Scott Walker on the case for block-granting Medicaid:
WHAT does Medicaid have in common with “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Lost in Space” and “Get Smart”? They all made their debut in 1965. Although we enjoy watching reruns of these classics, the television networks have updated their programming. The federal government should do the same.
In recent years Washington has taken an obsolete program, which covers health care for low-income Americans, and made it worse through restrictive rule-making that defies common sense. It is biased toward caring for people in nursing homes rather than in their own homes and neighborhoods. It lacks the flexibility to help patients who require some nursing services, but not round-the-clock care.
Judy Solomon rebuts:
Governor Walker says Medicaid is obsolete because it is biased toward covering people in nursing homes rather than their own homes. In fact, Medicaid is moving in precisely the opposite direction. In 1990, just 13 percent of Medicaid spending on long-term care went for care in the community rather than in an institution. By 2009, the figure was 43 percent. That’s a great example of how Medicaid is changing with the times.
Moreover, health reform, (i.e., the Affordable Care Act) provides several new options to speed this trend along and continues funding for the “Money Follows the Person” program, in particular, which moves people from nursing homes back to the community.
Having cleared that up, I'm sure Walker will now revisit his thinking on this issue.