Medicaid Waivers, Enrollment Problems Plaguing States

In Arizona, California and Virginia, Medicaid issues are looming.

The Hill: Gov. Brown's Proposed Medicaid Cuts 'Untenable', California Dems Warn
More than a dozen House Democrats from California met recently with Medicaid boss Donald Berwick to warn him that Gov. Jerry Brown's request for deep cuts to the state/federal program would devastate healthcare providers and their patients, The Hill has learned. Brown, a Democrat, has put the Obama administration in a tough spot with his request to cut the state's Medicaid program by $1.4 billion to help plug a $26.6 billion budget gap (Pecquet, 10/12).

Arizona Republic: Arizona Hospitals Awaiting Word On Funding
Federal health officials could decide by Friday whether to reimburse some Arizona public hospitals for providing free medical care to patients who are uninsured, including those who no longer qualify for the state's Medicaid program. The state's proposal to cut at least $430 million from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state Medicaid program, is pending approval from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Ye Hee Lee, 10/13).

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Ineligible Medicaid Recipients Costs Va. Millions
Errors by local Department of Social Services caseworkers in enrolling ineligible Medicaid recipients are responsible for the greatest number of improper payments in Virginia's share of the program, according to an extensive review by the legislature's watchdog agency. It found that the state's administration of the Medicaid program is overly complex and not automated. It also needs investments in technology and greater oversight to guarantee it is not overpaying managed-care organizations for services (Nolan, 10/12).

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.