Nebraska’s Health Care System Can Handle LB 472

One of the arguments used against providing access to health insurance for modest-income, working Nebraskans through LB 472, the Medicaid Redesign Act, is that those newly eligible for health insurance would swamp our health care system. In fact, the exact opposite is true.

A February 2015 report from the Commonwealth Fund finds that Nebraska would experience a total of about 119,000 additional visits to primary care providers over the next year for the new Medicaid population under LB 472. That averages to about 2,280 additional primary care visits per week for the entire state. The report finds that LB 472 would add an average of 2.29 weekly visits per primary care professional for the newly eligible Medicaid population.
This evidence shows the health care system can absorb the increases in utilization from a new population such as that in LB 472.  The study aligns with a recent Commonwealth Fund survey that found “75 percent of people with new Medicaid or Affordable Care Act marketplace coverage who had tried to find a new primary care doctor since enrolling in their new plan reported it was very or somewhat easy to do so.”
In addition, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2013 over 96 percent of Nebraska’s office-based physicians accepted new Medicaid patients, the highest rate in the nation. LB 472 will have next to no effect on Nebraska’s health care providers, and to say otherwise ignores reality.