Pensions and unpaid bills aren’t the only problems facing the state budget, and a new report highlights dire consequences if all the problems are not addressed. A Civic Federation report says Medicaid costs are increasing 6 percent a year, and unpaid Medicaid bills could increase to $23 billion by 2017.

Kelly Kraft, spokeswoman for the governor’s budget office, says the governor wants to address the problem but lawmakers so far haven’t. “We did last year call for a reimbursement rate reduction, but there’s not an appetite to do that,” she says. “We’re going to continue to have our efforts become a reality. As I’ve mentioned, we need an aggressive restructuring of the Medicaid system."

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Kraft couldn’t say what specific changes the Office of Management and Budget is seeking to the Medicaid system, but says the governor last year proposed a 6 percent cut in the Medicaid reimbursement rate.

The Civic Federation found the state could face $35 billion in unpaid bills by 2017, years after the temporary tax increase expires.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/