KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Medicaid Budget Challenges Continue To Plague States, Threaten Safety Net

States across the country continue to face challenges related to their Medicaid budgets and their abilities to provide care to a growing population of poor and disabled people.

The Associated Press: Medicaid Cuts: Teeth Pulled, Transplant Called Off
Across the country, state lawmakers have taken harsh actions to try to rein in the budget-busting costs of the health care program that serves 58 million poor and disabled Americans. Some states have cut payments to doctors, paid bills late and trimmed benefits such as insulin pumps, obesity surgery and hospice care (Johnson, 12/13).

Star Tribune: Minnesota Faces 'Unsustainable Burden' For Long-Term Care
Minnesota faces an "unsustainable burden" on taxpayers for nursing homes and other long-term care as the population ages, but it can significantly lower those costs by making it easier and more attractive for people to invest in their own care, a new report from the Citizens League says (Wolfe, 12/14).

The Boston Globe/State House News Service: State Faces A Gap As Medicaid Use Rises
Massachusetts taxpayers have delivered more revenue to the state Treasury nearly every month since October 2009, but the Patrick administration still faces a significant budget gap, largely because of soaring costs in the state Medicaid program (Norton and Cheney, 12/14).

Modern Healthcare: States Tackle $430 Billion Gap; More to Come
Federal law has largely protected Medicaid from budget cuts as states have struggled to erase painful deficits created by the recession and weak recovery ... the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act said states cannot make it harder to enroll for Medicaid until states launch the law's insurance exchanges?but Congress included one loophole. States able to demonstrate a deficit or projected deficit may ask CMS for permission to reduce Medicaid eligibility, beginning at the end of the year (Evans, 12/13).

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