Think Tank’s CHAIN Letter Criticizes Group’s Opposition to Pro-Patient Medicaid Reform

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CHAIN Rejects Healthier, Happier Medicaid Reform Patients in Favor of Bureaucrat-Controlled Health Care

NAPLES – Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) Chief Executive Officer Tarren Bragdon sent a letter to the Community Health Action and Information Network (CHAIN) condemning the liberal group’s political campaign to stop statewide expansion of Florida’s successful Medicaid Reform. The letter also rebukes CHAIN for refusing to propose alternatives that match the success of the state’s five-county Medicaid Reform Pilot.

“CHAIN has been vehement in its opposition to proven patient-centered health care reform. Further, CHAIN has failed to offer meaningful reform alternatives that have shown to improve patient health and satisfaction. One is left to believe the true purpose of CHAIN is to shackle Florida patients to a bureaucrat-controlled Medicaid system,” Bragdon wrote.

Florida’s Medicaid Reform Pilot has achieved better health outcomes and higher patient satisfaction compared to patients confined to traditional, bureaucrat-controlled Medicaid managed care and commercial HMO plans. The Pilot has also expanded plan choices, covers extra health services and has created significant taxpayer savings.

Earlier this year, Florida submitted a series of waiver requests to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) so this Medicaid Reform can be enacted statewide. Florida taxpayers are estimated to save up to $901 million annually from statewide expansion, and all Florida Medicaid patients, not just those in Reform Pilot counties, will become healthier and happier with their care. Those requests are pending.

Last week, FGA sent a 24-page study authored by Bragdon to CMS analyzing Reform Pilot results along with a letter urging the federal agency to approve Florida’s waiver requests. CHAIN’s intense lobbying effort to sway CMS to deny Florida’s requests discards the Reform Pilot’s benefits to both Medicaid patients and Florida taxpayers.

“As other states struggle with Medicaid crises, Florida has a cure with its Medicaid Reform Pilot,” Bragdon continued in the CHAIN letter. “CHAIN has resisted this Medicaid cure from the outset, instead pushing a return to the failed, command-and-control system where bureaucrats—not the Medicaid patient or doctor—is in control of that patient’s care. That’s not patient advocacy, that’s patient politics and it is wrong.”

Bragdon, a nationally-recognized expert on Medicaid and welfare programs, concluded his letter with a put-up-or-pipe-down message to the liberal group.

“Until CHAIN offers a meaningful alternative to Florida’s Medicaid Reform that prioritizes patients over the bureaucrats and special interests, CHAIN should end its political campaign. In light of the tremendous accomplishments made by the Reform Pilot on behalf of Medicaid patients, and the achievements to come if and when CMS allows Florida to expand the program statewide, CHAIN obstructionism marks patient politics at its worst.”

CLICK HERE to read the letter sent by FGA CEO Tarren Bragdon to CHAIN.

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