The Ryan Medicaid Plan
A Threat to Middle Class SecurityBy Scott Lilly
The Medicaid changes in the Ryan budget plan would have extraordinary implications not only for poor individuals but for a very broad swath of middle-class families, as a very big share of Medicaid benefits protects middle class families from financial disaster in the event of severe accidents, catastrophic illness of prolonged infirmity in old age.
Cutting eligibility for those who are neither elderly nor disabled would be more problematic than is generally recognized. For example, Medicaid is at least partially responsible for the dramatic decreases in miscarriages and infant mortality that have taken place in this country. Cutting Medicaid would also dramatically reduce the number of children who arrive at school ready to learn, while placing the broader population at risk from the stand point of public health.
Changes to this critical safety net program should be made with extreme caution and not before the public has a clear understanding of the consequences those changes might have on their lives and the lives of their neighbors.
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