City's poor seen as losing in GOP plan

January 19, 1996|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

WASHINGTON -- Dr. Peter Beilenson, Baltimore City health commissioner, told the House-Senate Democratic Caucus this week that if the proposed Republican plan for Medicaid is enacted, about 15,000 children and pregnant women in Baltimore would lose their health coverage.

The hearing Wednesday looked at major changes proposed for Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor, and Medicare, the federal health program for the elderly.

Baltimore is home to roughly half of Maryland's 467,000 Medicaid recipients, mostly poor women and children.

In testifying about what would happen to cities and their poor populations, Dr. Beilenson warned that once cut off from Medicaid, children and women would lose primary and preventive health care and wind up in emergency rooms.

He also predicted that community health clinics that now depend on Medicaid funding might be forced to close.

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