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Pataki plans $1 billion in N.Y. Medicaid cuts

Pataki plans $1 billion in N.Y. Medicaid cuts

AIDS service organizations this week responded with alarm to plans by New York governor George Pataki to cut $1 billion from the state's Medicaid program in the 2005-2006 fiscal year. The cuts and Medicaid restructuring recommended in Pataki's proposed executive budget would severely limit health care options for many low-income New York residents, including thousands of HIV-positive people, according to Gay Men's Health Crisis. Medicaid serves about 65,000 HIV-positive people in the state, according to GMHC. If the proposed Medicaid proposal is approved by state lawmakers, they could restrict access to life-saving anti-HIV medications and drugs used to treat or prevent AIDS-related opportunistic infections, through increased co-payments and the establishment of a preferred-drug program; create barriers to health care access by changing eligibility requirements for the Family Health Plus program; and eliminate other benefits, like dental care, that HIV-positive people need to stay healthy, GMHC says

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