KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicaid Changes Rile Advocacy Groups In Calif., N.C. And Fla.

As states seek to find ways to curb costs in their Medicaid programs, many are getting opposition from patients and providers.

The Associated Press/Raleigh News-Observer: NC Medicaid Committee Hears Options For Cuts
The state Department of Health and Human Services on Friday plans to tell how it will start complying with the Legislature's budget cuts from health care plan for poor children, older adults, and the disabled. An agency spokesman says lawmakers decided to cut $760 million over the next two years (8/5). 

Health News Florida: FMA: Reject Medicaid Waiver
In a meeting that was closed to the press, [Florida Medical Association] leaders passed a resolution Sunday to discourage the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from approving a waiver that would allow the state to move hundreds of thousands of poor and elderly beneficiaries into HMOs and other managed care plan (Davis, 8/4). 

The Hill's Healthwatch: California Stakeholders Urge Feds to Reject Gov. Brown's Medicaid Cuts
Gov. Jerry Brown has asked federal regulators for permission to cut the program by $1.4 billion to help the cash-strapped state plug its $26.6 billion budget gap. Stakeholders say the cuts would devastate a program that's critical to the success of Democrats' healthcare reform law (Pecquet, 8/4).

California Healthline: Date Set, Plaintiffs Get Support in High Court Medi-Cal Case
When the U.S. Supreme Court begins its 2011-2012 term Oct. 3, the first case on the docket will pose the question: Do Californians have the right to sue government agencies and officials over Medicaid cutbacks? The case, a consolidation of several similar cases, stems from lawsuits filed in 2008 challenging a 10% cut in payments to Medi-Cal providers approved by the Legislature and Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Lauer, 8/4).

Related, earlier KHN story: The Other Health Care Lawsuit: California Medicaid Case Headed To Supreme Court
(Chase, 6/2)

Meanwhile, Oregon is seeking to revamp its program in a novel way.

Portland Business Journal: Budget Woes Could Hamper Medicaid Plan
Long a pioneer in health reform, Oregon has just wrapped up the biggest remodel to its Medicaid enterprise in nearly 20 years. ... House Bill 3650 passed on June 30, enabling and encouraging the formation of Coordinated Care Organizations. These entities will bring together providers from all along the continuum of health care to provide integrated physical, mental and dental health care to patients under a fixed, pre-paid budget. CCOs are on the hook for expenses that exceed this so-called global budget (Moody, 8/5). 

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