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It's wrong, and ultimately ineffective, to balance the budget by cutting federal support ofhealth care. Both the House and White House budget proposals include cuts to Medicaidand Children's Health Insurance - but these programs should not be on the negotiating table.

Cuts to Medicaid will cause millions to lose coverage, making health costs rise nationwide. Medicaid cuts will also cost hundreds of thousands of jobs, making things worse forfamilies and the government debt alike.

Ultimately, while these cuts may look attractive to budget hawks, all they do is intensify the economic storm already facing most Americans.

Medicaid is a critical program in this country: It helps more than 28 million children get health care, including doctor visits, vaccinations, oral care and more. For more than 40 years, Medicaid has been vital to helping our neediest children stay healthy and ready to learn.

Under the House-passed federal budget plan, millions of kids stand to lose Medicaid coverage. That's because some lawmakers demand $750 billion in cuts to the program over the next decade--an unprecedented cut in benefits for vulnerable families. The best estimate of the Kaiser Family Foundation says that 15-18 million children could lose coverage:

These cuts to Medicaid at the federal level just put more of a fiscal burden on states, which are already struggling to meet the needs of kids. In Oregon, for example, we estimate that 56 percent of the children who would receive health care through Medicaid in 2021 won’t have it under the House proposal. As part of our campaign to fight these cuts we've created a map of Medicaid losses through the country.

Cuts to Medicaid at the federal level just pass the costs on to already cash-strapped state governments. With these cuts in place, states will not be able to cover care for children, and the revenue from those lost health care jobs will disappear.

It is simply unconscionable to continue tax cuts for the richest Americans while cutting vital services for America’s most vulnerable. Voices for America's Children, together with other child advocates, parents, and concerned Americans like you, will oppose any cuts to Medicaid, because our recovery can't begin with making children sicker and less secure.

Notes:

1. "Jobs at Risk: Federal Medicaid Cuts Would Harm State Economies," Families USA. http://familiesusa2.org/assets/pdfs/Medicaid-Cuts-Hurt-State-Economies.pdf. Accessed July 5, 2011.

 


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