State Watch: Uninsured Kids In Dallas, Louisiana Medicaid Rates Cut, Massachusetts Feeling Squeezed

Today's state round-up includes coverage of uninsured children in Dallas, the Massachusetts state budget and a Medicaid rate cut in Louisiana.

The Dallas Morning News: "Next year, Dallas County will lead the state in the percentage of uninsured children, a rate nearly triple the national average, according to a report Children's Medical Center Dallas is releasing today. More than half of the 730,000 children in Dallas County have limited access to primary and preventive health care, Children's said in its report, 'Beyond ABC: Growing Up in Dallas County'" (Roberson, 10/27). 

The Martha's Vineyard Times: Massachusetts "identified unbudgeted spending demands of up to $575 million four months into the fiscal year, nearly double the amount previously disclosed, as growing caseloads in Medicaid, emergency assistance shelters and the public defender program continue to drive government costs higher." The projection could mean "deeper budget cuts or additional deficit spending as the state struggles to balance its commitment to health care coverage expansion with an operating budget already streaked with red ink" (O'Sullivan, 10/26). 

The Associated Press/The Advocate: The Louisiana health department "is proposing millions of dollars in cuts to the rates paid to private health care providers for taking care of Medicaid patients," which could save more than $232 million each year. "The cuts would take Medicaid spending for the private providers to what was paid in the 2005-06 budget year," but providers argue that the cuts could "jeopardize patient care and might shrink the number of providers willing to care for Medicaid patients" (10/26).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.