(02/08/2005)
The USA is facing its largest national deficit and foreign trade imbalance, and the Bush administration is attempting to bring the budget under control.

West Virginia's citizens or agencies that rely on Medicaid funding streams could be hard hit.

Also the state's veteran's will take a hit.

The money crunch comes after spending $20 billion on the Iraqi war and another $20 billion that will be used for stabilization of that country (although those items are not in the budget) and giving tax breaks that mostly benefit the wealthy.

Stagnant wages, loss of good paying jobs and globalizing the economy is no longer part of the discussion, considering it takes working people with decent jobs to pay taxes.

Under the banner of a "growing economy" the "job problem" is pushing dozens of states toward bankruptcy.

In the Bush budget, West Virginia could lose $80 million dollars in Medicaid funding next year with state veterans paying higher fees.

West Virginia Hospital Association President Steven Summer says nursing homes, mental health centers and ambulance services could suffer significant losses with proposed caps.

Because West Virginia receives three federal dollars for each dollar it spends on Medicaid, that means another $60 million dollars could be lost.

Bush's budget calls for higher income veterans to pay a $250 dollar annual fee to access healthcare. Also veterans' monthly co-payments on medications would double in cost.


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