Without stimulus, Medicaid in trouble, states say

Right now, states are using about $90 billion in stimulus funding to prop up their Medicaid programs. However, once the stimulus funding ends in January 2011, states aren't sure how they're going to manage Medicaid funding.

Right now, the GAO says, states are using stimulus funds to cover growing caseloads while maintaining current services and provider reimbursement rates. At the same time, they are keeping up eligibility requirements, and some have used the stimulus dollars to free up money that would have been consumed by Medicaid expenses

However, once the stimulus is gone, some states fear they'll be out of tricks, administrators say. That's especially true for states like California, which should be getting $10 billion under stimulus act funding. The Medi-Cal program is already in trouble, and without this infusion, no one's sure how the financially-strapped state will manage.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this California Healthline piece

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