PBS NewsHour, May 11, 2011

A new study released Tuesday by two nonpartisan organizations added new fuel to the debate over debt and spending when the report found that debt reduction proposals by House Republicans lawmakers could leave up to 44 million more low-income and disabled Americans without health insurance. Currently, about 45 million Americans are uninsured. The analysis was done by the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and researchers at the Urban Institute. The federal healthcare reform law passed last year provides for a major expansion of the Medicaid program in 2014, making almost anyone earning 133% of the federal poverty level eligible for the government's healthcare safety net. For an individual, that equates to a salary of about $14,500 a year. But House Republicans, led by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who is Chairman of the House Budget Committee, want to change the way the federal government takes care of those who are poor and have medical needs, changing the program into a "block grant" system.

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