A remarkable experiment is about to begin in Indiana; the state will expand Medicaid, but recipients with incomes above the poverty line will have to contribute to the cost and pay something towards doctor and hospital visits.
I don’t buy the argument that this is a step onto the proverbial slippery slope, that next we know Medicaid beneficiaries will be forced to pay higher and higher deductibles and copays.
That’s as specious as the argument that states shouldn’t expand Medicaid because some day in the non-defined future the feds will pull the funding.
Nope, it is high time beneficiaries had some skin in the game. Heck, I’d even go for giving the lower-income recipients a cash account they can use for similar deductibles and copays, with any balance at the end of the year going into a fund for education, child care, food, whatever.
Indiana follows in the footsteps of Iowa; several other states are looking into a similar program. This is exactly what we need, states trying different things, seeing what works and what doesn’t. We’ve learned a lot from Massachusetts – the state’s Connector plan has produced remarkably positive results.
Here’s hoping IN, IA and the other experimenting states learn a lot, and learn it quickly.