March 30, 2015

A whole bunch of spending ideas are floating through the State House. Spending for Hollywood movie producers. And Community College scholarships. And tax breaks on old buildings. Spending on incentives. And low income housing. And deductions for seniors.

Don’t forget everybody wants more for teachers and state employees. The Governor wants more for courts, textbooks, repairs and a rainy day fund. Oops. We forgot about the automatically growing Medicaid population. And UNC wants a piece of the action, too, while retirement funding always goes up.

Spending money is easy. But nobody wants to raise taxes.

The answer is right in front of us. Once and for all, fix the Medicaid Monster with managed care.

Bobby Jindal did it in Louisiana . And if Louisiana’s savings from fixed price, managed care were achieved here, we would save $1.2 billion on Medicaid ($325 million for the state budget) over the biennium.

The House wants medical providers to manage Medicaid. The Senate wants the providers to compete with managed care companies. Competition is always good. And the results in Louisiana show managed care is the key to taming the Medicaid Monster.

Managed care saves taxpayers money and improves the quality of patient care. It worked for Bobby Jindal. And if Legislators don’t pass Medicaid managed care here, we better put the spending wish list back in the drawer.