Medicaid Council weighs in on Health Care Cabinet reform proposal

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Last week’s Medicaid Council meeting focused on the controversial Strawman proposal for reforming CT’s health care system and the implications for Medicaid. We reviewed continuing progress in the program improving quality and access while controlling costs. State spending on the program is down, despite strong enrollment growth, and per person costs are stable saving the state many millions. The program is also very efficient with only 5.2% of costs spent on administration. However, despite this progress, consultants to the Health Care Cabinet have proposed implementing downside risk for CT’s Medicaid and state employee programs. Several Council members spoke strongly against the proposal and in favor of building on current success. Sen. Gerratana described her husband’s experience as a physician under downside risk in Medicaid in the 90’s as a “nightmare.” Rep. Abercrombie expressed frustration that policymakers concerned about rising health care costs elsewhere, too often turn to CT Medicaid, where we don’t have a problem, with “extremely concerning” policies because it is one of the only programs the state controls. The Council agreed to send a letter to the Cabinet outlining our concerns and opposition to the proposal.