Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Independent auditor needed to verify Beshear's future Medicaid savings claims

One of the problems with the Medicaid "compromise" coming out of the Kentucky House of Representatives is that it lacks the strength of accountability needed to ensure that the savings promised, and then no doubt touted by the governor, actually are delivered.

Members of the state Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee were right today as they "peppered (Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Janie) Miller (right) with questions about how those savings will be documented."

The House is proposing allowing Beshear to stick to his original plan of borrowing $166.5 million from next year's Medicaid spending plan to balance the program's budget this year.

However, as the Lexington Herald-Leader reported, there's a caveat: "If the state can not demonstrate that it has generated more than $116 million in savings through managed care and other efficiencies by Aug. 15, there will be across-the-board cuts in most areas of state government by Oct.1."

But who will determine if these unlikely savings actually are achieved? It will be Miller and the administration's budget office, who have hardly been interested in stepping into the sunshine with all the information lawmakers -- much less you and I, the lowly taxpayers -- deserve to know.

Since it is our money, after all, shouldn't the plan demand an independent entity determine whether or not real savings have been accomplished?

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