The Cost of The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) could potentially add additional coverage to 32M people: 16M to Medicaid and 16M to the state exchanges. The problem with this is that many states are already on the brink of bankruptcy and this could push them over. The federal money they received from the 2009 stimulus package to provide short-term relief for Medicaid programs is drying up and they’re running out of cash. The high numbers of unemployment and increase in people losing their jobs has caused in increase in patients who have had to turn to Medicaid. This has added an additional 16M to the rolls and will surly make matters most as it’s not just the cost burdens that are destructive but unfortunately access to care is becoming more of a problem.

Recently there have been 33 governors who have written to Congress and the Obama Administration asking them for some relief from the recent mandates because of the simple fact that they can’t afford to abide by them. One of the examples is in the state of California where Governor Jerry Brown asked to cut $1.7B from the state’s Medicaid program. He wanted to limited recipients to no more than 10 physician visits a year.
Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer is also searching for different ways that they can cut 280,000 people from its Medicaid rolls.

To make matters even worse, many doctors aren’t willing to see Medicaid patients. Many doctors feel that the payments they receive from Medicaid patients are so low that there is no benefit to them. In fact, in order for them to get paid, they have to fill out a tedious amount of paperwork, which unfortunately most of them feel that it’s just not worth their time.

It has been estimated that if this problem goes unchecked by 2019 Medicaid will grow to 84 million people and will cost approximately $900 billion a year. If you add in Medicare and Social Security, 93% of the federal revenues will be spend on these entitlements alone in 2019.

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