Governors offer Congress proposals to overhaul Medicaid

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The National Governors Association Wednesday suggested to Congress ways to reform Medicaid and trim $10 billion off the program. One proposal entailed allowing states to impose higher premiums, deductibles and co-payments on some Medicaid beneficiaries.

Speaking before the Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce committees, NGA Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and NGA Vice Chairman Mike Huckabee (R-AR) outlined other recommendations for Medicaid reform developed by a working group of the association.
The recommendations addressed seven key areas: changes in prescription drug policy, benefit package flexibility, updates for cost-sharing rules, policy changes to restrict asset transfer, comprehensive waiver reforms, balancing the federal Medicaid partnership with U.S. commonwealths and territories and judicial reforms to protect state waivers.

Medicaid currently represents about 22% of the average state budget and accounts for a larger percentage of spending than all elementary and secondary education, according to the NGA.

The complete transcript of the testimony is available at http://www.nga.org/nga/legislativeUpdate/testimonyDetailPrint/1,1419,8523,00.html.