But the bulk of the $315 million midyear budget deficit will be dealt with by pushing off $152 million worth of financial payments to Medicaid providers into the next year. The payments will eventually have to made -- so the expense doesn't go away -- but delaying them will help the state avoid substantial cuts in the short term.Maybe they can keep stiffing these Medicaid providers until Trump scraps the whole social safety net anyway. What will they win, then?
This is the second year in a row these Medicaid payments have been delayed to deal with a midyear budget deficit. Gov. Bobby Jindal also pushed off the payments a year ago to cope with a $500 million midyear budget shortfall last November.
Under Jindal, the state government made just 11 payments to Medicaid providers in 2015, instead of required 12. To make up for that, the Edwards administration was supposed to make an extra payment, 13 in total in 2016. But now, Edwards' administration will make just 12 payments -- leaving the extra payment that wasn't made during the Jindal administration still hanging.
"It's the Jindal payment that seems to be lingering," said House Appropriations chairman Cameron Henry, R-Metairie. "We are just pushing the payment so we are not really fixing the problem."
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Bi-partisan can kicking
John Bel Edwards boots a Medicaid payment across with an assist from Bobby Jindal.