For Immediate Release
March 31, 2003
Amy McGee Polasky (262) 752-0137


Taxpayers Network Hosts Medicaid Summit


        With the dramatic rise in Medicaid costs contributing to the worst state budget deficits in over a half-century, The Taxpayers Network hosted a Medicaid Policy Summit last week in Las Vegas allowing legislators to learn about strategies to respond to this troublesome trend.


        “With the majority of states reporting overruns in their Medicaid budget this year, it is important for legislators to receive information about effective policies that can help control rising costs and problems in the program,” said Amy McGee Polasky, Executive Director of The Taxpayers Network.


        According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, Medicaid, which provides health care to 44 million low-income individuals, has seen its FY2002 costs increase by over 13% which is its fastest rate of growth since 1992.  Budget overruns for Medicaid amounted to more than $1.3 billion nationwide.


        Nearly 200 state legislators attended the summit and heard from several Medicaid experts, including Dennis Smith, Director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations in the federal Department of Health and Human Services, and Florida State Senator Mike Fasano about their state’s Consumer Directed Care initiative.