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Some thoughts on expanding Medicaid

4/16/2014, 9:53 a.m.

Florida has experimented on Medicaid reforms on the local level, doing it in a business-sort-of-way by focusing on limited numbers of people before anything is expanded statewide. How have those reform ideas worked? What kind of savings were found? What role does the federal government have in such reforms and the expansion of these reforms?

Indiana, under former Gov. Mitch Daniels, reformed its health care and covered more people as I understand it. But that program is now in doubt because of the federal government may not continue its waivers that allowed this success to take place. Let's find out what Indiana did. Maybe that is a better way to go than what is suggested by our State Senate. Why is the federal government creating problems with this program if it is successful?

We deserve a full and open discussion on this issue of reforming and possibly expanding Medicaid. It shouldn't be something forced down our throats with the threat of closing the state government.

A serious discussion and policy debate on expanding Medicaid needs to be held. There is a system set up by the General Assembly last year to do this. Let's continue that process. Let's fund our schools, our police, our roads, our parks, etc and let's tackle the Medicaid issue in a more responsible manner.

Thompson is currently the chairman and president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, a non-partisan Virginia focused foundation dealing with the issues of improving education, government reform, economic development and environmental stewardship. This foundation is the state's premier independent public policy foundation and has gained broad based respect from political and business leaders throughout Virginia.