Budget: Medicaid cuts ill-advised

While Gov. Haley Barbour executive budget recommendation is, on balance, an effective and provocative tool with which to begin a serious discussion about crafting the next state budget, there are individual proposals contained in that recommendation that simply don’t make sense.

Chief among them is the recommendation that the state roll back Medicaid provider payments to the FY 2010 levels as a means to cut Medicaid spending.

While Barbour’s budget narrative acknowledges that there is an increased demand for Medicaid services in the state due to the recession, high unemployment and other factors, the governor’s proposal to cut Medicaid spending by reducing provider reimbursement to hospitals and nursing homes is one that seems more founded in continuing the political fight he had with the state’s hospitals over the so-called “hospital tax” than it does actually impacting Medicaid utilization.

Clarion Ledger
11/21/10