Medicaid in Texas Could Be Facing Cuts from Both Federal and State Lawmakers

According to healthcare advocates, the Texas Senate is proposing a budget that underfunds Medicaid by at least $1.9 billion.

By Ashley LopezMarch 7, 2017 10:30 am, , ,

From KUT

Last night Republican leaders in Congress revealed a replacement to Obamacare that caps Medicaid funding to states to how many people they have enrolled, which could mean less funding for Medicaid in Texas from the program’s federal partner.

That’s caused anxiety about the future of Medicaid in Texas, especially among families who have been relying on various services from the program.

“Medicaid has really saved my family’s life,” said Kate Robinson, a mother of a small child with special medical needs. “Without Medicaid we would have surely lost our home.”

Robinson’s two-year-old son, Apollo, was born with serious defects to his esophagus and his airway.

The beginning of his life has been full of massive surgeries in different hospitals across the country. Robinson says her son still needs a lot of that care. So, he’s in a special program within Medicaid that provides all of these services.

“These are things that affect his life dramatically and our ability to parent, dramatically, and to work,” she said.

Nurses, therapy providers and medical equipment are all provided through Medicaid, right now. Robinson says it’s helping her family stay afloat. So, she’s taking threats to that program very seriously.

Robinson was among hundreds of folks gathered at a healthcare rally at the Texas Capitol Monday. She told the crowd she was prepared to do everything she can to make sure Medicaid remains a safety net for vulnerable people in the state.

But the services children like Apollo rely on right now have already been drastically cut by Texas lawmakers, including the early childhood intervention program (ECI).

Robinson says that program helped improve Apollo’s ability to communicate, as well as his ability do simple physical motions, like sit up.

At Monday’s rally, health care advocates like Melissa McChesney with the Center for Public Policy Priorities told the crowd she can’t imagine where further cuts to the state program will even come from.

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