Price Controls, One Provider at a Time

If we hand more responsibility for health care to government, will it deliver? It’s one thing for the state or national government to give everyone a health insurance card, and another one entirely for people to actually get access to treatment.

That’s because in their attempt to keep some semblance of financial discipline, officials take several measures, including lowballing private physicians and other providers. Recently Delaware and Walgreens got into a dispute over that state’s attempts to cut its payments for medications.

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Now Mississippi is trying to squeeze more money out of its pharmacies as it struggles to keep its Medicaid program solvent.

The move has been put on hold by a judge, who says that the executive branch took action without first getting necessary legislative approval.

I have a feeling that unlike some states, Mississippi hasn’t gone to great lengths to enroll the middle class in Medicaid. But it could be forced to enroll more people — and pay part of their freight — under some health care bills being discussed in Congress. That would make treating Medicaid patients even less attractive in the state.

Cross-posted from State House Call.