Governor’s proposed Medicaid funding changes would be financially ‘devastating,” says Putnam executive

CARMEL – If the governor’s proposal for counties to contribute an additional $150 million to pay for Medicaid’s skyrocketing costs is implemented, “we will have to make other cuts that will devastate our budget and hurt our communities,” Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said on Wednesday.

The state had previously set a zero growth Medicaid cap, and Odell said counties are calling on the state to keep current cost control caps in place. “We understand that times right now call for an emergency of the mind and we understand that now is the time for all of us to work together and not to point fingers, but to understand that this impact will have a tremendous effect on our communities, on our outside agencies and services as well,” she said.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell

Odell said in Putnam County, the costs to cover Medicaid have risen by $4 million from 2018 to 2019 and between 2015 and 2019, enrollment has risen from about 5,000 people to over 13,000 in mid-2019. None of those costs of enrollment increases are the result of county policy, she said.

Odell said the governor has suggested the counties find the extra funds by ferreting out waste, but she said Putnam has already done that.

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