Medicaid Empire: Why New York Spends so much on Health Care for the Poor and Near Poor and How the System Can Be Reformed

Studies | Health

No. 284
Monday, March 20, 2006
by John C. Goodman, Michael Bond, Devon M. Herrick, Joe Barnett, and Pamela Villarreal


Conclusion

“Medicaid reform is not simple, but it is essential.”

An alternative to uncontrolled Medicaid growth exists. It is not simple, and in many ways it is unsettling. It will require standing up to powerful interest groups. It will require dedicated staff. The alternative will not stop Medicaid budget growth, but it will lower the rate of that growth. It will provide policymakers with significantly greater control over costs and improve health outcomes. It will introduce some of the efficiency of the marketplace into Medicaid programs. And it will allow patients and providers to make more of their own decisions.

Out-of-control increases in Medicaid costs are not inevitable. But if reforms are not made soon, the question in a few years will be: Why didn't policymakers take control of our destiny when they had the chance?

NOTE: Nothing written here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the National Center for Policy Analysis or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before Congress.


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