States Can Improve Health Outcomes and Lower Costs in Medicaid Using Existing Flexibility

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Opponents of Medicaid expansion claim that states need flexibility to promote personal responsibility, ensure appropriate use of health care services, and require work. These critics seek to impose premiums, cost-sharing charges, and work requirements that go well beyond what the Medicaid statute allows. States can, however, use Medicaid to employ a number of strategies to promote personal responsibility and work and ensure appropriate use of health care, which would also help lower Medicaid spending and improve beneficiary health outcomes. These alternatives focus on improving the delivery of care instead of imposing harsh requirements that prevent people from getting care in the first place. Many states have already taken advantage of Medicaid’s existing flexibility to move in this direction.

Resource Details

Date: Apr 2015
Author: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities