So you want to cut Medicaid in your state. Or maybe you have to. You know you’re already under-reimbursing doctors. So you do what lots of states try to do. You cut people from the rolls. But whom will you cut? Disabled people? The elderly? Children? No – you cut “adults”. There’s one problem; you can’t save much money that way:
We spend about $15,000 a year on each elderly person and each blind/disabled person through Medicaid. We spend only about $2000 per child. Here’s the kicker, though – we spend only about $3000 per adult.
So when you cut these adults from the rolls, sure you save some money. But you have to kick a whole lot more of them off to save real money. It gets worse, though:
Children make up almost half of all people on Medicaid. Adults comprise another 20-25%. So if you want to cut people from Medicaid, that’s who is available.
There’s no magic solution here. If you won’t touch the elderly, nor the disabled, you have to go after children and adults. And many of those adults are pregnant women. And cutting them won’t save much money.