Declines in Medicaid Coverage
Maybe the best post we have seen on the declines in Medicaid coverage and increase in uninsured. Its not a simple issue. There is an odd convergence of an improving economy, reductions in the Medicaid rolls, yet no concomitant increase in private insurance and an increase in uninsured individuals and families. Thomas Barker does a good job in outlining theories for why this unintuitive combination exists at the same time. Some of these reasons are technical and have to do with detailed regulatory issues and incentives.
But it seems in all cases the benefit is for the states while consumers and insurers lose. The question is, will this be the new normal? States need to reign in Medicaid spending to deal with budget shortfalls, and it may be that there will be pressure on Medicaid rolls from multiple, and possible new directions as fiscal stress increases. The question will be how this influences the insurance industry that runs these programs, and how uninsured individuals deal with medical costs given unexpected events.