Saturday, July 30, 2011

Proposed Medicaid Cuts Hit Hard

Sharon D. Langer is a senior policy fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children ( and John Hogarth is president of the Connecticut Coalition on Aging (

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Marta Calderon of Bridgeport has cared for her teenage grandson since he was a toddler, but doesn't have health insurance through her employer. Recently the teen needed emergency treatment to prevent an infection. Medicaid paid for the procedure, and he is well. Marta's teenage granddaughter, who also lives with her, is scheduled for gallbladder surgery, which will be covered. Although Marta struggles to meet all her family's daily expenses, she is grateful for the life-sustaining coverage that Medicaid provides for her grandchildren.
Naomi Firme of Griswold was disabled by a particularly aggressive form of multiple sclerosis. Without Medicaid she would not be living at home or even alive today. Her Medicaid coverage enables her to get care at home and avoid more expensive nursing home care. Though she was expected to live less than two years when she went home from a nursing facility, she already has outlived her prognosis by nine years.
In Connecticut, Medicaid provides critical health care to more than 650,000 people such as Marta's grandchildren and Naomi — children, people with disabilities, seniors and other low-income adults. Unfortunately, Medicaid is in the crosshairs of the budget discussions in Washington. Some in Congress want to make major cuts in the federal share of Medicaid funding.

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