When An Economy Turns Sick & Poor…Sick & Poor Children Suffer First

Jul 3, 2011 by

When the economy turns sick & poor…sick and poor children are most likely the first to get cut.

A study, published June 16, in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that even children with serious health challenges, covered by Medicaid rather than private insurance, may not get an appointment, or if they do, probably will wait longer than a month to see a needed specialist.
What happens when over $90 billion federal dollars of additional Medicaid funds run out on June 30, 2011? It could result in cuts in Medicaid benefits, greater out of pocket expenses, higher co-pays, higher deductibles, and cuts to doctors and hospital payments.

The States, with the Feds help, should devise a plan to help offset the cuts by allowing the states to modernizing and fortify their public health system so it could better handle this and other potential health disasters. This would not be a onetime fix, but preparedness for the future.

Neil Solomon, M.D., Ph.D.
Maryland’s First Secretary of Health & Mental Hygiene

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