Reasons to Protect Medicaid

Forty-two states (plus D.C.) are facing budget shortfalls this fiscal year, and are searching for ways to balance their budgets. Medicaid accounts for 15 percent of the average state budget, and is often a target for policymakers seeking to reduce spending.

Medicaid should be strengthened, not weakened during difficult economic times. Medicaid cuts are unpopular and hurt people; they are bad for the economy, and an ineffective approach to balancing state budgets.

Cuts are Unpopular
Polls show that the public views Medicaid as a necessity.  Public opinion is not in favor of reducing the number of individuals served or reducing the types of services offered.

Cuts Hurt People
Children, older adults, and people with disabilities are the primary beneficiaries of Medicaid. Cuts to the program could mean they do not receive the care they need—like check-ups, medicine, hospital and nursing home care, and long-term support.

Cuts are Bad for the Economy
Medicaid acts as an economic stimulus, funding job creation and supporting spending by hospitals, physicians, and various health services.  Medicaid is also a way to draw down federal dollars to support the state economy. 

Cuts are an Ineffective Approach to Balancing Budgets
The federal government matches at least half of all state Medicaid spending—so states need to cut at least $2 to save $1.  Many states receive higher federal matching rates, and need to cut even more to see savings.  The actual net savings of the cuts is not likely to balance state budgets or outweigh the long-term harm.

Protect Medicaid!
Economic downturns mean more people turn to Medicaid for health coverage.  Medicaid cuts can limit access to health care services and reduce quality of care for consumers. The time is now to defend against Medicaid cuts.

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