Huckabee, Governors Recommend Changes to Medicaid

JUNE 15, 2005 - Posted at 4:58 p.m. CDT

WASHINGTON - Governor Huckabee was in Washington today to talk to members of Congress about Medicaid.  In their addresses, members from the National Governors Association said states should be allowed to charge Medicaid recipients bigger copayments or deductibles, just as private insurers can.  Their recommendations would abandon a "one-size-fits-all" approach in favor of one that gives more flexibility in administering the government health care program for the poor.

Huckabee said that governors do not intend to see how many people they can deny access to medical care, but that the current system cannot be sustained.  Among the ideas suggested were to offer unique benefits to unique populations, tailor benefits to particular locations or charge more for some services.

The governors said their recommendations had broad support from both Republican and Democratic governors.

The governors also want steeper discounts for prescription drugs that they purchase for people on Medicaid.  An Arkansas program requires copayments in return for health insurance for certain poor children.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)