Alaska governor OKs $77M in cuts to state Medicaid spending, dental benefits

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed Medicaid funding from the state's fiscal year 2020 budget.

The Aug. 19 decision, part of House Bill 2001, restores $50 million in state Medicaid spending cuts and the elimination of $27 million in preventive dental coverage for adult Medicaid beneficiaries, according to the governor's office.

Mr. Dunleavy said vetoes such as the one involving state Medicaid spending will help address the state's deficit.

"Reforms have been initiated to make services and programs, such as Medicaid, University of Alaska and the Alaska Marine Highway System more efficient and more sustainable," he said in a news release.

The new cuts to state Medicaid spending and dental benefits come after Alaska in June announced Medicaid funding cuts totaling $77 million from state general fund and federal match dollars, then Medicaid reimbursement cuts through emergency regulations, according to TV station KTUU. Hospitals sued over the Medicaid rate cuts.

State officials said they are working on other efforts, like an electronic visit verification system and an eligibility and assets verification system, to support Medicaid.


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