Medicaid patients do get better health care than America’s uninsured


The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink is delighted to see the early results of a major study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research which has effectively proven that patients on Medicaid find regular doctors, see those doctors more often, feel better, are less depressed, and are better able to maintain financial stability than those with no health care insurance.

Medicaid may not provide the very best health care in the world, and some have long argued that the program is near to useless, but (at least as provided in Oregon) it is now clear that Medicaid provides a highly beneficial form of health care compared to that available in America to the utterly uninsured. And that includes all the Medicaid patients with prostate cancer too.

The study effectively was able to study the health care of men and women who had been “randomized” (as a result of a state lottery) to receive or not receive Medicaid during a two-year financial crisis. This offered a “once in a generation” opportunity to study the real impact of Medicaid coverage in a “randomized” clinical trial.

Detailed information about this trial is available in an article by Kolata in The New York Times today. We can expect this study to receive extensive coverage in other media. And there will no doubt be some who seek to “poke holes” in this research to make political capital.

2 Responses

  1. Medicaid patients get far better coverage than I do at a company that has great benefits by today’s standards. I once was in my PCP’s office to get Cialis and he was writing a prescription and asked me how many. I told him I can only get 6 per month so make them the 20 mg pills and I could cut them. He obliged and said that his Medicaid patients can get as much as they want. He said he would bet that most use less than half of his typical 30 pill per month prescription and sell the rest because there was no way that he could ever have that much sex even when he was a 21 year old …

  2. Thank you for reporting this important research.

    These days prescription drugs are an important part of treatment for many of us. My own out-of-pocket drug costs are substantially reduced because my insurer offers a mail order pharmacy with lower prices than are available at retail outlets. I’m thinking the lower prices are a result of quantity purchasing, other operational economies of scale, and bargaining power in negotiating with drug suppliers. Does anyone know if Medicaid patients also get access to mail order pharmacy prices?

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