April 10, 2007
Did we put too much aside for Frew?

Vince asks a good question:

Seven hundred million dollars. That's how much it will cost to settle the ongoing "FREW" lawsuit concerning Medicaid that has been raging for some 14 years.

The settlement means providers will receive bigger Medicaid payments and that more will be done to bring health care providers to underserved areas, call centers will be improved, and there will be more PR-type outreach.

All that is great. What's even better, though, is that this cost less than the "billions" that were estimated and that were left on the table during the first leg of the appropriations process.

The big question now is, what about the money the settlement isn't going to cost?


All session, we've heard dire predictions. At one point, I even heard the outlandish prediction that it would cost $28 billion to settle the lawsuit, though conventional wisdom seemed to set the number somewhere between $1 and $8 billion.

Luckily, (and it's hard to say "luckily" about a lawsuit that will result in increased services to the poor, because increased services to the poor is a good thing), though, the price tag was much cheaper. Therefore, the question remains, what about the money left on the table?

Which brings up another question: how much money was left on the table, was there money left on the table, and where the Hell is the table, anyway?

He goes into the numbers and the unmet needs that were cast aside in service of Frew, and you should read it. The Senate budget is out of committee and doesn't seem to me to be taking the changed circumstances into account. We'll see what happens when the full debate occurs.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 10, 2007 to Budget ballyhoo