Although Idaho slashed Medicaid funding by $35 million, the cutbacks haven't saved the state money, the Idaho Press-Tribune reported.
Instead of savings, the Medicaid cuts eliminated 4,000 jobs, strained law enforcement and jeopardized residents, according to a panel that included Idaho's former chief economic analyst, the Boise police Sargent and advocates for the disabled and Medicaid beneficiaries.
The panel cited Medicaid recipients without mental healthcare services commonly landing up with law enforcement officials, as well as an uptick in suicide calls, noted the Press-Tribune.
Even though the state's predicted revenue growth could restore much of the lost Medicaid funding, legislators don't intend to do so, the panel noted.
Despite the panel's claim of absent savings, state Medicaid officials said they haven't seen increased hospitalizations of mentally ill residents following the program cuts, according to a Tuesday budget hearing, reported The Associated Press.
Needing more time to fully identify the effects of the cuts, state Medicaid Administrator Paul Leary said the Medicaid reform bill, which authorized the $35 million reduction, remains on course to yield its expected savings, noted the AP.