Issues and Ideas Forum, March 5, 2007

Listen to Expert Speakers Over Lunch

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is pleased to host monthly Issues & Ideas Forums in Lansing. These luncheons, which feature experts on a diverse array of subjects, offer a forum that enhances and broadens the policy debate to include theoretical and philosophical ideals — and suggestions for achieving them.

News media, legislators, policy staff and interested citizens are cordially invited to the


“Medicaid Reform Around the States: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

Michael Tanner
Director of Health and Welfare Studies, the Cato Institute


Monday, March 5, 2007


12:00 - 1:00 p.m.


The Mackinac Room, 5th Floor, House Office Building
124 North Capitol, Lansing


Lunch is provided at no charge, with reservation.

Across the country, the federally mandated Medicaid program of health care for the poor is “the monster that ate state budgets” — or is in the process of doing so. In Michigan, Medicaid has been the fastest growing part of state government for years, and now consumes nearly a quarter of the budget. The cost and growth trends are unsustainable and, in the words of economist Herb Stein, “If something's unsustainable, it tends to stop.”

The federal government has indicated it will allow reform experiments in the states, and some have accepted the challenge — for good or ill. “RomneyCare” in Massachusetts has been in the news, and now California is weighing in with “ArnoldCare.” Less well known are efforts in Florida and South Carolina to give Medicaid recipients positive incentives to consume health services in a more rational and frugal manner. Meanwhile, Maine may be in the process of bankrupting the state with a massive expansion of the program.

As director of the Washington-based Cato Institute’s health and welfare studies, Michael Tanner is well placed to provide an overview of these and other reform efforts. His broad knowledge and insights about this issue can help Michigan policymakers discover what works, what doesn’t and how Michigan might escape the box of “cruel cuts” versus “unsustainable increases.”

The forum begins promptly at noon. Please make reservations for yourself and your guests by 5 p.m. on Friday, February 28th by calling the Mackinac Center at (989) 631‑0900.

The Purpose of the Issues & Ideas Forum

The nature of the legislative process is such that public policy debates are often framed by specific constituencies and political pragmatism rather than by sound principles. By offering a forum for wide-ranging discussion, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy hopes to broaden the debate to include theoretical and philosophical ideals — and how to achieve them. The best interests of Michigan citizens can be served only when legislation incorporates our best understanding of legal, economic, psychological, moral and scientific principles.


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