Medicaid is not a “workfare” program. It’s our nation’s primary method of covering health care for low-income Americans.
Seema Verma, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, wants to change that. Although her nomination hasn’t garnered much press to date, it deserves more attention. Verma’s lack of experience with Medicare and with running a large agency are bad enough. But the harmful effect her policies could have on state Medicaid programs and their beneficiaries, in conjunction with likely congressional actions, is even worse.
Except with respect to the most fragile and vulnerable beneficiaries, Verma regards Medicaid not as a health care program but as a temporary pathway “for people to lift themselves out of poverty toward a state of self-sufficiency.” Toward that end, she believes states should have greater leeway in designing their Medicaid programs as they see fit. Most notably, she supports state efforts to treat Medicaid as a training program to make low-income, “able-bodied” Medicaid beneficiaries into responsible, gainfully employed, privately insured members of society. She points to the Healthy Indiana Program, on which she worked under then-Governor Mike Pence, as a model for other states.
Spot on, Dr. Hermer
“Yet the Healthy Indiana Program doesn’t offer more benefits than traditional Medicaid. We also don’t know if its beneficiaries have better health outcomes than traditional Indiana Medicaid beneficiaries, because Indiana has publicly released little data that might allow such a comparison.”
So you didn’t take the time to look up the difference between HIP Plus and HIP Basic? Indiana doesn’t have “traditional Medicaid” and hasn’t for several years.
While there are of course other sources, please feel free to peruse Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration’s website: http://member.indianamedicaid.com/programs–benefits/medicaid-programs/traditional-medicaid.aspx
Did you not even read the eligibility criteria on your own link? Comparing duals to the Medicaid population is like comparing apples to Medicare funded oranges.
I will add that we also need to deal with healthy food availability in the poor areas. It’s much harder to become a healthier person if you don’t have access to better food. And it doesn’t sound like it addresses the fact that employers should pay workers a fair living wage so that they are not poor. No full time working person should be in the poor category range. If we had medicare for all, then all working people would be covered without employers having to bear the cost of providing benefits.
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