The Health 202: Trump administration rolls out a beauty pageant for Medicaid

June 5, 2018, The Washington Post, Paige Winfield Cunningham- Call it a beauty pageant for state Medicaid programs. Except that it’s extremely difficult to judge. Yesterday, the Trump administration released what it’s calling a Medicaid “scorecard” that compares states side-by-side on 17 measures indicating the timeliness and quality of medical care received by enrollees and how well they’re faring under the insurance program for low-income Americans. The scorecard also includes data indicating how well the federal and state governments administer various components of the program. It’s the first time the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has publicly released such a comparison of state-run Medicaid programs, which have long varied dramatically in how they’re run, the range of services that are covered and who is eligible. Officials said the goal is to bring more transparency to Medicaid, which makes up a large share of federal and state spending, and even incentivizes states to make improvements in areas they’re falling behind.

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