The long recession has forced more people into the state's Medicare program. The Affordable Care Act requires all states cover those who earn 133% or less of the federal poverty level. We are making progress thanks to the hospital provider fee passed in 2008, but we need to keep costs down in order to cover everyone.
We are now embarked on the process of figuring out how to fund "health" rather than "sickness." It is much cheaper to pay people to stay healthy than it is to heal them when they are sick. We will bankrupt the state if we continue on the traditional path.
Another important initiative is the creation Accountable Care Collaboratives. This would give Medicaid recipients a medical home that would coordinate their care and, presumably, produce better health outcomes while saving the state money.
I am concerned that exploding health care budgets will cause us to sacrifice real health care in search of budget savings. We cannot do that. People receive Medicaid because they are too poor to get health care from any other source. This is a challenge we must meet.