In 2015, newly elected governor Raimondo announced her plans to “reinvent Medicaid,” a proposal that would result in cuts to Medicaid in each of her proposed budgets for the next five years.
At the time, nursing home administrators warned what the cuts would mean for their facilities — staffing cuts. One said in a subcommittee hearing:
It’s keeping me up at night. It’s making me very nervous. We have a lot of sick, elderly frail people in these nursing homes and when you look at what you have to do to provide for them and for the people that care for them . . . Probably 90 percent of our employees are mothers, single mothers. Women.
Another administrator said, “Have we lost sight of the individuals we have an obligation to protect and care for? These individuals’ lives are literally hanging in the balance.″
Raimondo’s plan also involved privatizing management of Medicaid in the state, outsourcing management to private insurers. By 2018, over 60 percent of the state’s Medicaid budget went to private health insurers. That year, hospital administrators called Raimondo’s round of cuts to Medicaid “devastating.”
The governor’s proposed budget for 2020, introduced before the pandemic broke out in the United States, included nearly $60 million in Medicaid cuts.