In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy has proposed deep cuts to Medicaid to help close a $1.3 billion dollar state budget deficit. Arielle Levin Becker reports in the CT Mirror about Malloy's proposal:
"It would require seniors to pay more for home care and eliminate plans for an effort to better coordinate the care of the costliest Medicaid clients. Hospitals would pay $165 million more in taxes and an estimated 34,000 parents would no longer be eligible for Medicaid."
In Illinois, Gov. Bruce Rauner must mend a $6 billion dollar gap. To do it, he plans to trim $1.5 billion from Medicaid, according to the Associated Press:
"Rauner has called for an "aggressive" review of eligibility for enrollees in the health insurance program for low-income and disabled people and for a 12 percent cut in payments to hospitals and nursing homes."
To close a nearly $800 million dollar mid-year budget deficit in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker wants to reduce Medicaid spending by tackling fraud and waste in the system, according to the Boston Globe:
"Baker said part of that reduction includes making sure people who are on Medicaid — the state-federal health program for poor and disabled people — are actually eligible to receive benefits, something he said federal law requires. The savings will come from not paying for medical care for people ineligible for the program."
Here in the Ocean State, Gov. Gina Raimondo has appointed a work group to find ways to cut Medicaid costs and, she says, improve the quality of health care. The group doesn't have much time - just through the end of April - to deliver its suggestions. Its members could take a page from other states - try to reduce the number of people who are eligible for Medicaid, ask recipients to pay a monthly premium, collect more money from hospitals, root out fraud and waste. But they'll likely have to develop some very local solutions. That's because every state's Medicaid program is different. Every state faces different budget challenges. And every state's population of of low income and disable citizens has different health care needs. What many states have in common now is the growing cost of the program.