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State Medicaid faces 'significant’ cuts in services

By ANDREW DeMILLO The Associated Press

This article was originally published November 13, 2012 at 7:01 a.m. Updated November 13, 2012 at 12:04 p.m.

— The Arkansas Department of Human Services is preparing for “significant” cuts in services to fill a shortfall of at least $100 million in the state’s Medicaid program.

Department Director John Selig said Tuesday that the Medicaid shortfall will be smaller than the nearly $200 million gap between its funding request and Gov. Mike Beebe’s recommendation for next year.

The department has requested $359 million extra for Medicaid for the budget year that begins July 1, but Beebe’s budget proposal calls for only $160 million in additional funding through general revenue and the state surplus.

Selig said that a smaller growth rate than expected in Medicaid and other savings means the shortfall will be smaller.

Selig planned to detail the shortfall and the proposed cuts to lawmakers Tuesday afternoon.

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TheBatt says... November 13, 2012 at 8:19 a.m.

Nearly $350Million Shortfall... Consider expansion of Medicaid eligibility...

Does anyone else see the insanity? Where in the world are we going to get an additional $350 Million, much less whatever adding another flood to the Medicaid rolls?

I know what Governor Beebe will want- more taxes.

Where does the insanity end? When the taxpayers are bankrupt, businesses all closed, and tax revenues dry up?

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Testingonetwothree says... November 13, 2012 at 10:21 a.m.

GOP leaders have said they want to address the shortfall before taking up a proposal to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law..............obamacare isnt supposed to increase the cost of medical care......or do you think obama was NOT telling the truth

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lazybar says... November 13, 2012 at 10:58 a.m.

cotton was short and the weeds were tall but king putt gonna save us all

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drs01 says... November 13, 2012 at 11:48 a.m.

Bail out a failing program BEFORE you decide to expand it to another 250,000 "worthy" folks??? And do it at a time when several cities have increased the sales taxes on everything, and the state has their own 1/2 cent for what we are to believe is only for 10 years. Meanwhile the fortunate few left working and paying taxes are seeing their heath care premiums increase along with higher co-pays and deductibles. Even Medicare is doing the same. And you think that expanding this Medicaid program is such a good idea when the current management has a small shortfall of only $350 Million? Most Medicaid "aid" comes with no deductibles or co-pays. What a country! GOP leaders better not cave in to this stupid proposal.

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NoUserName says... November 13, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.

This is what happens when 1/3 (including those in the to-be-expanded) of your state is on Medicaid.

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Nate says... November 13, 2012 at 1:22 p.m.

What this half baked article and intentional lack of details is ACTUALLY shameful bordering on criminal. If you want people to draw honest and informed conclusions at least give them the facts if you are not going to be honest in your reporting and coverage of what is going on with Medicaid! I'm really beginning to understand why a lot people feel the way they feel and if you are going to be FAUX NOISE like in your reporting at least tell the people you simply don't know all of the facts and keep your ink in your barrells until you do. This is so sad.........

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Jackabbott says... November 13, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.

Every time I buy gasoline and groceries, I have to take a cut, so I guess this program will have to take a cut too, unless they can squezze more $$$ out of the 1%.
Expanding a program that already has a short fall is not a good thing to do at this time.
The focus needs to be on economic development and jobs not creating a bigger magnet for illegals.

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HotSpringsLawyer says... November 13, 2012 at 4:38 p.m.

So many are on Medicaid because so many are poor.

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JakeTidmore says... November 13, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.

Medicaid covers children, the aged, blind and/or disabled people, pregnant women who belong to low-income families and World War II / Korean War generation of citizens. This program is designed to meet expenses such as hospital and doctor’s visits, prenatal care, emergency hospitalization and doctor visits, medicinal expenses as well as any other specific treatments prescribed by the doctor. Dental care is also covered under Medicaid and covers treatment such as pain relief, tooth restoration and maintenance of oral hygiene. If any surgery or treatment is discovered during Oral screening of the patient, it is the State Government’s responsibility to ensure that complete treatment is provided to the Medicaid beneficiary.

Medicaid does not pay benefits to individuals directly; Medicaid sends benefit payments to health care providers. In some states Medicaid beneficiaries are required to pay a small fee (co-payment) for medical services. Medicaid is limited by federal law to the coverage of "medically-necessary services".

Medicaid payments currently assist nearly 60 percent of all nursing home residents and about 37 percent of all childbirths in the United States. The federal government pays on average 57 percent of Medicaid expenses. In 2008, Medicaid provided health coverage and services to approximately 49 million low-income children, pregnant women, elderly people, and disabled people.

Figure that close to 45% of those cared for by Medicaid are children. However, figure a lot of the expense goes to covering the elderly when you calculate per person.

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