What a Democrat Governor Can Do to Medicaid


Ted Nesi has changed his Saturday quick-hit column back to “Nesi’s Notes.” I wonder if one of the items on his list in today’s edition was the inspiration.  Writing of Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo’s proclaimed savings from Medicaid initiatives:

The governor’s office frequently touts roughly $70 million in state-level savings from her Medicaid initiatives in 2015-16. But most of that money didn’t come from changing how care is provided; $19 million was from lower payment rates to hospitals and nursing homes, $13 million was from higher taxes on hospitals, $9 million was from cuts to managed care, $7 million was from maximizing federal funding, and so on. There were plenty of other 2015-16 initiatives, some of which achieved their promised savings and some of which didn’t, but that’s where the big money was saved.

As I noted last February, Raimondo’s “Reinventing Medicaid” seems to have a clear news-coverage advantage over the reforms championed by Republican Governor Don Carcieri (with help from the Bush administration), to which it bears a marked similarity.  The main difference was on emphasis, with the Republican looking for accountability from consumers while the Democrat has turned more to increasing revenue and shifting costs to private insurance, where the government is less likely to take any heat.

Or maybe the difference in how the program is treated isn’t so much a partisan thing as simply a better name…

  • Mike678

    Talk to doctors about the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates. These rates are getting cut as states try to make ends meet. Cutting these rates has Doctors beginning to limit the number of these patients as they often lose money on these patients, but there is pressure not to do so. What else can the doctors do? They could make ends meet by shifting the cost to other patients by raising the cost of care. So the insured, who pay higher reimbursement rates are, in effect, carrying the Medicaid patients. And we wonder why insurance rates are going up? Politicians get to claim savings and pass the blame onto the evil insurance companies. Smoke and mirrors…