Healthcare Triage: Medicaid has a Huge Return on Investment

As we pass the 3-year anniversary of the opening of the insurance exchanges, most news seems to focus on the private insurance people can purchase there. In recent months, many have complained about private insurers exiting the exchanges, networks being narrowed, premiums rising, and competition dwindling out of existence.

But it’s important to remember that many, if not most, of the newly insured are part of the Medicaid expansion. As of today, 19 states have still refused to participate in that program. Some cite reports and news that Medicaid offers poor quality and little choice of providers. But most seem to cite the cost of Medicaid, claiming that its growing cost will eventually bankrupt states.

Such declarations only consider one side of the equation, though. In most ways, Medicaid offers an excellent return on investment. That’s the topic of this week’s Healthcare Triage.

This episode was adapted from a column I wrote for the Upshot. Links to further reading and sources can be found there.


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