Gov. McCrory: Fix Medicaid First, Agree To Disagree, And Against Shutdown

CHAPEL HILL - Your Governor, Pat McCrory, joined Ron Stutts by phone on the WCHL Friday Morning News to talk about Medicaid, Moral Mondays, and the government shutdown.

***Listen to the Interview***

NC Legislature OKs Personal Care Service Change

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A way to restore more Medicaid-funded assistance to people in North Carolina with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease has received final legislative approval.

Governor Pat McCrory next receives the legislation that got the General Assembly’s last formal OK Tuesday.

The legislation creates a way people with these conditions – either living at home on in special care units – to receive up to 130 hours monthly in personal care services, such as getting dressed, bathed and fed.

The state reduced care for these people to 80 hours per month this year to comply with federal requirements that services be comparable at home and in corporate settings. Special care unit operators were concerned about the fewer hours.

The bill says personal care reimbursement rates will be reduced to pay for broader coverage.

NC Medicaid Shortfall Now $330 Million-Plus

RALEIGH – The North Carolina office that oversees Medicaid says the funding shortfall for the government health insurance program is more than $330 million.

Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos said Tuesday the shortfall has grown $85 million above the $248 million projected by Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration earlier this month.

Wos’ office again blamed the expanded shortfall on then-Gov. Beverly Perdue’s administration – this time saying it overestimated Medicaid receipts. McCrory’s agencies attributed an earlier shortfall uptick to a forecasting model error last year.

A bill in the General Assembly would give McCrory access to $400 million in unspent funds, cost savings and surplus tax collections to cover the shortfall. But that money is also supposed to cover $118 million for an outstanding drug rebate to the federal government.

Medicaid and Medicare Myths

In the face of all the budget cuts for both state and federal I thought some interesting facts and statistics would put our “state of Medicaid and Medicare” in perspective. The bill recently approved by the U.S. House of Representatives would cut federal Medicaid spending by 50% by 2030.
Medicaid Facts
  • It is funded jointly by state and federal governments, with the federal government’s share ranging from 50% to 80%.
  • Over 15% of seniors rely on Medicaid, all of whom are poor.
  • Seniors and people with disabilities comprise 1/3rd of Medicaid recipients, but account for 2/3rds of the costs.
  • Medicaid is primary payor for long-term care.
  • 1/3rd of total Medicaid spending supports 2.8 million people through home and community-based services (HCBS) and 1.7 million nursing home residents.
  • 7-out-of-10 people over 65 will need long-term care at some point, and nearly 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day.
On top of these facts about Medicaid, here are a few compelling facts about Medicare:
  • According to the figures presented by Dr. Tricia Neuman of the Kaiser Family Foundation at the LCAO event, half of all Medicare recipients live on incomes of less than $22,000 a year, with less than $2,100 in savings accounts and less than $31,000 in other assets.
  • Projections show that about half will have incomes less than $27,000 by 2030.
  • The need is growing as seniors and people with disabilities live longer.
I am interested in your thoughts on aging Americans in our country and our “state of Medicaid and Medicare”. 
Tell us your Comments!