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'The Business of Health Care Report'

State Funding of Medicaid
04/18/2011

Click to hear the taped broadcast.

I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

State legislators are facing unprecedented challenges during this year’s legislative session, including a projected budget shortfall as high as $27 billion. One proposed cut on the table is a 10 percent reduction in Medicaid reimbursements to providers.

If legislators agree to cut Medicaid, the state funding is not all we would lose. The federal government matches states’ contributions to Medicaid at about $3 to every $1. So for every dollar the state cuts, another $3 in federal funding would be lost. And that federal money, which has already been taken from the paychecks of Texans — would go to other states.

Loss of these federal and state dollars would lead to more physicians dropping out of Medicaid and more patients being cut from the program. Hospitals and physicians would see increases in uncompensated care. Disenrollment of patients in Medicaid would increase healthcare costs because these patients would no longer seek primary care. Instead, they would wait until their conditions worsen and seek care in more expensive emergency departments.

Ultimately, taxpayers, employers and those with insurance would bear the cost of care for our state’s most vulnerable populations — low-income disabled people, pregnant women and children who cannot afford health care.

I urge you to make your opinion known to our state legislators. For more information, visit TexasHealth.org/MedicaidCuts.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based family of hospitals, Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist, and Texas Health Arlington Memorial, I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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