A responsible approach to better government
Aug. 24, 2003
Republican gubernatorial candidate Haley Barbour is running a campaign based on thoughtful ideas to improve the lives of Mississippians. His proposals to re-shape a troubled Medicaid program are no exception.
Outlined in a series of public meetings across the state last week, Barbour's plan for righting the sinking ship of Medicaid rightly balances the needs of recipients and providers; in reality, neither can exist without the other. And, in reality, taxpayers should expect the most bang for their bucks.
Barbour listened intently as professionals who deal with the Medicaid program every day voiced several innovative possibilities to help the program become more effective and efficient:
Reducing the paperwork required by the Medicaid bureaucracy before patients in need can be treated.
More lawsuit reform measures.
Management of the Medicaid program with bulk purchases of prescription drugs to save money.
No cuts in Medicaid provider rates.
Exploring the possibility of revamping Medicaid provisions dealing with pediatric care.
Barbour has pinpointed one of the main problems with state government: Too many agencies turn a deaf ear to ideas that could improve the delivery of services. To his credit, Barbour is listening.
Barbour believes the state can save millions of dollars through better management and by the simple process of following the examples set by other states, particularly in the area of allowing the Medicaid program to increase its purchasing power by buying prescription drugs in bulk. He said other states are saving 10 percent to 40 percent in their pharmaceutical programs through discounts from bulk purchasing.
By listening to the experiences of real people, Barbour has embarked on a responsible approach to better government that will give him a solid foundation on which to launch his term of office should voters on Nov. 4 give him the opportunity.