State Cuts to Children’s Health Care Programs

In addition to proposed federal cuts to the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, community health centers, and school based health clinics being debated in Congress, several states have proposed deep, identifiable cuts in health care that will reduce access to care for low-income children, families and people with disabilities. (These cuts are in addition to health cuts already implemented in 34 states since the recession began.) Click here to read the whole report:

  • Governor Brewer of Arizona original budget proposal eliminated Medicaid coverage for 280,000 people, more than 4 percent of the state’s population. The cut would have resulted in the loss of $1.1 billion in federal matching funds next fiscal year. With newly received permission from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to reduce Medicaid enrollment, Governor Brewer has proposed grandfathering coverage for currently enrolled adults without dependent children (approximately 100,000 people), but eliminating the program for future enrollees. The governor’s new proposal mandates that childless adults and parents re-qualify for coverage every six months (rather than annually) and continues to call for a 5 percent cut in Medicaid provider rates that would take effect in April 2011.
  • California’s Governor Brown proposes scaling back the state’s Healthy Families (CHIP) program by eliminating vision benefits, increasing premiums for families with incomes between 150 and 250 percent of poverty, and increasing co-payments, among other cuts.
  • Georgia’s Governor Deal proposes cuts to several areas of Medicaid and children’s health. Many children’s services would be subject to co-pays for the first time.
  • Idaho Governor Otter, according to news reports, seeks $25 million in unspecified cuts to Medicaid.
  • Kansas Governor Brownback would eliminate funding for mental health services for 850 families of children with severe emotional disturbances.
  • New Jersey’s Governor Christie would apply to the federal government for a “global waiver” to allow the state to restructure its Medicaid program. The Governor says the restructuring would save New Jersey $300 million in the coming fiscal year. To achieve savings of that magnitude, the waiver likely would significantly reduce services and access to medical care for low-income people.
  • Oklahoma’s Governor Fallin proposes cuts to state health care programs that likely will lead to the elimination or sharp reduction of child abuse prevention services that protect about 2,000 children, as well as payment cuts for Medicaid providers and reductions in the medical services covered by Medicaid.
  • Texas’ initial budget proposal would cut Medicaid provider rates by 10 percent, making it more difficult forTexas doctors to accept Medicaid patients because of the state’s low reimbursement levels relative to other states, further restricting low-income Texans’ access to health care.
  • Washington Governor Gregoire’s budget proposes deep cuts to health and disability services, including eliminating a health program for 27,000 undocumented children.
  • Wisconsin’s Governor Walker proposes to eliminate Medicaid coverage for about 70,000 people, beginning in July of 2012 (and to seek federal approval for even deeper cuts).

Posted March 25 2011 at 9:57 PM Permanent Link

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