Tuesday, April 03, 2012

 

Obama administration rejects Hawaii’s proposed Medicaid hospital stay cuts


by Larry Geller

Hawaii is once again throwing its disadvantaged under the bus.

The Abercrombie administration seems willing to threaten Hawaii’s standing as the “Health State” by chopping coverage for the most needy families.

In this case, the feds have put the brake on the bus, but there are still skid marks:

The Obama administration has rejected Hawaii’s proposal to limit most adult Medicaid recipients to 10 days of hospital coverage per year, which would have been the strictest in the nation.

Instead, Hawaii has been approved to implement a 30-day hospital coverage limit starting July 1, state and federal health officials say. Exempted from the limit are children, pregnant women, those undergoing cancer treatment, the elderly and the blind and disabled.

[Kaiser Health News, Feds Reject Hawaii’s 10-Day Medicaid Hospital Limit, 4/3/2012]

So what will Hawaii do instead? Cut poor people out of coverage entirely.

Hawaii officials said they found other ways to trim the state’s increasing Medicaid budget. They plan to reduce adult Medicaid income eligibility levels from 200 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $51,432 a year for a family of four, to 133 percent of the poverty level, or a maximum income of $34,200 for a family of four.



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