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Increased Investment in Medicaid Needed to Protect Houston Area's Most Vulnerable Seniors, Disabled
Date:3/13/2008

d financing structure. "No serious health care policy expert believes Medicaid can be sustained in its current form, and with the current financing structure," Graves warned.

Compounding Texas' Medicaid funding crisis are 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 - federal Medicare cuts will create an even more problematic scenario for your most vulnerable elderly and disabled constituents," Graves told the lawmakers. "With upwards of 60 percent of nursing home operating expenses in Texas long term care facilities driven by labor costs, additional financial pressures placed on them by federal funding cuts will undermine patients' care, and further destabilize our direct care workforce."

To help protect and preserve access to high quality long term care throughout Texas, particularly in our rural areas where facilities are often the largest local employer, Graves said THCA is pleased that three members of the U.S. House delegation - Lloyd Doggett, E.B. Johnson and Solomon Ortiz - have signed a new congressional letter to House Budget Chairman John Spratt (D-SC) and Ranking Member Paul Ryan (R-WI) asking them to help stop the Medicare and Medicaid funding cuts proposed in the Bush Administration's budget blueprint.

THCA is urging more members of the Texas U.S. House delegation to sign this letter, which helps focus attention on the increasing interdependence between Medicaid and Medicare. States the letter:

"Approximately 80% of nursing home patients rely on either Medicare or Medicaid to pay for their long term care. Given that the fastest growing segment of our population are those 85 and older, our nation's need for long term care is likely to increase significantly. Providing adequate reimbursement for long term care under both Medicare and Medicaid will ensure that this growing population will continue to h
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SOURCE Texas Health Care Association
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