States need freedom to improve health for Medicaid recipients

Rea S. Hederman Jr. Jun 07, 2017

This opinion piece appeared in The Hill. You can read the full piece by clicking the link below.

As Congress continues its work on replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Ohio leaders like Governor John Kasich and Senator Robert Portman are rightly concerned about the impact these changes will have on Medicaid recipients, especially those who received Medicaid through the ACA expansion. However, two critical facts are missing from the current debate.

First, Medicaid is a substandard health care system and we have to find a way to transition people into insurance that offers them better care. Second, Medicaid is not fiscally sustainable at either the state or federal level. No one, on either side of the political divide, wants people to be uninsured, but glossing over these two critical facts won’t help solve the real problems Medicaid faces and it won’t provide people with quality healthcare.

Studies have shown that people who are on Medicaid don’t have better healthcare outcomes when compared to someone without Medicaid. In other words, people who receive Medicaid spend more money on healthcare but have the same risk of heart attacks and had the same blood pressure levels.

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