Policy Documents

What Questions Should You Ask About The New Health Care Reforms Of The Beebe Administration?

March 16, 2011

One week ago, Governor Mike Beebe revealed that he had been planning fundamental and unprecedented changes in the state’s Medicaid system, in concert with the Obama Administration, with little or no consultation with state legislators. At this point, almost nothing is known about the Beebe plan beyond a six-page memo his office has distributed. Policymakers and citizens who are concerned about this massive policy shift should begin by asking Governor Beebe the following questions:

Who will decide "best practices" and "appropriate care"?

Government officials. Beebe’s proposal says: "Medicaid will…work with providers and others over the next two years to (1) identify best practices for different diagnostic episodes, (2) create the reimbursement structure for those episodes…" Because physicians care for individual patients with individual needs and choices, this method subverts medical practice. The Beebe proposal will standardize care and stunt innovation, while forcing doctors to answer to bureaucrats who will focus on lowering costs, not improving health.