Medicaid Expansion: A Call for Red State Pragmatism

The Alabama legislature recently passed a “live within your means” budget bill.[i] One section in the following Comment highlights that a transition to managed care would benefit Alabama’s Medicaid program and ultimately create a pathway to expansion. However, according to the Alabama Medicaid Agency, this budget drastically underfunds the program by $85 million.[ii] Stephanie Azar, the state’s Medicaid Commissioner, stated the vast inadequacy of the budget would lead to cuts in certain benefits such as home health programs, outpatient dialysis, hospice, adult eyeglasses, and PACE, a program that helps elderly citizens postpone admission to nursing homes.[iii] In addition, the budget would mean payments to physicians would be reduced, which may lead to physicians refusing to treat Medicaid patients.[iv] Most relevant to this Comment, it is possible that such an inadequate budget would delay the state’s transition to managed care; that would prove any Medicaid expansion to be indelibly tougher.

To read Amanda Coolidge’s Comment, Medicaid Expansion: A Call for Red State Pragmatism, click here.

[i] Press Release, Alabama Medicaid Transformation RCO Program Approved for 1115 Waiver

(February 9, 2016),

[ii]Mike Cason, Alabama lawmakers override Bentley veto, pass General Fund ¸ (Apr. 5, 2016),

[iii] Id.

[iv] Id.

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