Monday, May 6, 2013

Finding the Right Solution for Medicaid in Missouri

Throughout this session, your Republican-led House of Representatives has stood firm against reckless proposals to drastically expand Medicaid - a system already fraught with waste, fraud, and abuse. While I am committed to providing the truly needy with access to medical care, blindly throwing money into a broken system will not solve the underlying problems that plague our healthcare system. Simply enlarging Medicaid will not lower climbing prices, improve the quality of care, or stop people from taking advantage of a program meant only for the most vulnerable in our society. Transforming Medicaid is the only way to make the system more efficient and effective, so this is the task we in the House have dedicated ourselves to.

This week, the House passed HB 986, sponsored by Representative Jay Barnes, which creates the Joint Committee on Medicaid Transformation to investigate needed reforms. This bipartisan group of Representatives and Senators will meet with organizations and citizens from around the state to explore ways to limit skyrocketing medical costs, encourage preventative care, comply with federal mandates, and help able-bodied adults transition to private coverage.
Currently, healthcare costs eat up around 18% of our nation’s GDP, the Medicaid program lost $21.9 billion to bad payments in 2011 alone, and Medicaid recipients still receive subpar care. Medicaid expansion without reform will put our state on the hook for more than we can afford in the future, meaning vital state expenditures, like education, will be at risk, and we will still have a system that fails to deliver cost-effective and quality care to those who need it.

Missourians deserve better than half-baked solutions from their elected officials. With thorough research and deliberation, we can craft a healthcare solution that works for Missourians, and will continue to do so in the future.

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