One way of viewing this is that Medicaid is a waste of money.
Another way of viewing this is that if you like giving Medicaid to the poor, it’s not because it helps the poor very much, but because it helps healthcare professionals quite a lot.
A third way of looking at this is if you really want to help the poor, you shouldn’t give them prepaid medical care, but should just give them cash. Further, you can probably give them less cash than what you’re paying for Medicaid, and make everyone happier.
A fourth way of looking at this is that if poor people actually had to pay for the medical services that were provided to them through Medicaid, they would choose not to.
That last one is, of course, the point made by many economists and conservatives about Obamacare: people are already telling you they don’t want to buy this, so why do you think it’s a good idea to make them?
Even worse, the research finds that the share of the benefits going to the person receiving the free medical care is less than the share going to other parties.
A way to interpret that would be that helping the poor is mostly about helping the non-poor.
Of course, if you’re reading this blog, you probably already suspected that.