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Using Medicaid and SCHIP to Cover Adults

Health Care for All: Policy Options for 2009

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OVERVIEW

Bringing Medicaid and SCHIP to more people is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to broaden access to health care coverage.  Medicaid and SCHIP bring in valuable federal dollars and frequently do not require new administrative structures.  In fact, maintaining or broadening investments in social services can help prop up an ailing economy.  Additionally, states can use their bargaining power achieved from a robust Medicaid program to negotiate better deals on health care services, like prescription drugs and durable medical equipment, and to create incentives for better quality care.

Maine's Dirigo Health Faces Off Against Big Business

Politics, particularly in small states, makes for strange bedfellows. The latest effort to derail Maine's first-in-the-nation 2003 Dirigo Health Reform initiative bears this out.  The president of the State Chamber of Commerce and a former member of the Dirigo Health Board of Directors is now treasurer of a lobbyist-driven political action committee waging a campaign to sap Dirigo Health of its funding.

Mass. Health Care Reform One-Year Later: Clear Successes and Challenges Emerge

One year after implementation, Massachusetts new health care law has dramatically reduced its rate of the uninsured by half, increasing coverage in both the public and private sectors for 355,000 previously uninsured residents, a new Urban Institute study published in Health Affairs shows.  The state has improved access to coverage but rising costs are a key challenge as the state moves forward.

Health-Care-for-All On the Installment Plan

Incremental steps to improve the health care system can lay the foundation for comprehensive reform that provides health care for all. Comprehensive reforms enacted in Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and San Francisco were, in large part, the result of pragmatic incremental steps those states had already taken. For example, a Families USA report discusses the many reforms Massachusetts put in place over the years that led to its comprehensive 2006 reform. Not every state is as far along in moving comprehensive health care reform, but each state does have numerous options for increasing access to coverage, reducing the growth of health care costs, and improving the quality of care.

Aiding States to Stimulate the National Economy

As Congress debates a stimulus to the economy in the wake of the housing bust, many economists are urging federal leaders to make aid to state governments a core part of the package. While direct tax rebates for individuals can help, it will not do much for the economy if states are forced to cut back on critical spending on public works, health care, and education at the same time. As Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who was also chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisors in the 1990s, wrote this week in the New York Times:

Welfare "Reform": Ten Years Later

It's now ten years since the 1996 welfare law promised to end "welfare as we know it." That goal may have been accomplished, but the results have been decidedly mixed, both for poor families and for state lawmakers coping with changing federal mandates.