Rising Medicaid Costs Contribute to States’ Fiscal Problems in 2003, Report Says
State financial crises related to rising Medicaid costs and declining tax revenues likely will continue in 2003, according to an analysis released Dec. 23 by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Washington Post reports. Based on preliminary budget documents from 42 states, most states anticipate general fund budget deficits of 13% to 18%, more than twice as high as those faced in the early 1990s (Russakoff, Washington Post, 12/24/02). To address the deficits, many states are considering cuts to health programs, the AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. According to the survey, 11 states have proposed reducing Medicaid and CHIP program benefits; the AP/Times-Dispatch reports that if such plans are approved by state legislatures, about one million people would lose public health coverage (AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/25/02). Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said, "The states have done the easier things first, and now they're left with much starker choices" (Washington Post, 12/24/02). According to the center's analysts, states will ask the federal government to provide more Medicaid funding and other assistance to avoid further cuts to health programs (AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/25/02).
- "All Things Considered" on Dec. 23 featured Govs. Dirk Kempthorne (R-Idaho), and Ronnie Musgrove (D-Miss.) and Govs.-elect Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) and Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kan.) discussing their states' financial conditions (Liasson, "All Things Considered," NPR, 12/23/02). The full segment is available in RealPlayer online.
- In a second "All Things Considered" segment on Dec. 23, Mike Fogarty of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, Diane Rowland of the Kaiser Family Foundation and Matt Salo of the National Governors Association discussed how states will consider the Medicaid funding (Rovner, "All Things Considered," NPR, 12/23/02). The full segment is available in RealPlayer online.
- "All Things Considered" host Robert Siegel on Dec. 24 interviewed Gov.-elect Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Gov. Paul Patton (D-Ky.) about their states' budget deficits and their impact on Medicaid funding (Siegel, "All Things Considered," NPR, 12/24/02). The full segment is available in RealPlayer online.
- Govs.-elect Janet Napolitano (D-Ariz.) and Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) on Dec. 27 discussed budget problems on "This Week" (Stephanopoulos, "This Week," ABCNews, 12/27/02). A video excerpt of the segment is available in RealPlayer online.
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