Roundup: N.Y., Texas, Calif. Medicaid Plans Spark Protests; Conn. Nursing Homes; Fla. Medical Board

The Wall Street Journal: Gov. Cuomo’s Medicaid Plan Roils Albany
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s effort to strip lawmakers of power over the state’s Medicaid program is facing a barrage of criticism in both houses and parties. Lawmakers on Wednesday described the governor’s Medicaid proposal as an intrusion on their powers and said they would block it from becoming law (Gershman, 2/2).

Related, earlier KHN story: Assessing Cuomo’s Efforts To Cut N.Y.’s Medicaid Budget (Miles, 1/27)

The Dallas Morning News: Texas Businesses Serving Frail Warn Cuts Would Close Their Doors
Business owner after business owner warned Wednesday that proposed cuts would shutter their operations serving Texas’ disabled children and frail adults. The grim warnings came as the Senate Finance Committee opened two days of public comment on GOP leaders’ two-year, $158.7 billion budget proposal. The spending blueprint would reduce payments to some social service providers by more than 30 percent (Garrett, 2/2).

The Texas Tribune: Health Care Advocates Offer Emotional Pleas
From patients and parents to nurses and practitioners, the many faces of Texans affected by potential health care budget cuts gathered at the Capitol today to give an earful to lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee. The onslaught of emotional testimony appeared to sway some senators, while others had been waiting for such a display (Aaronson, 2/2). (Related) Video: Senators Get Strong Message On Health Funds

California Healthline: Seniors Making Noise Over Budget Cuts
They hit Sacramento in force this week, hundreds of seniors and the disabled, milling in front of the Capitol Building with walkers and wheelchairs, chanting about what they want (senior health services) and when they want it (now!). But most of the political rhetoric in Sacramento has focused on the grim reality of the $25.4 billion deficit and the need to make cuts that no one wants to make. That includes many health services, from establishing Medi-Cal co-pays and putting a hard cap on the number of provider visits allowed (Gorn, 2/2).

The Arizona Republic: Arizona Lawmakers Grapple With Cut In Transplant Coverage
Arizonans who lost coverage for lifesaving organ transplants had political winds at their backs last fall, with national media attention and a sympathetic key Republican lawmaker. But Rep. John Kavanagh’s support has evaporated, and there now appears little chance legislators will restore funding to return nearly 100 people to waiting lists for heart, liver, bone-marrow and lung transplants (Reinhart, 2/3).

Connecticut Mirror: Nursing Homes Offer Plan To Raise Their Revenues, At The Right Price
The state’s largest nursing home association says it has a plan to boost funding for the struggling industry by 4 percent at just the right price for the state–nothing. … The association’s plan hinges on what is commonly known as the “provider tax,” a back-and-forth revenue arrangement that Connecticut and many other states use to leverage additional federal aid (Phaneuf, 2/2).

WBUR in Boston: Provider Shortage Leaves Parents Searching, Doctors Overwhelmed
More often than not what many parents hear when they’re looking for a children’s mental health care professional is a voice recording saying the doctor isn’t in: “I will not be making calls back to new clients at this time due to the volume of calls I’m presently receiving.” Accessing care is arguably the biggest problem in the children’s mental health system (Becker, 2/3).

San Francisco Chronicle: California Ranks Near Bottom In Kids’ Health Care
California fares poorly when it comes to delivering health care to children, especially those from low- and middle-income families, according to a report released today. The study, by the Commonwealth Fund, ranked the state 44th in comparison with the other 49 states and the District of Columbia. The study found California especially inadequate in delivering affordable care for children (Colliver, 2/2).

Health News Florida: Scott Roils Medical Board — Again
Gov. Rick Scott ousted the chair and vice-chair of the Florida Board of Medicine on Wednesday, just two days before they were to lead disciplinary hearings against dozens of physicians charged with wrongdoing. It’s not clear whether Scott’s action will interfere with the hearing (Gentry, 2/3).  

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