Monday, February 28, 2011

Locals Protest Cuts to Medicaid |

MIAMI - JANUARY 06:  United HomeCare Services ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
By Geoff Dornan

Local officials on Wednesday protested human services cuts in the governor's proposed budget they say will cost counties nearly $50 million a year.

The biggest piece reviewed is a change in the Medicaid long-term care funding formula local officials say will cost them $20 million a year.

Medicaid provides long-term care beds for those unable to take care of themselves. The reductions are made by changing the complex formula for determining state funding for those Medicaid recipients in long-term care facilities. Under the current formula, the state, federal money and local governments share the cost of caring for those disabled people.

Charles Duarte, administrator of Health Care Financing and Policy, told a joint Senate/Assembly subcommittee the long-term care change saves the state $37 million over the biennium.

“A county cannot pay more than its budget,” said Mary Walker, lobbyist for Carson, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties. “We'd be deciding whether to lay off police and firefighters or kick these people out of their beds. That would be a terrible choice.”
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