Medicaid: Maine’s Governor Defends Cuts; Fla. To Continue 5-County Pilot
Media outlets track state Medicaid news from Texas, Maine and Florida.
Dallas Morning News: Medicaid Payment Shift Could Mean Billions In Dallas Area
Federal officials have approved a state plan to revamp a big chunk of the sprawling Medicaid program for the poor, which could be a boon in the billions for North Texas, experts said Thursday. State officials stressed, though, that the move should also root out suspected abuse of supplemental hospital payments. One-tenth of Medicaid's budget in Texas went to such payments last year (Garrett, 12/15).
Kaiser Health News: A Texas-Sized Medicaid Deal
The deal that federal regulators struck with Texas this week to expand managed care coverage for the poor allows both Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican presidential contender, and a Democratic White House to claim victory for their very different healthcare agendas (Feibel, 12/15). Listen to a related item.
The Associated Press: LePage Defends Maine Medicaid Cuts; Hearings Go On
As speaker after speaker pleaded with [Maine] lawmakers to preserve Medicaid services targeted for cuts, Gov. Paul LePage defended his effort to address a projected $221 million shortfall and told news reporters Thursday he will not walk away from the problem of overspending. His proposal to chop expenses could leave 65,000 Mainers without Medicaid coverage. But the governor said at a news conference that a tax hike would be devastating in a weak economy and he dismissed a tax increase as a way to make up for the funding shortage projected through mid-2013 (Adams, 12/15).
Health News Florida: Medicaid Suffers From Toothache
Though spending went up across all types of insurance, the most dramatic increases were from patients enrolled in Medicaid, the state-run health program for the poor and disabled. The state will not pay for preventive or restorative dental care for adults. While it pays for children, parents have a hard time finding dentists who will accept what Medicaid pays, about one-fourth of the private-pay rate (Davis, 12/15).
The Associated Press/Miami Herald: Feds: Florida Can Continue 5-County Medicaid Pilot
Federal officials on Thursday approved the expansion of a five-county Medicaid privatization pilot program that allows for-profit providers to determine the health care of recipients, but there's no indication whether a statewide expansion will be allowed. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was insisting on new protections, more accountability and quality reporting, spokesman Alper Ozinal said (Kennedy, 12/15).