Health Care Budgets At Risk In States' Fiscal Squeeze

News outlets report on the various funding difficulties health programs and facilities are facing in the current budget climate.

The Wall Street Journal: New Hit To Strapped States
With the market for municipal bonds tumbling, cities, hospitals, schools and other public borrowers are scrambling to refinance tens of billions of dollars of debt this year, another sign that the once-safe market is under duress (Corkery and Dugan, 1/14).

Stateline: Health Care Budgets In Critical Condition
Ever since Congress passed a sweeping health care reform law last year, states have been split into two groups moving essentially in opposite directions. … One of the federal law's milestones for 2011 is for states to decide whether and how to launch their own health insurance exchanges. Every state but Alaska has begun planning to that end — even as 20 states continue fighting the federal law in court. Meanwhile, the budget crisis gives most states no choice but to try and squeeze cost savings out of Medicaid (Vestal, 1/14).

KQED: Doctors and Advocates Worry About Cuts to Medi-Cal
One big target of Governor Brown's budget cuts is Medi-Cal. The spending plan would slash $2 billion from the state-run health care program for the poor and disabled, mostly by limiting services (Weiss, 1/13).

The Seattle Times: Amid Budget Crisis, Hard Health-Care Decisions: Where To Cut?
People who are poor, mentally ill or disabled, and the community clinics that serve them — they're all facing serious hits as lawmakers looking to trim the state budget home in on a huge area of spending: health care (Ostrom, 1/13).

Health News Florida: Nail-Biting Time For Health Programs
Memo to Florida's health and human services programs: Don't expect any crumbs from Sen. Joe Negron.The chairman of the Senate's health-budget committee said Wednesday he wants to halt a trend of the state increasingly paying for Medicaid and other health- and human-services programs at the expense of education (Saunders, 1/13).

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