Medicaid Cuts Would Hurt Michigan’s Kids

Cuts to Medicaid are proposed in both President Obama’s debt reduction plan and a current House bill sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.  According to Jay Greene of Crain’s Detroit Business, a study by The Lewin Group and Families USA showed that 120,000 kids in Michigan with lung disease could be devastated by these cuts.  In the article “Report: Medicaid cuts could seriously hurt residents in Michigan with diabetes and lung disease,” Greene says that in addition to pain, suffering, and increased death, Medicaid cuts could inevitably lead to higher costs.

The third leading cause of death in the U.S., lung disease in children is most commonly associated with asthma and cystic fibrosis.  There are almost 240,000 Michigan residents on Medicaid receiving care for these lung diseases as well as chronic obsessive pulmonary disease and other lung diseases.  Medicaid also covers around 100,000 people fighting diabetes, which is the nation’s seventh highest cause of death.  Close to 250,000 residents receive Medicaid for heart disease and stroke, as well as around 23,000 for cancer treatment.  With cuts to Medicaid trickling down to states like Michigan, they would have no choice but to deny Medicaid to some people.

Over the next decade, cuts have been proposed between $15 and $771 billion for Medicaid.  These cuts could reduce state funding by 30% and force those with less serious cases to stop receiving Medicaid altogether.  Residents would have to compare lower cost health insurance alternatives like Go Blue Florida, which helps residents of that state.  Until it is mandatory for health insurance companies to cover those with preexisting conditions however, many of those suffering from lung disease or diabetes might be forced to go without insurance.  That would be devastating to everyone involved, especially sick kids.

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