Latest Md. Budget Cut Rips Into Health Care Programs

Maryland health programs will suffer especially deep cuts in the state's effort to patch a $454 million shortfall, the latest in a series of budget problems, the Washington Post reports. The state will scour for cash by closing a 40-bed psychiatric hospital, cut $7.5 million in cancer research funding and lower Medicaid payments by two percent. Additional cuts include road projects, closing a prison, layoffs, furloughs and training programs (Davis, 8/27).

The state's health department also absorbed 160 of 202 layoffs that were approved as part of the cut, the Associated Press/Washington Examiner reports, including 90 employees at the psychiatric hospital. Two other psychiatric wards will be closed, accounting for another 50 jobs. "Cuts that we had made in previous rounds, which I thought were bad, now look easy," said Maryland's health secretary, John Colmers (Witte, 8/26).

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