The Richmond Register

State News

August 25, 2009

Stimulus money helps state balance Medicaid

FRANKFORT — Kentucky’s Medicaid system would be more than $230 million in the ole without the influx of federal stimulus money.

At the same time, the state is short of money because of a deep recession, the demands on Medicaid have grown as a result of the depression, according to Medicaid Commissioner Betsy Johnson, adding 3,000 eligible participants each month since June of 2008.

But $303.4 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) — the federal stimulus — in fiscal year 2009 and a projected $486.0 million in 2010 has balanced the books and even allowed the state to transfer $63 million of general fund dollars in 2009 and $383 million in 2010 from Medicaid to soften budget cuts to other areas of state government.

That is because the extra federal money allows the state to reduce its portion of the bill from 30 percent to 20 percent on each dollar. Kentucky went from a 70-30 federal-state match to 80-20 because its unemployment rate rose above 8.9 percent. From January 2008 until July 2009, in fact, the unemployment rate rose from 5.9 percent to nearly 11 percent.

That poses a potential problem, however, according to Rep. Jimmie Lee, D-Elizabethtown, co-chair of the General Assembly’s Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee.

If Kentucky’s unemployment rate were to fall below 8.9 percent, the match would return to 70-30 — and the state has already allocated the general fund dollars it would need to make up the extra 10 percent.

“If the unemployment falls — and I hope it does — and the (federal) match is reduced, we don’t have that general fund amount to provide the state match,” Lee said Monday.

Johnson agreed: “We want the unemployment rate to go down, but if it does, the Medicaid match will drop,” Johnson said. Still, she said, there is a direct correlation between the unemployment rate and the number applying for Medicaid assistance. As more people return to work, the number of eligible participants should also decline.

Text Only
State News
  • 7-1 Warren-Grimes 1.jpg Warren blasts McConnell on economic issues

    Elizabeth Warren said here Sunday that Kentucky voters have a simple choice this fall in the nation’s most important election.
    They can re-elect Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who the Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Senator said represents the interests of the wealthy and says “no, no, no” to measures to assist the middle class.

    June 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Healthcare signup in state extended

    While the national health exchange established by the Affordable Care Act — known to some as Obamacare — suffered glitches, crashes and delays, the Kentucky-run exchange, Kynect, often was cited as a national model.
    Nevertheless, those in Kentucky who didn’t sign up before the March 31 deadline will have a second chance to enroll.

    April 3, 2014

  • House sends $20.3 million budget to Senate

    It took four hours and it won’t last long in its present form when it reaches the Republican-controlled state Senate, but the House passed a $20.3 billion, two-year budget late Thursday on largely, but not entirely, party lines.

    March 13, 2014

  • Right-to-work bill dies in House panel

    The sponsor of a right-to-work law in Kentucky knew it had no chance of passing a House committee Thursday.

    March 13, 2014

  • Feds deny giving OK to selenium standards

    When lawmakers wrestled last year with new standards for releasing selenium into streams by coal mines and industry, they were assured by state officials the proposals were based on sound science and approved by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials.

    March 7, 2014

  • Senate panel OKs trial use of cannabis oil

    Rita Wooten and her husband Ricky face an excruciating choice: watch their 4-year-old son suffer from repeated seizures — or violate the law in order to help him.

    February 26, 2014

  • Two honored for work with sexually abused

    It’s Erica Brown Myers’ job to help those who have been victimized by sexual abuse. But helping others can take a toll on the helper as well as the victim.

    February 26, 2014

  • Paul asks Senate for help in 2016 quandary

    Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul last week asked Republican state senators to try to repeal a Kentucky law that bars anyone from appearing on the same ballot for more than one office.

    February 24, 2014

  • Republican party split on display in Cave City

    Splits in the Kentucky Republican Party were subtly on display here Saturday evening – if you knew what to watch.

    Around 400 gathered at the Cave City Convention Center for the annual Barren County Lincoln Day Dinner but this one was different from past dinners.

    February 24, 2014

  • Comer positioning with gubernatorial politicking

    The roughly 400 Republicans at Saturday night’s Barren County Lincoln Day Dinner here were primarily focused on the U.S. Senate race and Republican hopes to take over the state House of Representatives this fall.

    February 24, 2014

AP Video
Connecticut Boy Dies Inside Parked Car World's Tallest Water Slide: See It for Yourself Fans Dying to Be Near Jazz Greats Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup' APNewsBreak: Different Attackers in Benghazi? Four Kids, Two Adults Shot Dead Near Houston Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Service Held for 200 Whose Bodies Went Unclaimed Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris "Hotwives" Spoofs Reality TV Israeli Offensive Escalates in Gaza Attack Dozens Gain Citizenship As Debate Continues Dodgers Found Partly Responsible in Fan Beating Children of Deported Parents Speak Out GOP: Immigration a 'human Rights Issue' Raw: 10-year Sentence for Ex-New Orleans Mayor Raw: Fans Gather for Argentina-Netherlands Match Froome Crashes Out on Bumpy 5th Tour Stage Obama Talks Economy, Slams Republicans Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

How far will you be traveling for your summer vacation?

Staying in Kentucky
Visiting a neighboring state
Driving or flying a greater distance
     View Results