Families USA has released state-by-state reports showing the consequences of cutting Medicaid coverage for Americans with chronic conditions who rely on the program for life-saving treatments. The first batch of reports for California, Illinois, New York, and Texas finds that hundreds of thousands of patients in each state are at risk of losing coverage. In Texas:
Lawmakers from both parties have endorsed policies that would force cutbacks in Medicaid, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry has gone out of his way to try and limit the program. For instance, in 2008, he requested a federal waiver to “limit the number of beneficiaries and create a new, very sparse benefits plan” — which was too restrictive even for the Bush administration. Perry has also advocated for block granting Medicaid, which would in all likelihood force the state to make severe cutbacks, and even wanted the state to opt ouf of the program entirely. He eventually backed off that proposal after a state report concluded that up to 2.6 million Texans could become uninsured as a result.