Medicaid Crisis in Georgia

The AJC ran an article today discussing the Governor’s role in gearing up for Medicaid Reform in Georgia.

Health care advocates say Gov. Sonny Perdue is moving too quickly to overhaul Georgia’s Medicaid program. Perdue is one of several governors ramping up efforts to change the federal formula for Medicaid funding in exchange for greater state flexibility in running the program. They argue that more state control of Medicaid — the publicly funded health insurance plan for the poor and disabled — will help curb the program’s escalating costs.

Many Republicans and Democrats across the nation support some type of Medicaid reform because the program is eating up state budgets. In Georgia, for example, 43 percent of all new state revenue goes to Medicaid spending. Congress is also considering Medicaid cuts.

But consumer advocates are wary of the rapid push at both the federal and state level to dramatically change Medicaid. They worry that if the federal government gives states more control over the program, patients may see reduced services and higher co-payments. A group of Georgia health care advocates last week urged Perdue’s office to halt plans to cap federal spending on Medicaid and asked his staff to slow down the waiver process.

Are the Governor and the Legislature moving TOO FAST on this issue, or should the Administration move quickly to address cuts in Medicaid spending? How will this weigh in the next Legislative Session and ’06 campaigns?

I should also note that Ralph Reed released a statement on the Medicaid crisis in Georgia back in August.

4 comments

  1. Bull Moose says:

    Measure twice — cut once…

    I don’t think there is enough of a dialogue going on to draw any conclusions of what needs to be done and I don’t have the trust in the system right now to think they have society’s best interests at heart.

    There is no need to rush and make political fix changes that can’t be undone…

  2. buzzbrockway says:

    I had heard, and perhaps someone with more knowledge than I can speak to this, that Roy Barnes loosened the restrictions on receiving Medicaid, thus increasing the number of Georgians eligible. If true, our present problems can be traced to that.

  3. GAWire says:

    This quote from the article: “They worry that if the federal government gives states more control over the program, patients may see reduced services and higher co-payments.”

    If I am not mistaken, Medicaid patients are NOT required to pay co-pays.

    Moreover, the requirements in the proposed programs are similar, if not the same to the requirements that people on private payer plans have to abide by . . . except for the costs, of course.

    Either way, 43% of state revenue going to Medicaid spending is a large percentage.

  4. Romegaguy says:

    Today’s replacement of the state medicaid director with one that actually knows something about healthcare and Medicaid is a good start.

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