Uncategorized

NC Medicaid Success: Four charts and one letter

The following four charts demonstrate why NC Medicaid, far from being “broken” or worthy as a scapegoat for every unpopular budget decision made by the NC General Assembly, is containing costs better than any Medicaid program in the country while helping create better health for North Carolinians.  The letter reproduced after the charts shows how disingenuous the “Medicaid is over budget” claim is by Governor McCrory and legislators.

1.  NC Medicaid cost growth is very low.  Just plotting some simple data from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that the average annual growth in NC’s Medicaid program has declined for the last twenty years and the program is now growing more slowly than the national average.  Current annual cost growth for Medicaid in NC is actually the lowest in the nation and much lower than the national average:

medicaid growth chart

2.  NC Medicaid has in fact been cutting what we pay  providers.  That’s right – over the last five years, NC Medicaid has been steadily reducing the fees we pay to physicians (with the exception of a very small bump in primary care reimbursement), while expecting more and more from our health system in improved quality and costs.  This is the exact opposite from the overall trend in the US of increasing fees:

medicaid fees NC dropping

3.  NC Medicaid reimburses providers far less than private insurance.  For a normal delivery, NC Medicaid pays about 1/3rd of the average price ($9,775) charged by hospitals in the United States for having a baby.  The price NC Medicaid pays for a normal delivery ($3,347) is more in line with countries like Switzerland, the Netherlands and the UK where health care costs are a fraction of what they are in the US:

Slide4

4.  NC has had one of the steepest declines in infant mortality rates in the nation.  On a major indicator of health care quality – infant mortality – NC is one of five states in the nation with the biggest drop in infant mortality.  We still have a long way to go, but we are doing well and a major reason is the care we provide through Medicaid:

Slide5

5.  Finally, former NC DHHS Secretary Lanier Cansler warned (in writing) the NC General Assembly back as it passed the last Medicaid budget that the cuts being demanded were unrealistic and unobtainable.  It’s easy for the Governor and General Assembly to complain about going “over budget” if the Medicaid budget wasn’t realistic in the first place.  This is just disingenuous.  It’s like a manufactured crisis for someone has a $1,000 mortgage where they have budgeted $800 a month for paying the cost.  Of course, every month they will face a crisis and overspend their budget – but this is because the budget wasn’t realistic at the start:

Slide6

Check Also

Senator Richard Burr: Makes up his own facts about NC Medicaid in order to criticize it

North Carolina’s Senator Burr used to be a ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Members of North Carolina’s State Board of Education passed down $2.5 million in legislative cuts Tu [...]

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s most important job is to keep people safe. For the Depa [...]

When Gov. Roy Cooper visits Wilmington on Monday, it's unlikely that he will be greeted by the [...]

When Gov. Roy Cooper signed the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention or STOP Act into law last month, [...]

The destructive delusions in the Right’s opposition to public transit The modern day conservative op [...]

The post GenX & ’emerging contaminants’ appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

73---number of days since the Senate passed its version of the state budget that spent $22.9 billion [...]

When you lower the bar enough for what’s possible, you create a new normal in which an inch forward [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more