Taking a Scalpel to Medicaid

Costs for Medicaid—the largest item in most state budgets—are ballooning, and federal stimulus funds that have been shoring up the low-income health-care program run out in June. To trim costs, governors want to cut payments to doctors and hospitals, reduce benefits to recipients, and tighten eligibility requirements. Here's a look at eight key states:

Arizona: Gov. Jan Brewer (R)

Plans to drop 280,000 Medi-caid recipients by tightening eligibility, saving $541.5 million next year. Halted funds for organ transplants in October; planning to slash payments to doctors and other providers by 5 percent on Apr. 1.

California: Gov. Jerry Brown (D)

Wants to cut $1.7 billion annually, including $709 million in reduced payments to physicians, hospitals, and other providers. Aims to raise $557 million with co-pays of $5 for doctor visits and $100 for hospital stays.

Florida: Gov. Rick Scott (R)

A former hospital executive, Scott wants to cut payments to nursing homes, hospitals, and other providers by 5 percent. In 2012 he plans to cap Medicaid payments and expand a managed-care system to save $4 billion over two years.

Illinois: Gov. Pat Quinn (D)

A new law tightens eligibility requirements and penalizes fraud, shifts more recipients into HMO-type care, and boosts co-pays for drugs. Savings of as much as $774 million are projected over five years.

Massachusetts: Gov. Deval Patrick (D)

Expects to save $1 billion a year by putting coverage of more than 800,000 recipients up for competitive bidding, limiting payments for "preventable admissions" by hospitals, and imposing co-pays for some services.

New Jersey: Gov. Chris Christie (R)

Says he will propose Medicaid "efficiencies" this year. The state's program faces a $1.4 billion deficit when the U.S. ends $900 million of funding.

New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)

Has asked a team of experts to find ways of "taking the fat out" of Medicaid; aims for savings of $2.85 billion next fiscal year.

Texas: Gov. Rick Perry (R)

Wants Washington to give states more control over Medicaid spending. A proposed budget by state lawmakers would slash Medicaid reimbursements to long-term care facilities by a third and trim payments to hospitals by 10 percent.

Data: Bloomberg

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