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Addressing the Arkansas Medicaid Crisis

Arkansas Medicaid costs are reaching a tipping point, with a major funding shortfall projected in the very near future. Lawmakers seeking to reform the system should look to Florida, where a Medicaid reform pilot program has created impressive results in cost savings and improved health outcomes.

In Arkansas, state officials now predict a Medicaid shortfall of around $300 million in FY 2014, which begins a little more than a year from today. As Senator Jonathan Dismang noted in a March 5 Arkansas News Bureau interview, the 2013 legislative session may “set down a $250 million to $400 million bill on the desks of new members and tell them to ‘See what you can figure out.’ ”

In this climate of strained government budgets, lawmakers should pay special attention to Florida’s record of success in controlling Medicaid costs: the Sunshine State has made tremendous strides in reforming Medicaid in recent years to make the program both less expensive and more responsive to client needs.

For more information about Florida's reforms, check out our latest policy paper.

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