Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Blog: Judith Solomon: Medicaid at 50: A Critical and Evolving Pillar to U.S. Health Care
Medicaid, is a very important health insurance program for people in poverty including the working poor, but also people who are disabled and senior citizens. The fact that it is also for seniors, I believe shows a problem for Medicare. Since Medicare is supposed to be for our senior citizens. But that might be for a different topic. But Medicaid is critical, but as long as we have it we need for it to be financially sustainable meaning affordable and the best way to do that is to pay for it. And no longer have this system where the Federal Government tells the states that they must have this program and only gives the states less than half of what they need to actually run the program. Without a revenue source to pay for their share and leaving the states to figure out how to pay for the rest.
If you are familiar with this blog, you it is against corporate welfare. And part of that welfare is business’s getting away with not paying for their employees cost of living. The fact is if you’re a cashier at a fast rood restaurant, or a grocery store, you’re an essential employee. Because your employer can’t do business without you and your fellow cashiers. And cashiers would just be one example of that. Good luck running a nice sit down restaurant without waiters and cooks. Or stocking a grocery store without stockers. Running a pizza joint without cashiers, cooks and drivers. And there are plenty of more examples like that.
So what I would do is what I would do with all public assistance programs and make them financially self-sufficient. Instead of having hard-working middle class taxpayers not only have to figure out how to pay for their health care and other life essentials, but have to pick up the tab for low-income workers have employers cover their employees Medicaid, public housing, food assistance, etc. Or give them an option and say you don’t want to pay these payroll taxes on your employees, give your employees the money to pay for these life essentials instead. And I would happy to cut taxes on business’s in exchange. But the idea that big employers who make a lot of money, but don’t share much of that success even the basics like cost of living and instead pass those costs onto hard-working middle class taxpayers, is insulting.
Again, I would do this with all of our public assistance programs, but since this is about Medicaid, this is how I would reform it and make it financially not just affordable, but self-sufficient. Tell employers that they need to cover their low-income workers. Either through Medicaid with a payroll tax, or provide private health insurance that is just as good as Medicaid. Again, instead of allowing big for-profit employers the ability to pass their employees cost of living onto hard-working middle class taxpayers. As well as give low-income workers the option of taking either Medicaid, or private health insurance that their employer would cover part of that is just as high quality.