As expected, Beshear asks legislature to move $100 million from next year’s Medicaid budget to make up this year’s shortfall

Gov. Steve Beshear, left, is urging the legislature to pass legislation that would rectify a $100 million shortfall in the 2011 Medicaid budget. If it doesn’t, Beshear said payments for health care providers who treat Medicaid patients would decrease by 30 percent, the Lexington Herald-Leader‘s Jack Brammer reports.

“With thousands of of Kentuckians joining the program every month, its passage is critical to ensuring vulnerable Kentuckians get the services they need, and that health care providers do not see unnecessary drastic reductions in reimbursement payments,” Beshear said in a press release issued yesterday.

The 2010-2012 budget assumed the state would receive $100 million more from the federal government than it actually got. Beshear is asking the legislature to reallocate $166.5 million from “next year’s Medicaid budget to the current year. To make up the resulting shortfall in fiscal year 2012, Beshear said the state would expand the use of private contractors to provide Medicaid services,” Brammer reports.

Senate President David Williams objected to the governor’s proposal. Williams, who is running for governor this year, said Beshear has yet to cut $125.5 million in Medicaid costs, which he promised he would do last year. (Read more)

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