The Medicaid expansion was part of Barack Obama’s healthcare plan called “Obamacare.” It loosened the income requirements to qualify to receive benefits if states opted into the new system. It provided 100% funding for the first few years, but only 90% funding after that. This left a state like Alabama picking up an additional $250 million tab on an already strained general fund budget.I am opposed to the expansion of Medicaid. My plan for Medicaid includes the following components:
- Cut the waste, fraud, and abuse in the system. Right now, some people are taking advantage of the $0 copays and visiting the emergency room 100 times per year. Others call an ambulance simply to get a free ride to the hospital. Alabama can no longer afford to waste money on things such as these.
- Petition the federal government for a Medicaid block grant. Getting all our money in one chunk would allow us the opportunity to distribute it in a more efficient manner than we currently are able to do. Presently, Alabama has no control over how Medicaid dollars are spent.
- Revitalize our economy so more people have their own health insurance policy. As we lower our unemployment numbers and the Alabama economy recovers, we will be paying for fewer and fewer people to be on Medicaid.
Certificate of Needs Board
As a legislator, I sponsored a bill that would abolish the Certificate of Needs Board. This board is nothing more than a government overreach into the free market. Imagine having to get permission from the government to open a laundromat in your town and having the government decide there are already enough laundromats in the town so you can’t have a license to open one. How silly would that be? Why should the government decide who can open a business and how many of those businesses are necessary? This is exactly the system Alabama has in place right now for our healthcare companies. In order to expand medical services in a given geographical area, permission has to be granted from unelected bureaucrats who are appointed to this board.
This system is ripe for corruption! Richard Scrushy, the CEO of HealthSouth, was able to “purchase” a seat on the CON Board from Governor Don Siegelman in exchange for a $500,000 donation to a political campaign. With that seat, Scrushy was able to vote against other healthcare providers expanding facilities that competed with his company. Both men ended up serving jail time after the incident, yet the system remains unchanged to this day.