Lisman, who is campaigning in the Republican gubernatorial primary, wants to cap Vermont’s budget growth and to that end he casts his budget cutting gaze due South, this time to North Carolina.
In asserting that he could find real savings in Medicaid, Lisman pointed to North Carolina, where auditors found potential for $180 million in savings over a biennium. He said his Medicaid reforms would not unfairly strip benefits from those in need.
Lisman’s suggested southern strategy, according to reports, involves changes that are roiling North Carolina’s Medicaid program. And it is neither fast nor painless, and it is all very controversial:
Hardest hit will be the family practitioners and pediatricians who are supposed to take the lead in providing better medical care for about 1.7 million low-income children and adults in North Carolina. […] In fact, a 3 percent cut in North Carolina’s Medicaid rates, originally slated to start in 2014, took effect Jan. 1 – and doctors may have to go back through last year’s billing and pay that money back.
“This would wreak havoc with the finances of any business,” a statement from the N.C. Medical Society says.
The last time Lisman looked south for inspiration, he found a statewide jobs program from Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana. In this instance, while on one of his Vermont “good Ideas” listening tours, the crowd listened to Bruce praise a D+ rated program from Louisiana.
And it’s as if Bruce didn’t bother or care to do much homework on this one either. A non-partisan research group gave the program a D+ rating. The state-subsidized private-sector jobs created at an annual cost of $1.1 billion had few performance standards, no wage requirements, and according to the state’s own evaluation, subsidized workers unable to afford their own health insurance may fall onto the rolls of Medicaid, negating any positive economic benefits.
Soooo…Bruce, let’s see how would that work? Your “good idea” jobs program is likely to fill up Medicaid rolls at the same time you slash away at Medicaid benefits. Looks like your “new direction” for Vermont might be circular.
So go for it Bruce. A little havoc — kind of like your era on Wall Street circa 2008. No worries for a one-percenter as long he keeps his state’s budget capped at 2% growth?