Haley Barbour on Health Care
Republican MS Governor
A part of the solution was to move 47,000 state Medicaid recipients who are also eligible for federal Medicare (6% of all recipients - called PLADs, or Poverty Level Aged and Disabled) off of Medicaid and onto Medicare alone. The state program would be strengthened; those who were eligible for both programs would be off Medicaid, but have new Medicare coverage available to them. This change was necessary and appropriate because Mississippi is not rich enough to pay for what the federal government already provides. The 6% who are being shifted to Medicare need and must get quality health care. [We plan transition and sign-up assistance].
As Governors, we are writing to you regarding the excessive constraints placed on us by healthcare-related federal mandates. One of our biggest concerns continues to be the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which prevent states from managing their Medicaid programs for their unique Medicaid populations. We ask for your immediate action to remove these MOE requirements so that states are once again granted the flexibility to control their program costs and make necessary budget decisions.
Every Governor, Republican and Democrat, will face unprecedented budget challenges in the coming months. Efforts to regulate state operations impose greater uncertainty on our budgets for oncoming years and create a perfect storm when coupled with the current state of the economy.
Health and education are the primary cost drivers for most state budgets. Medicaid enrollment is up. Revenues are down. States are unable to afford the current Medicaid program, yet our hands are tied by the MOE requirements. The effect of the federal requirements is unconscionable; the federal requirements force Governors to cut other critical state programs, such as education, in order to fund a "one-size-fits-all" approach to Medicaid. Again, we ask you to lift the MOE requirements so that states may make difficult budget decisions in ways that reflect the needs of their residents.
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Mayor Rudy Giuliani(NYC)