Doctors warn of emergency created by Medicaid cuts

Elderly poor likely to suffer from budget change

Published On: Feb 05 2013 04:36:02 PM CST
AUSTIN, Texas -

Doctors visiting the Capitol are warning lawmakers that their cuts to the Medicaid program are creating a health care emergency for the elderly poor.

Members of the Texas Medical Association on Tuesday said budget cuts in 2011 hurt people known as dual-eligibles. These are people old enough to qualify for Medicare and poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.

In 2011, lawmakers stopped Medicaid from paying the $140 Medicare deductible for these people and reduced the amount of money paid to doctors for providing services. The Medicaid cut affected 320,000 elderly.

Lawmakers restored the deductibles in 2013, but are still reimbursing doctors at a lower rate. The cuts forced many doctors to stop accepting patients who rely on Medicaid and Medicare. Doctors want lawmakers to fully restore the payments.