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Medicaid Cuts By the Numbers: Up to 28K Hoosier Jobs at Risk

June 30, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS - Proposed cuts to Medicaid are being examined through a new lens - one that focuses on the economy. A Families USA study uses a U.S. Department of Commerce tool to calculate what the Republican House budget proposal would mean to the Indiana business community - and for jobs.

The group's director, Ron Pollack, says the proposal would cut Medicaid over 10 years, with the first round of cuts set for next year at five percent. Here's what that five percent could mean for Hoosiers, he explains.

"In Indiana, it would mean more than $469 million less in business activity, and almost 4,300 jobs would be at risk."

The cuts reach 33 percent in 10 years, which Pollack says could mean up to 28,000 jobs lost for Indiana. He adds that the numbers may be lower, though, because it's likely the state would make up for part of any federal Medicaid cuts.

While the economic study is meant to draw attention to factors that have not been debated much yet, Pollack does not want the effect on human beings to be overlooked.

"We have to think seriously about what its impact would be, not just for the children and families that would lose health care and their ability to see a doctor, but it would have a significant impact on the people who are most frail."

In Indiana, about 62 percent of nursing home care is paid for through Medicaid.

The full report, "Jobs at Risk: Federal Medicaid Cuts Would Harm State Economies," is available at http://familiesusa2.org/assets/pdfs/Medicaid-Cuts-Hurt-State-Economies.pdf.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - IN