Arizona Medicaid cuts seen as a sign of the times

The New York Times, December 7, 2010

With enrollments exploding, revenues shrinking and the low-hanging fruit plucked long ago, virtually every state has had to make painful cuts to its Medicaid program during the economic downturn.

What distinguishes the reductions recently imposed in Arizona, where coverage was eliminated on Oct. 1 for certain transplants of the heart, liver, lung, pancreas and bone marrow, is the decision to stop paying for treatments urgently needed to ward off death.

The cuts in transplant coverage, which could deny organs to 100 adults currently on the transplant list, are testament to both the severity of fiscal pressures on the states and the particular bloodlessness of budget-cutting in Arizona.

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