KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Louisiana Struggles With Medicaid Shortfall; Texas Governor Criticizes Reform

Newspapers report on health issues at the state level, including Louisiana's struggles with a Medicaid shortfall and the Texas governor's criticism of congressional health care reform efforts.

The Times-Picayune reports: "The state Department of Health and Hospitals plans to dip into several one-time revenue sources and cut spending on mental health, public health and prescription drugs to make up for a $308 million deficit in its Medicaid program, authorities said Monday." The deficit is due to several factors including costs related to treating swine flu and community care programs for the disabled as well as delays in implementing earlier rate cuts (Moller, 11/2).

The Houston Chronicle/Associated Press report: "Gov. Rick Perry on Monday bashed Washington-style health care fixes, but he wouldn't rule out taking federal incentives for insuring more people if Congress offers them. Perry criticized the Democratic plans to overhaul the U.S. health care system, including a proposal to let states 'opt out' of a government-run health insurance system. He called it a 'classic Washington bait and switch' because Texans would have to pay for the program whether [the state] joined or not. But Perry told reporters Monday that it's too early to say if Texas might take advantage of any optional federal programs" (Root, 11/2).

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