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Privatization and contracting out have enjoyed widespread popularity in the current climate of government reform. Frequently, privatization and contracting initiatives are pursued because they are consistent with popular political positions. Among the political benefits of privatization is credit claimed by elected officials-including governors for-reforming and shrinking government, thereby reducing taxpayer burdens (Wallin, 1997; Chi, 1993)…
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Medicaid Costs "Privatization and contracting out have enjoyed widespread popularity in the current climate of government reform. Frequently, privatization and contracting initiatives are pursued because they are consistent with popular political positions. Among the political benefits of privatization is credit claimed by elected officials--including governors for--reforming and shrinking government, thereby reducing taxpayer burdens (Wallin, 1997; Chi, 1993). For administrative leaders, benefits include gubernatorial approval and support (Gill and Rainey, 1998). Yet the rhetoric of capturing market efficiencies through privatization and contracting often masks the reality of administrative "load shedding" and the management challenges that accompany the transition" (Johnston, and Romzek 383)"
State-funded Medicaid costs appear to be an ever-present for state government in all of the fifty states of the United States, but some states seem to have a more difficult time dealing with the escalating costs and the lower revenue. These states have been forced to seek other methods of revenue in order to fund the Medicaid program. Given the scenario that I was the governor of such a state and I was had to find of forms of funding, other than allotting money from other state funded programs, I would seek certain choices. As in the example of what the state of Kansas is doing.
"The State of Kansas is currently engaged in wide-ranging privatization efforts for services such as child support collection, foster care and adoption, and mental health services. These efforts, which have garnered substantial
media attention in the state, have resulted in part from the governor's explicit agenda to reduce the size of the Kansas government and to shift service production to more efficient private contractors.(3) The terms "privatized" and "down-sized" are common in the vocabulary of current state leaders" (Johnston, and Romzek 383)
Kansas has had a successful venture with this privatization and out-sourcing of agencies in order to deal with the care of the elderly of that state. However, Kansas is a far more rural state that most states and the elderly are spread farther apart than in some of the more populated states. In privatization, a number of errors can occur because of the mismanagement of funds by these agencies and also improper care. As private agencies are less restricted by state or federal government regulations, then flaws can be immediately pronounced.
What other options could a governor chose besides privatization and out-sourcing He could lobby the federal government for more funding, though that often proves to be a long and tedious procedure that has a strong percentage of possible failure. He could suggest a tax increase to the people of his state but once again, no matter the validity and worthiness of the program, most voters are reluctant to approve a tax increase as many of the people feel that they are already over burdened by taxes.
The best possible solution is a stronger analysis of the state budget and the costs of the Medicaid program. Sometimes needless expenditures can be trimmed from the program's funding, but in health care, there usually exists an already shortage of needed services. As a governor, I would make a proposal of all three: a small tax increase, a more targeted and focused lobbying for increased federal funding and after a careful and thorough review of possible private agencies, with a watchdog group formed to monitor them, I would put this proposal before my state's Senate for consideration.

Work Cited

Johnston, Jocelyn M., and Barbara S. Romzek. "Contracting and Accountability in State Medicaid Reform: Rhetoric, Theories, and Reality." Public Administration Review 59.5 (1999): 383 Read More
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