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UPDATE: Proposed medicaid cuts could close TX nursing homes

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POSTED: Friday, January 28, 2011 - 11:25am

UPDATED: Saturday, January 29, 2011 - 8:51pm

A new proposal to get the state back in the black from a $25 billion debt is cutting Medicaid.  State lawmakers are talking about slashing reimbursement rates for nursing homes, doctors, and hospitals by 33%.

A press release from Texas Health Care Association says the cuts would cause bankruptcies, facility closures, and a widespread displacement of residents.  You can find the full press release here: http://www.txhca.org/pressreleases/pressreleases.htm

Patricia Lewis has a sister in Oak Brook Nursing Home in Whitehouse. She says because of Medicare, her sister has been able to have nursing home health care.  However, if the state's proposals to cut Medicaid passes, Lewis and hundreds of other Texans may have to find somewhere else for their family members to stay.

"We'd have to bring her home and do our best to take care of her ourselves because we wouldn't have the money or the means to pay for the doctors or nursing homes,' says Lewis. 

Advocates say more than 500 nursing homes in Texas serving about 45,000 patients depend on Medicaid. If cut by a third, Oak Brook Administrator Sue Burford says it would devastate nursing homes across the state, and many of them may have to close their doors.

Since 60% of Oak Brook's 120 residents use Medicaid, nurses like Faye Williams are afraid of losing their jobs.  Williams says, "We're looking forward to retiring, and we want to have this job to look forward to. You know, it's kind of scary right now."  If nurses are cut, Williams says services will go downhill for patients. "Their medications are from Medicaid. They wont get their medicines. Without their medicines, their health deteriorates," says Williams.

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Another case of our governor Perry cutting nonessential services like health care and education.

Cuts to Medicaid....

There are other areas you can cut expenses. Why should government employs continue to draw full pay when they retire like Sheriff, commissioners after they serve two years? Medicaid is not an area we need to cut.

Now we reap what candidates did sow when they ran and were elected on tax cuts to stimulate the economy. Remember this: tax cuts mean service cuts. You pay me now or you pay in lost services later.

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