Sandoval confirms increased doctor shortages coming for Nevada’s current Medicaid patients
There are a lot of reasons that expanding Medicaid, like Gov. Brian Sandoval announced he was going to do yesterday, is a terrible idea. As NPRI has pointed out, one of the most unfortunate is that expanding Medicaid to healthy adults above the poverty line will increase doctor shortages for the most needy, including children and disabled.
And that diagnosis has been confirmed by none other than Sandoval himself. Via Steve Sebelius:
Sandoval acknowledged one problem with the expansion — there likely won’t be enough doctors to treat all the new patients who will be seeking primary care. He said he would seek to expand scope of practice rules and enhance medical license reciprocity with other states to immediately allow more doctors to practice in the Silver State. “We definitely have identified that [reciprocity] as a method,” he said.
This is not just a theoretical argument either.
The case of 12-year-old Deamonte Driver speaks volumes about the impact of health-care rationing on Medicaid patients.
Driver, a beneficiary in Maryland, developed a toothache. It should have meant only an $80 extraction.
However, because only 900 of Maryland's 5,500 dental care providers were accepting Medicaid, and these providers faced a backlog of patients, the Driver family — after calling more than 20 providers — was unable to get a timely appointment for Deamonte.
Soon, the youth's tooth infection abscessed and the infection spread to his brain. Deamonte, after complaining of a headache, was rushed to the hospital. He received two brain surgeries, but tragically died less than a month later.
Why does anyone think subsidizing healthy adults above the poverty line is a good idea?