Here’s the National Health Law Program (NHELP) on President Obama’s budget:
Though the budget includes an increase of nearly $1 billion for the fiscal year to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to support the implementation of health reform and state exchanges, it also proposes $55.7 billion in Medicaid savings over the next 10 years. NHeLP is concerned with some of the particular reforms proposed in the budget, including the President’s proposal to apply a single blended matching rate for Medicaid and CHIP programs starting in 2017, a phasing down of the Medicaid provider tax threshold, a change in the way DSH allotments are calculated after FY 2021, and a possible expansion in state flexibility to provide Medicaid benchmark benefits.
For links to some of today’s media coverage and commentary relating to the President’s budget, click here.
NHELP is right to be concerned about some of what’s included in the budget. But here’s a quote from President Obama, framing the major issue around the budget discussion–and, yes, the election–around the core programs of Medicare and Medicaid, and what he *won’t* do.
“I am proposing more than $360 billion in reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs over 10 years. The goal of these reforms is to make these critical programs more effective and efficient, and help make sure our health care system rewards high-quality medicine,” Obama writes. “What it does not do—and what I will not support—are efforts to turn Medicare into a voucher or Medicaid into a block grant. Doing so would weaken both programs and break the promise that we have made to American seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income families—a promise I am committed to keeping.”