Tuesday, May 3, 2011

State Budget Moving Through NC House

I have spent most of today listening to the NC House debate their version of the State Budget. To read about the day’s happenings or view the debate, check out wral.com. In earlier reports, it was noted that budget writers of the Health and Human Services subcommittee “found the bulk of its more than $460 million in spending reductions through Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor and disabled.” Rep. Dollar was quoted, "that all Medicaid services not required by the state to provide were preserved.” However, the Budget does direct the Division of Medical Assistance to find savings within Optional and Mandatory Medicaid Services that provide eye care, durable medical equipment, specialized therapies, home health, dental and other services. If savings are not found by next year, optional services may be eliminated.

Also, in the House and Human Services, the House takes the Governors Independent Living Program cuts. This is the budget item that the Society provided supportive testimony. See earlier blog post here. The State Adult Day Care Fund was reduced by $1.1 million each year of the biennium. The budget directs provide priority funding to younger adults.

The Society also follows funding for NC veterans, and I am pleased to report that an amendment passed late this afternoon which restores funding for Veteran County Service Offices which provide benefit counseling for veterans.

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