I chose the article, “Is Medicaid Sustainable? Spending projections for the program’s second forty years,” by Richard Kronick and David Rousseau
This study provides a prediction for Medicaid based on historical trends of projected spending over the next years from 2005-2045 while comparing projected Medicaid spending to expected general health spending and government revenue growth (Kronick & Rousseau, 2007).
The study shows that Medicaid spending should not be a concern as it steadily increases with health spending. The gradual increase in spending will ensure Medicaid recipients are covered and continue to enjoy its benefits. The authors note that since little can be done to reduce Medicaid spending growth, there is need to reduce general health spending growth. In addition it notes that since, the program is cheap compared to Medicare and covers most population than private insurance, is prudent to control Medicaid spending growth by reducing overall health care cost increase. The study supports the idea as Medicaid’s share of national health spending is expected to remain constant until 2025 and gradually increase by 2045 (Kronick & Rousseau, 2007).
There is growing debate by politicians and policymakers over the sustainability of Medicaid program and calls for reforms to ensure the program succeeds. This study notes that there is no need for worry as growth in government revenues and proper projections of Medicaid spending will be enough to sustain the Medicaid program for the coming 40 years. Thus, political attacks and calls for reforms on Medicaid as untenable program should cease.
Medicaid is special program sponsored by government to cover families that earn low wages and lacks means to inexpensive health cover. It supports sick, poorer, and disabled persons. There are fears over reforming the Medicaid for draining government resources due to high cost and underfunding making state to derail other projects. Medicaid sponsors most medical and health-related services for poor American citizen, thus if the funding is reduced it will affect most citizens.
In sum, this study allays such fears noting that government revenues are enough to support Medicaid spending growth and other projects and calls for government to control a rising health increase by predicting the Medicaid spending.
The other article is, “Medicare and Medicaid spending variations are strongly linked within hospital regions but not at overall State level” by Richard Kronick and Todd Gilmer.
This article raises awareness of the differences between the geographic patterns of spending on Medicare beneficiaries and others populations with aim to reduce geographic differences in Medicare spending (Kronick & Glimer, 2012).
Existence of variations has proposed a policy to make even Medicare payments across geographic areas. Though this should be done without affecting care for other citizens and understand the relation between use and spending patterns for Medicare and non-Medicare recipients. The article found a minor link between Medicare and non-Medicare spending at region stage. it advices policymakers that while reducing Medicare spending in high payments areas they should realize that the move could affect availability of care for people not insured as policies likely to reallocate Medicare spending from high to low spending states cannot better or equalize health care.
Medicare is a governmental sponsored cover plan for person above 65 years of age and children with handicap or a fatal disease and extra eligibility requirements.
The geographical variations across the states led to government bid to reduce the Medicare spending cost in some states as government noted it was due to wasteful practices and overtreatment. However, policymakers were not satisfied with the idea of regional differences being used to determine health spending. As the government tries to cut the Medicare payments in high spending areas and increase it in low spending areas, this is likely to affect most of people depending on Medicare payments if they will not scrutinize as to why spending in some places varies from other regions.
Health care spending plays a vital role in the US economy and there are various reasons as to why spending could vary ranging from high cost, sicker people among others and this should not be used a public policy (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2014). In addition, the cost does affect a lot healthcare delivery system, as high cost, existing gap in coverage between Medicare and Medicaid among others healthcare insurers coupled with the rising cost of healthcare and old population medical and healthcare needs will be of high demand. Moreover, the high cost of healthcare should be a thing to worry of, as there is need to reduce high healthy spending cost instead of using geographical variations.
In sum, Medicare and Medicaid support may be reduced due to poor funding and there is need for the government to sponsor the program and ensure affordable healthcare for all.
Kronick, R. & Rousseau, D. (2007). Is Medicaid sustainable? Spending projections for the program’s second forty years. Health Affairs, 26(6), 271–287 spending variations are strongly linked within hospital regions but not at overall state level. Health Affairs, 31(5), 948–955.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2014).the High Concentration of U.S. Health Care Expenditures.