Medicaid is a program of health coverage that is jointly run by the federal-state, and is meant for the poor.
Although Its rules and practices differ from state to state, it is generally open to those people who have low incomes, whether below or above the federal level of poverty. Additionally, it has additional compelling conditions of need, like having a serious disability or being a parent.
State governments administer the Medicaid program, but they mostly receive an open-ended funding from the federal government.
Because the states have been over the years expanding the benefits, the federal taxpayers have been forced to pick up a good percentage of the additional cost as a burden.
The costs of the Medicaid expansion is projected to be around $100 billion per year by 2020.
This expansion is because of the 2010 Health Act, which is posed to significantly increase the cost of Medicaid in the coming years, despite the fact that it does not fix the fundamental problems of the program.
Projected cost of Medicaid
A workable idea would be to turn the whole program into a block grant. This should provide an amount of federal funding that is fixed, to each state.
Using a block grant will provide strong incentives for the states to cut on their Medicaid programs, curb fraud and abuse, as well as pursue even more innovative health care solutions that are cost-effective.
Some conditions and ailments added in the list of ailments under the Medicaid should be scrapped off completely. This will go a long way in reducing the load that the taxpayers carry, just to sustain this program.
Medicaid caters for so may conditions such as mental diseases, conditions from drug and substance abuse as well as other physical disabilities.
The conversion of the Medicaid program into a system that offers direct aid to the recipients would be another way to reform Medicaid.
This can be done either by using a voucher or a refundable tax credit. Low-income individuals will receive yearly payment from the federal government, payment that they will use to purchase a plan for their health insurance from the private insurance providers.
The government an better still convert the Medicaid program into a more specialized medical assistance program, to those suffering from chronic mental or physical infirmities.
Ideally, this was after all the initial idea behind the setting up of the state-run relief programs which Medicaid was formed to bail out, almost half a century ago.
When we talk of reforming the Medicaid program, all that is in mind is the burden the people are forced to carry just to sustain it.
Given the number of people that are dependent on Medicaid for whatever reason, it becomes very unsustainable to have all that costs shouldered to the citizenry of the country.
Fichtner, J. (2014). The economics of Medicaid: Assessing the costs and consequences.
Woshington: Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
How to Fix Medicaid Publications National Affairs. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2015, from http://www.nationalaffairs. com/publications/detail/how-to-fix-medicaid
Thompson, F. (2012). Medicaid politics federalism, policy durability, and health reform. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Click following link to download this document