<\body> Stories in America: Reaction to Budget Cuts

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Reaction to Budget Cuts

"Sadly, as we complete this measure at Christmastime, it will indeed be the neediest members of our society who have to tighten their belts. Republicans have decided to leave tax giveaways for the wealthy under the Christmas tree, while leaving middle-class families out in the cold. Those with incomes over $1 million will receive an average of $32,000 in tax cuts. But those with incomes under $100,000 will receive an average of only $29. Bah humbug. Children and families struggling to pay for health care will be among those who are hurt the most. 46 million Americans lack health insurance, but this bill will increase costs and cut health benefits for millions of low-income families. It slashes Medicaid funding by $6.9 billion over the next five years, and $28.4 billion over 10 years."
-Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

"Children born with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and related developmental disabilities will suffer without Medicaid's Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program, which can prevent and minimize disability through early, regular health screenings and treatments. In addition, new onerous work requirements for TANF recipients will force many parents of children with disabilities further into poverty. This Budget Reconciliation is unlike any other in Congress' history and shows a true callousness for our nation's poorest and most vulnerable populations. Passage of this law represents a huge set back for services and supports for our constituents and their families. They deserve better."
-Sue Swenson, executive director of The Arc of the United States and Stephen Bennett, president and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy, two of the nation's leading non-profit organizations advocating for people with disabilities

"This is a sad day in history for the 109th Congress and all American families. Instead of standing up for those who are most vulnerable, today Congress voted to protect the interests of the pharmaceutical and managed care industries. Throughout this entire debate AARP acknowledged the need to improve Medicaid. We tried hard to ensure a responsible policy that achieved the goals of preventing abuse, but still protected those who innocently helped grandchildren and or gave to charities. It is shameful that the final budget contains measures that penalize innocent people, threaten their ability to keep their homes, and shows a preference for protecting the powerful at the expense of millions of Americans."
-AARP CEO William D. Novelli

The American Pharmacists Association, (APhA) the first-established and largest national professional association representing 56,000 pharmacists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, is extremely disappointed with changes to the Medicaid program contained in the budget conference report passed by the House Monday (Dec. 19) and the Senate today (Dec. 21). The cuts to pharmacy reimbursement will likely have a disastrous impact on the profession's ability to provide necessary care to Medicaid patients.
-The American Pharmacists Association


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