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Poor Americans in South Less Likely to Get Medical Care: Study
Date:3/28/2013

id expansion need to come up with another plan to improve access to care for the poor left out of that program.

She said there is a movement across the country to improve access to care for the poor even in places like Texas and Florida that have traditionally been less supportive of medical care for the poor.

Devon Herrick, a senior fellow at the conservative National Center for Policy Analysis, said there are alternatives under the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid to cover the poor.

Medicaid won't improve access to care, he said. One problem, which may only get worse, is fewer doctors will treat Medicaid patients.

"A lot doctors don't want to treat Medicaid enrollees because reimbursements tend to be half or even lower, compared to private insurance," he said.

Herrick said he thinks that under the Affordable Care Act, more poor people will be able to get private insurance coverage. "These people would qualify for, really, general subsidies under private coverage," he said. "The reimbursements to providers are nearly double Medicaid."

Each state will have to develop its own program, he said. Some will accept Medicaid expansion and others will find a different path. "There is no one-size-fits-all solution," he said. "There possibly 50 solutions across 50 states, maybe multiple solutions in each state."

One critic said that private insurance under the Affordable Care Act won't solve the access problem for many poor Americans.

"Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act will leave about 30 million Americans uninsured, most of them U.S. citizens. These uninsured will continue to delay care, even for serious problems like heart attacks," said Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor at CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, in New York City.

Some of the newly insured will also delay care because their new coverage is so skimpy that they can't to afford to use it, said Woolhandler, who is also a co-found
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