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Morning Bell: Fighting for Medicaid's Future
Posted By Conn Carroll On April 29, 2008 @ 9:24 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled
Established in 1965, Medicaid is a joint federal-state program created to provide health care to low-income individuals. Each state administers its own Medicaid program (e.g. California has “Medi-Cal”) while the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services monitors its efforts. The programs are funded by both states and a federal matching formula that ranges as a high as 83% for poorer states. Preserving the integrity of these matching funds is essential to getting the best health care results for low-income individuals.
For almost 15 years now the independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been issuing reports on certain behaviors by state governments that manipulate these funding formulas to the detriment of low-income beneficiaries everywhere. Past GAO report titles include:
To combat these abuses, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued regulations  that would end some of the most common questionable practices, including:
Unfortunately, the House moved last week to block these efforts to save Medicaid, passing a bill forbidding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from adopting its proposed regulations. While it looks like conservatives in the Senate may act to save these regulations , Congress ought to show it is serious about saving this program by honestly tackling these issues.
If Congress does not allow the administration’s regulations to become law, then it should at least pass its own legislation that addresses the very real waste, fraud and abuse issues raised in the GAO reports. For liberals who want to dramatically expand the government’s role in providing health care, reining in these abusive costs is a threshold issue of credibility. For the rest of Congress, this is a critical test to see if lawmakers are serious about entitlement reform and the long-term fiscal health of this country.
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URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/04/29/morning-bell-fighting-for-medicaids-future/
URLs in this post:
 Medicaid: States Use Illusory Approaches to Shift Program Costs to Federal Government (: http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:MBqgw3IYMtUJ:archive.gao.gov/t2pbat2/152543.pdf+%EF%83%98+August+1994+GAO+Report:+Medicaid:+States+Use+Illusory+Approaches+to+Shift+Program+Costs+to+Federal+Government&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a
 Medicaid: Questionable Practices Boost Federal Payments for School-Based Services (: http://www.gao.gov/archive/1999/he99148t.pdf
 Medicaid: Intergovernmental Transfers Have Facilitated State Financing Schemes (: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04574t.pdf
 Medicaid Financing: States’ Use of Contingency-Fee Consultants to Maximize Federal Reimbursements Highlights Need for Improved Federal Oversight (: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05748.pdf
 Medicaid Financing: Long-Standing Concerns about Inappropriate State Arrangements Support Need for Improved Federal Oversight (: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08255t.pdf
 issued regulations: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/wm1837.cfm
 may act to save these regulations: http://www.cq.com/document/display.do?dockey=/cqonline/prod/data/docs/html/news/110/news110-000002711877.html@allnews&metapub=CQ-NEWS&searchIndex=1&seqNum=2
 Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/poll/106804/Food-Prices-Hardship-64-LowIncome-Americans.aspx
 who saw voter fraud first hand growing up in Chicago: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120943129695651437.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries
 The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/28/AR2008042802483.html
 almost three times the largest amount received by any other single senator this year: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/clinton-2.3b-in-earmarks-2008-04-28.html
 gray wolf populations have grown beyond the Fish and Wildlife Service’s goal: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-na-wolves29apr29,1,5761764.story
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