The Medicaid Emergency: Latinos Health at Risk

by Efrain Nieves

According to statehealthfacts.org,  27% percent of Latinos receive Medicaid which is the health program available to low income families, primarily children and people with disabilities. It is the largest source of funding for medical and health related services for low income families. What would happen if such a valuable resource would be taken from them?

If I were given the chance to say a few words in front of Congress, Medicaid assistance would not be cut.  Because all should understand that sick children and disabled individuals have no one else to turn to. However, in a government riddled with debt, brought upon by the wealthy, anything goes in order to slash spending, well for the poor that is.  Unfortunately, chances of me speaking in front of anyone in Congress is lower than slim and if Paul Ryan has his way, Medicare and Medicaid will be obliterated, at best.

Taking a look at Paul Ryan’s roadmap I see one thing, confusion. Not only is it filled with riddles, but also with unanswered questions. For example one of the bullet point states:

  • It preserves the existing Medicare program for those currently enrolled or becoming eligible in the next 10 years (those 55 and older today) – So Americans can receive the benefits they planned for throughout their working lives.  For those currently under 55 – as they become Medicare-eligible – it creates a Medicare payment, initially averaging $11,000, to be used to purchase a Medicare certified plan. The payment is adjusted to reflect medical inflation, and pegged to income, with low-income individuals receiving greater support. The plan also provides risk adjustment, so those with greater medical needs receive a higher payment.

The question here is, what happens to those under 55  who are currently on Medicaid? Do they lose this healthcare benefit and have to wait until they are 55 to regain access to it?

The proposal does not actually state the word cuts, instead that it is a re-structure in order to come across as constructive and well intentioned (read to save tax payers money).  In my opinion, this is just one more hidden scheme that insults our intelligence. At least, I am aware that the Medicare/Medicaid “re-structuring” plan, as well as any that cater to poorer Americans, are the target.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Opinion: Paul Ryan’s policies, if implemented, will have deep consequences for Latinos - August 12, 2012

    [...] that of Hispanics, and the gap between the two continues to widen. This means that more than a quarter of Hispanics depend on Medicaid for their health care [...]

  2. Opinion: Paul Ryan’s policies, if implemented, will have deep consequences for Latinos | Stephen A. Nuño - August 17, 2012

    [...] that of Hispanics, and the gap between the two continues to widen. This means that more than a quarter of Hispanics depend on Medicaid for their health care [...]

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