Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey: Medicaid Results

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<p>We're pleased to report to you the results of the latest Commonwealth Fund Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey, the fifth in a series of six bimonthly online surveys. As one of the experts nominated by your peers to be part of our sample, we wanted to be sure you saw a summary of the results before their public release. Even if you couldn't participate, we hope you will find the results of interest. And we hope you will consider taking part in our next survey, which will be coming your way via e-mail within a few weeks.<br><br>As you'll recall, the survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Fund. More than 250 leaders in health policy and innovators in health care delivery and finance responded, weighing in on the success of Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP) in achieving its goals.<br><br>Here is a brief summary of the results:<br><br><strong>Have Medicaid and SCHIP Been Successful in Meeting Their Goals?</strong><br><br>Slightly more than half of panelists representing academia, health care delivery, business/insurance/other health care industry, and government/labor/consumer advocacy felt that Medicaid and the state SCHIP program have met their overall goals (58% and 62%, respectively). Leaders from the business sector were the least positive, with fewer than two in five believing that the program has been successful (39%).<br><br>However, when asked about specific accomplishments of the Medicaid program, majorities across all sectors expressed a strongly positive view about each Medicaid objective they were asked to evaluate, especially those related to serving the health care needs of vulnerable populations.<br><br><strong>Medicaid's Future</strong><br><br>When asked about a number of policy changes for Medicaid, respondents showed clear preferences. For example:<ul><li>Ninety-five percent favored simplifying eligibility and re-enrollment rules to improve continuity of coverage.</li><li>Eighty-five percent endorsed federal funding to expand coverage to all uninsured below 150 percent of poverty level.</li><li>Seventy-seven percent favored the federal government assuming responsibility for paying Medicare premiums and cost-sharing for low-income elderly and disabled with incomes below 135 percent of poverty level who qualify for Medicaid and moving Medicaid/SCHIP toward pay-for-performance payment incentives.</li><li>Thirty-seven percent rejected capping the total federal funds per covered beneficiary and allowing states greater flexibility on benefit design.</li></ul><br><br>Although support for some of the proposed policy changes varied depending on sector, overall it appeared only one option, letting anyone buy coverage through Medicaid or SCHIP by paying a sliding scale premium, was far less favored by respondents from the business/insurance/other health care industry than by panelists from academia, health care delivery, or government/labor/consumer advocacy (55% vs. 74%-80%).<br><br>We'd also like to share with you commentaries about the future of Medicaid by <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=18912&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D300308%26%23doc300308">Diane Rowland, Sc.D.,</a> executive vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=18911&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D301386%26%23doc301386">Raymond C. Scheppach, Ph.D.,</a> executive director of the National Governors Association; and <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=18914&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D302696%26%23doc302696">Sandra Shewry, M.P.H., M.S.W.,</a> director of California's State Department of Health Services. Check the <a href="">Fund site</a> tomorrow for the complete survey results and a column on Medicaid's next 40 years by Fund president Karen Davis, Ph.D.</p>