There are ways to provide more low-income people with Medicaid and still comply with Republican principles.
In Ohio, cost and quality have been addressed as well as access.
Another example is in Indiana with a Medicaid expansion program called Healthy Indiana.
Everyone must pay something, even if the poorest only make a $1 contribution per month. Enrollees can choose basic coverage with no monthly fee or pay a monthly fee that includes dental and vision.
People who don’t keep up their contributions lose the enhanced coverage and then must make co-payments.
Hospitals and doctors receive substantial raises, which deals with the typically low Medicaid reimbursements
As described in a Washington Post story, more than 235,000 previously uninsured adults signed up, meaning people are willing and able to pay their share.
Fewer people are using emergency rooms and more are using primary care.
As Ohio Gov. John Kasich said, “For those who live in the shadows of life, those who are the least among us, I will not accept the fact that the most vulnerable in our state should be ignored. We can help them.”
Note to Florida’s governor and Legislature: Get moving on something similar.
OPIOIDS AND MEDICAID
While some Republicans are eager to slash Medicaid funding, guess where the dominant source of funding originates for tackling the opioid epidemic?
That’s right, Medicaid.
Of 20 Republicans who voted the House health care bill, The American Health Care Act, 16 represent states with large increases in drug overdoes deaths, The Wall Street Journal reports.
In Ohio, a half-million new Medicaid recipients with mental health and substance abuse needs received help through Medicaid expansion.
Meanwhile, polls show that only 29 percent of Americans support the American Health Care Act, reports The New York Times.
In fact, it’s polling worse than the corporate bailout (TARP) and even Obamacare itself.
Not a single state shows majority support for the American Health Care Act. The main reason is simple: Too many people would lose coverage.
The latest estimate from the Congressional Budget Office is 23 million people losing coverage in 10 years.
VALUE OF EXERCISE
What’s it worth to exercise? A new study puts it at $2,500 in The New York Times.
Reduced medical costs account for the savings. It doesn’t take much work to get them, just 30 minutes of walking five days a week.
Savings accrue from less costs in prescription drugs and far fewer emergency room visits.
The findings come from an analysis of more than 25,000 people published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
positive FACTS ON HEALTH
Smoking among teens has dropped from 19.5 percent in 2009 to 10.8 percent in 2015 since passage of the Tobacco Control Act.
The number of uninsured has dropped from 49 million in 2010 to 29 million in 2015.
2.3 million young adults until age 26 have gained insurance coverage on their parents’ plans since passage of Obamacare.
87,000 deaths have been prevented since a decline in hospital-acquired conditions.
HEALTH ASSESSMENTS DOWN
Fewer Americans say their health is excellent than in 2008, reports the Gallup poll, from 22.6 percent in 2008 to 19 percent this year.
The drop in excellent health is largest among those younger than 45.
In general, obesity up as is diabetes, two expensive, chronic conditions.
Gallup notes the complexity of the obesity issue.
“While conventionally understood influences on obesity such as poor exercise, smoking and eating habits are all strongly linked to obesity, so too are less obvious factors such as not having a safe place to exercise, struggling to afford food, being from a low-income household and suffering poor social well-being.”
On the positive side, fewer Americans report diagnoses of high cholesterol while high blood pressure and cancer are unchanged.
OBESITY AND CANCER
Americans spent a generation accepting and dealing with the links between smoking and disease.
Now obesity raises the same challenge.
Research sponsored by the World Health Organization shows a link between obesity and 13 cancers. Research had already shown a link to five cancers:
Cancer of the esophagus.
Breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
New research published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows a link of obesity to eight more cancers.
These 13 cancers account for 42 percent of all new cancer diagnoses.
Only smoking comes close to this devastating health impact.
DIABETES WARNING SIGNS
One-third of adults over 45 may be at risk of developing diabetes even if they don’t look overweight, according to a University of Florida study.
Prediabetes refers to having blood glucose levels higher than normal but not quite high enough for a diabetes diagnosis.
It’s important for these people to be aware of their condition to keep their blood sugar levels under control.
This underlines the importance of good primary care and regular exercise.
For more, visit The Florida Times-Union.