Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman (R) called on the super committee to avoid making further cuts to the Medicaid program during an appearance on Bloomberg TV this morning, saying that while states can swallow small cuts, larger reductions would result in a “cost-shift to the states”:
HEINEMAN: We know there is going to be a reduction in the Medicaid program. If it’s a small reduction, states are prepared to share in that, we will do our part. If it is a dramatic reduction, then it is significantly going to have an adverse impact on state budgets. And when you look at state budgets, there are three big items: Medicaid, the funding we do for the education of our children in K-12 and higher education. So if you dramatically cut Medicaid, you’re going to force us to make dramatic education cuts for our children, that’s not where we ant to go.
Republican governors penned a letter to the super committee last month arguing that states would accept additional cuts if the federal government extended “new flexibility” that would give governors greater control over Medicaid program and loosen federal restrictions. However many of those reforms — like block granting Medicaid, for instance — would result in significant reductions in federal spending, the very same reductions that Heineman is now trying to avoid.