Michigan: Scratch yet another ACA attack off the list (in 1 state at least, anyway)

Nice job by Amy Lynn Smith over at Eclectablog today:

Once again, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is proving its critics wrong. Opponents of the ACA, or Obamacare, have been falling all over themselves proclaiming that an influx of new patients will overburden the healthcare system, creating a dire doctor shortage.

At least in Michigan, that’s proven to be absolutely false.

A new University of Michigan study shows that the availability of primary care appointments actually improved for people with Medicaid in the first months after the state launched the Healthy Michigan Plan, the state’s Medicaid expansion under the ACA. What’s more, it remained mostly unchanged for those with private insurance.

In a paper published in the journal Health Affairs, the team from the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation reports the results of a “secret shopper” study that measured the availability of primary care appointments.

...Overall, wait times for the first available appointment for all patients stayed the same as before the Medicaid expansion took effect, at about a week.

The study was done last year when Michigan ACA Medicaid expansion enrollment was at around 350,000; it's up to around 600,000 now, so it's certainly possible that wait times have gotten longer since the study was done. Still, compared to the "cobweb-covered skeleton in the waiting room" image which opponents were predicting, it sounds like the negative impact has been mimimal so far.