I have been getting calls and emails from clients recently worried about Medicaid, and whether they need to start making other plans for their loved ones currently in nursing homes. I am at a loss about what to tell them.
On the one hand, it's hard for me to believe that the Legislature would actually make these cuts, and yet yesterday the Texas House of Representatives passed a draconian budget, including significant cuts to education and Medicaid. Texas nursing homes already lose about $12 per day for each Medicaid resident; cutting Medicaid payments would only increase that loss, and put many nursing homes out of business.
I am afraid there will be some serious cuts, and I fear that some nursing homes will close. I wonder how many legislators have family members on Medicaid in nursing homes. My guess is not too many. It's too easy to sit in a nice office in Austin and make life and death decisions, and make no mistake, people will die if these cuts go through.
I know we have to make some tough choices, and I know we have to live within our means, but I truly think many of the proposed budget cuts are just cutting off our noses to spite our faces. More people will go to the hospital, more people will be depressed, nursing home employees will lose their jobs, family members will lose their jobs. Where is the savings in that?
I'll appreciate any ideas you might have; better yet, send them to your legislator.