In light of massive budgetary shortfalls in many states, a letter was sent from U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to governors on Thursday listing ideas for reducing Medicaid costs without making drastic cuts across the board. Among the suggestions were taking steps to reduce fraud, selectively reducing benefits and reducing the overuse of expensive prescription medications.
Although all the suggestions are reasonable, governors indicated that they would not do enough to help make budgetary ends meet. A number of states are still hoping for waivers of certain federal requirements. Concern has also been expressed over covering the number of people the new health care law will add to the Medicaid rolls in 2014.
“Just 1 percent of all Medicaid beneficiaries account for 25 percent of all expenditures,” Ms. Sebelius said, and 5 percent of the recipients account for more than half of Medicaid spending.