KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicaid: Generic Drugs Save Money, Dental Care Not Always Accessible

News reports detail two new studies that examine ways to improve Medicaid financing and access.

The Boston Globe: "When blockbuster drugs lose their patent protection, state Medicaid programs can save millions of dollars by switching patients to cheaper, generic versions of the medications." But, while some states have policies to shift people quickly to generics, others require permission from patients. "A new study tracking these policies concludes that some states, including Massachusetts, are quicker than others to bring down the costs of prescription drugs once alternatives are available. The difference has implications for expanding Medicaid coverage to more people after the national health care overhaul takes effect" (Cooney, 7/8).

HealthDay/Bloomberg Businessweek: Separately, "[c]hildren in California who have dental insurance through Medicaid and other public insurance programs are less likely to visit the dentist regularly than privately insured kids, a new study has found. The study, by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), revealed that black and Latino children are especially at risk of having inadequate dental care" (Behen, 7/8).

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