Potential $110 Million Medicaid Shortfall Could Impact Other Spending in North Carolina
A potential $110 million Medicaid shortfall could "add to a growing hole" in North Carolina's budget, the AP/Charlotte Observer reports. Because of increasing prescription drug costs and "higher use of medical services" by Medicaid recipients, the state has spent "roughly" 30% more than expected this year, state Medicaid Director Dick Perruzzi said. State Budget Director Marvin Dorman is "scrutinizing" the program's "alarming" shortfall projection to ensure it's accuracy. Almost every state is reporting "rising costs" in its Medicaid and employee health insurance programs, the Observer reports, adding that most states are "foreseeing difficult budget seasons in the months ahead." Besides the Medicaid shortfall, the state has experienced other unexpected spending, and state budget officials must come up with an additional $320 million to prevent the state from running out of money. State Rep. David Redwine (D), co-chair of the state House Appropriations Committee, said, "My advice to Governor-elect [Mike] Easley [D] probably at this point would be to forget about an expansion budget in his first year in office. The cupboard's bare" (AP/Charlotte Observer, 11/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.