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The Council of State Governments
Jan. 29, 2011
Paying for Medicaid is Top Concern for States in Health This Year
CSG Releases Top 5 Healthcare Concerns for Policymakers
LEXINGTON, Ky.—Ask state legislators what their top concern in health is this year and you’re likely to get the same answer: Medicaid. States are struggling to find ways to maintain services for Medicaid’s rapidly increasing rolls as tax collections continue to drop in the wake of the Great Recession.
But while Medicaid is a major concern, state policymakers will face other serious challenges in health policy as the 2011 legislative sessions begin. Planning for how to implement health care reform and examining how to regulate the insurance industry also will be high-priority items. To put these issues into perspective, The Council of State Governments’ health policy staff has created a list of the top five health issues for this legislative year.
“States really are facing a funding cliff when it comes to Medicaid, compounding their overall budget deficits” said Debra Miller, CSG’s director of health policy. “Just in the last six months of the current fiscal year, the federal government’s enhanced matching fund will pump $14 billion into the states. Without that increased help from the feds, which is unlikely to be extended, Medicaid budgets are going to face a huge strain. We expect to see some innovative ideas, as well as some painful cuts, as policymakers struggle to stay within the limits of the budget.”
The Council of State Governments can help legislators, policymakers and the public understand the issues and also provide reliable information about new and innovative ways states are dealing with these challenges.
The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.