The Cheaper Option?

A couple days back Peter Suderman had an op-ed on the ACA and Medicaid. Aaron Carrol felt that Suderman obscured our healthcare problems:

Complaints about Medicaid seem to fall into two camps: (1) we need to cut it, and (2) it doesn’t reimburse enough. The odd part is that I often hear these same arguments coming from the same people.  Please understand that the reason that Medicaid doesn’t reimburse enough is that it is underfunded. The Medicaid population, on the whole, is sicker and more costly than the privately covered pool. But, because we underfund it,  it’s cheaper to put people in Medicaid than to pay for them to get private insurance. The reason that the PPACA puts 20 million more people in Medicaid is that it was cheaper than putting them in the exchanges to get private insurance.

Let me say that again – it was cheaper.

And the cost control experiments in the healthcare law - without serious Medicare cuts - are also designed to make things cheaper. Like end-of-life counseling, which could save a fortune by reducing hyper-expensive ICU time to prolong someone's life by a few days. On healthcare, the GOP calls all attempts to cut Medicare costs in the rhetoric of death panels, while insisting that they are the party of fiscal restraint. I wonder, by the way, what percentage of Tea Partiers are in Medicare. If they really want to cut spending, how about their own? Or is that kind of patriotism only for the "unreal" Americans?