Local News Politics

Governor Steve Beshear’s plan for balancing Kentucky’s Medicaid budget has passed the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee.

The plan involves moving $166 million from the second year of the Medicaid budget to the current year. Any second-year shortfall will be covered by savings from managed care, says State Budget Director Mary Lassiter.

“It’s not a matter of whether we’re going to balance this budget, it’s a matter of how and when,” she says. “And our plan to save that additional $39 million in state funds is all directly related to our managed care approach and these requests for information.”

Representative Jimmie Lee says if lawmakers fail to enact the governor’s plan, the impact will be disastrous.

“We’ve got to pass this movement of these dollars in order to provide the quality of care that we need for those 800,000. And then we need to have the dedication and the fortitude to move on and look at these areas in ’12 that will provide the managed care approach,” he says.

The committee also said yes to legislation raising the state’s drop out age from 16 to 18 by 2016. The bill, which already has House Education Committee approval, moves to the House floor, as does the Medicaid bill.