Topic: Medicaid expansion
You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
March 31, 2013 at 6:31 AM
Medicaid expansion will aid Seattle’s art scene
You can’t walk more than a few blocks in Seattle without passing a coffee shop. Local art covers the walls, and sometimes you can hear neighborhood bands playing. Seattle is an art destination, with monthly art walks in neighborhoods across the city. Our artists and musicians are valuable culture providers that attract international attention and robust tourist dollars to the city.
As a 15-year member of the Seattle music community and a self-employed artist, I have had to find my own health insurance and trust that it will be adequate. Sometimes it has not been enough to help me with occasional medical bills, and most people in my community have had the same experience.
Seattle’s exports of music and coffee make up the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. But what about the health care of these life-changing songwriters, baristas pouring the perfect foam, or awe-inspiring artists? Many of them, while healthy, are uninsured. And when the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) kicks in next year, they might not be able to afford comprehensive coverage, especially with an uncertain income.
That’s where Medicaid expansion comes in [“Gov. Inslee proposes extension of temporary taxes,” seattletimes.com, March 28]. Expanding Medicaid will give health care to 250,000 low-income Washingtonians (like me), some of whom may not have previously had access to health insurance and quality health care. That means your favorite band will now have access to preventive care such as vaccines and cancer screenings as well as treatment for chronic conditions such as diabetes. And they probably won’t have to cancel a gig because the drummer couldn’t afford to go to the hospital after leaping off the stage at Neumos.
–Alicia Dara, Seattle
Medicaid expansion provides health care safety net
As a Washingtonian, I stand behind Medicaid expansion. I am eager and excited to purchase insurance coverage on the exchange. But I know there are many people who don’t have access to Medicaid now, who might not be able to afford a plan on the exchange. Some of these people are my friends and neighbors. With Medicaid expansion, they’ll have a health-care safety net. They will have access to preventive care such as vaccines and cancer screenings as well as treatment for chronic conditions such as diabetes.
Medicaid expansion makes sense for Washington. Not only will it cover an additional 250,000 low-income Washingtonians, but it will also create at least 10,000 new health-care jobs. Expansion of Medicaid in Washington state will actually save money since Medicaid expansion will be fully covered by the federal government for the first three years. After that, they’ll still pick up 90 percent of the bill. It will save $225 million in this biennium as we transition away from state health programs such as Disability Lifeline and State Basic Health.
Medicaid expansion will bring federal dollars to our state to create healthier people, quality jobs and billions in local business activity.
–Megan Pahl, Seattle
February 25, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Non-physician health-care providers will be indispensable
In his op-ed, “Are there enough doctors to expand Medicaid coverage?” [Opinion, Feb. 19], Dr. Nick Rajacich argues that as Washington considers expanding Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, we should figure out whether there are enough doctors and other caregivers to care for the potential 300,000-plus new patients.
His concern is shared by many of us who focus on Washington’s health.
A growing segment of our workforce that will continue being indispensable in the future of care is advanced-practice registered nurses (APRNs). Primary-care health-care providers are not exclusively physicians. APRNs already are critical to primary care in Washington, and will be vital to the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Of the approximately 5,200 Washington APRNs, many have their own primary-care practices in Washington; some work in partnership with physicians; others are certified nurse midwives and certified nurse anesthetists.
Washington is one of 13 states where APRNs can practice independently, without oversight or direction from physicians. Research confirms that APRN patient outcomes and patient satisfaction match that of physicians.
The Medicaid expansion is an opportunity to extend coverage to many more people in Washington, and it can be successful in an environment of coordinated, effective care.
–Linda Tieman, executive director of the Washington Center for Nursing, Tukwila
February 21, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Community health centers will meet new need
As a community health center CEO, I wholeheartedly believe that having enough providers for patients who will be newly eligible for Medicaid should not dissuade legislators from saying yes to expansion [“Are there enough doctors to expand Medicaid coverage?” Opinion, Feb. 19].
Indeed, there will be work to do to set the new program up for success. But we should not pass up this historic opportunity to provide health care coverage for more than 250,000 low-income people, while saving the state $225 million.
Nonprofit community health centers — the backbone of the state’s largest primary-care safety net — are committed to meeting this expanding need. In fact, we are already meeting a good part of this need. We provide cost-effective, patient-centered care to nearly one-third of the state’s uninsured — many of whom will be among the newly eligible for Medicaid.
Community health centers throughout the state are building capacity for more patients. HealthPoint recently opened a new clinic in Bothell and will open another this fall in Midway. We know that access to preventive health care keeps families secure and businesses strong. We’re doing our part to make Medicaid expansion a reality. The Legislature should do theirs.
–Thomas Trompeter, CEO, HealthPoint, Renton
More nurse practitioners and increased efficiency
The op-ed by Nick Rajacich misses the mark. The editorial on the same day rightly recommends Medicaid expansion in Washington [“Ensure Medicaid expansion,” Opinion, Feb. 19].
As a doctor and health economist, taking the federal money to ensure our working families have coverage for health care is the right thing to do. Health and education go hand in hand and families need both. We can afford to expand Medicaid, the state’s revenue will be bolstered, families will have prevention and fewer will need to go the ER.
We have enough doctors to care for all of the people in the state if we use coordinated-care teams, continue increasing the number of nurse practitioners and increase the effectiveness of our care. We can and will be able to care for all people in Washington.
–Robert A. Crittenden, professor Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle
What is he doing to help?
Nick Rajacich makes excellent points regarding Washington’s Affordable Care Act exchange’s ability to accommodate expanded service with adequate physicians. He asserts the state must provide standards, laws, regulations and requirements to assure “providers who are actually accepting new patients, and the ability of those providers to see new and existing patients in a timely manner.”
I’m curious, though — besides alerting us and lecturing the state, what is he doing? How is the Washington State Medical Association advising and encouraging its members to surrender to and contribute to achieving this worthy goal?
–Cyrus M. McNeely, Renton
Enough primary-care providers
The op-ed by Nick Rajacich asks the wrong question. Instead of asking “Are there enough doctors to expand Medicaid coverage?” the question should be, “Are there enough primary-care providers to expand Medicaid coverage?” The answer to the second question is “yes.”
Nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives are highly competent, licensed primary-care providers who, together with physicians, physician assistants and other members of health care teams, can meet the need for access to primary care in the state of Washington.
A study of Washington state providers found that nurse practitioners and physician assistants were far more likely than physicians to accept new Medicaid patients.
–Jenny Capelo, president, Council for Nursing Education in Washington State, Wenatchee
Trending with readers