Lehigh University
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Expansion of Medicaid: Underplayed and a mistake in the making

Laura Olson, professor of political science.

As the debate over healthcare reform rages, the expansion of Medicaid is a vital component of both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate proposals. Laura Olson, professor of political science, believes that the proposed expansion of Medicaid is being underplayed by political officials and the media alike, yet is a simmering issue that is about to boil over.

"It is incomprehensible that an expansion of Medicaid is being considered as part of health care reform," says Olson. "Under the current proposals, Medicaid would expand to include an additional 11 million people under a system that is already broken. It would be a huge mistake to expand a system that already cannot accommodate the population it’s designed to serve."

Olson is the author of one of the few comprehensive studies of Medicaid, with a forthcoming polemic "The Politics of Medicaid: Stakeholders and Welfare Medicine," in which she assesses the social, economic and political issues that have shaped the program over the decades.

Olson’s views on the matter were featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer today in an op-ed column titled "Health Reform will increase Medicaid costs."

Story by Dina Silver Pokedoff

Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2009

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