House Republicans laid out their proposal for the expansion of Medicaid under the terms of Obamacare Thursday. It would make more people eligible if the federal government agrees to several conditions. They are as follows:
- creating an affordable care plan for the poor
- allowing patients to have private health-savings accounts
- incentives for people who lead healthy lifestyles
- reduced costs for preventative care
- incentives to providers that manage long-term care
- allowing patients to select from private insurance plans
- 100% funding by the federal government
- a 48 month cut-off point for able-bodied adults between ages 21 and 65
Representative Al Pscholka of Stevensville says the proposal will reform Medicaid instead of expanding, "A failed federal program that has shown time and time again that it does not work well." The plan calls for the state legislature to pass a bill making the changes, then for the Department of Community Health to ask the federal government for a waiver to normal Medicaid rules.
Democrats call the proposal "heartless and irresponsible." House Minority Leader Tim Greimel released a statement saying it doesn't do enough to help the poor and would require families to spend up to 5% of their income on a "watered-down health plan." As for the proposed four-year limit for able-bodies adults, Greimel said, "Medical conditions like diabetes, multiple sclerosis and emphysema don't magically disappear after four years."