Medicaid programs and managed care organizations can (and should) coordinate, refer, and otherwise support housing for low-income people.
But they should not get into the business of directly providing or paying for housing, in the opinion of Hannah Katch and Peggy Bailey of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a progressive think tank.
“Medicaid can’t fill the vast unmet need for affordable housing without shortchanging health care,” Katch and Bailey wrote in a Health Affairs blog post.
The post has a bulleted list of four reasons that Medicaid just shouldn’t go there when it comes to direct involvement in housing.
Katch and Bailey are not against addressing health issues through SDOH efforts; in fact, they praise “cross-sector advocacy” and want to see health and housing organizations working together. But being a landlord or a developer is different matter.