We MUST spend MORE because we, um, CAN’T spend what we already have.
Makes no sense, right? But that’s state government — actually, GOVERNMENT — for you.
Democrats and their queen, Roy Cooper, are demanding that we foot the bill for MORE Medicaid spending for even MORE potential recipients. But, hold the phone. State auditor Beth Wood had some pretty interesting findings in one of her recent studies:
The managed-care organizations that handle behavioral health care for North Carolina’s Medicaid recipients had excessive savings of nearly $440 million over a three-year period, an audit published by the state auditor’s office says.
The audit, published in January and based on a three-year period from 2015 to 2017, reported that money that could have been used for additional medical care or other public expenditures has instead remained in the coffers of seven state-established and publicly funded managed-care organizations.
The savings were higher — nearly $800 million — if the scope of the survey had been extended, State Auditor Beth Wood, who was elected in 2009, said in a phone interview.[…]
So, the state is already not spending $400 million to $800 million of what’s been appropriated. And we’re supposed to just smile and bend over as the state tries to confiscate EVEN MORE from us for Medicaid expansion?
Perhaps this is a hint that we’ve been deceived all along about the breadth and depth of the need for subsidizing medical care for the poor.
Wait. There’s more:
[…] That’s “money that we could have used on schools, road construction and economic development,” Wood said, or as the report states, it could be used “to provide additional behavioral health services to North Carolina citizens.”
Yep. Just take a moment to let that soak in. Harken back to the days when sobbing edu-crats and hysterical pols conned you into voting for MORE DEBT to pay for such things.
“There are people who need the services who are not getting them,” Wood added.
The money, which is meant to go toward treating Medicaid recipients with mental illness, substance abuse issues and other disabilities, may “have been moved outside of the state’s control” once it was considered savings, the auditor’s office found, because of a lack of laws or regulations around the savings. Wood’s report ultimately says it’s unclear whether the state can recoup the funds or even ensure that the funds are used to provide additional Medicaid services.
The report comes as the state begins to transition to a managed-care model for most of its Medicaid system for low-income, disabled and elderly residents.
Oh, BTW, this neat little arrangement was all the pet project of one J. Nelson Dollar, former legislator and current Speaker Timmy flunky.
[…] The audit found that the excess savings for the seven local management entities/managed-care organizations (MCOs) that the state contracts with were due, in part, to the way that the state pays for Medicaid services, as well as a lack of contract terms or laws that limit excess savings by MCOs.
In response to the audit, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services said the level of savings at the MCOs was appropriate to provide flexibility for emergencies, shortcomings and to reinvest in the community.
But Wood said there hasn’t been much reinvestment so far.
“They are sitting on the savings,” Wood said. “They have spent down very little of the money.”
The state auditor’s office has previously criticized one of the MCOs, Cardinal Health, for having excess savings and spending too much money on things such as salaries, corporate events and travel, The News & Observer previously reported.
Wood’s report recommended that DHHS set new rates to lower the reserves MCOs control or that the N.C. General Assembly set parameters around savings levels.[…]