Their work is very detailed and analytical, as usual. In a three part series, first they outlined the crisis, including the massive increase in funding that Obamacare will add, in their report Final Notice: Medicaid Crisis A Forecast of Texas’ Medicaid Expenditures Growth. In their second report, The Big Squeeze, Analysis of Spending Cuts or Tax Increases Necessary to Maintain Current Medicaid, they detail that the current program is not sustainable. In the third and final report, Medicaid Reform: Constructive Alternatives to a Failed Program, they offer three specific alternatives that they think will solve the problem. From the final report:
This paper proposes dramatic reforms to the way medical care and services are provided to low-income individuals, under a new assistance program: TexHealth. TexHealth offers a starting point for the discussion of reforming Medicaid into a free market based program. TexHealth would change the dynamic of Medicaid from a defined benefit program to a defined contribution program, allowing individuals to make their own decisions in regards to their health insurance needs.
Providing direct subsidies for health insurance motivates low income populations to obtain the health insurance that fits their particular circumstances, and not what the state decides they need.
Imagine that! Conservatives giving po’ folks the same choices that rich folks have!
Where are the solutions from the liberals? Solutions that do not simply raise taxes to continue the current, unsustainable system?
Crickets can be heard chirping for miles and miles.
Well, except for Houston area Rep. Garnet Coleman. Rep. Coleman was recently in Austin for a Sunday morning discussion on the growing budget reality of state Medicaid and other health services assistance, especially to the young, the old and the infirm. Greg Holloway of the Austin Tea Party Patriots (he is also one of the advisors to Sen. Patrick’s Tea Party Caucus) advocated for seeking private and non-profit solutions to these services, since government’s impact on eliminating the underlying causes of the lack of self-sufficiency is questionable at best. Rep. Garnet Coleman argued that federal law requires the state to provide such funding and, whether through state or federal programs, the government should continue to so.
After the discussion at KXAN ended, Mr. Holloway and Rep. Coleman continued an informal discussion off air. Mr. Holloway asked him, “What will happen if government funding of such health services to the old, the young and the infirm eventually crumbles under the weight of budgetary realities in the coming years? Shouldn’t we plan around the problem before it happens?”
Rep. Coleman’s answer: “I’ll let it crumble.”