Texan health care deficit of $582 million

Texan state health care officials announce programmes for low income families will make for a budget deficit of $582 million by the end of the financal year. Primarily due to an increased amount of services being provided. The current deficit almost equals the amount taken out of the Medicaid budget last year.

Texan Legislators took the money out because they were trying to balance a lean budget.

So far there is a projected $529 million deficit in state funding for the Medicaid program, plus a $53 million shortfall in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is currently preparing a report to explain the shortfall.

Last year legislators reduced the funds available to Medicaid by $524 million. The money was across to the public edicucation sector. Legislators were trying to reduce the state budget’s shortfall at the time of $10 billion. At the time the Democrats warned a deficit would build up in the Medicaid budget if they did this.

Anne Dunkelgerg, Health Policy Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities - Texas, said "I don't think anybody would be surprised if there was a caseload shortfall, but caseloads have not grown very much at all."

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