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The Colorado state agency that oversees Medicaid is asking for a $2.4 billion budget, and lawmakers were warned that court battles could drive costs even higher. Lawmakers were given a 285-page briefing packet on the second-costliest program in the state budget as they prepared for hearings with the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. Only public education gets a bigger chunk of Colorado’s annual budget.
The state might have to come up with an extra $32.5 million as a result of litigation involving the Medicaid program, analyst Alexis Senger told members of the Joint Budget Committee.
"Such litigation may put more pressure on the 6% [spending] limit and/or result in fewer general fund dollars available for other purposes like capital construction and transportation," Ms. Senger told the Rocky Mountain News in Denver. The briefing came a day after a hearing in which U.S. District Judge Willey Daniel sharply criticized the state for an $18 million mistake in cutting off Medicaid coverage for more than 40,000 low-income Colorado residents beginning in 1997.