Proposed Medicaid cuts draw warnings, unexpected requests

As debt talks proceed, the request by California Governor Jerry Brown, a liberal Democrat, to cut Medicaid spending by 10 percent, is reportedly awkward for congressional Democrats and the White House. Meanwhile, some advocates warn that Latinos will be hit hard by proposals to cut the health insurance program for the poor.

The Hill: Liberal Governor's Request For Medicaid Cuts Puts Democrats In Tough Spot
President Obama and congressional Democrats have been put in a tough spot by California Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) request to cut Medicaid spending 10 percent. Brown says he needs to make the cuts to the state Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, to ease his state's severe budget woes. But advocates say cuts of that size would be devastating to California's most vulnerable residents (Pecquet, 7/20).

CQ HealthBeat: Advocates Warn Medicaid Cuts Would Disproportionately Hit Latinos
With Republicans and Democrats still at odds over changes to health care entitlements, two advocacy groups warned Tuesday that cuts to Medicaid would threaten a critical source of insurance for millions of Latino children and their families. The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a Latino civil rights organization, and Families USA, a consumer advocacy group, released a report that found that in 2009, nearly half of all Hispanics under age 18 were covered by either Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Of those children, the vast majority (82.9 percent) lived in households with earnings below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The report also found that Medicaid cuts would disproportionately affect Latinos of all ages in comparison to non-Hispanic whites. While 26.5 percent of Latinos were covered by Medicaid or CHIP in 2009, 10.7 percent of non-Hispanic whites were enrolled in those programs (Attias, 7/19). 

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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