Sunday, December 11, 2005

Recent developments in the Nebraska Medicaid SystemLong term proposals from task force under consideration, Journal Star editorial endorses moving to a Florida type defined benefits system. Kaiser Medical News. Nebraska Medicaid officials on Thursday 12-8-05 finalized a report outlining immediate changes to Medicaid that could save as much as $72 million in the first year it is implemented. Immediate changes include moving more elderly to home-assisted living possibly saving $31million/year. A welcome concession to reality from the journal-star:
"Make no mistake about it. Medicaid reform is mandatory. Medicaid spending in Nebraska has grown 11 percent a year since 1985. Last year it had grown to 17 percent of the entire state budget. That rate of growth simply is unsustainable. The current growth rate not only will pinch other parts of the state budget, it wonÂ’t leave resources to pay for Medicaid for future generations...Although some Democrats and liberal health-care advocates predict the Florida experiment will end in disaster, most observers view FloridaÂ’s plan as a responsible effort to put consumer choice and business competition to the test. Nebraska should waste no time implementing any ideas that prove to work. "

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