KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Governors Face Painful Budget Choices

Health care programs are among those being slashed with many news organizations focusing on Florida Gov. Rick Scott's plans for Medicaid.

The Washington Post: Governors From Both Parties Plan Painful Cuts Amid Budget Crises
Democratic and Republican governors alike are sounding similar themes, as they slash once sacrosanct programs such as those covering education, health care for the poor and aid to hard-pressed local governments. Cutbacks on the state and local levels are expected to be a major drag on the economic recovery (Fletcher, 2/7).

The Wall Street Journal: Florida Governor Seeks Cuts In Budget
Gov. Rick Scott called Monday for overhauling Florida's Medicaid program, curbing its pension system and trimming government services as he detailed a budget proposal he had promised would be full of big cuts (Campo-Flores and Levitz, 2/8).

Reuters: Florida Governor Cuts Spending And Taxes In Budget
Florida's Tea Party-backed Governor Rick Scott proposed cutting more than $5 billion from state spending on Monday while also slashing taxes as he laid out his first budget proposal aimed at closing a deficit of nearly $4 billion. The Republican, a former health care executive, proposed saving nearly $4 billion over two years by reforming Medicaid, the health insurance program for poor people (Peltier, 2/7).

Health News Florida: Budget Whacks $562M From Health
Gov. Rick Scott released a proposed $65.9 billion budget Monday that would slash hundreds of millions of dollars from health- and human-services agencies and bank on a future expansion of Medicaid managed care.The proposal would cut a total of $562 million during the coming year from the Department of Health, the Department of Children and Families, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities and the Department of Elder Affairs. It also would hold down Medicaid costs by imposing 5 percent rate cuts on hospitals, nursing homes and other types of providers (Saunders, 2/7).

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