Pa., Wis. Governors Face Scrutiny, Decisions On Medicaid Programs

Governors in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are facing questions from their legislatures over plans to expand or limit Medicaid enrollment.

The Associated Press: Dems Take On Corbett Over Medicaid, Pensions
Pennsylvania Senate Democrats on Tuesday challenged Gov. Tom Corbett's top budget adviser over the necessity of carrying out the administration's proposed pension fund changes and to explain how it developed an analysis that a Medicaid expansion would cost state taxpayers billions of dollars. Corbett's budget secretary, Charles Zogby, gamely answered questions for nearly 2 1/2 hours during the Senate's first Appropriations Committee hearing of 2013 as lawmakers begin to pick apart the Republican governor's spending plan (Levy, 2/20).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Scott Walker To Unveil Budget That Will Address Medicaid, Schools, And Jobs
Facing re-election in less than two years, Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday will lay out budget proposals to cut income taxes, limit a state BadgerCare expansion and widen the reach of private voucher schools. The Republican governor will deliver his second budget address at 7 p.m., detailing his taxing and spending priorities for the next two years. His speech will be carried live on Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio. Many of Walker's priorities have already been revealed over the past two weeks, from his plans for state Medicaid programs to his aim of refocusing the state's public universities and technical colleges on in-demand professions such as nursing, accounting and machining. One proposal with few details released so far is the governor's plans for a $300 million, or 2 percent, income tax cut over the next two years. The governor says that would work out to about $100 a year for a "typical family" (Stein, Glauber, and Mulvany, 2/19).

In the meantime, West Virginia and Texas take aim at recovering Medicaid fraud dollars --

The Associated Press: W. Va. Proposal Aims To Help Medicaid Recover Costs
A state Supreme Court justice has warned that a recent ruling will cost West Virginia taxpayers millions of dollars, prompting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to ask the Legislature to revamp the way Medicaid recovers some of its spending. Legislation introduced on the governor's behalf this session would apply when Medicaid recipients or their survivors stand to receive damage awards or court settlements (2/20).

The Texas Tribune: Senate Panel Backs Bill That Targets Medicaid Fraud
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee gave its endorsement Tuesday to legislation that tackles Medicaid fraud and could save the state millions of dollars…The state comptroller anticipates the actions called for in SB 8 would save $14 million annually in state funds after 2015, and shrink state employment by nearly 300 full-time positions (Aaronson, 2/19).

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