Take a moment to imagine that someone you love, maybe an aging parent or grandparent, was just released from the hospital after an illness. What kind of care would you want them to receive? Would you want them to be able to recover safely in their own home, near their loved ones? Would you want them to have someone who could help them manage complicated instructions from all the different doctors they’ve seen? How about access to things like meal delivery services and transportation to follow-up appointments that could make their recovery easier for them?
Did you know that the Medicaid program is an important tool that makes the kind of care you’re imagining a reality?
More than 74 million people, including children, older adults and people with disabilities rely on Medicaid to help them access the care they need to get healthy and stay healthy. But in addition to providing affordable coverage, Medicaid programs across the country are working to actually improve the way care is delivered to the millions of Americans who rely on the program.
Medicaid provides states with the financing and flexibility necessary to adopt innovative solutions that lower health care costs by improving care and making that care more person-centered. From helping older Americans get the support they need to age in their own homes instead of a nursing home to improving how we screen for and treat substance use disorders, Medicaid programs are constantly finding new ways to deliver better, more person-centered care.
But the structure and funding that make innovation possible is at risk. The health care bills Republicans have proposed would cut Medicaid funding by billions of dollars and impose permanent cuts and caps on the program. The massive loss of funds would force states to cut costs dramatically and force states to focus on ways to reduce eligibility, benefits and provider payments rather than ways to improve care and lower long-term costs through innovation.
The Republican health care proposal is a step backwards in making the health care system more person-centered. It not only threatens the health coverage of millions and Americans, but would upend all the significant progress Medicaid has made in ensuring patients can get healthy and stay healthy.