News Story

Medicaid Recipient: 'When I ask where I'm supposed to go, I'm told the hospital'

Videos highlight the real issues with Medicaid in Michigan

Julie Henry has been on and off Michigan Medicaid for more than 20 years. She knows about the difficulty in finding a doctor who will accept Medicaid and why the system routinely forces her into the emergency room.

"I had to wait over a month to get into my new doctor as it is," she said in a video produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. "I think it's the high demand for doctors that will accept Medicaid insurance. Most places will not accept it ... they are slow paying.

"When I ask where I'm supposed to go, I'm told the hospital. To the emergency room," she said.

Gov. Rick Snyder is pushing to expand Medicaid in Michigan. The House passed a bill to do so, but the Senate has so far resisted. Expanding Medicaid is a key component of implementing Obamacare in the state and across the nation.

According to a 2011 Michigan Community Health survey of physicians, 28 percent of Michigan doctors are not accepting new Medicaid patients.

Opponents of Medicaid expansion in Michigan point to studies that show the program has little effect on health outcomes. Physicians in the state and around the nation point to other policy options like state health plans providing catastrophic care and Health Savings Accounts.

A study on the program in Oregon published by the New England Journal of Medicine found "no significant effect" of Medicaid coverage in important health areas. Meanwhile, other states, like Indiana, offer plans that inject more competition into the system, saving money while offering coverage.

Watch Julie Henry's story below.


Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.