If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Democrats are reporting that if Minnesota moves our working poor from one of our state programs to Medicaid, we will receive seven dollars from the federal government for every dollar we put in. If that were true, it may make a lot of sense to do that. We pay in to federal programs more than we get back now, and this might be a way for Minnesota to catch up to other states in terms of how much we get back. Hospital administrators hearing this claim are justified in asking that we do this to help them keep their doors open.
If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. The problem is that the feds don’t give us a 7:1 return on our state dollars. They’ll give us a 1:1 match. That’s what federal law says. Democrats need to correct these claims and have an honest discussion about costs, benefits and drawbacks to opting in to Medicaid.
For example, did you know that once we sign up for federal healthcare, we lose all ability to reform and innovate with this patient population? By signing up for this “free” federal money we are obligate under maintenance of effort rules to provide exactly the same care folks get in Mississippi. Minnesota is a world leader in providing high quality, low cost healthcare. We should lead the nation in healthcare reforms, not federalize our state programs like GAMC and MNCare. Our new coordinated care model of wellness provides hope for the poor and sick that they may someday become well and productive again. Let’s build on what works and fix what doesn’t. Abandoning Minnesota healthcare for an unaffordable, unaccountable and unsustainable federal plan will cost the state more money and take a great big step backwards in patient care.
In this time of fiscal crisis, we can not afford to politicize healthcare decisions or use numbers that are just plain made up.