Monday, October 25, 2010

Washington needs Medicaid flexibility

Facing a projected $4.5 billion budget shortfall, Washington State officials are debating the possibility of opting-out of Medicaid entirely to preserve flexibility in state health care spending. The alternative to opting-out of Medicaid is the potential elimination of state only health care programs such as the Basic Health Plan, prescription drug coverage, and the disability lifeline. Due to Medicaid Maintenance of Eligibility restrictions in the new federal health care law combined with the current budget climate, the option for policy makers is either fund state only programs or Medicaid match programs. The state can’t afford to do both. This debate is not unique to Washington. Already health officials in Nevada and Wyoming have drafted white papers discussing the impact of opting-out of Medicaid to provide more budget flexibility . . . READ MORE


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