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More Medicaid not solution

Published: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

To the Editor:

Associated Press reporter Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar’s Nov. 12 story, “Medicaid is health overhaul’s early success story,” reveals that many Illinoisans are enrolling in Medicaid.

The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, made this possible. But this is not good news.

In Illinois, it’s incredibly difficult for Medicaid patients to see a physician. The government has slashed payments to doctors. As a result, one-third of doctors no longer accept new Medicaid patients. When patients do find a doctor that accepts Medicaid, they can expect to wait weeks or more for an appointment.

While people need access to health insurance coverage, Medicaid often fails to provide the best care. That’s why expanding Medicaid – an expensive program that, too often limits access to care – is not the prescription for what was promised under Obamacare: health care access and affordability.

Naomi Lopez Bauman

Director of health policy, Illinois Policy Institute

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