Pretty soon, the far right is going to have to find another public program to serve as its official whipping boy when it comes to
telling the story repeating the ideological talking point that North Carolina government is “broken.” The one about Medicaid — the health insurance program for low income people — being the problem keeps on getting disproved.
We’ve already reported about how Senator Richard Burr keeps praising NC Medicaid. Now comes new evidence of Medicaid’s effectiveness in an article in the wonky journal, Health Affairs. Here’s the abstract of the study featured:
“Recurrent hospitalizations represent a substantial and often preventable human and financial burden in the United States. In 2008 North Carolina initiated a statewide population-based transitional care initiative to prevent recurrent hospitalizations among high-risk Medicaid recipients with complex chronic medical conditions. In a study of patients hospitalized during 2010–11, we found that those who received transitional care were 20 percent less likely to experience a readmission during the subsequent year, compared to clinically similar patients who received usual care. Benefits of the intervention were greatest among patients with the highest readmission risk. One readmission was averted for every six patients who received transitional care services and one for every three of the highest-risk patients. This study suggests that locally embedded, targeted care coordination interventions can effectively reduce hospitalizations for high-risk populations.”
Got that? North Carolina’s award-winning Community Care program is making enormous strides in cutting repeated hospitalizations for some of our neediest poor citizens. In other words, rising Medicaid costs are not a Medicaid problem; they’re an American health care problem. The solution is not to deny people coverage; it’s to implement more cost controls like the ones in Community Care and rein in the absurd profits of the corporate Goliaths running our pharmaceuticals and insurance industries.