State hospital groups are banding together to lobby for the preservation of Medicaid funding levels as House Republicans debate how to dole out money under a revamped system.
The Healthcare Association of New York State joined with hospital associations from six other states in calling on Congress to ensure that states will receive the same share of funds as they do under the current system.
Each of the associations' states has a relatively high per-capita Medicaid spending level.
In a statement, the associations said, "There should be no reallocation of program resources between states."
Such a reallocation could hurt a state like New York, which spent more than $7,200 per Medicaid recipient last year, according to government figures. States like Mississippi, which spent only $2,600 per Medicaid recipient last year, would benefit from a redistribution of funds, the associations say.
House GOP leaders and governors have been negotiating a block-grant proposal that would turn over almost complete control of the Medicaid program to the states in exchange for accepting a cap on Medicaid outlays that would slash $180 billion in federal spending on the program over seven years.
The Clinton administration's plan would give each state a per-capita Medicaid reimbursement that would rise at a capped rate per year. The amount of reimbursement would be based on what each state now spends on Medicaid (July 19, p. 2).
According to the Congressional Budget Office, Medicaid spending is projected to rise by more than 10% per year from about $90 billion this year to more than $180 billion in 2002.
The GOP plan has run aground recently, however, as governors have been unable to agree on how the funds should be allocated between states.
The state hospital association coalition, which includes groups from Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, is opposing proposals being touted by hospital associations from other states that would redirect money to their states' coffers.
Daniel Sisto, president of HANYS, said he supported a per-capita reimbursement plan such as the one being touted by the White House.
"It's a lot better than what the Republicans have been talking about," Sisto said.