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Study finds Florida's Medicaid woes part of national trend

By Regan McCarthy

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-991461.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Kaiser Health released a nationwide Medicaid Budget Survey today. The survey looks into state Medicaid spending. Regan McCarthy reports the study shows the number of people who need Medicaid is increasing while the budget for the program in states like Florida isn't up to snuff.

According to the report the number of people who need Medicaid services is directly tied to the economy. It's a Catch-22. While the economy is shaky more people need help, but there's less money the government can use to help with. Florida is one state that's especially affected. Tracy Gordon is an economic studies expert from the Brookings Institute.

"Some states are seeing a gap between the revenue they projected and what's actually coming in. That includes California which is seeing about a six-million dollar gap, Florida around the same magnitude, and New York."

Florida's Medicaid deficit is expected to be a billion dollars next year. Lawmakers are already looking for ways to reduce Medicaid expenditures in 2012. One idea is cutting dental care for adults.