Shumlin joins other governors in opposing Medicaid spending shift

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin joined Governors from 16 other states calling on congressional leaders to reject a plan to turn Medicaid into a block grant program, essentially eliminating states’ ability to reduce costs in the program while maintaining Medicaid’s integrity.”The current Medicaid financial structure is a partnership between federal and state government that provides basic access to health care for the poor and disabled,” the Governors wrote in a letter to the Majority and Minority Leaders in the U.S. House and Senate. “A Medicaid block grant imposed unilaterally by Congress on all states that would cap the federal government’s share of costs and provide fixed annual funding below the projected growth of program costs in simply unacceptable.”Gov. Shumlin and the other Governors said states are already using innovative methods to control Medicaid costs, adding, “We need federal policy that creates cost savings, not cost shifting.” Critics fear a block grant program would restrict cost-saving innovation and cap spending on Medicaid regardless of caseload changes.The letter was sent Monday to Sens. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, and Reps. John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi. Today House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is expected to introduce a 2012 spending plan that proposes the Medicaid block grant change.In addition to Gov. Shumlin, the letter was also signed by the Governors of Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, the Virgin Islands, Washington and West Virginia.Shumlin’s office. 4.5.2011last_img

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