Friday, December 26, 2008

States making severe cuts on Medicaid during crisis; Adult children could be more impacted

Many states are contemplating massive Medicaid cuts because of the budget crisis, according to a front page story Dec. 26 Washington Post by Amy Goldstein, titled “States cut Medicaid coverage further: region is among areas where poor are affected,” link here. The online headline reads “states driven to reduce health coverage for poor.”

The cuts take many forms in different states. Some services are no longer covered, and some procedures pay lower rates. Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia are among 19 states or districts that have reduced payments to nursing homes, eliminated some coverages and forced some recipients out of the program.

Rhode Island has taken the drastic step of accepting what amounts to a total federal bailout, which means in practice that for some patients nursing home care will not be covered and home care will be assisted. It would sound as though other states could follow suit.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that states had already felt a pinch with the "milder" recession of 2001.

As I’ve noted before, 28 states have “poor laws” or filial responsibility laws that allow them to pursue adult children for parents’ expenses. It’s more likely that states will pursue this measure given budget pressures.

Barack Obama, however, is said to be open to giving states more help with Medicaid.

A liberal group dealing with the Medicaid issue is “Families USA”.

From May 1977 to January 1979 I worked for Bradford National Corporation on its contract with New York State Medicaid Management Information Systems. A lot has changed since the 70s, but a useful link might be here.

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