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Medicaid is Prime Target as States Cut to the Bone

January 15, 2011

As I mentioned in Fall of 2010, States will balance their budgets on the backs of the poor, dying, invalid, disabled, and elderly. I am sad to say I was right. A copy of California’s proposed budget is available for download on a previous post. Common cuts are to hospice care, hearing aids, dental, and transplants. Essentially, people who are dying will die sooner, will suffer, and do without needed care. This is a travesty.

In Arizona, that means nearly 100 people will be ineligible for state-funded, life-saving transplants.

ABC News reports: South Carolina will stop payments to hospice, and Indiana could eliminate funding for hearing aids and dentures.

From other sources:

Digital Charleston reports: February 1st Medicaid South Caroline cuts to hospice care takes effect. Advocates and patient advocates are speaking out against the state’s plan to cut all funding for hospice care service. When the cut goes through, South Carolina will be the only state in the country in which Medicaid does not cover adult hospice care.

Journal Gazette in Indiana reports: Medicaid is a joint federal and state program providing health care for the poor, and enrollment has jumped 20 percent. To meet that demand, the administration wants to provide some new dollars as well as eliminate four optional Medicaid services for adults – dental, chiropractic, hearing aids and podiatry. The cut would save the state about $17 million during the two-year budget cycle beginning in July.

Washington State governor in September ordered an across-the-board 6.3 percent spending cut to balance the budget deficit. Among the cuts under way are reductions in dental, vision, hearing and hospice care affecting 177,000 Medicaid patients, as well as long-term care and home care programs. Now, heeding the overwhelming decision of voters, legislators may be forced to make even more drastic cuts.

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