Medicaid Entitlement and Lowering our National Debt
We hear a great deal about the “47%” in the presidential campaign, but we don’t hear about the safety net for people living in poverty. We are told that their numbers are increasing. Here are Republican and Democratic proposals to curb the cost of Medicaid and lower the federal deficit.
From the Republican side the proposal is to:
1. Transform Medicaid to an annual block grant for the States to administer, and provide an across the board annual increase of 1% over inflation with no consideration of changes in population or rates of poverty in a particular state.
2. Repeal Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act that entitles adults and children to health care.
Over a decade this Republican plan would reduce federal spending for Medicaid by an estimated $1 trillion and leave at least 31 million people and untold numbers of children without any health care at all.
From the Democratic side, the proposal is
1. To maintain Medicaid as an entitlement for those with low, eligible incomes through Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act,
2. And to curb costs by reducing payments for prescription refills, health care equipment and services, eliminating duplicative and unnecessary procedures, and streamlining and standardizing best practices for medical care.
Over a decade, these Democratic proposals would reduce costs by an estimated $70 billion.
To contain and reduce Medicaid costs, both proposals will need to develop innovative ways to deliver care. One example innovative care is to continue Medicaid funding of birth control and prevent unwanted pregnancies. This would reduce the numbers of people living in poverty. I am sure that there are many other possible innovations.
Making Medicaid a block grant would curb vital services – Medicaid a block grant would curb vital services –
2 Campaigns Differ Sharply on Medicaid … – The New York Times Campaigns Differ Sharply on Medicaid … – The New York Times