Reinventing RI Medicaid
Reinventing RI Medicaid has been grabbing the headlines as of late and with good reason. Should we be concerned with how the State of Rhode Island funds the Medicaid Program that helps seniors in nursing homes? Worried about the impact of Governor Raimondo’s proposals dubbed “Reinventing RI Medicaid”? If 1/3 of the money you paid in taxes to the State went to one budget item would you care?
You should! Why?
Rhode Island spent $1.785 billion on Medicaid in the 12-month fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013; the total state budget that year was $8.1 billion. Slightly more than half the money spent on Medicaid services usually comes from the federal government, with the rest covered by taxpayers in Rhode Island. During the 2012-13 fiscal year, 22% of Rhode Island’s population – about 230,000 of the state’s roughly 1 million residents – used Medicaid at some point in the year. Nearly half of Medicaid spending goes to hospitals and nursing facilities.
The Raimondo administration is seeking special authority from the General Assembly to ensure the state hits its ambitious goal of shaving $70 million off Medicaid costs this budget year (0.86% of total budget). A provision tucked into the governor’s proposed budget asks lawmakers to give “authority to institute fiscal controls” to Health and Human Services Secretary Elizabeth Roberts so she can make sure the savings target is reached by June 30, the last day of the fiscal year.