States Face Medicaid Losses, Low-Income Patients Struggle To Find Lasting Health Care Sources

CNN Money: "Until now, stimulus money spared governors and state lawmakers from making some of the most brutal budget cuts. But with this lifeline running out, officials are looking at making significant cutbacks to public services, particularly schools and health programs. As of mid-April, states and localities have received nearly $109 billion since the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act was passed in February 2009, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The vast majority of that money went to help states maintain their Medicaid services and education funding in the face of steep drops in tax revenues due to the recession" (Luhby, 4/5).

Los Angeles Times: There are "more than 6,600 uninsured or underinsured patients who saw doctors, dentists and other medical professionals during the weeklong free clinic run by the Tennessee-based nonprofit Remote Area Medical. Their stories illustrate both the short- and the long-term challenges facing the medical community as tens of millions of uninsured Americans — as many as one in four Californians — are folded into the nation's healthcare system in coming years." Advocates say a critical part of implementing the health overhaul will be connecting such people with more permanent care, such as Medicaid (Hennessy-Fiske, 4/5).

The Fiscal Times: "Until health care reform goes into effect in 2014, more than 46 million Americans remain uninsured and are ineligible for Medicaid. In today's economy, many have made use of the free community-based health care clinics for everything from basic care to chronic care. "They make a real difference for the patients they see," said Alwyn Cassil, public affairs officer at the Center for Studying Health System Change. "Given the large number of uninsured, it's like putting out a five-alarm blaze with a garden hose" (DePaul, 5/3).

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