State Makes A U-Turn On Health Care Cuts | KERA News

State Makes A U-Turn On Health Care Cuts

Dec 18, 2012

The state of Texas is restoring some cuts it made to low-income, elderly patients on Medicare and Medicaid.

Starting in January, Texas will resume paying the annual Medicare deductible. Dr. Bruce Malone, President of the Texas Medical Association says these are poor patients who can’t afford the $140 deductible. And he says if it’s not met, Medicare won’t pay. He says many doctors struggled to absorb the losses.  Others quit seeing those patients because they weren’t getting paid.   

“They didn’t realize how devastating it was going to be," Malone said.  "And I think once they did, they promised to pay it so these patients won’t be without doctors.  It’s a crisis that is narrowly averted.  It’s a great first step. Now, we’ve got to see if we can restore the other part of Medicare/Medicaid, which is the 20 percent that the government never pays.”

Last year, Texas lawmakers also voted to quit paying the Medicaid patient’s 20 percent co-insurance. The federal government pays 80 percent.