Gibbons explores dropping Medicaid

Victor Joecks

Yesterday, Governor Gibbons instructed his staff to examine the possibility of withdrawing Nevada from Medicaid. Despite the expected liberal hysteria, withdrawing Nevada from Medicaid could actually lead to better medical care for the poor in Nevada.

Geoffrey Lawrence, a fiscal policy analyst for the Nevada Policy Research Institute, the conservative think tank, said opting out of Medicaid would not result in thousands of Nevadans going without health care or leaving unpaid bills at emergency rooms.

Under provisions of the Senate-approved bill, residents without health care could receive federal subsidies to allow them to buy private health care policies, he said.

For the most poor, a 100 percent subsidy would be given. Others would pay up to 9.8 percent of their income.

“They probably would receive better health care than under Medicaid,” Lawrence said.

He said some doctors refuse to treat Medicaid patients because payments for treatment are too low.

The other benefit of withdrawing Nevada from Medicaid is that it would make the federal government pay for its own program, instead of forcing the states to pick up some of the tab.

And as Geoff wrote on National Review Online today, Governor Gibbons could be starting a nationwide trend.

Gibbons’ actions may soon resonate in other state capitals as policymakers nationwide bridle at Congress’s dictating how limited state resources should be allocated. Harry Reid’s increasingly makeshift proposals are giving states every incentive to throw in the towel on Medicaid.