Millions of children in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid and should receive the same access to health care as families with private insurance. But a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests those families are finding it harder to make appointments with doctors and are waiting longer for care. The study carried out by the University of Pennsylvania is the first of its kind and looked at the experiences of parents making appointments at specialty clinics in Cook County, Ill. With Medicaid facing a reduction in funding the question of access to care is more important than ever.
Dr. Karin Rhodes, director of Emergency Care and Policy Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, is the senior author of the study. She explains the results of this unique research and discusses the questions it raises for doctors, patients and health care policy makers. Lisa Hannum is the mother of four children who are on Medicaid. She shares her many stories of struggling to get good care while on Medicaid.