Transplant Patients Targets Of Arizona Governor’s Budget Cuts
Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona is targeting medical patients needing transplants in an effort to close a budget gap.
“She’s signing death warrants — that’s what she’s doing. This is death for me,” says [Douglas] Gravagna, 44, a heavy-set man who takes 14 medications to stay alive.
Gravagna is among 98 people denied state Medicaid funding for potentially life-saving transplants and at the forefront of a harrowing battle over the state’s public finances.
The measure enacted last October by Brewer trimmed spending on Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program, to help close a projected 2012 budget deficit of $1.15 billion.
It eliminated coverage for transplants including lung, heart, liver and bone marrow after weighing the success and survival rates for certain transplant procedures.
Two patients on the Medicaid waiting list have since died, although it is unclear if transplants would have saved them.
Arizona isn’t alone.
In Texas the proposed budget would cut rates to Medicaid providers, including doctors, dentists, hospitals and nursing homes, by 10 percent, making it more difficult for patients to find healthcare providers who accept Medicaid.
Other states, among them Nevada, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska, Colorado and South Dakota, have also proposed provider rate cuts.Click here for reuse options!
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