Health Care Reform in WV: A Lesson from the States

by Dennis G. Smith
WebMemo #2582

A big casualty of the congressional health care reform legislation would be the loss of state flexibility in the financing and delivery of affordable health care options for their citizens.

Under the House bill, the federal government would regulate private insurance for the first time and dramatically increase its control over the Medicaid program. Flexibility will be sacrificed for uniformity and federal control.

Congress is ignoring important lessons that states have learned. It should pay particular attention to West Virginia, which has experimented with Medicaid reform and has learned a lot about what those reforms accomplished.

“All or Nothing” v. Individual Needs

…the state moved away from the mandatory/optional construction and reorganized Medicaid benefits into a basic plan and an enhanced plan. The enhanced plan provides a greater array of benefits than the basic plan but carries with it an obligation to establish a Health Improvement Plan with one’s physician and adhere to a Member Responsibility Agreement…

The article continues at Heritage Foundation

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