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Medicaid cost cuts planned

Journal Sentinel, November 8, 2011

Wisconsin is not alone in dealing with the thorny task of trying to lower the cost of its healthcare programs for low-income residents. Massachusetts no longer pays for restorative dental care and dentures. Washington no longer covers eyeglasses and hearing aids. Minnesota no long covers chiropractic care. Illinois, Iowa and other states planned to require a $50 co-payment for unnecessary visits to emergency departments. And California has proposed a $50 co-payment for all visits to emergency departments and a co-payment of $100 for hospital stays that last one day and $200 for longer stays. Every state plans to implement at least one policy to control Medicaid spending this fiscal year, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. In Wisconsin, the Department of Health Services has proposed dozens of changes in the BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid programs to close a $500 million gap in their budget.