Here's a couple of fun posts tackling the problem of Medicaid spending from two different directions.
The first comes from the Heritage Foundation as they talk about the Ryan-Rivlin proposal to reign in spending on Medicare and Medicaid. You can read about the details in the Heritage post. In a nutshell, Ryan-Rivlin build off of Paul Ryan's Roadmap and changes both programs from open ended money pits to fixed contribution plans. The move would "cut federal deficit spending by $280 billion" over the next decade. Also interesting is that the Medicaid changed would grant states much more flexibility in administering the program. Though how much flexibility is granted remains to be seen.
On the other side of things, the College Republican National Committee is reporting that many states are considering opting out of Medicaid.
Governors from nearly 12 states and from both parties have started internal dialogues within their state about ways to limit the ever-growing cost of Medicaid in the face of enormous budget deficits. But while eliminating Medicaid is probably nothing more than an illustrative point highlighting dire budget constraints, the fact that it is even being considered raises some very sharp questions.
To start off, Medicaid is the largest budgetary commitment in state budgets, and it is rapidly growing. While millions of people are dependent on it, Medicaid produces subpar results even when it is not compared to the results from private providers. Numerous studies have found that Medicaid recipients fare worse or no better than those who have no insurance at all. Not exactly the health outcomes you would expect from a program that takes up 1/5 of states’ budgets.
If I recall correctly, in Colorado, Medicaid and Medicare come in second to education funding in state spending. The post mentions that this will probably go nowhere, unfortunately, but it is encouraging to see states considering throwing off the burden of Federal programs.
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