Impact of Medicaid regulations would be harsh, group says

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A Washington-based healthcare advocacy group is releasing a series of reports that show the potentially devastating effects of the Bush administration's proposed Medicaid cuts on individual states.

The group Families USA has shown that, despite administration claims that the cuts will save $15 billion over five years, the actual loss to states would be much greater. The loss in federal dollars going to the states, says the group, will have a ripple effect that will devastate state economies. Several of the seven regulations in question are set to take place in coming days.

Michigan, for example, will lose more than half a billion dollars in wages, $1.5 billion in business activity and 15,300 jobs in the first year alone. According to the report, at the end of the five-year period, Michigan will have lost $3.9 billion total. Representative John Dingell (D-MI), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has introduced the "Protecting the Medicaid Safety Net Act of 2008" (H.R. 5613), which is designed to delay the proposed cuts to Medicaid for at least one year.

Families USA, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, will be releasing state-specific reports between April 15 and April 30. For more information or to view the reports, please visit www.familiesusa.org.