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  • Feds Should Stay Firm on Massachusetts' Medicaid Waiver

    While the Massachusetts health reform has generated a significant amount of attention, few have focused on the critical Medicaid demonstration “waiver,” which enabled the reform and was set to expire on June 30.

    Absent an agreement on the terms and conditions of the waiver’s renewal, last Friday the feds granted the state its fifth two-week extension in order to continue negotiations.

    While the feds and the state aren’t willing to make public the details of their ongoing talks, the local media have reported that the Bush administration is standing firm and refusing to give in to the state’s request for billions of additional dollars from federal taxpayers. The administration deserves credit for holding the line. Until Massachusetts can demonstrate that there has been an appropriate shift in funds away from institutions to individuals, there should be no room for agreement.

    To be clear: No one wants to stand in the way of an innovative health reform experiment in Massachusetts. But Massachusetts officials themselves are undermining a key element of their plan’s financing by shoveling dollars that should go to offset the cost of insurance into the coffers of politically favored hospitals.

    Granting additional time to negotiate the waiver renewal is one thing, but if, as some have reported, the state might be putting off serious talks in hopes of receiving a “better deal” in the next administration, then federal officials should remain firm and give the state an ultimatum. Federal officials need to ensure that waivers are not a state entitlement, but rather a useful policy tool to effect innovative reform.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Feds Should Stay Firm on Massachusetts' Medicaid Waiver

    1. Tman says:

      Until Massachusetts can demonstrate that there has been an appropriate shift in funds away from institutions to individuals, there should be no room for agreement.

      It's funny to think that some people actually thought the money might go where it was supposed to go. Meanwhile this quasi-socialist experiment is "now projecting cost overruns of $153 million for state fiscal year 2008".

      However, I like the fact that the numbers for the crowded ER's seem to be improving. I guess we can live with the government pissing away a few hundred mill for that, right?

      How much did the Big Dig cost again?

      Pocket change. Ahh, taxachusetts…….

    2. Glenn Steiding Pinol says:

      I'm sure glad I left that crazy State in 1965. My brother and both of my sisters still live there but my mom and dad died from shaking thier heads too much!

    3. George Howard, Liver says:

      I hope you're typing this from home and not one of the computer labs at UC. GET BACK TO WORK, and leave mary rose alone you BULLY! ;)

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