State Medicaid cuts enacting tolls on low-income people, including elderly

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State Medicaid cuts enacting tolls on low-income people, including elderly
State Medicaid cuts enacting tolls on low-income people, including elderly
Even as Congress considers a stimulus package that would increase the federal medical assistance percentage by $87 billion, half of all states have either enacted or proposed significant reductions to Medicaid services, according to recent reports.

Current state Medicaid cuts could cost more than 250,000 mostly low-income people their healthcare coverage. Meanwhile, proposals not yet enacted could affect millions more, according to a report released Wednesday by Families USA. States such as Nevada have already trimmed services for the elderly and disabled. Other states have capped enrollment levels and cut all non-federally mandated services, The Wall Street Journal reported. States from California to the Carolinas are reducing income eligibility levels for Medicaid, eliminating services altogether for thousands of elderly and disabled citizens, according to the Families USA report.

Another way states are trying to save money is through reduced payments to physicians and providers. While the stimulus legislation requires states to restore Medicaid eligibility levels to those of July 1, 2008, there is no language protecting payments to physicians and providers, the Journal reports.

To read the Families USA report, visit www.familiesusa.org.