Report: Medicaid ID Rules Waste Millions, Deprives Thousands of Care
Monday, May 7, 2007
New ID requirements for Medicaid applicants are wasting millions in taxpayer dollars and keeping thousands of Coloradoans from getting health care. That's the finding of a report released today by George Washington University. The rules were meant to keep illegal immigrants off Medicaid rolls, but Polly Anderson with the Colorado Community Health Network says all they've done is create new barriers for eligible applicants.
“If you're impoverished or homeless or migrant, you're not likely to have your original birth certificate, you my not have a valid Colorado state driver's license because you may not drive.”
She adds that the new rules have also forced many clinics to hire more administrative staff.
“We're able to say that's $32,000 that could be spent elsewhere, preferably in direct patient care. Instead it’s being spent on this administrative barrier.”
Anderson notes that before the rules were passed by Congress, there had been no reports in Colorado of any problems with illegal immigrants on Medicaid. She says the new rules have created over $2.5 million in new administrative costs for the state.
“The state Medicaid agency has determined that this saves about $300,000 for the state, but at a cost of $2.9 million in administrative costs.”
The report also says 90 percent of the health centers surveyed reported an increase in problems with Medicaid enrollment.
Look for the report to be posted online at www.cchn.org/.
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