Federal Medicaid Formula Provides Inadequate Funding to California, HHS Secretary Writes in Opinion Piece
California residents should look to the federal government for financial support because the state has continuously "gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to ... Medicaid funding," Grantland Johnson, secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency, writes in a San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece. According to Johnson, a General Accounting Office report released last month shows that the federal Medicaid funding formula has "disturbing flaws" that "measure the wrong thing" -- per capita income instead of the number of people living in poverty, which "cost[s] California hundreds of millions of dollars each year" (Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/27). The current Medicaid formula compares states' per capita income to the national average, giving states with a lower per capita income more matching funds, and states with a higher per capita income a lower matching rate. The report uses an alternative formula to per-capita income and measures states' resources, number of people in poverty and the cost of providing services to that population (California Healthline, 8/12). The GAO's recommended formula "would be a truer measure of the proportion of federal aid each state should receive," Johnson writes (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.