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Idaho Medicaid faces tough program cuts

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ The head of Idaho's Department of Health and
Welfare says the best option for controlling rising Medicaid costs
is to cut programs and services _ leaving only those that are
essential.
Director Dick Armstrong told lawmakers Monday the agency may
come down to cutting programs that aren't critical to matters of
life and death.
Armstrong testified before budget writers and lawmakers who
serve on House and Senate committees that oversee the agency.
He said the agency is stressed by an increase in the demand for
food stamps and other programs caused by the economic recession. At
the same time, he says the agency is operating with a smaller staff
but dealing with higher caseloads for each worker.
Agency figures show enrollment in Medicaid programs in Idaho in
2010 grew by 21 percent compared to 2007.


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