Legislators Look to Cut Medicaid
MONTGOMERY, Ala (AP) — The Alabama House has approved a large funding cut to Medicaid as lawmakers try to fix a budget shortfall.
Though a first vote failed, legislators approved the reduction on a second try Wednesday.
House Ways And Means General Fund Committee Chairman Steve Clouse proposed the controversial budget as House leaders try to wrangle votes for a budget solution but says he understands the importance of funding Medicaid, though help is needed to do it.
House members voted 46-44 for the budget amendment to give Medicaid a $156 million reduction. The budget now moves to the Alabama Senate.
Lawmakers have been unable to agree how to fill a shortfall in the general fund.
Rep. Pebblin Warren says the reductions could be life-threatening for Alabamians on Medicaid. With a reduction of $156 million, some of those that rely on Medicaid would undoubtedly see a decrease in services. Hopefully, preventive care will not be eliminated, but that would still leave issues for those whose Medicaid assists in the treatment of particular conditions.
It is understandable to not want to increase taxes, as that might be seemingly unfair to the working sector, but should the health of thousands be placed in jeopardy for the sake of others' comfort? In Tuscaloosa, we voted in favor of extending a one-percent tax to benefit education. Why couldn't a similar concept be applied state-wide? Admittedly, I don't have the answers to fixing the state General Fund, but I hardly think reducing Medicaid funding is a good start.