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Blog: Cuts That Hurt All of Us

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

On Tuesday, I joined with several local leaders, including Congressman William "Lacy" Clay and Senator Tom Harkin, and the national health care consumer organization, FamiliesUSA to talk about how Medicaid cuts would hurt our economy here in Missouri.

I have already shared with you, many times, how dangerously detrimental I believe the cuts to Medicaid will be for low-income and middle-class families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities. But now experts are saying these cuts will take a toll on all of us--the entire economy of Missouri.

The Medicaid cuts in the House Republican budget, if implemented today, would have a devastating impact on the struggling economy of our nation, our state, and our communities. These cuts would put as many as 35,210 jobs and as much as $4.2 billion in state business activity at risk. That's the conclusion of a report for Missouri released today by the national health care consumer organization Families USA.

In recent memory, I have often heard it said that we must cut the budget in order to get our economy back on track. While I could not agree more that we as a nation must learn to live within our means, this report is a call to caution.

The least of these should not bear the burden for a problem they did not produce. The cuts called for in Congress have a real, painful impact in our communities. Worse, the cuts will hinder our economic recovery.

The budget proposal adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives, sponsored by my colleague, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), calls for cuts in federal funding to current state Medicaid programs of 5 percent in 2013, 15 percent in 2014, and 33 percent in 2021.

The report "Jobs at Risk" looks at the economic impact of a 5 percent, 15 percent and 33 percent cut in current Medicaid funding levels. Implementing a 5 percent cut in Medicaid spending in 2011 would:

* Cost Missouri almost $290.7 million in federal Medicaid dollars, and put at risk approximately $633.7 million in business activity and 5,330 jobs;
* Cost Missouri and the remaining 49 states and the District of Columbia the $13.75 billion needed to support health care for vulnerable residents, including funding for nursing home care and other long-term care services for seniors and people with disabilities.

A 15 percent cut in federal Medicaid spending in 2011 would have a greater impact and would:

* Cost Missouri nearly 872.1 million in federal Medicaid dollars, and put at risk approximately $1.9 billion in business activity and 16,000 jobs;
* Cost Missouri and the remaining 49 states and the District of Columbia the $41.25 billion needed to support health care for vulnerable residents.

A 33 percent cut in federal Medicaid spending in 2011 would:

* Cost Missouri more than $1.9 billion in federal Medicaid dollars, and put at risk approximately $4.2 billion in business activity and 35,210 jobs;
* Cost Missouri and the remaining 49 states and the District of Columbia the almost $90.8 billion needed to support health care for vulnerable residents.

If you want to learn more, the "Jobs at Risk" data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia are available here.


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