Daniels head of FSSA, Mitch Roob says that to manage the budget shortfall, the state government might withhold 2% of Medicaid payments owed to medical providers. Guess that’s one way to balance a budget. I wish I could just unilaterally lop off 2% from what I owe my creditors.
Daniels’ top human services aide, Mitch Roob, said Indiana Medicaid, which will care for an estimated 847,126 people this year, is front and center on the chopping block. Roob said state officials need to dramatically restructure the $4.65 billion state-federal program to avoid spending a total of $715.8 million more during the next two years. . . . Roob said, state officials will look into the $380 million cost of caring for 5,267 people with developmental disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy and mental retardation in their own homes. Nearly 13,000 people are waiting for these services. Roob indicated the Daniels administration also will seek changes in the law to help them narrow eligibility for Medicaid and, possibly, cut services the state offers but is not legally required to provide. . . . . Roob, who used to run Wishard Memorial Hospital, a county-run hospital in Indianapolis, acknowledged that cutting Medicaid payments could limit access to pregnant women and children, people with physical and mental disabilities and seniors who rely on the state-federal program.
Medicaid sure is the largest target in the state budget. Not a very attractive option. But, maybe there are no attractive options. But, as a guy who collects medical bills as part of my living, I’ve seen first hand that most of these folks need the services and can’t pay for ’em. (Though there are a few number of dead beats who are playing the system.) What I’m afraid of is burdening the hospitals with ER patients who they still feel an obligation to serve but who will not pay. The result being that the hospital provides ER care which is likely more expensive than the treatment that would’ve been provided had Medicaid been available. Then, they pass the costs along to us. It’s probably the worst possible system. Unless we’re willing to let people go untreated and die, we’re going to pay for it one way or the other. Might as well organize it to be as cheap as possible.
The Indy Star has an article entitled Shake-up pro will take over the FSSA
I certainly wish him the best. The Family and Social Services Administration is not a glamorous place to be. Basically, the agency is charged with addressing intractable, expensive problems that the healthy, functioning part of society would rather not deal with: medical expenses of the poor and children in need. Even though I was favoring a Kernan administration, I was unhappy with his selection of Kathy Davis as a running mate. This unhappiness was more anectdotal than based on any systematic analysis of her career and capabilities. One summer, while working at Legislative Services, I was asked to arrange her attendance and testimony before the Indiana General Assembly’s interim commission on autism. Even dropping buzzwords like “lawyer” “senator” and “legislature,” I was unable to get a response from her or her office concerning her attendance at the meeting. If I was having that much difficulty, I can only imagine what kind of trouble a person who is poor, sick, uneducated, and in need of government assistance might have in getting aresponse.