Econmic Challenges

The state authorities suppose it is nothing more that shifting the obligations of federal financing to the state budget. As for the federal financing it rises with state Medicaid spending.
The state Washington tries to reduce the level of Medicaid spending cutting interpreter services. For instance, "since 2003, Washington has reduced by $1 million each month spending on interpreter services for Medicaid beneficiaries with limited English-language skills" (Washington State, 2005). It is expected that the cost of health care and pharmaceuticals will continue its current trend of rising faster than state tax collections. The percentage of uninsured increased from 8.6%t in 2001 to 10.9% in 2004. The percentage of
uninsured in some rural areas is much higher, it is about 17 %. The great concern amongst state and local lawmakers are the rising cost of Medicaid. Medicaid costs have actually been rising more slowly than private health care rates.
On the other hand it is expected that the cost of health care and pharmaceuticals will continue its current trend of rising faster than state tax collections. The percentage of uninsured increased from 8.6%t in 2001 to 10.9% in 2004. The percentage of
uninsured in some rural areas is much higher, it is about 17 %. The great concern amongst state and local lawmakers are the rising cost of Medicaid. Medicaid costs have actually been rising more slowly than private health care rates.
On the other hand it is expected that the cost of health care and pharmaceuticals will continue its current trend of rising faster than state tax collections. It can be explained by the fact that people with disabilities need special treatment and expensive drugs in many cases. Such people belong to the group of the most costly Medicaid beneficiaries.
In 2003, the total Medicaid spending in Washington was $5,053,403,005. Medicaid spending (federal and state) increased by about one-third-from between years 2000 and 2003. It was caused by increases in enrollment of children and non-disabled adults. The 22 % of the state budget is spent on Medicaid. The program is voluntary for states, but provides federal matching payments of state Medicaid expenditures. The depending on the relative "wealth" of a state, the federal government’s share of Medicaid costs ranges from 50% to a statutory maximum of 84%. The current concern is that as Medicaid rolls continue to expand, the deficit-ridden federal government will be less able to fund Medicaid spending (DeBose, 2005).
The basic problem with Medicaid is that Washington foots the bulk of the bill, yet most of the administrative decisions are made at the state level. "Offsetting tax breaks mostly for the affluent with spending cuts that could hurt the poor could be politically risky, particularly in the Senate, where moderate Republicans have already warned that the juxtaposition may be untenable" (Murray and Weisman, 2005).
As an increased focus is placed on limiting the growth in Medicaid spending and as the debate over the future of Medicaid intensifies, it will be critical to understand and protect the role that Medicaid plays in the health care system for people with disabilities. Open-ended financing and flexibilities in Medicaid have permitted Washington to innovate and improve the delivery of services to people with disabilities. In Washington Madicaid receives more than federal minimum requirements in providing coverage of services to persons with
disabilities. Washington state ranks 42nd among the states in Medicare spending per patient.
That’s about $3,900per patient per year for all Medicare services.
The problem has