Rising Medicaid Costs in Mississippi (and other states) are forcing a cut in benefits:
Starting Friday, most Medicaid recipients in Mississippi will be limited to five prescription drugs at a time, with no process for appeal. The cap appears to be the most restrictive in the nation, but is just one of many measures being taken by states seeking to rein in soaring Medicaid costs.
Obesity is one of the causes of rising Medicaid costs:
Mississippi's rate of obesity is not simply a matter of vanity or even of health — it's a fiscal crisis and a physical crisis for those carrying around a dangerous amount of weight.Mississippi has been identified as "ground zero" in the prevalence of obesity in the nation.The most recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control study ranked Mississippi No. 1 in obesity prevalence with an obesity rate of 26 percent.
The two major national obesity studies indicate that Mississippi spent $263 per capita or some $757 million annually on medical costs related to obesity — the 23rd highest amount in the nation.But because of Mississippi's poverty and high Medicare and Medicaid recipient populations, the more disturbing number indicated in the studies are the fact that the taxpayers are subsidizing an estimated annual $223 million in Medicare costs and $221 million in Medicaid costs that are attributable to obesity.That estimated $444 million annual taxpayer burden related to obesity in Mississippi includes direct health care costs in the Medicaid and Medicare programs. They manifest themselves in the high costs of treating diseases like Type II diabetes and other obesity-related health problems.
Over 1/4 of Mississippi adults are obese. Other contributors to poor health in Mississippi include high rates of poverty and smoking. The health status of poor Mississippians will worsen with the Medicaid cutbacks, which started several days ago. I will witness this from ground zero in the U of MS resident Internal Medicine clinic as a new academic year starts. I hope the new interns are up to the task.