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Lawmakers fight to find Medicaid fix
“We should not leave here in June without having a fix,” said Sen. Bob Odell, R-Lempster, chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, “a fix that solves the problem the court decision identified.”
Mangones’ decision puts at risk $185 million in state revenue for the 2014 fiscal year.
Lawmakers are discussing a settlement that includes the Medicaid Enhancement Tax, Medicaid expansion and a federal Medicaid waiver that would allow the state to collect additional federal money for services the state provides.
But Odell said he does not believe spreading the tax to non-hospitals is politically viable at this time.
The MET began in 1991 as a way to match federal money to pay the state’s share for Medicaid services. The state then returned the hospitals’ MET money through the Disproportionate Share Hospital program to help hospitals that treat large numbers of Medicaid patients.
But in 2011, the federal government said states had to distribute the money based on a hospital’s Medicaid costs, not simply return the money.
The effect was to stop reimbursing the state’s largest hospitals for uncompensated care, although the program continued for small rural hospitals.
One solution that could put the problem to rest is casino gambling, according to Senate Bill 366’s prime sponsor Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester.
The House Ways and Means Committee votes on the bill Thursday at 9:30 a.m. Earlier this year, the committee voted 13-11 to kill a similar bill, House Bill 1633.
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