Regional
4:05 pm
Sat February 16, 2013

Most In Texas Medicaid Are Elderly Or Children

Every odd-numbered year, the Texas health and human services commissioner appears before state lawmakers hungry to cut spending on Medicaid.

And at every meeting he or she shows them a chart of whose health services would suffer: impoverished children, senior citizens and the disabled.

That's the moment when even the most hard-hearted lawmaker realizes that cutting the program, which accounts for a quarter of state spending, will be tougher than they thought.

But the number of poor children and impoverished elderly continues to grow, and federal law requires the state to provide a basic level of services.

Texas lawmakers have promised to maintain support for the poor, but Medicaid has reached a quarter of state spending.

Republicans are looking for ways to reduce those costs without cutting services.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.