Lack of health cov­er­age makes us ‘penny-wise, pound-poorer’

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

Re­gard­ing the March 20 ed­i­to­rial “The AHCA's hid­den costs will hurt ev­ery­one” (p. 24), I was struck by the re­marks con­cern­ing higher costs of care for newly en­rolled Medi­care pa­tients who were pre­vi­ously unin­sured. I work in Ok­la­homa and we see this all the time. Our health­care spend­ing for those who haven't joined Medi­care yet is rel­a­tively low—poorer, un­der­in­sured (we are a non­ex­pan­sion state) and lim­ited ac­cess to pri­mary care all con­tribut­ing—but our per capita Medi­care spend­ing has steadily grown, and we are now in the top tier ac­cord­ing to the Dart­mouth At­las. So your point speaks to pent-up de­mand, es­pe­cially for those with chronic dis­eases. “Penny-wise, pound-poorer.”

Dr. Ni­cholas Twidale Elk City, Okla.

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