House passed "compromise" Medicaid budget bill

Lawmakers heard Monday from the Health Cabinet Secretary on what’s expected to be savings in Medicaid through managed care, as Kentucky lawmakers were apparently closer to voting on a bill.

Reasons why solutions need to be found were outlined by the state’s top health official in a House committee Monday afternoon.
“We have added over 95,000 new Medicaid recipients (from 2007 to 2010),” said Janie Miller, Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Kentucky can’t make rules ruling out recipients, so it’s up to lawmakers to figure how to pay for all their treatment. With a projected shortfall in the hundreds of millions, the Governor’s plan is through managed care, which would be similar to health insurance plans many people have.

“For individuals to receive their care with nominal co-payments,” said Miller, who added that pregnant women and children would not have co-pays.

The bill passed by the House would require the Governor to seek out savings through a managed care program, but if savings are not implemented by August, then there would be across the board cuts to some government agencies.

Representative Stan Lee, R-Lexington says he was that told education, veteran’s affairs and some other groups would be exempt from cuts. Lee says he is bothered by some aspects of the “borrowing” of the bill and voted against it. “I still have some concern where we are borrowing from 2012, to pay a debt from 2011, which creates a a $420 some million hole,” said Lee, R-Lexington.

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