Surprise vote on Medicaid has many advocates crying foul

Posted February, 25 2011 by arianne

Advocates statewide are up in arms this morning about a surprise vote taken  during the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) meeting late yesterday afternoon to pass a package of 79 proposals intended to cut costs to the Medicaid program. 

This package included many new items that had not been on the original list of 49 proposals which had been given to the MRT to rate and review, added only hours before the meeting.  At the same time, several of the original 49 items had been removed.  The vote came immediately after the Department of Health finished presenting several of these new proposals,  and did not appear to give the MRT adequate time to fully understand or digest the impacts of the newer proposals.  A second day of discussion was scheduled for today, with a vote originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 1st.  

Four of the MRT members abstained from the vote, including Lara Kassel of Medicaid Matters (the sole consumer advocate on the team – SEE STATEMENT ISSUED) and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, 0n the grounds that timing of the vote was grossly premature.  Three other members were not in attendance.  The remaining 20 members of the MRT quickly voted in favor of the package, which will make $2.3 billion in cuts to Medicaid.

The governor has stated that elements of the package will be inserted into his budget bills before the deadline for the 30-day amendments to the legislation. 

Got something to say about this? Let your voice be heard! Messages and comments should continue to be directed to the Governor’s office, and the Department of Health.

See below for more information: