Cuts may be ahead for TennCare, Tennessee’s Medicaid program, according to the Wall Street Journal Health Blog. In attempts to offset the cuts to TennCare, Tennessee hospitals may ask to pay higher taxes on hospital revenues, though the rate right now is unclear. The WSJ blog forsees cuts at the federal levl, if Medicaid cuts on the state level persist.
The hospital tax, according to Tennnesean.com, expired in 1994, when TennCare was created. Though these cuts would save the state approximately $380 million, they would really be costing Tennessee as much as three times more in federal aid. Hospitals have estimated around $526 million in state and federal funding this year and according to Craig Becker, the president of the Tennessee Hospital Association, some state services and hospitals will disappear, which is why the new tax is being proposed.
Tennessee is not the only state facing Medicaid costs. According to the Virginian-Pilot, rising health care costs and a growth in the number of Medicaid patients have increased the government’s obligation to pay over $750 million within the past two years. New Hampshire and Wisconsin as well may see state-level Medicaid cuts, according to a post in KaiserHealthnews.org.