As budget season in Washington begins, one thing comes to the top of our ledger: Medicaid.
Members of Congress have proposed a new health insurance overhaul that, among other things, would cap Medicaid payments to states in a misguided effort to cut costs. A similar scenario is playing out in the states that have not yet expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Indiana’s recent federally approved proposal allows the state to benefit from an influx of federal dollars for expanding Medicaid, while also imposing burdensome premiums and co-pays on the poor people it is trying to help.
Lest the impact of these proposed changes be lost, we should stop and look at what makes Medicaid “Medicaid” and why it is so important that Medicaid remain “Medicaid.”