31 January 2006

Budget cut will hurt poor people on Medicaid (of course)

But talks about a "culture of life", but he means the lives of the rich. Poor families are on their own. If a poor child gets sick, oh well.

Bush is not "pro-life". He's pro-birth. Once you're born, you're on your own -- unless your family happens to be wealthy.

In tonight's State of the Union address, he'll probably tell us how great this plan is.

From yesterday's New York Times via truthout:
Millions of low-income people would have to pay more for health care under a bill worked out by Congress, and some of them would forgo care or drop out of Medicaid because of the higher co-payments and premiums, the Congressional Budget Office says in a new report.

The Senate has already approved the measure, the first major effort to rein in federal benefit programs in eight years, and the House is expected to vote Wednesday, clearing the bill for President Bush.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Mr. Bush plans to recommend a variety of steps to help people obtain health insurance and cope with rising health costs. But the bill, the Deficit Reduction Act, written by Congress over the last year with support from the White House, could reduce coverage and increase the number of uninsured, the budget office said.

Over all, the bill is estimated to save $38.8 billion in the next five years and $99.3 billion from 2006 to 2015, with cuts in student loans, crop subsidies and many other programs, the budget office said. Medicaid and Medicare account for half of the savings, 27 percent and 23 percent over 10 years.


Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said the bill was needed because Medicaid had been growing at an unsustainable rate.

But Senator Jeff Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico, said the budget office report confirmed that the bill would "cut access to care for some of our most vulnerable citizens."

The bill gives states sweeping new authority to charge premiums and co-payments under Medicaid.

"In response to the new premiums, some beneficiaries would not apply for Medicaid, would leave the program or would become ineligible due to nonpayment," the Congressional Budget Office said in its report, completed Friday night. "CBO estimates that about 45,000 enrollees would lose coverage in fiscal year 2010 and that 65,000 would lose coverage in fiscal year 2015 because of the imposition of premiums. About 60 percent of those losing coverage would be children."
[Read more.]

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