Health Care reform and program funding cuts
I’m dealing with this right now:
Most state agencies could face additional 6 percent budget cuts to help offset a projected $161 million revenue shortfall.
Kerri Richardson, spokeswoman for Gov. Steve Beshear, said the administration is now gathering information on the potential impacts of the budget cuts.
State Budget Director Mary Lassiter sent letters to the heads of most government agencies on Friday alerting them to potential reductions in funding.
Richardson said the Medicaid program would be shielded from any additional cuts. Public schools, state unversities, community colleges, and the teacher retirement system also are among a short list of agencies and programs that would be spared.
Richardson said the administration is being prudent by planning for the potential budget cuts.
Now, the problem here is as Medicaid grows, it squeezes out other programs. However, the requirements for Medicaid are stricter than the state programs it replaces. Net effect, elderly and mentally handicapped lose state funded services. Period. That’s not speculation, that is what is happening in Kentucky and all across the country right now.
What is the guts to Nancy Pelosi’s health care reform? Funny you should ask:
As for Medicaid, the House will expand eligibility to everyone below 150% of the poverty level, meaning that some 15 million new people will be added to the rolls as private insurance gets crowded out at a cost of $425 billion. A decade from now more than a quarter of the population will be on a program originally intended for poor women, children and the disabled.
Even though the House will assume 91% of the “matching rate” for this joint state-federal program—up from today’s 57%—governors would still be forced to take on $34 billion in new burdens when budgets from Albany to Sacramento are in fiscal collapse. Washington’s budget will collapse too, if anything like the House bill passes.
That’s my opinion. But, it was written by The Wall Street Journal. Trust whoever you want, but in the real world, it’s already happening and Pelosi’s version would only make it much much worse, much much quicker. As states run out of money, they’ll have to drop services. Where do you suppose those people will wind up then?
I’m waiting for Associated Press’s fact check on how Pelosi justifies expanding a program that is bankrupt to provide more services to more people.