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Nation in brief: Enrollment in Medicaid drops

Thu., Oct. 11, 2007

For the first time in nearly a decade, enrollment in the nation’s health insurance program for the poor fell during the fiscal year ending June 30, says a new survey of state Medicaid directors.

In turn, that drop led to the second smallest increase in Medicaid spending during the past decade – 2.9 percent.

Medicaid directors attributed the 0.5 percent enrollment decline to a solid economy and to new documentation checks that require beneficiaries to prove their citizenship or that they are qualified legal immigrants

Medicaid is the federal-state partnership that provides health coverage to about 58 million people. About half of enrollees are children, but it’s the elderly who generate about 70 percent of the program’s spending. The elderly rely on Medicaid to pay for their nursing home care.

Atlantic City, N.J.

Mayor resigns after rehab stay

The mayor of this gambling resort resigned Wednesday after a two-week absence from office during which he checked into a rehabilitation clinic.

Robert Levy’s disappearance came amid a federal investigation for embellishing his Army service in Vietnam.

“Mr. Levy has concluded that public confidence is so eroded by these circumstances that the only responsible action is to step down,” said his attorney, Edwin Jacobs.

Levy entered a clinic because he had been overmedicating himself with pain pills to treat severe back pain, as well as using different medication to treat post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his war service, Jacobs said.


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