Michael Griffin's Health Policy Suggestion: Medicaid For All
Given the chance to suggest a healthcare policy change to lawmakers, Michael Griffin, president and CEO of Daughters of Charity Services, would recommend making Medicaid available to all Americans. Griffin said this would reduce cost while greatly expanding access.
Transcript (slightly modified) What suggestions would you make to Republicans drafting legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act?
The suggestion I would make is really a little controversial, but I would suggest covering everyone in this country. Really, I think Medicaid has gotten a bad rap, but I think we should really look at not Medicare for all, or a single-payer system, but Medicaid for all: really look at reducing the cost of healthcare by changing the payment structure.
Actually, when we expanded Medicaid in the state of Louisiana we covered, in the last 8 months, we’ve covered over 420,000 individuals. It has increased access; there has not been a shortage of providers to cover those patients. You have systems like community health centers that really work closely with Medicaid and indigent populations, and then you have some of the rural hospitals that actually survive off of coverage from Medicaid.
So, if the goal is to reduce the cost but to cover more and give greater access, I suggest a public-private partnership of Medicaid MCOs. It could cross state lines if that’s necessary, and some of that debate has happened on giving choice and competition. But Medicaid expansion—I’d put it on steroids, actually—expanding Medicaid I think is a better solution across the country.