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Growing Importance of March 4 Texas Primary Requires 2008 Presidential Candidates to Better Address Eldercare Financing Issues
Date:2/12/2008

Texas Health Care Association Urges Clinton, Obama, McCain, Huckabee to Further Discuss, Outline Long Term Care Platforms

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton begins her two-day Texas campaign swing today to compete in the increasingly important March 4 Texas primaries, the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) urged the major presidential candidates of both parties to go beyond the discussion of increasing Americans' health insurance access, and to also include a needed discussion on how to strengthen long term care programs for the benefit of Texas' most vulnerable population of seniors and disabled citizens.

"With one in four Texans lacking health insurance, expanding access to health insurance is deservedly a driving issue in this increasingly important primary -- but it is also vital for candidates of both parties to outline their plans to protect our oldest, most vulnerable seniors and disabled citizens, whose lives depend upon Medicare and Medicaid being adequately financed," stated Tim Graves, President of THCA. "As more Boomers enter our retirement system, our residents and the caregivers who serve them want to know specifically what each candidate will do to bolster Medicare and Medicaid financing in a way that ensures we have the ongoing capacity to provide quality care today as well as tomorrow."

Graves said proposed federal cuts to Medicare and Medicaid contained in the Bush Administration's FY 2009 budget -- on top of Texas' already over-burdened state Medicaid program -- will create an even more problematic scenario for the state's most vulnerable elderly and disabled residents. "With upwards of 60 percent of nursing home operating expenses driven by labor costs, additional financial pressures placed on facilities caused by federal funding cuts will undermine patients, and further destabilize our direct care workforce," Graves continued.

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SOURCE Texas Health Care Association
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