Patient-Centered Medicaid Reform

Authors: SCPC and Neil Mullen

Medicaid is the Social Security program providing health care for those with low or limited incomes and special needs. Initially designed in the 1960s, it has seen only limited change in the last four decades. It delivers an essential service for the needy, but the nature of its structure is obsolete and inefficient. Medicaid consumes 20 percent of the South Carolina state budget. That is up from 10 percent in 1995, and projections for 2015 are at 30 percent of state expenditures. This is an unsustainable growth rate which threatens all state programs. A new Medicaid waiver which restructures certain portions of the delivery system has been submitted, and it would create a client-centered atmosphere with an emphasis on choices and preventive care. Both beneficiaries and tax-payers deserve this change. This waiver will allow for an improvement in the way Medicaid delivers health care. The reforms will prevent the deep cuts in Medicaid and other key government services that are otherwise inevitable.

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