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Advocate Says Proposed Medicaid Cuts On Elderly Would Be 'Devastating'

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Senate Health Care bill calls for major restructuring of and deep cuts to Medicaid, which provides insurance to low-income pregnant women and single mothers, children, the disabled, and the elderly.

Advocates for seniors are especially concerned.

"Any cuts to Medicaid would be devastating," said Holly Lange president of Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.

She says the plan calls for a cap on payments to the states.

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Since Medicaid is part state and part federal, those cuts would leave a lot of Pennsylvanians in the lurch.

"We have the fourth largest elderly population in the country, and in Philadelphia, we have a very large Medicaid population as well," she said. "Those elderly who are low-income depend on Medicaid along with their Medicare, to help pay for their health insurance."

Many have chronic health conditions, says Lange, and regular care allows them live healthy lives.

"It makes no sense to cut Medicaid so that people cannot afford their insurance, they become sick, and go to the hospital, and that costs more money," she said.

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