Governor Matt Mead said today that there is a need to improve the Medicaid program. He said that is why he participated in the Republican Governors' effort to offer state-led solutions to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Republican Governors Public Policy Committee released a report on Medicaid today.
"The process the Republican Governors have completed is noteworthy," Governor Mead said. "This report does not impose a cookie-cutter national plan, but rather shares some of the best ideas from the states. I do believe the states are the best situated to craft health care proposals. Improving Medicaid needs to be a part of any health care reform."
The Republican Governors Public Policy Committee (RGPPC) is proposing changes to the Medicaid program. These changes would give states the flexibility to design their own programs and manage the structure and processes of care as long as states meet standards for improving overall health of Medicaid enrollees and quality of care measures. The Republican Governors Public Policy Committee's Health Care Task Force report details 31 specific solutions for how states could redesign Medicaid and eliminate the structural roadblocks to integration and value-based purchasing contained in the current Medicaid program. The general idea is to allow the states to test approaches to see what works in their specific environment, rather than forcing a one-size-fits-all approach from the federal government on down.
"The RGA sought input from my office and from other Governors around the country," Governor Mead said. "I hope the concept of giving states more flexibility is something Congress and the White House will seriously examine."
Medicaid expenses in Wyoming were $513 million in Fiscal Year 2011 and 88,000 people were enrolled in Medicaid in 2010; 50% of these costs are currently covered by the federal government. Enrollment in Wyoming's Medicaid program is expected to increase in 2014 as an approximately 30,000 additional people in the state become eligible for Medicaid when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented.
"Medicaid is not inherently problematic," Governor Mead said. "The problem is that it continues to consume Wyoming's revenue and the state has little control over the program. I think that with greater flexibility and more control over our state's programs, we can find solutions that fit with Wyoming's geography and culture, take care of our citizens, and reduce costs."