Florida, Maryland, Michigan Address Medicaid During State Budget Discussions

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Summaries of recent news coverage about fiscal year 2008 state budgets for Florida, Maryland and Michigan appear below.

  • Florida:Gov. Charlie Crist (R) on Oct. 26 signed legislation enacting a fiscalyear 2008 budget that includes $1.1 billion in spending reductions, theAP/Orlando Sentinel reports. According to the Sentinel,"Health care for the poor is among the areas suffering the biggest cutsin the revised budget." The cuts include $233.8 million from Medicaidand $164.5 million from nursing homes that care for low-incomeresidents. The cuts were made to address a budget shortfall caused byweak home sales and a sagging economy, according to the Sentinel (AP/Orlando Sentinel, 10/28).
  • Maryland:Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Tuesday said if his proposal to legalizeslot machines is rejected, it would limit his plan to expand healthcare to 100,000 of the state's 800,000 uninsured residents, the Washington Timesreports. O'Malley has proposed using profits from as many as 15,000slot machines and tax increases to close an estimated $1.5 billionbudget shortfall and fund additional state spending. Under O'Malley'shealth care proposal, the state would help small businesses providehealth coverage to employees and also extend coverage to families withincomes up to 116% of the federal poverty level. However, if lawmakersdo not support the slot machine plan, O'Malley will not be able toexpand coverage to all adults with incomes up to 116% of the povertylevel. O'Malley estimates the slot machines could bring in as much as$700 million within four to five years. The slots proposal needs toreceive 60% of the vote in each chamber to be placed on the November2008 statewide ballot (LoBianco, Washington Times, 10/31).
  • Michigan:State lawmakers on Wednesday approved the $9.7 billion FY 2008 statebudget that would increase Medicaid spending by $154 million, the Detroit Free Press reports. Along with federal aid, Medicaid funding would increase by $373 million this fiscal year (Christoff, Detroit Free Press, 10/31). According to the Detroit News,the overall Community Health budget would increase from $11.4 billionin FY 2007 to $12.04 billion in FY 2008. To prevent Medicaid cuts,doctors and hospitals agreed to pay an additional $60 million for ahospital quality assurance program that draws matching money from thefederal government (Hornbeck/Heinlein, Detroit News, 10/31).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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