(KCPW News) The Utah Senate gave bipartisan support yesterday to a state lawmaker’s plan to reign in Medicaid spending. Republican Senator Dan Liljenquist’s bill restructures the program to move away from paying providers a fee for every service they perform, which he says encourages doctors to run more tests and do more procedures than necessary. He’s equated increasing Medicaid costs to Pacman, eating away at Utah’s budget.
“Everything else we do in state government will be squeezed out by Medicaid growth over the next decade and the agreement, the consensus is, this program cannot continue in it’s current form without adjusting every other expectation of what state government can and should be doing for the citizens of Utah,” said Liljenquist.
Liljenquist maintains in the first 7 years, his bill will save the state $770 million, and $2.6 billion in the long run.
And he says care will improve for Medicaid recipients, not be compromised.
“This effort is a re-balancing of Medicaid towards those who cannot choose the situation they are in and return this system to a safety net,” he said.
The state must first obtain a federal waiver to implement the changes in Liljenquist’s bill. The Senate approved it unanimously. It will be voted on one more time before moving to the House.
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