Healthcare Advocates Push To Spare Medicaid From Cuts

Oct 13, 2011

Tallahassee, FL – Congress' "Super Committee" is trying to come up with a plan to cut more than $1.5 trillion from the federal budget. It has the ability to look into different areas of the federal budget like taxes, entitlements and defense spending. This has several interest groups watching the process closely. 

Families USA, a national healthcare advocate, is making its case against cutting programs like Medicaid.

Medicaid is the state and federal partnership program that provides health insurance to low-income Floridians. Minorities like Blacks and Latinos tend to have lower incomes and, according to a Families USA report, they're also more likely to rely on Medicaid. They also have higher rates of cancer, heart and lung disease and diabetes. Hilary Shelton is the Washington Bureau Director for the NAACP.

"This report demonstrates the absolute, disproportionate and crucial need for a strong, stable Medicaid program for racial and ethnic minorities, among others."

In Florida, about 10 percent of all Medicaid beneficiaries, regardless of race, have chronic diseases. The Congressional Super-Committee has until November to come up with a plan to cut the budget. If no deal is reached, Medicaid and its federal counterpart for seniors, Medicare, could be spared.