By Ken Selvaggi
WAVE 3 Vice President and General Manager
Nearly two million people in Indiana and Kentucky are Medicaid beneficiaries.
About half of them are children and about a quarter of them are elderly or disabled.
Potentially, another three quarters of a million people in Indiana and Kentucky who are not insured now, could gain access to health care through Medicaid with the Affordable Care Act.
Under the law, the federal government would pay 100 percent of the costs of expanding Medicaid from 2014 to 2016 but the states would need to pay 10% between 2017 and 2020 and it would continue to rise 10% in stages.
Governors in Mississippi, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and South Carolina say they will reject a Medicaid expansion, calling it too expensive.
The impact in Indiana could be $2.6 billion over seven years, according to Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration.
Kentucky Spirit, one of three managed care companies hired by the Commonwealth last year to help control spiraling costs in the Medicaid program, just announced it plans to end its contract next July instead of July 2014, potentially costing Kentucky millions more in their battle to get costs under control.
Lawmakers in both states must address the Medicaid issue head on in their upcoming sessions. They will need to generate added revenue to pay for it or redistribute the revenue pie differently, affecting funding for every other area. It will ultimately impact all of us.
Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.