House Passes Medicaid Budget Bill

by Tony McVeigh on March 21, 2011

The Kentucky House has approved a bipartisan plan for balancing the state’s Medicaid budget. The 94-4 vote, on the sixth day of the special session in Frankfort, sends the bill to the Senate.

“We take much of the Senate’s proposal and incorporate it in this document,” says House Speaker Greg Stumbo. “I think you saw today that it reaches across party lines.  It reaches across regional lines.  I think the members, obviously, by and large, are confident this is a different proposal.”

After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers was reluctant to comment on a bill he was still waiting to read.

“It’s one thing to talk about concepts versus reading a bill and determining what the details of the bill are. As I remember when I first came in, the first time that I heard Sen. Dick Roeding – who was the president pro tem – say, the devil is in the details. Concepts are concepts and you have to deal with them accordingly after you read the legislation,” he said.

The bill still allows Governor Steve Beshear to shift Medicaid funds forward, but if projected savings from managed care fail to materialize, targeted cuts to state agencies would have to be made by October 1st. Education, vocational rehabilitation and veterans affairs would be exempt from any cuts.

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