$4.7B in cuts threaten Medicaid expansion

Although Medicaid coverage is expected to be dramatically expanded in 2014 as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, program cuts enacted on the state level could hamper coverage options.

A total of 24 states are planning $4.7 billion in cuts to their Medicaid programs as the result of the weak economy and continuing budget shortfalls, Reuters reports. Enrollee co-payments and physician reimbursements would be among the cuts.

Gary Kalkut, chief medical officer at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, told Reuters that eventually, more cuts will start to take a toll on service delivery. "You're getting close to the bone," he said.

Mike Leachman of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities added that such cuts eventually will lead to providers offering Medicaid. "It pulls in the opposite direction of where healthcare reform's trying to go," he told Reuters.

A call for deficit reduction at the federal level also could prompt Congress to embrace other cuts, according to Reuters.

To learn more:
- read the Reuters article
- check out this Fox New piece