Medicaid May Be Fed’s Scapegoat
By Don Flynn
State Rep. Barbara Cooper (D-Tenn.)
WASHINGTON-African American state representatives and senators-already embattled because of past crippling budget cuts-are predicting that the Medicaid program may be the hardest hit of the "Big Four" entitlements now on the chopping block by conservative Republicans and Tea Partiers.
They say the aim is to hurt minorities and the poor, and balance the federal deficit on their backs.
The other major entitlements include Social Security, Medicare and Defense. President Barack Obama has not indicated which of the entitlements may face his ax, but Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) who is a close confidant, has said that only Social Security will be spared.
Medicaid is the more vulnerable program to be gutted because the recipients tend to be poor and minorities, who are not among the nation's largest group of voters.
If successful, the campaign by conservatives to target Medicaid could lead to a rationing of healthcare for the poor-denying them basic services such as access to physicians, nurses, and other essential providers; the dispensing of outdated generic drugs instead of state-of-the-art brand-name drugs; reductions in testing and examinations, as well as the establishment of new rigid, eligibility requirements that would prevent many of the applicants from receiving Medicaid services.
"Half the people worked all of their lives and many of them are still picking cotton, berries and fruit to make a living in so...Read More