Building on a Solid Foundation: Medicaid’s Role in a Reformed Health Care System

By Martha Heberlein

Health care reform is once again a front and center issue – at the White House and in the halls of Congress, in state capitols and corporate boardrooms, and around kitchen tables across America. Covering the uninsured, reigning in health care costs, and obtaining better quality and value for our health care dollars are goals that have broad public and policymaker support. While the policy debates are just beginning, broad consensus exists that a newly reformed system ought to build on the components of the current system, including the Medicaid program. This means that a central question underlying health care reform is: How can each of those components work together to meet national health care reform goals? This question raises many important issues, including how to best build on and strengthen the Medicaid program.

This issue brief was released as part of CCF’s Strengthening Medicaid project, which develops fresh ideas to strengthen the Medicaid program and to engage policymakers and stakeholders at the state and federal levels in discussion about how these ideas might be translated into policies.