Governors warn negotiators against shifting costs to states

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Don't shift federal Medicaid funding obligations onto states. That was the message in a letter the nation's governors sent to the White House and top lawmakers this week.

The correspondence was sparked by ongoing Congressional discussions aimed at reducing federal debt by $4 trillion. The cuts are viewed by many as a required prelude to raising the nation's debt ceiling, which now stands at $14.3 trillion

The nation's governors said that any reductions in Medicaid payments to states must include provisions that would enable states to better manage their Medicaid programs.

“Given recent reductions in Medicaid enacted by many states, and the severe limitations on further reductions posed by federal maintenance-of-effort requirements and proposed access regulations, the anticipated federal ‘deficit reduction' may cause state Medicaid spending to rise even faster without increased flexibility for governors to administer the program to best meet the needs of their individual states,” the letter said.