.

Knowing the existing adverse effects faced by children and families enrolled in Medicaid-CHIP, we have to seriously question how the administration can pass health reform that expands these programs and will most likely lower provider reimbursement rates to meeteconomic demands.

Nicole Fisher

Nicole Fisher is a current PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina in the Health Policy and Management Department. She also currently writes health care policy for t...

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