Our Views: Renew contracts for managed care

Monday, 13 November 2017, 11:01:50 AM. Back when Gov. Bobby Jindal wanted to save money on the big Medicaid program, he turned to managed care companies to run most of the health insurance program for the
Back when Gov. Bobby Jindal wanted to save money on the big Medicaid program, he turned to managed care companies to run most of the health insurance program for the poor. He was backed by most Republicans, and Democrats — and many elements of the medical professions — complained that care would suffer and that the contracts would not save any money. Oddly enough, now that there is a Democratic governor wanting to continue managed care in Medicaid, it is Republicans who are balking. Back then, the GOP was rushing the contracts with managed care companies through, seeking a win for their governor. Now they are slow-walking the extension process, over the objections of the staff who have to make today's system work. What's up with all this? The House GOP blocked the big contracts for the state's biggest programs, ostensibly seeking more savings. This was profoundly to the frustration of Department of Health bureaucrats, who have to deal with the possibility that the contracts won't be renewed, throwing Medicaid — again, the state's biggest program — into chaos, because turning back the clock to fee-for-service would be a nightmare administratively. Gov. John Bel Edwards' Democratic administration wants to keep the five deals with managed care companies in place for another 23 months beyond their January expiration date. But GOP lawmakers raised concerns about the price tag for the extension: $15.4 billion in federal and state cash, for services covering about 1.5 million...Read more
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