Consumer Advocate's Guide to the Medicaid Report Card

(Last Updated: September 19, 2011)

State policymakers across the country are considering harmful Medicaid cuts in order to balance their budgets: eliminating coverage for vulnerable Americans, restricting critical benefits like prescription drug coverage, imposing premiums on those who can't afford them, and slashing already-low provider reimbursement rates.

To protect Medicaid against these types of cuts, advocates must first and foremost persuade policymakers that cutting eligibility, benefits or rates, or creating barriers to enrollment are bad ideas. But in the current fiscal environment, that's often not enough. A successful Medicaid-defense campaign may also need to make the case that there are better ways to find savings in Medicaid without harming care for vulnerable families. 

This report card is intended to help advocates with that second strategy: proposing a consumer-friendly cost-containment agenda as an alternative to the more harmful cuts. The policies we highlight underscore that it's possible to make Medicaid more sustainable without harming - and often by improving - care for the millions of vulnerable seniors, people with disabilities, children and low-income parents that rely on Medicaid.

Advocates can use this Medicaid Report Card to:

1. Identify state level cost-saving policies to advocate for as alternatives to more harmful Medicaid cuts

2. Develop materials for state policymakers in support of a consumer-friendly alternative to harmful Medicaid cuts

3. Use proposed Medicaid cuts to get press on consumer-friendly alternatives

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