One of the least often discussed provisions of the
Affordable Care Act continues to be one of the most popular according to the
latest Kaiser Health News tracking poll.
Seventy percent of those responding to the poll thought
favorably about the ACA provision to expand Medicaid to more low-income
uninsured adults. That’s right up
there with the much heralded market reform provisions to eliminate pre-existing
condition discrimination (69%).
It’s more popular than the provision that requires insurance companies
that spend too little on health care services and too much on administrative
costs and profits to give their customers a rebate (51%).
These polling results are consistent with others that
have found Medicaid to be a popular public program. Last September, a Bloomberg poll found that cutting Medicaid
was the least popular option for cutting the deficit with 72% opposed.
With all the Medicaid bashing that has been going on
lately, why does Medicaid continue to be popular with the general public?
Here are a few good reasons:
- Medicaid does not discriminate against those with
pre-existing conditions. In fact,
those who have been turned down by private insurers due to pre-existing
conditions in the past often turned to Medicaid for help.
- Medicaid is cost-effective and spends less on
administrative costs than private health insurance plans.
- Medicaid provides comprehensive coverage that includes
the definitive standard of care recommended by pediatricians known as Early
Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT).
With a solid track record like that, it’s no wonder so
many are able to see through the rhetoric and continue to support
Medicaid. Needless to say,
Medicaid receives far more favorable approval ratings than some of those who
continue to unfairly criticize the program.