April 21, 2015

It seems the budget at NCDHHS still isn’t fixed.

The budget surplus they said they achieved in Medicaid disappeared like a morning dew once the sunlight of an audit illuminated the books.

According to a new state audit, the $63 million Medicaid budget surplus NCDHHS claimed last year was actually another big deficit. “The state Medicaid program had accumulated $350 million in liabilities as of June 30 last year, about the same time that state health officials were boasting of a $63 million budget surplus in the government health insurance program.” (N&O, Raleigh)

The bureaucrats at NCDHHS were counting the $63 million cash on hand as a budget surplus and ignoring all the money Medicaid owed but just hadn’t paid at the end of the fiscal year.

The Winston Salem Journal added “Medicaid has had nearly a $2 billion financing gap since the start of the 2009-10 fiscal year.” (Winston-Salem Journal)

We have heard a lot of talk about NCDHHS getting its act together. But now the audit has revealed that the claimed budget surplus didn’t really exist. That’s all the more reason for the House to pass the conservative reform to put an independent budget authority in charge of Medicaid. It’s time for some tough love adult supervision to keep the bureaucrats from driving the car into another ditch.