Texas Sidestep Exposes Medicaid Rhetoric

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , August 29, 2012

"The acquisition of Amerigroup expands our scale and further diversifies our business mix by deepening our investment in the high growth Medicaid marketplace. It also increases our flexibility to serve customers across the economic spectrum," Wayne S. DeVeydt, executive vice president/CFO of WellPoint said at the time. "We believe the acquisition is not only strategically important, significantly enhancing our future revenue and EPS growth opportunities, but will also provide an attractive return for our shareholders."

Clearly WellPoint is anticipating an expanded Medicaid population.

Once again, the point here is not to disregard legitimate concerns and arguments about the scope and role of government in healthcare.

It is instead to make the point that responsible leaders can do so without firing election-year broadsides against programs that affect the fiscal health of their cities and counties, and the physical health of millions of their most vulnerable constituents.

How will this play out? I suspect that after the Nov. 6 election, there is a good chance that many of fiercest critics of the Medicaid expansion in Texas and other states will quietly drop their objections.  After all, this isn't about politics. It's about money.

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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