Medicaid Shortfall

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Fixing an 800 million dollar shortfall in the state's Medicaid program won't be easy.
Medicaid is one of the biggest pieces of the state budget. More than four billion dollars was spent on the program this year.
State officials are weighing options in dealing with the shortfall. Some of the more common choices are reducing the number of people who qualify, eliminate some of the services or lower the amount paid to those who provide care to Medicaid patients.
Advocates for children and seniors are pushing an increase in the cigarette tax. They say an 85-cent increase could raise about 225 million dollars a year.