KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

New York Panel Approves Plan To Cut Health Spending

The panel's compromise includes an annual spending cap and across-the-board Medicaid provider cuts. Meanwhile, other states also struggle with the rising cost of Medicaid and its impact on their budgets.

The Wall Street Journal: Cuomo In Medicaid Deal
Striking a compromise with the hospital industry, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has agreed to a new Medicaid plan that would scale back his goals for cost-cutting but would give his administration significant leeway to regulate growth in the public insurance program (Gershman, 2/25).

The New York Times: New York Medicaid Panel Backs Cuts
In an unexpected vote, a committee appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to cut billions in health care spending approved on Thursday an annual spending cap and across-the-board reductions for all Medicaid providers (Kaplan, 2/24).

Modern Healthcare: N.Y. Proposes Medicaid Overhaul To Save $1.14 Billion
New York's Health Department proposed the state cap on Medicaid spending and adopt dozens of other changes to curb health expenses in the coming year by $1.14 billion. The Medicaid overhaul package was released during a meeting of the state's Medicaid redesign panel, which will vote on March 1 on a final package. New York's fiscal year begins April 1 and the state faces a $10 billion deficit. The Medicaid redesign panel, established in January by executive order, recently ranked a short list of proposals (with an option to rank any of more than 220 others), according to documents released by the panel. The health department considered the rankings and other proposals and comments as staff drafted a preliminary package of overhaul initiatives (Evans, 2/24).

Democrats in Minnesota are putting the program's health plans under the microscope.

Minnesota Public Radio: House Dems Want Explanations For Rising Health Care Costs For Poor
Democrats in the Minnesota House say the health insurance plans that take care of the state's Medicaid patients need to explain the skyrocketing cost of health care for Minnesota's poor. The state pays premiums for care from organizations like Medica and Health Partners. Rep. Larry Hosch, DFL-St. Joseph, said he wants them to submit more detailed accounts of what that care costs. ... The Minnesota Council of Health Plans said they already submit lots of information to the Department of Human Services (Nelson, 2/24).

And the ongoing union conflict in Wisconsin may be distracting attention from the severe impact the governor's budget could have on Medicaid and the health care safety net.

Kaiser Health News: Wisconsin Union Battle Masks Medicaid Tensions
Kaiser Health News staff writer Christopher Weaver, working in collaboration with Politico, reports: "Hiding out at a secret location in Illinois, Wisconsin state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout ends every media interview with the same warning: Republican Gov. Scott Walker's attack on public employee unions is overshadowing another part of his budget plan that could shred the state's health care safety net" (Weaver, 2/25).

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