The deep recession and rising unemployment are forcing more Americans from their jobs and their job-based health insurance -- increasing the pressure on public programs to fill the gap at a time when slumping tax revenues are driving many state governments into budget crises. The Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a briefing to examine the toll the recession is taking on families and their health care and the implications of the recession for Medicaid and broader health reform efforts.
The briefing, "Rising Health Pressures in an Economic Recession," featured a new report and companion video that focuses on the experiences of families, employers, safety-net providers and community organizations in four U.S. communities hard hit by the recession. The briefing also included an update on the challenges facing state Medicaid programs, how state Medicaid directors are handling state budget pressures, increased caseloads and federal stimulus assistance, and how the state directors anticipate federal health reform might affect their programs.
Barbara Edinberg, BCAC Assistant Director, was one of the panel members. Other panelists included Robin Rudowitz, Principal Policy Analyst, Kaiser Family Foundation, who presented key research findings, and Diane Rowland, Executive Vice-President, Kaiser Family Foundation and Executive Director, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.
Dr. Art Kellerman, physician and professor of emergency medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta was also on the panel, along with Cindy Mann, Director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations (CMSO), part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Joan Henneberry, executive director, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.