Kentucky lawmakers continue their search for middle ground  on balancing the state’s medicaid budget.

Hearings on the Medicaid budget have begun in the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee.  Some Medicaid providers, particularly rural hospitals and pharmacies, say 35 percent cuts in reimbursement rates would be devastating.  That’s the amount Gov. Beshear says he must cut on April 1st if lawmakers fail to reach agreement on a Medicaid fix.  Rep. Rick Rand chairs the budget committee.  

“We have some more people to talk about Medicaid and what would happen if we leave here without reaching a compromise,” says Rand “and from there, then we’ll talk to some of the agencies on how these proposed budget cuts will affect them.”

Senate Republicans want to balance Medicaid with across-the-board cuts to state agencies, including education.  Gov. Beshear says he can balance the program without cuts.  House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he and House Minority Leader Jeffrey Hoover are discussing a bipartisan compromise that would target areas, besides education, to cut in case deficits occurred under the governor’s plan.