Medicaid beneficiaries and health reform
Some health reform proposals include reductions in Medicaid benefits in favor of a more basic health plan that would cover a broader range of Americans, including the uninsured. This study provides data on the implications of such proposals. With current Medicaid coverage, the study finds that one in five adults experienced serious problems getting and paying for health care in the past year. In addition, a substantial number of Medicaid beneficiaries now have trouble paying for the basic necessities of life; the well-being of these beneficiaries (between one-quarter and one-half of all beneficiaries) would be placed in jeopardy by proposed cuts in coverage levels and benefits. Medicaid beneficiaries report worse health status and greater disability level than the general public, suggesting that proposals to link Medicaid coverage with ability to work should be pursued with caution.