Vermont Medicaid solution in congressional health reform plan

first_imgSenator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that the final health reform package that is now headed for House and Senate votes will recognize the early investment Vermont has made in its Medicaid program, meaning more than $100 million in added funding for Vermont’s Medicaid programs over the next ten years.The Medicaid solution for Vermont – one of the last issues to be resolved in final work on the plan — was chiefly negotiated by Leahy with strong support from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.).  The remedy fixes underfunding for Vermont as an “early leader” state that offers more generous Medicaid programs than much of the country. Leahy said, “My argument throughout these negotiations was clear.  Vermont should not be punished for doing the right thing.  It was also a compelling argument because it is widely known that Vermont has been a leader in expanding health insurance coverage over the last 15 years.”Sanders said, “I am pleased that in these very difficult economic times we have managed to prevent the State of Vermont and other forward-thinking states from being discriminated against because we did the right thing in providing health coverage for more low-income people.  States that innovate and have addressed the health care crisis should be respected and not penalized.  I am glad that we have accomplished that goal.”Welch said, “Vermont is widely recognized as an innovative leader among the states in ensuring access to high quality, affordable health care.  It would be more than ironic for our state and its citizens to be penalized because we lead the way.  Thanks to the hard work of Senator Leahy, Vermont will now be recognized – not punished — for its leadership.”As part of the effort to expand coverage to uninsured Americans, health reform proposals in the House and the Senate included expansions of the Medicaid program.  The Medicaid expansion will insure more low-income Americans while also addressing variations in eligibility and benefit levels across current state Medicaid programs.  To encourage state responsibility for newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries, an earlier draft of the Senate bill included a formula giving states a 100 percent match for the expanded population for the first three years, and an enhanced match for that population for all other years.  That formula unintentionally disadvantaged Vermont, an “early leader” state that would not have had any “newly eligible” enrollees under that Senate definition — and Vermont therefore would not have seen any added Medicaid funding.Before the draft Senate bill was finished, Leahy worked to include a bump up of 2.2 percent for Vermont for all Vermont Medicaid beneficiaries for six years.  The 2.2 percent increase fixed the error in the original Senate Medicaid formula that would have given Vermont no additional Medicaid funding.The new package released Thursday includes a two-year enhanced match rate for all of Vermont’s Medicaid beneficiaries from 2014 to 2016.  Beginning in 2014, Vermont will receive an additional federal match rate for certain Medicaid beneficiaries, which increases each year until 2020, when Vermont and other early leader states will receive the same federal rate as all other states.         Throughout the health bill negotiations, Leahy’s Medicaid fix for Vermont was a top priority of Governor James Douglas (R) and of key leaders of the Vermont Legislature.Source: Leahy’s office. 3.18.2010# # # # #last_img read more

New fire station breaks ground

first_imgThe Los Angeles Fire Department and USC officials gathered at McAllister Field Thursday afternoon to celebrate the groundbreaking of USC Fire Station No. 15.Holes · USC and Los Angeles administrative leaders gather at McAllister Field to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanThose present at the event included President C. L. Max Nikias, City Attorney Mike Feuer, Councilmember of the 9th District Curren Price and Interim Fire Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department James G. Featherstone. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was scheduled to attend but could not make it due to an emergency conflict regarding the state drought.The new Fire Station No. 15, which is set to replace the current station situated on Jefferson Boulevard, will be located on the corner of Hoover Street and 30th Street.Fire Station 15 opened its doors in 1900 and moved to its current location on Jefferson in 1950, Featherstone said. On average, the station responds to approximately 14 emergency calls per day, totaling around 5,120 emergencies in the past year. In order to keep up with the emergencies in the area, the new facilities will be situated on an acre of land.The new fire station is funded by USC, which annually invests $32 million in the surrounding community.“This mutual commitment to our neighborhood is not a job — it is our calling,” Nikias said.The university’s donation allowed the new station to move forward with its improvements after delays due to lack of funding.Price noted the project works toward helping both USC and the surrounding neighborhood.“We’re celebrating the inauguration, the creation and development of a community resource; a resource that’s going to serve not only the university but also the community at large,” Price said.City officials, including Feuer, were grateful for USC’s contributions toward emergency response services.“A little over a year ago, I was on my way to the swearing in of our newest district attorney, and a very big vehicle ran a red light and ran into my very small vehicle,” Feuer said. “I’m extremely fortunate to be here at all … I was on the receiving end of the service from these paramedics. They’re very serious about their job.”last_img read more

Mourinho sack, Man United £130m signings, Ronaldo move, Kane £50m fee – Sunday paper gossip

first_img1 Here is a selection of the top stories from today’s Sunday newspapers.Jose Mourinho is close to the sack as Chelsea manager, with Blues owner Roman Abramovich preparing a £9.5m pay-off for the Portuguese. (Sunday Mirror) Mourinho, however, insists that Chelsea continue to back him and he is wants to stay and turn things round. (Sunday Express) The Blues will reportedly give Mourinho just two more games to save his job. (Sun on Sunday) Manchester United want Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale in January, with goalkeeper David de Gea potentially part of any deal. (Sunday People) United are also linked with a £40m bid for Lazio’s 22-year-old midfielder Felipe Anderson. (Sunday Mirror) Bayern Munich want Tottenham’s £50m-rated striker Harry Kane next season. (Sun on Sunday) Paris St-Germain captain Thiago Silva is trying to talk Cristiano Ronaldo into signing for the French champions in 2016. (L’Equipe) Arsene Wenger has told his former player, Remi Garde, to take the Aston Villa job. (Mail on Sunday)Real Madrid have held talks with Chelsea star Eden Hazard. (Don Balon) Pep Guardiola is in talks with Manchester City to become the Premier League leaders’ manager next season. (Sunday Express) Transfer rumours and paper review – Sunday, November 1 last_img read more