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Report finds Medicaid population more at-risk for chronic diseases

By Lynn Hatter


Tallahssee, FL – A new report from the consumer group Families USA along with the American Lung, Diabetes and Cancer Associations, shows a large number of Floridians on Medicaid have chronic diseases. Lynn Hatter reports the associations are worried about potential cuts to the program.

According to the report, 10-percent of Floridians with Cancer are on Medicaid. And more than 208-thousand Floridians on Medicaid have diabetes. That's one-in-ten people, far above the national average. Paula Jameson, with the National Diabetes Association, says the people eligible for Medicaid tend to be poorer and sicker than those with private health plans.

"Approximately 12.6-percent of non-elderly adults age 18-64 enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance program have diabetes, compared to 6.7-percent of those with private insurance."

Medicaid also takes care of a large numbers of Floridians with chronic lung and heart disease. Congress is looking to cut back on the nation's budget. And consumer health advocates worry that cuts to Medicaid could lead to a loss of coverage for those diseases.