Kansas Finds Way To Increase Federal Medicaid Dollars Despite Aversion To Expansion
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who faced a serious state deficit after cutting state taxes, tripled the tax on managed care companies and used that extra revenue to draw down more federal Medicaid funds and help stabilize his budget. In Iowa, state officials are working to overcome concerns about a shift to managed care in the Medicaid program.
Another Way For States To Get Federal Help
Sam Brownback is among the 19 Republican governors who have consistently refused extra federal dollars under the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid for the poor. A Tea Party darling, Brownback of Kansas also cut his state’s income taxes three years ago, promising to make up the revenue through increased economic growth that never came. This year, facing a budget shortfall of more than $600 million, he decided to fill some of the gap using a strategy designed to draw more federal dollars to his state—through Medicaid. ... Brownback tripled the tax on managed-care groups, to 3.1 percent, and increased state spending by $33.4 million. With a federal match of $1.27 for every dollar Kansas spent, the gambit netted the state a bonus $47 million for its general fund. (Newkirk, 12/4)
Des Moines Register:
Iowa Asks Out-Of-Staters To Tout Benefits Of Privatized Medicaid
The Iowa Department of Human Services tried to put a positive face on Medicaid privatization Monday, asking each of the companies it has contracted with to bring out-of-state residents to tout their experiences to Iowa lawmakers. "Who better for lawmakers to hear from than people who have received coverage from these very companies and experienced first-hand managed care addressing their complex needs?" asked department spokeswoman Amy Lorentzen McCoy. The travel costs were paid by the companies and not the state, Lorentzen McCoy said. (Clayworth, 12/7)