Though founded as a limited program targeted to poor children and mothers, Medicaid is now an indispensable part of our health care system – and one that is actually succeeding.
One in four Americans rely on Medicaid for their medical, behavioral health, or long-term care. Yet Medicaid per-person cost growth is lower than Medicare or employer plans. The CHIP program offers children coverage that costs less and delivers more than other alternative sources of coverage.
With the right kind of bipartisan reforms and improvements, smart Medicaid policy can actually help bring down health costs overall. NCHC advocates:
Pursuing Bipartisan Medicaid Innovation and Reform
- Encourage state Medicaid programs to participate in and help lead multipayer payment reform initiatives at the state, local, and regional levels.
- Foster state/federal initiatives to integrate care for the dually eligible Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries.
- Bring down barriers to state investment in targeted upstream interventions related to housing, home-and community based services, and mental health services and substance abuse treatment, which can reduce downstream medical costs.
Preventing Disruption of Access and Coverage
- Preserve the option for states to voluntarily expand Medicaid eligibility to low-income adults.
- Oppose shifting of Medicaid costs, now born by the federal government, onto states or beneficiaries.
- Enact a long-term extension of the successful, bipartisan CHIP program – which provides superior children’s coverage at lower cost.