Medicaid Reset Under Trump’s New Philosophy
During the Obama years in the White house the relationship between the states participating in the Medicaid program and the federal government was strained by over regulation and forced growth of the program.
Seema Verma the new head of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid services is hoping to have a reset of the vision and the relationship. She has stated clearly that she is looking to “restore the partnership” between the states and the federal officials. At the same time she plans on modernizing the program to deliver better outcomes for the people we serve.
Among the changes to the program will be initiatives to give the states more freedom in how they administer their programs. This might even include the revolutionary idea that work requirements for able-bodied recipients may be permitted. Softening of the methodology surrounding new demonstration projects is another area of concern.
Verma criticized the Obama administration for focusing on increasing Medicaid enrollment rather then lifting people out of poverty, calling it an example of the “soft bigotry of low expectations”.
She claims to have a higher purpose than just handing out Medicaid cards and checks and being the financier of healthcare. “We will not just accept the hollow victory of numbers covered, but will dig deeper and demand more of ourselves, and of you”.
This new approach and philosophy should be a welcome change for the states and for those who have been receiving Medicaid. Medicaid was originally designed as a stop gap for able-bodied individuals, but over the years it has become a way of life. Methods designed to protect the unfortunate have become a holding pen with no clear hope of ever moving out the the system. This new approach to help Medicaid recipients rise out of poverty and become productive members of society reflects the idea that they can be productive and not that they lack the ability to fend for themselves.
Finally progressive bigotry of “low expectations” is going to be challenged.