Thursday, January 22, 2009

Medicaid Straining States

Just a reminder for the Utah Leg. Might want to get a little more creative in your cuts this time around.

In a number of states, Medicaid populations grew by 5 percent to 10 percent in the last 12 months and, in many, the growth rate was at least double what it had been in the previous year. State Medicaid officials also say that because enrollment often lags behind job losses by several months, the growth in 2008 may represent only the leading edge of heightened demand.

In most states, much of the growth in Medicaid has been among children from low-income families, who constitute about half of all recipients. The program also provides coverage for those with disabilities, pregnant women, nursing home residents, and in some instances parents of covered children and childless adults.

In a nationwide survey, with 40 states responding, The New York Times found that in some cases the surge in enrollment had overwhelmed social services agencies, and prompted state fiscal analysts to shred estimates that were often only six months old.
I know it's politically popular in our "community oriented" state to cut the rug from beneath entitlement programs and energy efficiency funds when times are lean. I know that for most of you, it gives you a twisted sense of pride in your own indignation at all these poor people with a handout.

But these will still be children in need, and senior citizens with no where else to turn.

Keep that in mind, not your re-election.

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