Monday Morning Medicaid Must Reads: June 12th, 2017

Helping you consider differing viewpoints. Before it’s illegal. 


Article 1: Federal judge weighing whether Illinois must prioritize paying Medicaid bills, Chicago Tribune, Kim Geiger, 6/6/2017

Clay’s summary: IL Medicaid providers have been hung out to dry and are owed $2B. But hey expansion saves money, puppies and the environment, right? Also- Illinois budgeting and politics is a special kind of crazy.

Key Passage from the Article


A federal judge heard arguments Tuesday over whether Comptroller Susana Mendoza should be required to prioritize payments to some Medicaid providers among Illinois’ billions of dollars in unpaid bills that keep piling up during the state budget stalemate.

The court dispute reflects the mounting difficulty of balancing Illinois’ competing financial obligations in the midst of an ongoing political fight between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the General Assembly.

Judge Joan Lefkow indicated in court on Tuesday that she was sympathetic to the complaints of the Medicaid patients, but that she was unlikely to go as far as telling the comptroller which bills should be set aside in order to make the payments.



Read it here 

Article 2: How Much Will The GOP’s Medicaid Per-Capita Cap Save, If Anything? CBO Refuses To Say, Forbes, Avik Roy, 6/8/2017

Clay’s summary: Block granting Medicaid may not save anything at all – but its an important Boogeyman for leftie fear-mongers to trot out when scaring-up the masses against AHCA.

Key Passage from the Article


CBO identifies three provisions in the AHCA that drive the $834 billion in reduced Medicaid spending. The first is the AHCA’s repeal of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. The second is its repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate, which the CBO implausibly believes will lead more than 5 million people to drop out of Medicaid. The third is the per-capita cap reform of the pre-Obamacare Medicaid program.

Remarkably, and unusually, the CBO has decided not to break out the relative effects of these three provisions onto the Medicaid reform: a silence that has led to massive confusion among states who falsely believe that their traditional Medicaid programs will be subject to massive cuts.

CBO appears to believe that it’s too complicated to tease out the impact of the AHCA’s various provisions on Medicaid, because they interact with each other. But CBO does analyses of interacting provisions all the time.

This is all we know about the CBO’s view of the impact of per-capita caps: that they will “reduce outlays.” But the essential question is: by how much?

Read it here


Article 3: Michigan: Medicaid expansion producing big savings, Detroit News, Jonathan Osling, 6/5/2017 

Clay’s summary: It’s all fun and games until you have to be the one paying for it. Cue squishy savings theories to help skirt the previously agreed upon exit strategy.

Key Passage from the Article

Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration wants to broaden the equation used to calculate state savings from expanded Medicaid eligibility as it works to protect the Healthy Michigan plan from a potential demise. The 2013 Michigan law includes a trigger that would end expanded eligibility for the low-income health insurance coverage if state costs outweigh savings that result from federal funding . . . But the administration is disputing projections that the cost-savings trigger could put the program on the chopping block regardless of what happens at the federal level, arguing state savings go beyond traditional budget lines. . . “If you look at savings in uncompensated care and other savings that are out there, I don’t think that would sunset this particular plan,” Pscholka said. “I think you have to look at all the savings that are taking place with hospitals and everywhere else. That number is pretty large.”

Read it here