Why Medicaid for All is a Terrible Idea

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“Medicaid for All” has suddenly become the darling of the health reform crowd. Nevada almost became the first state in the nation to adopt Medicaid for All this year — until Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed the plan in June. Other states, including Massachusetts and Minnesota, are looking into it.

These Medicaid-for-All plans would let anyone “buy into” the program. Middle-class families could pay government-set premiums for Medicaid coverage. They would get guaranteed health benefits at government-subsidized prices. And given that the program pays healthcare providers less than private insurance, Medicaid for All might even rein in health spending — or so the thinking goes.

This argument for “Medicaid for All” might sound compelling. But Medicaid provides low-quality care to its current beneficiaries, who are generally poor and among the most vulnerable in society, at extremely high cost to taxpayers. Expanding it would only exacerbate its problems.



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