Erin Madigan

States Pinched in President Bush’s Budget Plan for 2006

By: and - February 8, 2005

States can faintly sigh in relief that President Bush’s budget proposal spares Medicaid from drastic cuts or caps on federal spending. But the plan still aims to squeeze $45 billion in Medicaid savings over 10 years through changes that include clamping down on who qualifies for government-funded nursing homes. Even if enacted by Congress, the […]

States Buying in Bulk to Stretch Rx Dollars

By: - February 1, 2005

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) wants to expand a bargain shopping strategy buying in bulk to help 500,000 uninsured residents get better prices on their prescription medicine. His plan would let uninsured Wisconsinites pay a small enrollment fee to join BadgerRx, the state’s prescription drug bulk-purchasing pool, which currently is limited to state employees and […]

Study Links Medicaid Costs to Enrollment Jump

By: - January 27, 2005

State and federal spending on Medicaid grew by almost one-third over three years, from $205.7 billion in 2000 to $275.5 billion in 2003, according to the analysis released Jan. 26 by John Holahan, director of the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank. The study found the chief reason for the […]

Governors to Meet in Nation’s Capital on Medicaid Strategy

By: - January 14, 2005

Christine LaPaille, a spokeswoman for the National Governors Association, declined to specify what would be discussed at the Jan. 19 meeting, but said “this is the beginning of what we think will be a long conversation about Medicaid.” “(Medicaid is) important to every governor regardless of party because it is such a ticking time bomb. […]

More States Reach Out to Faith-Based Organizations

By: - January 12, 2005

Riley, who created the office by executive order last June, is among a growing number of governors to step up efforts to help religious, nonprofit organizations secure federal grant money that’s handed out by states. Whitehurst-Feirick is founder of the interdenominational group Vision Ministries Inc., which aids 150 poor, sick and homeless people in the […]

Medicaid Increasingly Heavy State Budget Burden

By: - January 3, 2005

Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (S-CHIP) — both jointly financed by states and the federal government — are credited with cushioning the fall during the recent economic downturn when thousands lost their jobs or employer-sponsored health benefits. Health experts worry that the programs can’t keep picking up the slack. Indeed, Tennessee threatened […]

Some States Easing Flu Vaccine Restrictions

By: - December 17, 2004

After several weeks of scrambling to find and ration flu vaccine amid a nationwide shortage, many states are reporting unexpected surpluses of vaccine and several are easing restrictions on who can get vaccine from private providers. The excess of vaccine is partly due to many “high-risk” people not getting flu shots, along with a mild […]

Medicare Looms as Budget, Logistical Iissue for States

By: - December 13, 2004

A Medicare prescription drug benefit for senior citizens through private plans is still more than a year away. But for state lawmakers and health officials preparing to help administer the complex new law, crunch time is now. Although Medicare is a federal benefit, states will play a central role in administering and financing a large […]

States in Forefront of Fight for Cheaper Drugs

By: - November 29, 2004

West Virginia is breaking new ground in bargaining for lower drug prices for Medicaid patients, state workers and residents, an effort expected to intensify in state legislatures in 2005. In a special session, West Virginia lawmakers voted Nov. 17 to become the first state to attempt to bargain for the same drug prices granted some […]

GOP Loses Ground in Statehouse Control

By: and - November 5, 2004

Despite across-the-board gains at the federal level, Republicans’ power slipped a bit in the 2004 legislative elections, leaving the GOP with the slimmest of advantages over Democrats in control of the nation’s statehouses. In the 44 states that held state House and Senate elections, political control flipped in 12 legislative chambers with Democrats snatching majorities […]

Scores of Statehouse Candidates Lack Challengers

By: - October 29, 2004

Nearly 80 percent of the nation’s 7,382 state legislative seats are up for grabs Nov. 2, but candidates in more than a third of those races won’t be pacing the room or wringing their hands as votes are tallied election night. That’s because they’re running unopposed. The most staggering case is in South Carolina, where […]

Flu Shot Shortage Vexes State Officials

By: - October 22, 2004

The nationwide shortage of flu vaccine tossed a health management crisis onto the shoulders of state health officials, governors and attorneys general, who are trying to inventory, ration, coax or even threaten their way into getting vaccine to those who need it most. In Michigan, the state Department of Community Health issued a public health […]