Latino groups make a pitch to block Medicaid cuts

    Latino leaders and health-care advocates have organized a call-in campaign for Wednesday to urge lawmakers to use their influence in budget debate in order to block proposed Medicaid cuts.

    Every year the budget debate stirs up concerns—and puts favored programs on the line—but this year’s debt ceiling talks have some people more concerned than ever.

    Fernando Treviño, Democracia USA’s Northeast regional director, says Republican proposals to scale back Medicaid are getting unprecedented traction this year.

    “Usually, you would have the White House or the Democrats saying: ‘We can negotiate certain things, but these are key programs to support low-income families.’ In this case, both the White House and some Democrats acknowledge that they are willing to make some cuts in order to balance the budget,” Treviño said.

    Eric Rodriguez, vice president of advocacy for the National Council of La Raza, says Latinos would be disproportionately affected by Medicaid cuts.

    “One out of every two Latino children is on Medicaid and CHIP across the country, it’s a crucial program providing health care, aid and assistance to families,” Rodriguez said.

    CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, is a popular state and federal insurance program for low-income kids.

    The analysis from the La Raza council found that about 11 percent of non-Hispanic whites participate in the Medicaid program. In contrast, nearly 27 percent of Hispanics across the country are enrolled.

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