Medicaid a possible target as governors warn constituents about budget struggles

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New governors, 26 of whom were elected in November, are facing deep fiscal problems. Many are taking a hard look at Medicaid as a source of budget savings.

State governments are still experiencing budget shortfalls and disappearing stimulus funds. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), who was just sworn in this week, is mulling a $2.1 billion cut to projected state Medicaid spending, which comes out to $4 billion with federal matching funds, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D), meanwhile, is facing a $1.5 billion shortfall in the coming budget year, but he says he's committed to funding the state's Medicaid program, which is known as MassHealth, The Boston Globe reported. Last summer, Massachusetts cut dental benefits to MassHealth recipients, forcing them to go to community health centers for services. Arizona, also facing a budget crisis, announced in October that it was cutting certain types of organ transplants for Medicaid recipients. In Illinois, Medicaid reform legislation is expected to be introduced in the state Senate this week.

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