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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:40 AM
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Clinton enters Medicaid fray

Clinton enters Medicaid fray

WASHINGTON BUREAU January 28, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Hillary and health care?

<snip>She said proposals to restrict funding for Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides coverage for low-income people, would put it on "a glide path to extinction."

Clinton focused on reports the administration was about to revive a plan to turn federal Medicaid funding into capped block grants that would not grow as the cost of the program increased, as is the case now.

"I am open to real reforms and improvements," she said. "But establishing a block grant would gut the program, and that is not the solution."<snip>

Clinton also criticized the prescription drug benefit that will be provided to the elderly starting next year through Medicare, the federal health program for senior citizens.

She said it could actually have a negative impact on 6.5 million impoverished seniors who now get drug coverage through Medicaid. The transition to the new program for these people will be abrupt and confusing, Clinton said, and they may be arbitrarily placed in a drug plan that does not fit their individual needs.<snip>

Speaking of the administration and its congressional allies, she said: "There are many who still believe that we can cut people loose, make them rugged individualists again. ... Cut off access to benefits no matter whether they have a car accident or discover cancer after their benefits have run out. I don't want to live in a country that has those as its values."<snip>

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