Medicaid directors relieved major cuts averted

A Florida doctor examines a patient. Photo: J. Pat Carter / AP

Politicians often criticize Medicaid, the public health insurance program for more than 74 million Americans, as a "broken" program that needs structural and financial changes. But the people who operate state Medicaid programs say that while the program isn't perfect, it mostly functions well.

What we're hearing: Dozens of public officials, health insurance executives, providers and consultants met in Chicago on Monday at a conference run by Health Management Associates, which has become the de facto consulting shop for the Medicaid industry and includes many former Medicaid directors and federal Medicaid staff. Many were relieved the Republican plan to cut Medicaid spending failed, but they know states have to do a better job explaining how the complex programs work today.