Three candidates seek to make Medicaid’s budget a key campaign issue. In other Medicaid news, talks between Iowa officials and the managed care companies there appear to have bogged down but no one is talking about what the problem is, and two insurance companies have filed suit in Mississippi over how the state awarded the managed care contract.

Denver Post:
Is Medicaid Gobbling Up Colorado’s Budget? 

Among Republican candidates to be Colorado’s next governor, a common argument has emerged: Medicaid spending in Colorado, driven upward by the Affordable Care Act, is unsustainable. Victor Mitchell talks about it in a campaign video. Doug Robinson references the concern on his website. George Brauchler spoke of it at the Western Conservative Summit last month …. Is Medicaid really eating the rest of the state budget alive? And could the state move large sums of money to other priorities by slashing Medicaid spending? The answers are complicated — some yes and some no. (Ingold, 8/11)

Des Moines Register:
Iowa’s High-Stakes Medicaid Payment Talks Have Bogged Down, But It’s Not Clear Why

State administrators aren’t telling the public or legislators why negotiations over hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid spending are dragging on for weeks after the talks were supposed to conclude. The administrators also won’t estimate how much more money the cash-strapped state might have to shell out to private Medicaid management companies as a result of those talks. (Leys, 8/10)

Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger:
Lawsuit: Medicaid Signed Billion Dollar Contract Despite Protests

Mississippi’s Medicaid delivery program is now the subject of a legal battle between several parties. The day after two companies protested the billion-dollar managed care award on June 29, Medicaid signed contracts with three other companies with the highest scores in evaluation. The award drew skepticism from some lawmakers who question whether officials discriminated against Mississippi True, a hospital-backed, nonprofit Provider Sponsored Health Plan that responded to the state’s request for proposals. (Wolfe, 8/10)

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