Texas’ Budget Woes: Jan. 27, 2011

How to contact the people who were elected to represent you:

Here’s the website that helps you find all the people who represent you on the both the federal and state levels. It gives you their names, websites, mailing addresses, and phone numbers.

Do it today.  Even if you think they won’t care about your opinion.  It’s our most basic and easiest way (besides voting) to participate in this democracy.  You have a voice.  Exercise it.

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Lawmakers have proposed cutting Medicaid provider rates 10 percent to help meet the state’s budget crisis. But health care groups suggest the cuts are far deeper. In a press conference today, the Texas Health Care Association, which advocates for nursing homes, said the House and Senate’s recommended budgets for Medicaid services actually represent a 33 percent cut from current service levels.

“The problem is there are other things that are either being cut or resulting in budget reductions beyond that that are additive,” said Coyle Kelly, an economic consultant for the group.

For starters: Stimulus funding dramatically increased the portion of Medicaid costs paid by the feds during the last biennium — money that won’t be available in the next biennium. That drop, coupled with the proposed 10 percent rate cut, is where health care groups come up with the 33 percent figure, which they call devastating.

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