A new chartpack by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured challenges prevailing perceptions that Medicaid is bankrupting states. The Top 5 Things to Know About Medicaid includes such points as: Medicaid spending has increased largely because of increased enrollment; it brings federal health care dollars into states; and it creates jobs. And, of course, it has reduced the numbers of uninsured and increased access to care. It will be expanded under the Affordable Care Act, but it will be incumbent on both the federal government and the states to reform payment and care delivery under Medicaid to emphasize care coordination, wellness, and chronic care management. Our current obsession with budget cuts is a short-term solution to our financial problems that could escalate health care costs in the long run if we continue to rely on emergency rooms as ‘safety nets’ for a growing number of uninsured.
Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, Rudin Professor of Nursing