Despite a significant rise in the cost of Medicaid, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has repeatedly rejected calls to ask President Obama’s administration for waivers from the rules governing Medicaid in order to balance the state budget.
Some 281,000 people are projected to be added to Colorado’s Medicaid rolls between 2007 and the end of 2012—an increase of 72 percent in less than six years. Medicaid funding will soon begin to crowd out funding for schools, colleges, and government.
Hickenlooper, a Democrat, says any waiver that would help Colorado balance its budget would have to eliminate services or reduce eligibility, something the federal government has been reluctant to grant in other states. However, if his administration fails to find an answer, the state might be forced to make cuts to K-12 education and other programs—a dilemma that has caused 26 other states to seek waivers for their Medicaid programs.
Colorado’s Hickenlooper Rejects Calls for Medicaid Waiver
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