Alabama Legislator ‘Offended’ By Warnings Of How Severe State Medicaid Cuts Could Hurt Patients

The Alabama House passed a state budget for 2013 that would dramatically shrink the state’s Medicaid budget to about $400 million from $643 million. Before a committee approved the budget last week, state Health Officer Don Williamson warned legislators that this will lead to massive cuts and gave the example of cutting dialysis coverage for Medicaid patients, which he said would be a death sentence for those patients. But the warnings about what could happen because of severe Medicaid cuts offends one Alabama legislator. “If this agency goes forward and puts out any haunting emails about potential cuts to programs that could affect the lives of individuals, I will be personally offended, and I will look forward to talking with whoever is in control of Medicaid,” said Rep. Greg Wren (R). Gov. Robert Bentley (R-AL) has called the 30 percent cut to Medicaid “irresponsible,” but will not support tax increases to raise revenue instead.