60 Seconds with... Stacie Maass, executive director, Medicaid Commission

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Q: How fair was the abundance of criticism that came when the Medicaid Commission's final report was submitted? A: Considering the final vote was 11-1 – there was one abstention and two governors were not present to vote – they did a pretty good job of it. The chair and vice chair's goal was not to have an 8-7 vote. [Long-term care's representative was one of the 15 non-voting members.]

Q: How could the panel say the sickest, including some in nursing homes, should be in managed care plans?

A: I think that comes down to people's perception of what managed care is. In a way, it's kind of a statement about coordinated care. People are often fearful of restricted benefits and providers, and that wasn't the intention of the commission.

Q: What about AAHSA CEO Larry Minnix's contention that recommendations were too focused on long-term care insurance?

A: The report pretty clearly stated that as far as tax incentives and encouraging private investment in long-term care, the goal was to get more people engaged in their future, not just in purchasing long-term care insurance. It's looking at all aspects of financial security. We talk about many mechanisms about planning for one's future.

Q: What's next?

A: This report will be used in developing proposals and ideas for improving the Medicaid program. The commission handed in the report Dec. 29 and officially dissolved 30 days after that.