Vermont governor won't fund Medicaid by raising taxes; will turn to other agency budgets for shortfall

December 28, 2015

Gov. Peter Shumlin says he won't ask the Legislature to raise taxes to pay for an expansion of the Medicaid program because of the same rejected approach last session. Much of the new money that will be needed to balance the Medicaid budget, he said, will have to be taken from other agencies of state government. The administration faced a funding problem this year largely because the number of people signing up for the program exceeded projections, with a shortfall of roughly $30 million, projected to be over $50 million in next year's budget. Shumlin is frustrated that lawmakers have rejected efforts to dedicate a revenue source to pay for Medicaid and are instead asking healthcare providers to accept unreasonably low reimbursement rates to help keep the program afloat.