Washington special session could slash Medicaid for thousands

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on December 9, 2010 at 5:16 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- George Adams may be stuck with a tough decision next March. He said he may have to use his rent money to pay for his prescription medications.

"That would not be good," said Adams.

The Bremerton man has diabetes. Since he's considered "low income," he receives $527 a month from the state's Medicaid program.

The state has proposed to cut that funding March 1. On Jan. 1, the money that covers Adams' dental and vision care will likely be cut.

"You've got people terrified out there about this, believe me," said Adams.

More than 270,000 residents could lose prescription coverage, according to a DSHS spokesperson.

Lawmakers still need to approve the cuts.That could happen at a special session Saturday.

The Medicaid cuts were a result of the September order by Governor Chris Gregoire for state agencies to make "across-the-board" cuts. Lawmakers need to make up for a projected $1.1 billion deficit.

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