[star]The American Mind[star]

May 09, 2005

Funding Schools with Medicaid

Wisconsin public schools have been using Medicare funds to shore up their budgets.

Pinched by the state-set revenue caps, more and more public schools have tapped into a Medicaid reimbursement program that now is pumping millions of dollars into their coffers every year.

Shortly after state lawmakers approved the program in 1995, relatively few districts sought reimbursements for the medical services they provided to students with special needs who qualified for Medicaid, the state-federal health care program. In fiscal year 1997, slightly less than $2.4 million was reimbursed to districts.

But as word spread about the program to districts eager to find new sources of revenue, it swiftly caught on.

Reimbursements swelled to $23.8 million in fiscal 2004 to the 280 districts of the 426 in the state now participating in the program. Since 2001, reimbursement totals have ranged from $21 million to more than $23 million annually.

Public schools like the program because they don't have to control expenses as much as they would have. The state likes it because they take a 40% cut and put it into the general fund. So thank you citizens of Tennessee, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and all the rest of the states for helping us not control our spending.

I'll need to work up some cleaver wording but there should be a maxium that states that when "free" money is available government will find a way to grab as much as it can.

"Medicaid Helping Schools Trim Funding Shortages"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Wisconsin at 08:10 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)