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Action Needed! Threat to Medicaid - for Real!

Posted Date: 
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Paul V. Beddoe, Ph.D., National Association of Counties

Medicaid threatened in the debt limit/deficit reduction negotiations

Reports are sketchy, but it appears that the White House and Congressional leaders are weighing a number of options to wring “savings” from the Medicaid program. These include (1) phasing out the ability of states to tax health care providers to raise part  of the non-federal share; (2) “rebasing” Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments; and (3) implementing a new “blended” federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP).  From Politico: “Medicaid cuts could come from Democrats”.

According to an analysis just released by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the “blended FMAP” would have the same effect as a cap or block grant, essentially achieving savings for the federal government by shifting costs to states – and ultimately to counties.

Action needed: Please (“pretty please” if members of your delegation are in leadership!) consider sending a letter to your federal delegation letting them know how alarmed you are by the damage that these proposals could inflict on your counties’ health care safety net systems – and their budgets. I would suggest that you say that you view the “blended FMAP” as a cap/block grant in sheep’s clothing and that you urge them to take these dangerous Medicaid cuts off the table. Bottom line: These cuts do nothing to improve Medicaid and achieve efficiencies. They just shift the cost. If this could happen before the end of next week, that would be ideal.

As always, feel free to call or email me at any time for more information. My direct line is below.

Thanks for your support.

Paul V. Beddoe, Ph.D. | (202) 942-4234 - voice | (202) 942-4281 - fax